September 19 2001 RussCon Report


Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
20 of us played 15 games.
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Comicollage: daily ongoing comic jam with 7 artists and no planning ahead! There's a russ strip every Tuesday.


Hard to think of news unrelated to the WTC and its aftermath. It's even trickled into my art. I am just as scared by many of the reactions as I am by the event itself. Mosques getting bombed... middle eastern and Muslim Americans being harrassed and attacked... A Louisiana representative saying "anyone with a diaper on his head" should be pulled over and investigated... Falwell blaming gays, feminists, abortionists, and the ACLU... our seemingly inevitable angry march to kill civilians in our outrage that someone killed civilians... Yuck.

I'm thankful for a bunch of fun friendly folks to hang out with each week.

Game Results

Carcassonne3BobK 2 Clayton 0 JimG -2
TajMahal5RussW 4 Carly 2 BobR 0 Marty -2 Dan -4
Tichu2( Clay Fred ) 1 ( Whendy PJ ) -1
Metro6Steve 5 Carly 3 RussW 1 Fina -1 Dan -3 Marty -5
Vampire3Clayton 2 Whendy 0 RussD -2
QuoVadis5William 4 RussW 2 Clayton 0 Steve -2 PJ -4
PrincesOfFlorence5Daniel 4 BobR 2 JimG 0 DaveB -2 BobK -4
Tichu2( Marty Carly ) 1 ( Dan Fina ) -1
Carcassonne3Steve 2 PJ 0 RussW -2
TallyHo2Marty 1 Dan -1
BigCity4Daniel 3 BobK 1 BobR -1 JimG -3
BigCheese3Steve 2 RussW 0 PJ -2
Settlers4Carly 3 Fina 1 Ben -1 William -3
6Nimmt5BobK 4 Dan 2 BobR 0 Daniel -2 PJ -4
LaCitta3JP 2 RussD 0 Fred -2

I hadn't played Taj Mahal in a long time, probably 6 months or more. In a 5 player game, I got 6 of the 12 elephants which gave me a handy win. Perhaps I should play this game more often...

I hadn't played Quo Vadis in a while either. I like it a lot. Nice simple elegant mechanics, and a central mechanism of dealmaking and negotiations which don't actually bog down normally.

carcassonneSteve demolished me & PJ at Carcassonne; nonetheless, I have still not tired of playing Carcassonne and putting this box-cover art in the RussCon Report.

The Big Cheese is surely one of the greatest Cheapass Games, especially with our deterministic pure strategy variant (where the card's number is the points you get, instead of the number of sides of the die you roll to determine your points). It had been a long time since I'd played it as well.

This was the first time La Citta was played at RussCon. It's a very complex busy looking game, but I hear it's good and not really that complex once you grok the varying little subsystems, vaguely analogous to Princes of Florence.

Meta Party Game Results

Dan was the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Party Game he emailed out:

Once upon a time in the magical land of the elves, there lived a happy King of the Elves who loved to play all kinds of games. He loved to play board and card games, or games with music, or games involving dressing up like women. One day while munching on some E.L. FudgeŽ Sandwich cookies in a Hollow TreeŽ, he said "I wonder how many registered copyrights I could use before the kingdom of the elves is attacked by evil copyright lawyers?" Then he dreamed up another game.

In this game, you are a Connoisseur of tasty things. Primarily using sight and smell, you must guess the main ingredient in each of 8 jars. Fear not, the 8 jars contain a commercially available food product which is a) edible, b) not harmful, and c) not jazzed up by the author in any way. In other words, the product is so safe you could feed it to a 1 year old baby. Ingredients are limited to fruits and vegetables (and occasionally ascorbic acid to preserve freshness), so this game will be safe for vegans or salt restricted diets. Guesses are to be recorded on a provided 3x5" index card.

If your sight or sense of smell is stumped, you are allowed to taste the products using the sanitary taste test apparatus (coffee stirrers). No using your fingers and no double dipping! If you take a taste, you must mark your guess with a "T".

Entries will be scored by:
a) The highest number of correct guesses.
b) If tied, the fewer number of tastes.
c) If tied, a game of chance.

It seems most people didn't have the stomach to play this game; only Carly, Clay, Fina, DaveB, Whendy, and I had the guts. The products turned out to all be baby food; the answers were:
  1. Banana
  2. Peas
  3. Apples
  4. Sweet Potato
  5. Green Beans
  6. Peaches
  7. Spinach
  8. Apricots

Too bad more people didn't take the challenge because it was quite interesting and fun. I was surprised how hard it was to be sure what I was seeing and smelling, given the ordinary nature of the foods. I mean, it's not like we were trying to identify some subtle fricassee of Icelandic reindeer milk with a piquant hint of blackened oleander root or something... The distribution of scores was 2, 4, 6, 7, 7, 8. Fina was the sole person to get all 8 correct, so she is the Meta Party Devil and shall design next week's Meta Party game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Cake, Fashion Nugget
Camper Van Beethoven, Key Lime Pie
Curve, Pubic Fruit
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, UFO Tofu
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, One Hot Minute

Another meta theme, of course! Had I known what Dan had in store, I might have chosen a more infantile theme, though.


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 Clay (1 game played)   
 1.0000 JP (1)
 0.6923 Carly (4)
 0.5385 Steve (4)
 0.4545 Daniel (3)
 0.2941 RussW (5)
 0.2500 Clayton (3)
 0.2308 BobK (4)
 0.1429 William (2)
 0.0667 BobR (4)
-0.1111 Fina (3)
-0.3333 Ben (1)
-0.3333 Fred (2)
-0.3333 Whendy (2)
-0.4545 Marty (4)
-0.4667 Dan (5)
-0.5000 DaveB (1)
-0.5000 RussD (2)
-0.5556 JimG (3)
-0.8462 PJ (5)
New Win ratings:
 1.0000 Clay (1)
 1.0000 JP (1)
 0.6154 Steve (4)
 0.5455 Daniel (3)
 0.4286 William (2)
 0.3077 BobK (4)
 0.1538 Carly (4)
 0.0000 Clayton (3)
 0.0000 Fred (2)
 0.0000 Marty (4)
 0.0000 RussW (5)
-0.2500 DaveB (1)
-0.2667 BobR (4)
-0.3333 Ben (1)
-0.3333 Dan (5)
-0.3333 Fina (3)
-0.3333 JimG (3)
-0.3846 PJ (5)
-0.5000 RussD (2)
-0.6667 Whendy (2)
Clay and JP both pulled the apparently not-so-rare and dangerous Brady Maneuver, so are ineligible for Devilhood! Carly and Steve are Co-Devils! Daniel is Vice-Devil, then me.


Dan has prepared an excellent summary of The Lost Tiles of Carcassonne. While you're at it, check out his Gaming Challenge 2001 page, where your humble narrator slips ever farther behind. Damn this lack of free time!

Classic computer game designer Chris Crawford's take on the WTC event.

Origami arthropods.

Lego version of Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Cool weird biological art from the 1800s by Rudolph Leuckart.

achtung baby