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2004-03-03 RussCon Report

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16 of us played 11 games.

Marty was recently diagnosed as diabetic, but says he is already adapting to his new lifestyle of poking himself with pointy things. The implications are diverse, including but not limited to the following:

Game Results

ArkOfTheCovenant4Jeffles 3 Clayton 1 Marty -1 RussW -3
Tichu2( Ben MarkH ) 1 ( Whendy Fred ) -1
UnionPacific6RussW 5 Jeffles 3 Clayton 1 Marty -1 Harry -3 TimG -5
MrBond6Clayton 5 RussW 3 Jeffles 1 Marty -3 TimG -3 Whendy -3
ZirkusFlohcati5RussD 4 Clayton 2 Jeffles 0 Whendy -2 RussW -4
Wizard4MarkH 3 Ben 1 JP -1 Fred -3
Silverton4JimG 3 KevinU 1 Fina -1 Matt -3
RicochetRobot2Jeffles 1 Ben -1
Zero5JimG 2 Jeffles 2 Ben 2 Matt -2 Fina -4
ArkOfTheCovenant4Whendy 3 JP 1 Clayton -1 RussW -3
Bluff6Whendy 5 JP 3 Clayton 1 RussW -1 Jeffles -3 Matt -5

Ok, what the hell is up with Ark of the Covenant? I've played it 3 times now and come in dead last every time! Lucky for me I like the damn game! Hmm, or maybe that's not lucky, I'm not sure... Also, I must emphasize an important lesson about game rules: Never Trust Marty! It turns out that moving the Ark gives points to the owners of the meeples passed over, not to the active player. That makes a big difference!

We played Before I Kill You Mr. Bond (Clayton's copy which he had received only minutes before as an impromptu birthday gift from Jeffles!) ... in my opinion, it is one of the best of the many disappointing sort-of-broken Cheapass games because it doesn't take long and it has terrific flavor text! So despite it being a flawed game, I enjoy playing it every now and then. I was also proud to correctly recall that there was an 8 point spy in the game, thus winning a $1.37 wager with Jeffles who believed the highest spy was 7.

Silverton took several hours to play; it's yet another of the somewhat detailed lengthy historical simulation train games.


Rank Ratings:      
 3.0603 Clayton
 2.8779 Jeffles
 2.0794 MarkH
 1.8971 JimG
 1.6094 RussD
 1.0986 Whendy
 0.9163 Ben
 0.9163 JP
 0.4055 KevinU
-0.9163 Harry
-1.3863 Marty
-1.9617 RussW
-2.0149 Fina
-2.0794 Fred
-2.4849 TimG
-3.8712 Matt
Win Ratings:
 2.0794 MarkH won 2 of 2
 2.0794 Whendy won 2 of 5
 1.8971 JimG won 2 of 2
 1.8202 Jeffles won 3 of 7
 1.6094 RussD won 1 of 1
 0.6286 Clayton won 1 of 6
 0.6286 RussW won 1 of 6
 0.2231 Ben won 2 of 4
-0.1823 Harry won 0 of 1
-0.2877 KevinU won 0 of 1
-0.3646 TimG won 0 of 2
-0.6523 Marty won 0 of 3
-0.7577 JP won 0 of 3
-0.9808 Fred won 0 of 2
-1.2040 Fina won 0 of 2
-1.3863 Matt won 0 of 3

Clayton, Jeffles, and MarkH are Co-Devils! JimG and Whendy are Vice-Co-Devils. Matt is the Generous Angel!

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

Clay was the Meta Devil and mailed out the following Meta Game:

As it was the Fibonacci sequence that led me to victory in the last Meta Game, let us do homage:

In every game that is played, take your score (or placement if there is no score involved), truncate any digits off the end until it is a positive whole number < 1000 (thus, 56,700 becomes 567), and determine if the resulting number is a part of the Fibonacci sequence. If so, gain 1 Meta Point.

The winner of the Meta Game is the person who has the highest total of Meta Points that ALSO is a member of the Fibonacci sequence. Thus, if I scored the highest total of 6, I would lose to a person who scored 5.

If there is a tie, the first person to roll a 2, 3, or 5 on a 6-sided die will be the Meta Devil. (Those involved in the tie can fight amongst themselves to determine the order in which they will roll the die.)

If no one scores any Meta Points, or if no one has a Meta Point total that is a member of the Fibonacci sequence, it will be a Sign From Fate that I am to remain Meta Devil this week.

The acceptable Fibonacci sequence numbers, for the purposes of this Meta Game:

2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987

Shortly thereafter, an update appeared!

Jim Gutt had a suggestion so good that I decided to incorporate it. It concerns the handling of ties:

"Why not just have those who are tied roll simultaneously, and the highest of the three possibles (2,3,5) rolled wins. Further ties just keep rolling simultaneously -- someone will win before the month of March is done, I'm sure!"

So shall it be written. So shall it be done.

As it turned out, tie-breaking was unnecessary. (There was also much debate during the evening about why 1 was not included as a legal Fibonacci number for the meta game. I assume it is simply because Clay didn't include 1 in his Fibonacci-inspired guesses for last week's meta game) Not too surprisingly, Fibonacci scores were somewhat rare. I shall let Jeffles summarize; the following is from a post-RussCon email he sent:

Well, we discovered that when games finish with scores from 50 to 100, there are not too many occurances for Fibonacci numbers. However, we did manage to have both Russ and I with unlikely Fibonacci scores of 55 and 89 in (Union Pacific?... ) That combined with some long games played, like silverton. And Tichu played, where it is impossible to get a Fibonacci score. It ended up that with the last game of the night, Bluff russ and I were tied in the lead with 1 meta point score. So whoever ranked 2,3 or 5th would be or be tied for meta devil. I Played badly so that I could drop out in 5th place (Hey, it was on purpose... ) Russ ended in first, and so Jeffles is the meta devil.

I should note that I came in 4th (not 1st, alas) in that final Bluff game. And actually it was Tim who scored 55 in Union Pacific; Jeffles earned his first meta point in Before I Kill You Mr. Bond, for his score of 2. And some Fibonacci numbers are possible scores in Tichu, surely (e.g. 610). But he is right that he is the only one who achieved 2 meta points, and therefore he is the Meta Devil! His email even included the next Meta Game, but in honor of the ancient traditions, I will not reproduce it here, saving it for next week's Report as is my custom.

Evening's Soundtrack

The English Patient
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Star Wars

Perhaps Oscar-winning movie music will be an annual tradition now.

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