April 30 2003 RussCon Report

Oh My God! They're Dogs... And They're Playing Poker!
Game Results
Ratings | FAQ
Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
21 of us played 12 games. (DaveB only played an unrecorded game so you won't see him in the ratings.)
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Comicollage: daily ongoing comic jam with 7 artists and no planning ahead! There's a russ strip every Tuesday.
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So last week I forgot to mention that the Harry White Man is back in Austin (from Athens, Texas, where he carried a badge)! And this week Tim returned for the first time in a while; now that classes are over, he hopes to be around more. And DaveB (whom I saw earlier in the day at a fun ex-SimTex lunch, with a bunch of folks I hadn't seen in about 6 years) stopped by. But surely the biggest surprise was Sea Biscuit's revelation of extreme life change... including quitting the UT CS PhD program and moving to San Francisco soon to attend culinary school to become a pastry chef. (I would have recommended joining a cadre of wily sous-chefs, but that's just me.)

The poker club which several RussCon folks enjoyed was shut down by the police who raided it with guns drawn and claimed (falsely, according to folks I know who've been to the club) that the club takes a cut of the action (and doesn't simply charge a fixed rate for attendance, which apparently makes the club legal). It is frustrating to see the government arresting people for consensual "crimes" that aren't hurting people (and apparently aren't even illegal in the first place; the club had a public website and tried to do the correct legal stuff, so why was it raided like some secret den of evil?)... Police Dept Hall of Shame. Who watches the watchmen?

The Texas Showdown on May 3 is a conglomeration of various progressive/liberal causes, at least some of which I suspect many folks are interested in, possibly including certain poker players who've recently suffered some unjust smackdown by the state... My current plan is to hook up with Whendy & perhaps Dan at the south gate entry to capitol at 1pm...

The Great Mailing List issue is still percolating since I've been very busy and will be swamped this weekend, but seriously we will be shifting over soon I expect, since PJ's set up a nifty password-protected archive system... stay tuned.

Game Results

Tichu2( Steve MarkH ) 1 ( Ben Dan ) -1
DasAmulett5RussW 4 MarkG 1 Matt 1 JP -2 Allen -4
Carcassonne3MarkY 2 Clayton 0 RussW -2
ZirkusFlohcati4Allen 3 MarkG 1 William -1 JP -3
PuertoRico5JonathanC 4 Harry 2 MarkY 0 Fina -2 Clayton -4
Amun-Re5Marty 4 MarkH 2 Ben 0 Dan -2 Steve -4
Guillotine4RussW 3 MarkY 0 RussD 0 Clayton -3
Exxtra4Ben 3 Whendy 1 Dan -1 Marty -3
Cosmic4Allen 2 JonathanC 2 MarkG -1 William -3
ZirkusFlohcati4Clayton 3 RussD 1 MarkY -1 RussW -3
PuertoRico4JP 3 Matt 1 Kiet -1 Justin -3
Bluff5MarkG 4 RussW 2 Whendy -1 William -1 JonathanC -4

I finally got to play Das Amulett which is pretty fun. The main drawback was it took a while for JP to explain the rules to the rest of us newbies, and gameplay was a little slow at time due to newbies agonizing in the frequent auctions. I suspect it will go quicker with players familiar with it, and I'm certainly game to try it some more. It has some neat mechanics, and fans of games like Cosmic or Magic might like how it has lots of special effects, in the form of spells which are bid upon and then (like some sort of inverted Big Cheese mechanic) have the auction price placed on the card and removed one per turn, and the spell lasts until the "chiclets" are all gone from the card. Plus it's got pretty components. :)

Our Most Assiduous Reader will recall that I burned out on Cosmic years ago, but it has a certain dedicated fanbase at RussCon. It amuses me that its adherents are so fervent in wanting to play it, since it often seems to degenerate into bitter acrimony, and this session was a good example as I heard several intense arguments break out. Heh.


