News Results Ratings Meta Soundtrack Links

2004-10-06 RussCon Report

sankt petersburg

Previous Next Archive
russcon home taglibro kofc cc


16 of us played 9 games!

There was a double burst of tasty fresh warm home-cooked food: thanks Jeffles for the curry and Adam for the biscuits!

I was quite impressed by Going Upriver, the new documentary about the Vietnam war and John Kerry's involvement in helping wake up the country. Lots of archival footage, including some quite touching and fascinating scenes of meetings of Vietnam vets who began getting together after their return and sharing the insane horrors they'd seen, realizing that it wasn't just them but an overall pattern that needed to be discussed and solved. It's also a well-crafted film, with a good score by Philip Glass. See Austin Chronicle review. Besides giving insight into Kerry and his (now endlessly discussed) actions during and after that war, the film gives a lot of historical insight into that period. A lot of the film has very little to do with Kerry per se. I have noticed already an inevitable backlash by some rightwingers against this film (some of whom appear not to have actually watched it and still seem to think the Vietnam war was a pretty good idea), but I would highly recommend this film even if Kerry had no national significance now, and I believe that rightwingers who give the film a 0 rating would not be doing so if Kerry wasn't running against Bush.

Our Most Assiduous Reader has noticed that I have been doing a lot of research about the election, and have made a lot of blog entries and comics as a result.

Game Results

SaintPetersburg4RussW 3 MarkY 1 JP -1 Clayton -3
Tichu2( Jeffles Fred ) 1 ( Ben KevinU ) -1
Survive4JeffF 3 Whendy 1 Marty -1 Tim -3
SanJuan3JeffF 2 Tim 0 Whendy -2
SaintPetersburg2JeffF 1 Tim -1
WhatsThatOnMyHead6Ben 5 Jeffles 3 SarahM 1 Adam -1 KevinU -4 Fred -4
RoboRally5KevinU 4 William 2 Jeffles 0 SarahM -2 Ben -4
Maya5Matt 4 MarkY 2 JP 0 RussW -2 Clayton -4
Scrabble2Tim 1 Adam -1

I have a sneaking suspicion that some more people played some games they'd never played before, but didn't record it in the book, but oh well!

Saint Petersburg is becoming so popular that three copies appeared this week! A two-player game of it was even played this week for the first time at RussCon.

My victory in Saint Petersburg was cool because it defied the conventional wisdom: I was behind in aristocrats. JP and MarkY both got observatories in the first round and ended up with 8 types of aristocrats. I barely got my 5th, in the last round. I believe I would have won by a smidgen even if I'd not gotten the 5th. I simply got a sufficient lead in victory points that the final aristocrat table bonus didn't catch JP or MarkY up to me. Clayton had only 3 aristocrats. I do think it's surely not realistic to win with only 3, but clearly 4 or 5 is doable!

Maya was a new game to all the players, and we went slowly and got a bit impatient with the game and with each other. I'm not sure whether I like the game or not. It seems to make you often have to decide whether to make a move that will help you some but really help one other player a lot, or else should you "take one for the team" and not help yourself so that you don't really help the one other player.

I heard that the RoboRally game was played with no extra lives, so dead means dead.

The new Battle Cry-esque game Memoir '44 appeared but sadly did not get played here yet.


Rank Ratings:    
 3.1781 JeffF
 1.6094 Matt
 1.6094 Jeffles
 1.0986 MarkY
 0.6931 RussW
 0.6931 William
-0.1824 KevinU
-0.4054 Fred
-0.4054 Marty
-0.4054 SarahM
-0.4054 JP
-0.5108 Ben
-0.6931 Whendy
-0.9808 Adam
-1.3863 Tim
-2.9957 Clayton
Win Ratings:
 3.1781 JeffF won 3 of 3
 1.6094 Matt won 1 of 1
 1.1632 RussW won 1 of 2
 0.8755 Ben won 1 of 3
 0.7340 KevinU won 1 of 3
 0.5108 Fred won 1 of 2
 0.2877 Jeffles won 1 of 3
-0.2231 William won 0 of 1
-0.2877 Marty won 0 of 1
-0.4054 SarahM won 0 of 2
-0.5108 MarkY won 0 of 2
-0.5108 JP won 0 of 2
-0.5108 Clayton won 0 of 2
-0.6931 Whendy won 0 of 2
-0.6931 Tim won 1 of 4
-0.8754 Adam won 0 of 2

JeffF is the Devil! Matt is the Vice-Devil! Jeffles and I are Co-Vice-Vice-Devils.

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 and designed the following Meta Game:


Tonight's metagame is very simple: play games you have never played before. For each game you play that you have never played before, receive one ticket in the metagame lottery. Be sure to have the person writing scores in the Book note who is playing a new game!

If nobody gets any tickets, then the winner will be selected randomly from those who play the fewest games in total. (I sure hope this doesn't happen.)

I also encourage people to bring more new games!

By my reckoning from data in The Book, there were 10 lottery tickets given out: JeffF, Whendy, SarahM, KevinU KevinU, Matt, MarkY, JP, RussW, Clayton. (I.e. 8 of us got one, and KevinU got two.) With the aid of Clayton, I randomly determined that MarkY holds the winning lottery ticket, so MarkY is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Dvorak's "New World" Symphony No. 9 in E minor
The New World Renaissance Band, Live the Legend
Queen, News of the World
Star Wars: A New Hope, original motion picture soundtrack special edition


ju pli novas, des pli bonas Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!