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2004-08-18 RussCon Report

sankta peterburgo

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14 of us played 10 games!

If you're into stencil art (as I am lately), check out the art currently on display in the Omelettry (4811 Burnet) - lots of cool stencil posters. While lunching with RussCon folks Matt and Randy there, I randomly also saw Whindy, Rob, and Dudley (and maybe others I didn't notice in the confusion?), woot!

Game Results

EinfachGenial2( Ben RussW ) 1 ( Clayton MarkH ) -1
IronChef4BD 3 Fina 1 JeffS -1 JP -3
Cartagena4MarkH 3 Marty 0 Clayton 0 Whendy -3
RicochetRobot3Ben 2 RussW 0 KevinY -2
Crokinole2( JeffS KevinY ) 1 ( JP BD ) -1
Tichu2( MarkH Fina ) 1 ( Whendy Ben ) -1
Carcassonne4Clayton 3 William 1 RussW -2 Marty -2
WebOfPower3RussW 2 MarkY 0 Marty -2
SaintPetersburg4RussW 3 MarkY 1 Matt -1 Clayton -3
PuertoRico3JP 2 KevinY 0 JeffS -2

It was my first time to try the team version of Einfach Genial. I enjoyed it fine, but I tend to prefer nonteam games more, I think. Either way, Einfach Genial is definitely very popular lately and I recommend trying it if you haven't already.

JeffS brought the Iron Chef game, which sounded like it had goofy funny flavor text if nothing else.

A good close game of Ricochet Robot as Ben and I kept pulling ahead of the other, and he pipped me in the end by a point!

Good to play the old classic Web Of Power again. I'd forgotten how different it feels with just 3 players. I was the only one to place a significant number of cylinders, so I was behind on the score from houses, but luckily my cylinders put me over the top in the end.

Saint Petersburg is a cool new game with some neat mechanics that's got some good buzz online. (Interesting trivia: allegedly the designer "Michael Tummelhofer" appears to be a pseudonym representing two other prominent industry personalites.) I played it once a few days ago with Randy and Matt, and was happy to play again at RussCon. Even Marty, who says he doesn't like it, apparently couldn't resist playing it 5 times at the Gathering... but we couldn't convince him to join us for this game... :)


Rank Ratings:     
 2.4849 RussW
 1.3863 MarkH
 1.0986 Ben
 1.0986 Fina
 0.6931 BD
 0.4055 William
 0.4055 MarkY
-0.4054 KevinY
-0.4054 Matt
-0.6931 Clayton
-0.8110 JeffS
-0.9808 JP
-1.7916 Marty
-2.0794 Whendy
Win Ratings:
 2.4849 RussW won 3 of 5
 1.3863 MarkH won 2 of 3
 1.0986 Ben won 2 of 3
 0.6931 BD won 1 of 2
 0.4055 Fina won 1 of 2
 0.1178 Clayton won 1 of 4
 0.1178 JP won 1 of 3
 0.0000 JeffS won 1 of 3
-0.1178 KevinY won 1 of 3
-0.2877 William won 0 of 1
-0.2877 Matt won 0 of 1
-0.6931 MarkY won 0 of 2
-0.9808 Marty won 0 of 3
-0.9808 Whendy won 0 of 2

I am the Devil! MarkH is the Vice-Devil. Ben is the Vice-Vice-Devil. Whendy 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 designed the following Meta Game:

w00t! My deeply-played meta-strategy, combined with my execrable lack of knowledge of African geography, grants me meta-devil status again.

I've recently been enjoying the surfeit of poker on TV, particularly famed magician Penn Gillette's implosion on "Celebrity Poker". So this week's meta-game is about poker and magic.


At any time, anyone at RussCon may challenge any other to a hand of Liar's Dice. If accepted, this goes exactly one hand (i.e. one person gets to roll, and the other gets exactly one chance to believe or disbelieve).

Scoring: the winner of the hand gets 3 meta-points. The loser gets 1.


You can earn meta-points by performing or observing magic tricks. To perform, you must gather at least 3 people to be your audience. ("N" is the number of people in your audience.) You then perform your trick, and each member of the audience gets one chance to explain how the trick was done. The performer then reveals how the trick was _really_ done. All performers and audience members must be at RussCon at the time.

Scoring: the performer--and each member of the audience--gets one meta-point for participating. If the trick was adequately debunked (in the consensus of the audience), the first debunker gets N-1 meta-points. If not, the performer gets N+1 meta-points. The performer gets to decide the order in which audience members may debunk the trick. If you have debunked a trick for person X, then person X may not be in the audience for a trick you perform.


Anybody at RussCon while I'm there gets 5 meta-points per signature for showing me an original signature from either Penn or Gillette. Anybody at RussCon while I'm there gets 10 billion meta-points for showing me an authentic World Series of Poker bracelet.


It is up to the high scorer in any encounter to record the result on a page I will bring. I will also bring dice to play Liar's Dice with. For purposes of this meta-game, the rules of Liar's Dice are as follows:

Start with 5 6-sided dice. The roller rolls them in view of both players. The roller then gets two rounds. On the first round, s/he may take some or all of the publicly-visible dice, re-roll them in private, and make some or all of the resulting dice publicly visible. On the second round, s/he may re-roll some or all of the dice that are still private, and make some or all of the resulting private dice public. At the end of the two rounds, the roller must make a claim about how good the resulting hand is, and the other player must orally believe or disbelieve that the actual hand is at least that good. If that guess is wrong, the roller wins. Otherwise, the other player wins. The ranking of hands is as follows, worst to best (when in doubt, standard poker rules apply):


Ties will be broken according to whichever player's RussCon name is lexicographicaly closest to mine ("BD"; case doesn't matter). Further ties to be broken by Russ at his whim.

As it turned out, people seemed to forget to initiate these poker and magic challenges during the evening, alas! Thus illustrating the old saying that RussCon people are lazy bastards when it comes to Meta Game participation. I even forgot to do my astonishing "detachable thumb" illusion. Since no challenges were recorded (or even made as far as I know), 0 Meta Points were earned by all! There is thus a big tie, and the player whose name is lexicographically closest to BD is, um, BD! So BD is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game! It's deja vu all over again!

Evening's Soundtrack

The Frogs, It's Only Right And Natural
Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Restaurant
The Pogues, Essential
Triology, plays Ennio Morricone
Roger Waters, Radio K.A.O.S.

Meta band names, according to a recent Meta Game I missed while on vacation.

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