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2004-03-31 RussCon Report


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19 of us played 14 games. Two retired elder statesmen of RussCon unexpected graced us with surprise visits: Dan (on vacation from work) and Steve (on spring break from the Guildhall game school). Yay! Our Most Assiduous Reader will recall that both Dan and Steve were very regular RussCon attendees for a very long time, and I was delighted to hang out with them again. Also: Dan has joined the ranks of the extremely closely cropped hair people, eliciting howls of anguish from Whendy.

Game Results

Don'tWakeTheGiant6RussW 5 MarkH 3 Clayton 1 Whendy -1 Jeffles -3 Steve -5
TooManyCooks2James 1 Fina -1
Drakon4RussW 3 Jeffles 1 MarkH -2 Steve -2
Tichu2( Ben Marty ) 1 ( Dan Fred ) -1
Ra4Marty 3 Dan 1 Fred -2 MarkH -2
TitanArena5PJ 4 Steve 2 Jeffles 0 Ben -2 RussW -4
Can'tStop3Ben 2 Marty 0 Steve -2
Amun-Re5JimG 4 Whendy 2 Clayton 0 KevinU -2 BD -4
Transamerica4KevinU 3 JimG 1 Clayton -1 Whendy -3
CarcassonneCastle2RussD 1 Steve -1
GreatMuseumCaper4PJ 2 Dan 2 RussW -1 Jeffles -3
Bluff6Chad 5 Whendy 3 Jeffles 1 Steve -1 PJ -3 RussW -5
Bluff5Steve 4 PJ 2 RussW 0 Chad -2 Jeffles -4
Cribbgolf3JimG 2 William 0 KevinU -2

Don't Wake The Giant is a German version of the childhood classic dexterity game Operation! Through good fortune I happened to draw the cards for the 2 most valuable items ($1500 and $2000), so I was unstoppable. Poor Jeffles drew the 2 cheapest items (both $200), but luckily for him Steve only got one item successfully ($300) - during the suspenseful extraction of the other, he touched the edge and giant buzzed, startling him so much that he knocked the board into the air spilling the remaining pieces out of their compartments! Woohoo, good fun! Among the more bizarre of the treasures one could steal from the giant is his, um, gold pouch, er, family jewels, or codpiece, or whatever that thing is.

We had an enjoyable game of Drakon. Again I emphasize to nay-sayers: with the expansion set, the game goes faster, and has more variety! E.g. the famous tile-stealing happened only twice in this session. The kingmaker situations always arise, however. In this case, Steve reached a point where it was clear that Jeffles would win on his next turn, or else I would immediately win after Jeffles's turn. Steve had control over which of us would win. Perhaps partly based on the heuristic of "delay whoever is going to win sooner" and perhaps partly based on guilt for screwing me earlier in the game, Steve messed with Jeffles and so I won. Among my many projects I want to do but probably won't get around to is translating Drakon to Esperanto (and making a nice single page color chart of all the tiles). The rules already come in like a half dozen languages! So hey, why not one more?

So having won my first 2 games of the evening, I thought I was on a roll, till I ended up last place with a pathetic score of just one point in Titan the Arena! Alas, my poor troll (secret bet and first round bet) was slain early...

Looking over past records of Clue: The Great Museum Caper, I see that we've usually just played it for one round (as a team versus the solo thief), so it was a rare luxury to play it properly, with multiple rounds permitting each player to be the thief and competing for the best heist. Alas, I was the first thief and was spotted on my 2nd turn, most unfortunately! I immediately ducked into a room which, Zoltar be praised, had an unlocked window, thus ending the shortest attempted art heist on record. Jeffles burglarized next, and spent a much longer time lurking about the museum, eventually getting 3 or 4 paintings, I believe, but we nabbed him, and he's now busting rocks in the state pen, thus illustrating that crime does not pay. PJ and Dan followed, each getting 2 paintings out successfully, thus illustrating that crime pays.

On my turn in the first Bluff game, I doubted the current bid of fives and called. Sadly, Whendy had 5 fives, and all 3 of Steve's dice were fives, and all 4 of Chad's dice were fives. Uh... boggle! I was off by 5 and knocked out fast!

Cribbgolf is some wacky hybrid of golf and cribbage. That's about all I know about it, except that it makes William howl!


Rank Ratings:    
 3.1135 JimG
 2.0794 PJ
 2.0794 Marty
 1.0986 Ben
 1.0986 Chad
 0.6931 James
 0.6931 RussD
 0.4055 Dan
 0.0000 William
-0.0645 Whendy
-0.1178 Clayton
-0.4055 KevinU
-0.4700 MarkH
-0.6286 RussW
-0.6931 Fina
-1.3863 Fred
-1.6094 BD
-2.2618 Steve
-3.2189 Jeffles
Win Ratings:
 2.4204 JimG won 2 of 3
 1.8971 PJ won 2 of 4
 1.8563 RussW won 2 of 6
 1.6740 Marty won 2 of 3
 1.5686 Ben won 2 of 3
 1.5686 Chad won 1 of 2
 0.7577 KevinU won 1 of 3
 0.6931 James won 1 of 1
 0.6931 RussD won 1 of 1
-0.2231 BD won 0 of 1
-0.2877 Dan won 1 of 3
-0.3646 Steve won 1 of 7
-0.4055 William won 0 of 1
-0.6931 Clayton won 0 of 3
-0.6931 Fina won 0 of 1
-0.7577 MarkH won 0 of 3
-0.8755 Whendy won 0 of 4
-0.9808 Fred won 0 of 2
-1.7918 Jeffles won 0 of 6

JimG is the Devil! PJ is the Vice-Devil! Then Marty and me. Jeffles 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

BD was the Meta Devil and emailed out the following Meta Game:

Oooh, my first stint as meta-devil! I'm all atwitter.

I won last week's meta-game in part because I showed up late, which in turn was because I had to spend an hour on the phone talking my mother through a Gator infection some neighborhood kid gave her PC.

So this week's meta-game is all about reptiles and infections. (I know, I know, Gator isn't properly an 'infection', but close enough.)

Ways to earn meta-points:

Ties will be broken by a contest to see who can name the largest number of extant reptile species in 30 seconds. Any ties beyond that to be decided by Russ in any manner he sees fit.

This was a meta game with a bit of murkiness in the categories, but here's my attempt at the reckoning:

Drakon and Tichu and Titan The Arena all have dragons, which were considered reptiles by popular decree. (Titan also has a serpent, which is certainly a reptile.) Apparently Ra has some kind of reptile or disease or something too. Further: Fred, Ben, and Chad all wore shirts that had a lizard or dragon or whatnot. And Whendy brought a couple of oogie liquidy squishy frogs which apparently are intended as "pets". Since they seemed to amuse people, what the hell: ok...

5: Whendy
4: Marty, PJ
3: Ben, RussW
2: Chad, Fred, Steve
1: Dan

So Whendy is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game! (Also, thanks to everyone for not bringing peeing pets and infectious diseases...)

Evening's Soundtrack

Austin Lounge Lizards, Lizard Vision
Blue Öyster Cult, Cultösaurus Erectus
Dinosaur Jr, Without a Sound
King Crimson, Lizard
Sinéad O'Connor, The Lion and the Cobra

Alia meta temo!

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