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2005-01-19 RussCon Report

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13 of us played 14 games! Welcome back long-lost Zack, visiting Austin briefly from Santa Fe, an unexpected surprise! And new guy ScottW, friend of Chad. And Shari brought Lucy, her 3-year-old, who was really friendly and well-behaved, kudos to Shari!

Scotland: Serious finalizing is getting done about the trip to Scotland - if you want to go, please let me or Whendy know!

Spanish: I started formally studying Spanish this week (in a class). It seems quite a few RussCon folks know a little Spanish and are interested in learning more. No one responded very concretely about the study group idea. So I will simply propose this: I'll be at Texspresso (Anderson Lane, across from Alamo Village theater) Sunday afternoon at 2pm (before my 3pm Esperanto club). If anyone wants to show up for some basic practice (VERY basic since I've only had 3 class sessions so far!), feel free, and if not, no problem, I'll just read and study on my own.

Esperanto: UT Informal Classes will be offering a beginner's Esperanto class in February. (View Courses, category Languages), Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30 to 8:30. It's being taught by Todd Phillips, who is a cool guy (I know him from Esperanto club) and a really excellent language teacher (I know since I'm learning Spanish from him now!) If you are at all interested in checking out Esperanto, I would highly recommend checking this out.

Flipside: Sarah suggests that those interested in Flipside might want to show up at Elysium at noon Saturday to get in on the initial ticket sale. Tickets are $70 each, and you can buy a pair of them. A fair number of RussCon folks seem likely to do Flipside, and it will be no problem selling an extra ticket to a friend, we suspect...

Inauguration protest: Those who are frustrated or upset that Bush is about to be inaugurated might be interested to know about events today (Thursday, January 20):

Game Results

CarcassonneCastle2Clayton 1 RussW -1
Tichu2( Ben MarkH ) 1 ( Jeffles KevinU ) -1
Rigamarole2( Jeffles Shari JP ) 1 ( KevinU Ben SarahM ) -1
Tayu2RussW 1 MarkH -1
Blokus4RussW 3 JP 1 Jeffles -1 Zack -3
Drakon4KevinU 3 SarahM -1 Chad -1 Jeffles -1
Cartagena5Jeffles 4 KevinU 2 ScottW 0 Chad -2 SarahM -4
UndTschuess8ToddG 7 Ben 5 Chad 3 JP 1 KevinU -1 Jeffles -3 SarahM -5 Zack -7
RicochetRobot5Ben 4 ToddG 2 KevinU 0 SarahM -2 Chad -4
Tichu2( Ben Zack ) 1 ( Shari JP ) -1
SaintPetersburg3ToddG 2 RussW 0 Clayton -2
Bluff5KevinU 4 SarahM 2 Jeffles 0 ScottW -3 Chad -3
EinfachGenial3RussW 2 ToddG 0 Clayton -2
ZirkusFlohcati3SarahM 2 Chad 0 KevinU -2

Clayton stomped me in Carcassone the Castle, more than I have ever been crushed in this 2-player game.

Rigamarole got played for the second time finally, thanks to a sudden burst of interest in social/party games. (The other session was 2004-01-07.)

Wow, Drakon actually got played without me instigating it or playing in it!

A tense unpredictable game of Saint Petersburg, where Clayton pulled way ahead on the VPs, while Todd and I lingered far behind very close to each other. Todd ended up 2 points ahead of me, and we both maxed out with 10 aristocrats, pulling a couple dozen points ahead of Clayton in the end.


Rank Ratings:       
 3.8712 ToddG
 3.5553 Ben
 2.4849 RussW
 0.9808 KevinU
 0.6286 JP
 0.2231 Jeffles
 0.0000 MarkH
 0.0000 Shari
-0.9163 ScottW
-1.5042 Clayton
-2.7442 SarahM
-2.7726 Zack
-2.8134 Chad
Win Ratings:
 2.5494 ToddG won 2 of 4
 2.1691 Ben won 3 of 5
 2.0794 RussW won 3 of 5
 0.6774 Jeffles won 2 of 7
 0.6242 KevinU won 2 of 8
 0.2719 Zack won 1 of 3
 0.0000 MarkH won 1 of 2
 0.0000 Shari won 1 of 2
-0.1178 Clayton won 1 of 3
-0.4211 JP won 1 of 4
-0.4463 ScottW won 0 of 2
-0.6852 SarahM won 1 of 7
-1.4961 Chad won 0 of 6

ToddG is the Devil! Ben is Vice-Devil. I am Vice-Vice-Devil. In an improbable confluence, MarkH and Shari both win the rare and coveted Extra Average Award. Chad 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

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

For this week's meta-game, we will be competing for the right to choose the next meta-devil. The winner of the meta-game can pick anybody, including themselves, to be meta-devil (of course, it would be nice to pick someone who is both willing and able to design next week's meta-game).

To determine fair market value for such an awesome power and responsibility, we will turn to a time-honored tradition of capitalism -- the auction. Specifically, we will use a sealed-bid, uniform second-price strategy called a Vickrey auction. Anybody who wishes to participate in the meta-game should write down their bid on a piece of paper (along with their name) and turn it in to me during Russcon. Only one bid per person is allowed. The auction will end at 11:00pm. At that time, I will open all the bids and determine the winner, that being the person who bid the highest. However, the winner will only pay the amount of the second-highest bid.

Here's an example: person A bids $0.01, person B bids $1.00, and person C suffers a temporary bout of insanity and bids $100. Person C will win the auction, but will pay only $1.00.

Ties will be broken by the times the bids were turned in -- the earlier bid will have precedence. If there are two bids tied for highest bid, then the earliest bid is the highest and the later bid is the second-highest.

The money paid by the winner of the auction will go to RussW, to be spent on something for Russcon at his discretion (buying snacks, music, or whatever).

And an addendum:

Matt suggested that everyone should be able to enter a bid, including those who might not be able to go to Russcon. It's a good idea. People can email me bids up until 6:00pm on Wednesday (U.S. Central Time Zone).

There was a wide range of bids! Ben received 10 bids:

Thus JeffS is the winner (paying $51 for the greater good and glory of RussCon) and will decide who is the Meta Devil for next week!

Evening's Soundtrack

Apocalyptica, plays Metallica by four cellos
Sarah Brightman, Time to Say Goodbye
Ustad Vilayat Khan, Sitar
Opus Avantra, Strata
Run Lola Run, original motion picture soundtrack

Five CDs that I played at JeffS's most recent New Year's Eve party.

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