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2004-04-07 RussCon Report


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13 of us played 17 games. Lighter turnout than normal; not sure why, but plenty of games were played!

If anyone has experience they'd like to share about arranging conferences at a hotel, let me know. I am currently involved in trying to locate a hotel downtown to host the US Esperanto Congress in Austin in summer of 2005, a weekend-long event with perhaps 100 people. (Downtown seems ideal since one can easily walk to so many different things for fun: music, bars, dancing, art galleries and museums, the capitol, Town Lake, etc. The main issue now is whether I can find a suitable hotel that will not cost too much.)

Chad is one of the actors in a new production of the fun clever farce Noises Off which runs through May 8 at the theater Arts on Real. More info here... I already saw it, and it was good fun!

I banged my pinky toe hard on Tuesday and it turned all scary dark purple Wednesday, but it looks a little better now, yay. I was worried it was broken, but it didn't seem to hurt sharply like I'd expect, just a sort of dull pain, so I figured it's probably just seriously bruised and maybe some pulled tendons or ligaments or whatnot. Who knows. Damn it, Jim, I'm a geek, not a doctor! Jeffles suggested taping it to the adjacent toe since that's what an emergency room would do if the toe were broken, so I gave that a shot. Perhaps the healing powers of tape came into play...

Game Results

4RussW 3 Clayton 1 MarkG -1 Jeffles -3
5RussW 0 MarkG 0 Jeffles 0 Clayton 0 JP 0
HighSociety4JimG 2 Jeffles 2 RussW -1 MarkG -3
HighSociety4JimG 2 RussW 2 Jeffles -1 MarkG -3
Tichu2( MarkH Whendy ) 1 ( Ben Fred ) -1
Ico2Jeffles 1 RussW -1
Ico2Jeffles 1 RussW -1
Ico3RussD 2 Jeffles -1 RussW -1
3RussW 2 Jeffles 0 RussD -2
3JimG 2 MarkG 0 Whendy -2
2JP 1 Clayton -1
2JP 1 MarkG -1
Oh,Pharoah!4Ben 3 KevinU 1 Fred -1 MarkH -3
Bluff5Jeffles 4 William 2 Clayton 0 RussW -2 Whendy -4
3Jeffles 0 RussD 0 RussW 0
ZirkusFlohcati6William 5 Whendy 3 KevinU 1 Jeffles -1 Fred -3 RussW -5
AnimalFarm4KevinU 3 Jeffles 1 William -2 JP -2

It seemed inevitable that we'd start off with cult classic Devil Bunny Needs a Ham! Later I played Devil Bunny Hates the Earth for the first time. I'd heard it wasn't very good, and indeed, it's not particularly great, but it seemed ok as a diverting experience that didn't last very long. But it's no Devil Bunny Needs a Ham.

Killer Bunnies was ludicrously silly with odd long rules and zillions of wacky cards and chaos (e.g. Mark saved one of his bunnies from an attack by sending him into the future via a time machine, so he reappeared 3 rounds later). The goal is to get the magic carrot, but you also have to have an active bunny when the game ends to be eligible to win. As it turns out, when the game was almost over, Mark (misgrokking the full implications of his action) detonated a nuclear bomb that killed all our bunnies, and the game ended with no one having any live bunnies, so we all lost!

The first game of High Society was over insanely quickly, so we played again. This auction game is one of my favorite short Knizia designs. Simple and elegant, it seems to play out differently every time.

To my surprise, apparently Awful Green Things from Outer Space has never been played (or at least recorded) at RussCon before. Such a classic! Too many of us wanted to play, so we had to roll for it. Since the aliens have eggs, it got played twice tonight. At one point I glanced at the game and saw Clayton's hapless crew members faced with many rooms full of alien eggs, not a pretty sight!

