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2005-01-05 RussCon Report

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18 of us played 15 games! Welcome newcomer Margaret, friend of Omar.

We did the second White Elephant gift exchange of the season. 19 participants. The discrepancy in numbers is because RussD and Pauline white elephanted but played no games, while Clayton gamed but did not white elephant. Anyway, it was pretty fun. Mr. Spanky made a return appearance (and was won by newcomer Margaret!) Some popularly stolen-three-times items included a set of Martin Gardner books, two different sets of Japanese tea cups, a music speaker, a geiger counter, a CD of Christmas music played on rubber bands, and probably some other unexpected things I'm forgetting at the moment! Thanks everyone for a fun time!

Happy New Year to everyone! At new year's many of us reflect on the past year, and make resolutions for the new year. At the risk of sappiness, one thing I want to do is show more appreciation and pay more compliments to my friends... I'll start off with folks who were here this week! (Which is a lot of people, so I'll do this alphabetically, for lack of a better system. :)

Game Results

EinfachGenial4KevinU 3 RussW 1 Jeffles -1 Marty -3
Attika3Jeffles 2 JP -1 SarahM -1
EinfachGenial4Fina 3 Whendy 1 Clayton -1 Jerrie -3
Attika4Matt 3 RussW -1 KevinU -1 Marty -1
Exxtra4Ben 3 Clayton 1 MarkH -2 Jerrie -2
Frank'sZoo6Ben 5 Jerrie 3 MarkH 1 William -1 Clayton -3 Fina -5
Tichu2( Ben MarkH ) 1 ( MarkY William ) -1
SaintPetersburg4Chad 3 William 1 Fina -1 KevinU -3
SanJuan4Whendy 3 Matt 1 Clayton -1 RussW -3
Oceania2RussW 1 Matt -1
Oceania2RussW 0 Clayton 0
EinfachGenial4William 3 Chad 1 Fina -1 KevinU -3
ZirkusFlohcati4KevinU 3 Clayton 1 Chad -1 William -3
WhatsThatOnMyHead6MarkY 5 SarahM 3 Omar -1 Jeffles -1 Ben -1 Margaret -5
Bluff8Chad 7 Clayton 5 Jeffles 3 RussW 1 KevinU -1 Omar -3 MarkY -5 Margaret -7

Lots of Einfach Genial for some reason. It amuses me that people keep talking about how the "English version" is coming out soon, since its components have no text anyway. :)

Attika and Saint Petersburg continue to be the hot new games. KevinU is interested in trying St. P with 5 players (a "hole" would rotate among the players along with the 4 wooden symbols), and wrote an email with an analysis of why it might work.

Good to play San Juan again, even if I am lame at it. I should play it more: it's pretty good, and I might quit sucking if I played more.

Oceania is a new 2-player game (which bills itself as one of Klaus Teuber's classics, even though it is a new game). It is basically Entdecker Lite, with a small 5x7 grid and a few other changes to the system which streamline it. There is arguably more of a luck factor (each tile draw has more weight since you get fewer of them in the game), but since it only takes 10 minutes to play, that's not bothersome. Highly recommended you check it out as a fun filler game.


Rank Ratings:       
 3.6481 Ben
 3.4657 Chad
 1.7918 Whendy
 1.1632 Jeffles
 1.0986 Matt
 0.5108 SarahM
 0.3365 Clayton
 0.2877 MarkH
-0.1542 MarkY
-0.3523 RussW
-0.4054 JP
-0.5108 KevinU
-0.5754 William
-0.9163 Omar
-1.1632 Jerrie
-1.2164 Fina
-1.6740 Marty
-3.8728 Margaret
Win Ratings:
 3.6889 Ben won 3 of 4
 2.8904 Chad won 2 of 4
 1.7760 KevinU won 2 of 6
 1.0986 Whendy won 1 of 2
 0.9651 MarkY won 1 of 3
 0.6286 Fina won 1 of 4
 0.4951 Jeffles won 1 of 4
 0.4055 Matt won 1 of 3
 0.2231 MarkH won 1 of 3
-0.0645 William won 1 of 5
-0.3034 RussW won 2 of 6
-0.3158 Omar won 0 of 2
-0.3158 Margaret won 0 of 2
-0.4054 JP won 0 of 1
-0.5754 Marty won 0 of 2
-0.5877 SarahM won 0 of 2
-0.7576 Jerrie won 0 of 3
-1.4666 Clayton won 1 of 7

Ben is the Devil! Chad is the Vice-Devil. Then Whendy and KevinU.

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

William was the Meta Devil and designed the following Meta Game.

The Generosity MetaGame

Perhaps this game will encourage giving.

The rules are pretty simple.

Get one MetaPoint for every White Elephant gift you bring for the White Elephant Gift Exchange.

Get MetaPoints for food/snacks/drinks you bring. You get one MetaPoint for every serving of food or drink you bring to share. Estimate the number of servings based on common sense. Subtract the number of serving you consume.

--- So, if you bring a 12-pack of cola and you drink two of them, you get ten (10) MetaPoints. If you bring a cake that's big enough for eight regular slices and you eat none, you get eight (8) MetaPoints. If you bring a sandwich and eat it all, you get zero (0) MetaPoints.

For those who don't want to cook or shop, you can get Metapoints for monetary donations. There will be a MetaBox (it may look familiar). For every dollar you contribute to the MetaBox, you get a MetaPoint. The monies will be used at a future RussCon to purchase food and/or drink.

Also, in order to encourage everyone to participate, you can choose to get negative MetaPoints for each/any of your contributions.

The person with the most positive MetaPoints will be next week's MetaDevil.

Shortly thereafter a modification was made:

William and I just made a modification to the Meta Game with respect to the money paragraph:

For those who don't want to cook or shop, you can get Metapoints for monetary donations. There will be a MetaBox (it may look familiar). For every dollar you contribute to the MetaBox, you get a MetaPoint. The monies will be used at a future RussCon to purchase food and/or drink.

The last sentence (about using money for future food at RussCon) is now changed to:

In light of the recent tsunami disaster, the money collected during the Meta Game will be donated to Red Cross; at the end of the evening we'll donate the amount collected to via credit card.

A large amount of food was brought, including MarkY's 36 bagels straight from New York City! William brought home-made cornbread and other goodies. MarkH brought egg nog that had whiskey in it; I'll just say I finally found a form of whiskey I like, and man was I feeling the effects.

A total of $78 in tsunami relief donations was collected, including by me, Ben, William, Sarah, and unknown others, which I have donated to Red Cross as planned.

Meta points earned and recorded:

Thanks to all for the generosity! I am the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game.

Evening's Soundtrack

And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, The Secret of Elena's Tomb
The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour
Blue Öyster Cult, Fire of Unknown Origin
Marianne Faithfull, A Secret Life
The Who, Who's Next

Who knows what mysteries lurk in the white elephant gift exchange...

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