January 8 2003 RussCon Report


Game Results
Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
Ratings | FAQ
18 of us played 18 games.
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Thanks to alert reader Bradley Eng-Kohn who emailed me about the ratings system:

Interesting article on the system. I have a thought that might simplify the math a bit.

You have each players R(i) for a game as:

P(you'd do this poorly or worse)/P(you'd do this well or better)

Can't this be simplified to:

Players who score your placing or lower / Players who scored your placing or higher?

So what was 1 / (2/5) in the example of the 5-player game where you tied for 1st with someone becomes 5/2, the same result with two less divisions.

I think Brad is right! The probabilities are simply the number of players doing as poorly or better than you, divided by the number of players, so of course the number of players cancels out in the ratio of probabilities. Funny that none of us noticed this before. Of course the computer doesn't complain about a little extra math, but still.

Chicago is a really fun movie musical. Check it out even if you think you don't like musicals.

Note the final Clandestine appearance in Austin is coming up in a couple weeks (January 24 & 25; 7:30 and 10:00pm). This is a Friday and Saturday appearance. Based on past experience, I'm thinking the later shows are better (they're cheaper and seem to potentially last longer). I might even do both nights, 'cause hey, it's their last concert, and I'm a Clandestine nut.

Game Results

Blokus4RussW 3 William 1 MarkH -1 Zack -3
Blokus2RussW 1 Clayton -1
Frank'sZoo6JeffF 5 JP 3 BradS 1 Ben -2 Fred -2 Dan -5
Tichu2( MarkH Zack ) 1 ( JimG William ) -1
Tichu2( Ben MarkY ) 1 ( JimG MarkH ) -1
Carcassonne3BradS 2 RussW 0 Clayton -2
CarcassonneHunters2William 1 Zack -1
Blokus4RussW 3 BradS 0 RussD 0 William -3
Blokus4BradS 3 William 1 RussW -1 RussD -3
Blokus4RussD 3 BradS 1 RussW -1 William -3
ClueTheCardGame5MarkY 4 Ben -1 Dan -1 JimG -1 Zack -1
Settlers4JP 3 MarkH 1 Steve -1 Fred -3
Tichu2( Dan Ben ) 1 ( JimG MarkY ) -1
QuoVadis5Steve 4 JP 2 Marty 0 William -2 Zack -4
Blokus4RussW 3 RussD 1 Matt -2 Whendy -2
Transamerica3William 2 RussD 0 Zack -2
Blokus4Matt 3 Steve 1 JP -1 RussW -3
Can'tStop3RussD 2 William -1 Zack -1

Blokus is proving quite popular; this was its second evening at RussCon, and 7 games of it were played! Highly recommended.

I'm interested to give Clue The Card Game a try; it apparently eliminates the board and just focuses on the deduction.

Zack also donated one of his beloved games (Image) to RussCon and tried to get William to play it, but William would have none of it and quit early on (since he doesn't like trivia games), and insisted instead on playing Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers so he could beat up on newbie Zack mercilessly. However I won't complain since he brought actual tasty food instead of the weird stuff no one eats and I end up taking to my gullible coworkers to eat months later when it's gone stale. Woot!

Meta Game

Dan was the Meta Devil. Here is the Mëtä Gämë he mailed out:

MËTÄ GÄMË - Freshophilia

Many drinks claim to be as refreshing as Fresca. Some claim to be thirst-quenching. Yet these imposters all fall short of the One True Freshness™.

Your mission in this MËTÄ GÄMË is to taste and identify six somewhat Fresca-esque drinks. All products are commercially available beverages procurred at the local H.E.B. and are unadultered in any way.

Samples will be provided in six identical bottles distinguished by an alphabetic identifier. Sampling cups will be provided. Eight possible beverage name answers will be given to ease your quest. Simply write the names of your guesses next to the six letters. Please limit your samples to 1 ounce or less so all can play; do not succumb to the urge to chug the bottle once you reach the Freshness™.

The MËTÄ GÄMË winner will be the contestant with the most correct answers with ties being broken by random die roll.

This was harder than Dan's baby food meta game (in which Fina got a perfect 8 out of 8, and we weren't given possible answers either). The scores were our of a possible 6 correct:
4 RussD
3 JimG Matt
2 JP Zack
1 RussW
Only half of us even identified the One True Freshness™ correctly! Even top scorer RussD didn't detect Fresca correctly; indeed he didn't write it as an answer, perhaps thinking Dan was trying a meta trick! Nonethless RussD is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Reminder of the new incentive to compete in the Meta Game: The Meta Devil gets full table rights, just like a regular Devil from now on, so they could stake out the dining table or the kitchen table. Of course Vice-Devils continue to get secondary dibs on the tables if no higher-ranking Devil or Meta Devil takes a table.

Evening's Soundtrack

My Dying Bride, The Light at the end of the World
My Dying Bride, the dreadful hours
My Dying Bride, Meisterwerk I
My Dying Bride, Meisterwerk II

Dark melancholic dirges by My Dying Bride... I knew they had released several albums since the last one I'd bought, but man, I didn't know how many till I recently found these at Encore, which was conveniently having a sale.


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:   
 3.1781 24.0000 BradS (5)
 2.6548 14.2222 RussW (8)
 2.5903 13.3333 JP (4)
 1.7918 6.0000 JeffF (1)
 1.6094 5.0000 MarkY (3)
 1.6094 5.0000 Steve (3)
 1.5041 4.5000 RussD (6)
 0.6931 2.0000 Matt (2)
 0.6523 1.9200 Ben (4)
 0.0000 1.0000 Marty (1)
 0.0000 1.0000 MarkH (4)
-0.6931 0.5000 Whendy (1)
-1.3218 0.2667 Dan (3)
-1.7918 0.1667 Clayton (2)
-1.8971 0.1500 Fred (2)
-1.9617 0.1406 William (9)
-2.3026 0.1000 JimG (4)
-4.7230 0.0089 Zack (7)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 3.5835 36.0000 RussW won 4 of 8
 1.7918 6.0000 JeffF won 1 of 1
 1.7272 5.6250 BradS won 2 of 5
 1.6094 5.0000 MarkY won 2 of 3
 1.2164 3.3750 RussD won 2 of 6
 1.0986 3.0000 Matt won 1 of 2
 1.0341 2.8125 Steve won 1 of 3
 0.9808 2.6667 Ben won 2 of 4
 0.6931 2.0000 JP won 1 of 4
 0.2877 1.3333 Dan won 1 of 3
-0.2231 0.8000 Marty won 0 of 1
-0.2877 0.7500 Whendy won 0 of 1
-0.4700 0.6250 Fred won 0 of 2
-0.5754 0.5625 MarkH won 1 of 4
-0.6807 0.5062 William won 2 of 9
-1.0986 0.3333 Clayton won 0 of 2
-1.5449 0.2133 Zack won 1 of 7
-2.3026 0.1000 JimG won 0 of 4

BradS and I are Co-Devils! JP and JeffF are Co-Vice-Devils.

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