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:    
 1.8971 6.6667 MarkG (4)
 1.3863 4.0000 MarkH (2)
 1.2040 3.3333 RussW (5)
 0.6931 2.0000 JonathanC (3)
 0.6931 2.0000 Ben (3)
 0.6931 2.0000 MarkY (4)
 0.6931 2.0000 Harry (1)
 0.6931 2.0000 Matt (2)
 0.4700 1.6000 Allen (3)
 0.4055 1.5000 RussD (2)
 0.2231 1.2500 Marty (2)
 0.1178 1.1250 Whendy (2)
-0.4055 0.6667 Kiet (1)
-0.6931 0.5000 JP (3)
-0.6931 0.5000 Fina (1)
-0.9163 0.4000 Steve (2)
-1.3863 0.2500 Justin (1)
-1.6094 0.2000 Clayton (4)
-1.7918 0.1667 Dan (3)
-2.0794 0.1250 William (3)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 2.0794 8.0000 RussW won 2 of 5
 2.0794 8.0000 JonathanC won 2 of 3
 1.8563 6.4000 Allen won 2 of 3
 1.3218 3.7500 Marty won 1 of 2
 0.8755 2.4000 JP won 1 of 3
 0.4700 1.6000 MarkH won 1 of 2
 0.4700 1.6000 Ben won 1 of 3
 0.4700 1.6000 Steve won 1 of 2
 0.4700 1.6000 Clayton won 1 of 4
 0.4055 1.5000 MarkG won 1 of 4
 0.3001 1.3500 MarkY won 1 of 4
-0.2231 0.8000 Harry won 0 of 1
-0.2231 0.8000 Fina won 0 of 1
-0.2877 0.7500 Kiet won 0 of 1
-0.2877 0.7500 Justin won 0 of 1
-0.5108 0.6000 Matt won 0 of 2
-0.5108 0.6000 Whendy won 0 of 2
-0.5754 0.5625 RussD won 0 of 2
-1.2040 0.3000 Dan won 0 of 3
-1.2040 0.3000 William won 0 of 3

MarkG, MarkH, and I are Co-Devils! Sea Biscuit is Vice-Devil. William is the Generous Angel.

Meta Game

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

In this Meta Game you score points by winning a poker hand at the end of every non-meta game you play.


1) At the end of every non-meta game, procure a normal deck of cards. Two jokers may used subject to the consensus of the players.

2) Deal 5 cards to each player. Players look at their cards and may exchange 1 card for a new random card for each player they have defeated in the just completed non-meta game up to a maximum of 5 cards. Players must exchange their cards as a set and not look at cards in between draws.

3) Players reveal their hand. The best poker hand wins. The hand winner receives a number of Meta points equal to the number of people defeated this Meta Game hand. Write your Meta score in Das Book.

4) At the end of the night, the person with the most Meta points wins.


1) Anne, Bob, Chuck, Diane, and Ed play a 5 player game and finish in the order given. Anne receives 5 cards, Bob 4, Chuck 3, Diane 2, and Ed 1 card. All reveal their cards and Bob defeats the other 4 players with a 3 of a kind. Bob scores 4 meta points. The others score 0.

2) Angel, Bezzlebubba, Churchlady, and Diablo play a 4 player game. Angel and Bezzlebubba tie for the win so they get 3 cards each (1 card for playing plus 2 for beating Churchlady and Diablo). Churchlady came in 3rd, but opts not to play the Meta Game. Diablo came in last and just gets 1 card for playing. All reveal their cards and none of the cards match. Diablo wins with a high Ace. Diablo scores 2 meta points for defeating Angel and Bezzlebubba. The others score 0.

Actually, rule 2 was originally different, but 2 hours after emailing the game, Dan changed his mind, like the fickle fellow he is. The original rule 2 was:

2) Deal each player one card for playing the Meta Game plus one card for each player they defeated in the just completed non-meta game.

This proved to be pretty simple, fast and fun. (Good thing we didn't have money involved or we might have been raided by the police!) Clayton even played a few hands of the Meta Game (and worried he might be the Meta Devil when he actually won 2 hands and pulled into the lead!)... but eventually Matt won another hand and pulled ahead of Clayton, so Matt is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

The final meta scores appear to be (as best I can determine):
1 Dave
3 Fina MarkY Steve Whendy William
4 Ben
5 Clayton
6 MarkG
7 Matt

Evening's Soundtrack

Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas
Henry Purcell, The Fairy Queen
Henry Purcell, The Indian Queen
Henry Purcell, King Arthur
Henry Purcell, The Tempest

Henry Purcell, for no particular reason. Or maybe because I learned a couple weeks ago that the movie Gattaca has Esperanto in it, and I love its excellent soundtrack which is by Michael Nyman, who was strongly influenced by Purcell. Yeah, that's it!

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