Ico is a curious icosohedral game which has been played before at RussCon, which I'd totally forgotten! I remembered playing it with a cow-orker way back at Kinesoft 5 years ago, but had forgotten its RussCon appearance. It was fun to reread that info - I'd forgotten that Ron (the Kinesoft cohort) knew the game's inventor in high school. I seem to still suck at Ico, even more. Also, in Jeffles's set the rubber pieces that you clip onto the edges of the icosohedron were all slimey and gross for some reason. It's a clever short little strategy game, though; worth trying.

To encourage more focus on the collaborative story telling and avoid the rushing "So the shepherdess found a sword and attacked a beautiful monster that suddenly appeared in the boat" syndrome, we agreed in advance that we would all tie in Once Upon A Time, and that indeed seemed to help somewhat. We got a more cohesive story. Possibly also helpful was the smaller number of participants, I'm not sure. Jeffles succumbed to temptation near the end though and played 2 cards in one sentence and then slapped down an ending which, as Whendy observed, didn't actually work since he confused "repent" and "regret". Still, an enjoyable experience which I'll happily try again.

Jeffles deserves praise for his Bluff victory, wherein he ended the game with all 5 of his dice still safe!


Rank Ratings:     
 2.4849 JimG
 2.0794 KevinU
 1.7918 William
 1.6094 Jeffles
 0.6931 JP
 0.6931 Ben
 0.0000 RussD
-0.2877 Clayton
-0.6931 MarkH
-1.0986 Whendy
-1.5041 RussW
-2.0149 Fred
-3.8712 MarkG
Win Ratings:
 2.4849 JimG won 3 of 3
 1.4271 Jeffles won 6 of 12
 1.2809 William won 1 of 3
 1.0986 JP won 3 of 4
 0.9163 KevinU won 1 of 3
 0.6931 Ben won 1 of 2
 0.6931 RussD won 2 of 3
 0.4055 MarkH won 1 of 2
 0.2877 RussW won 5 of 11
-0.1178 Whendy won 1 of 4
-1.1632 Fred won 0 of 3
-1.2040 Clayton won 1 of 4
-2.7726 MarkG won 1 of 6

JimG is the Devil! Then Jeffles, William, KevinU. MarkG 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

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

On this beautiful sunny Sunday morning, as I prepare to leave to see HELLBOY, I'm reminded of a lovely holiday coming up in exactly a week that features pastel colors, fluffy and chirpy animals, and lots of candy. So that's the theme of the next RussCon metagame. Eggs and Bunnies. The types of eggs & bunnies are up to you as this game is species-independent.

1 metapoint for each player for each game each time they play it that has any of these elements in the packaging or on the game pieces: eggs and/or rabbits.

2 metapoints for each distinct type of food/dish for each person who brings food made of or made to resemble eggs and bunnies.

3 metapoints for each player who comes in wearing something(s) with eggs and/or bunnies on them. No many how many articles of clothing, it's just the 3 points max.

Ties can be broken by RussW in whatever random method he chooses. Be sure to log your metapoints in THE BOOK.

williamThere was quite a bit of egg-and-bunny activity! MarkG and I wore t-shirts with, respectively, bunnies and eggs. William wore even more impressive bunny attire...

Whendy brought some tacky bright pink easter bunny candy and egg candies. JimG brought a salad which had hard boiled eggs on it (which he was willing to share if anyone wanted) and I have eggs in my fridge (if anyone wanted to fry one up).

Many appropriate games were played: Awful Green Things from Outer Space, Devil Bunny Needs a Ham, Devil Bunny Hates the Earth, Hare and Tortoise, Once Upon a Time.

I reckon the scores as:

9 RussW
7 MarkG
5 Whendy
4 Jeffles
3 Clayton JP William JimG
2 RussD

So I am the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Peter Gabriel, Passion (Last Temptation of Christ)
Jesus Christ Superstar (1970 recording)
Jesus Christ Superstar (the original motion picture sound track album)
Jesus Christ Superstar: A Resurrection
songs from Jesus Christ Superstar

Muziko por Pasko.

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