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2004-01-14 RussCon Report

This damn collage took way too long to do!

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13 of us played 16 games.

SEEKING GEEKLY ADVICE: If anyone has experience with PDAs and their suitability and handling of Unicode characters (e.g. Esperanto, German, Chinese, etc.), I am interested. Language learning is finally the killer app that convinces me I want a PDA. I would be using it for word flash cards and perhaps also load dictionaries into it. It needs to work well with Unicode characters, both displaying as well as entering them reasonably easily. From what I have been able to research so far, the Palm OS is most popular/widespread, but least pleasing for entry and display of foreign text. WinCE systems are second most popular, and more likely to handle foreign input and display well. Then there are the Linux based ones. I have received one specific recommendation so far (from someone at livejournal), for the Sharp Zaurus SL-5600, which is rather pricier than I expected to spend, but looks pretty spiffy and seems to have a reasonable amount of apps for it and overall got very good reviews at amazon except for a couple disgruntled people. Anyway, any suggestions or ideas of issues to consider are welcome.

On January 19, there is going to be Monday night go-playing from 6 till 10 at Thor's Hammer (12626 Research Blvd, west side of 183, just a little south of McNeil, in the same strip center that once housed SimTex)... if it works out, this would become a weekly event, kind of a supplement to the existing Tuesday night go club at Great Hall Games in Dobie Mall.

I received word that the January 23 and 24 go tournament in Houston was cancelled (or more accurately, made restricted just to members at a school there). So you probably don't want to go to it.

Game Results

Guillotine3Fred 2 MarkY -1 Ben -1
Edison [3]4Whendy 3 Binkley 1 RussW -1 Matt -3
Exxtra3Ben 2 MarkY 0 Fred -2
CarcassonneCastle2JP 1 Clayton -1
HedgehogsInAHurry [2]4Whendy 3 RussW 1 Matt -2 Binkley -2
MississippiQueen [3]3RussW 2 Matt 0 Binkley -2
Transamerica4JeffS 3 JP 1 MarkG -1 Clayton -3
Go2JeffS 1 MarkG -1
Tichu2( William Fred ) 1 ( MarkY Ben ) -1
ZirkusFlohcati3Matt 2 Binkley 0 RussW -2
CarcassonneCastle2Clayton 1 MarkG -1
Kahuna2JeffS 1 JP -1
HedgehogsInAHurry [2]4RussD 3 RussW 1 William -2 JP -2
WhatsThatOnMyHead4Ben 3 MarkY 1 Binkley -1 Matt -3
HedgehogsInAHurry [2]5RussD 4 MarkG 0 Clayton 0 JP 0 RussW -4
RealLife5Ben 4 Binkley 2 William 0 MarkY -2 Matt -4

Games that earned meta points were Edison & Co., Hedgehogs in a Hurry, and Mississippi Queen.

Edison & Co. is a game that had only been played twice before at RussCon and was not popular, but since it is a race game I suggested we play. As in 1998, we felt there was a lack of player control, perhaps analogous to the recently popular Alhambra. However I wouldn't mind trying it again with the team variant.

Hedgehogs in a Hurry was unusually popular this evening. Perhaps we should try some of the variants (it comes with over 100 variants, mostly submitted by fans of the game, I believe.) It is a nice elegant game that seems to lend itself to wacky chrome and variations. In its basic form it almost reminds me of Devil Bunny Wants A Ham, in that the players each have a set of several pieces that are all gradually progressing across the board in a sort of traffic-congested blob.

I was excited to see first-time-Kahuna-player JeffS put the smackdown on my Kahuna nemesis JP, who I can't beat at Kahuna... In fact, I have never won Kahuna against anyone except William!


Rank Ratings:        
 2.9957 Ben
 2.9957 RussD
 2.7726 JeffS
 2.7726 Whendy
 0.6931 Fred
 0.0000 William
-0.2877 JP
-1.0986 Binkley
-1.2040 RussW
-1.3863 Clayton
-1.3863 MarkY
-1.7918 MarkG
-3.9766 Matt
Win Ratings:
 2.9957 Ben won 3 of 5
 2.9957 RussD won 2 of 2
 2.7726 JeffS won 3 of 3
 2.7726 Whendy won 2 of 2
 1.3863 Fred won 2 of 3
 0.1823 William won 1 of 3
-0.3930 RussW won 1 of 6
-0.3930 Matt won 1 of 6
-0.5108 Clayton won 1 of 4
-0.7985 JP won 1 of 5
-1.8971 Binkley won 0 of 6
-1.8971 MarkG won 0 of 4
-2.0149 MarkY won 0 of 5

Ben and RussD are Co-Devils! JeffS and Whendy are Co-Vice-Devils. Fred is Vice-Vice-Devil.

If you are confused how the ratings work, you could peruse the FAQ.

I used GraphViz to generate the graph image.

devil graph

Meta Game

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


I've been doing a lot of race running lately, so tomorrow's metagame is about racing.

For each different game you play, receive:

If you brought the game, add an additional metapoint.

If you play a game that has never been played before at Russcon, add two additional metapoints.

Also, the metagame is itself a race to play the most games. Receive one half metapoint for every different game you play.

The person with the most metapoints is the winner. Ties broken randomly.

Games that earned meta points were Edison & Co., Hedgehogs in a Hurry, and Mississippi Queen.

Matt clarified in person that "different game" meant different title, not different play session/instance/result/whatever, i.e. repeated playings of Hedgehogs in a Hurry did not accumulate additional meta points. It appears the meta points earned were:

By the power vested in my traditional tie-breaking die from my original TSR edition of Dungeon, I determined that I am the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Alpha Team, Speed
Amy Atchley, Speeding
Vangelis, Blade Runner
Cake, Fashion Nugget
Faster Pussycat, Whipped!

Another of those pesky meta themes. For those not sure why the Cake album is included, I remind you that bowel-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse, assail him, impale him, with monster truck force... he's going the distance!

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