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2005-02-09 RussCon Report

trail of dead

...and you will know us by the trail of dead
worlds apart

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15 of us played 13 games!

Music: William brought his violin (recently retrieved from Houston and newly strung) and tuned it with my piano. Then we got the fun sounds like the start of a symphony warming up, and it was fun hearing live violin fiddlings in the house! It is a pretty instrument! This is of course all part of the great RussCon band project. I will play guitar or penny whistle or something. I got to try out the violin and couldn't make the same pretty sounds. Chad (who also studied violin years ago) could make pretty warm-up sounds at least. William's leet violin skillz are much better than my music skills even though he's not played the violin for a long time.

Spanish: 2pm Sunday at Texspresso Anderson is the weekly basic informal Spanish RussCon study group... so far it consists of me studying Spanish at Texspresso, but feel free to join me. :)

Peace: Eyes Wide Open is a touring exhibit about the trail of dead in Iraq which will be in Austin February 15-17, and looks like an interesting opportunity to volunteer helping set up (tuesday morning) and take down (thursday) the exhibit. Sounds like an interesting worthy project, so I'm planning to help out. I got more info - to volunteer, email thad_crouch ĉe or call the AFSC at 474-2399. Location: Zilker Park Peace Grove, Barton Springs Road.

Tim has graciously typed in the story from the 01-26 meta game. For those who didn't see the email or want to relive the magic, click here to read the amazing transcription.

Game Results

Medici5Jeffles 4 Ben 2 Tim 0 KevinU -2 RussW -4
CarcassonneCity4JP 3 Adam 1 Clayton -1 Marty -3
Blokus4Tim 3 KevinU 1 RussW -1 JP -3
WasSticht4Whendy 3 SarahM 1 Jeffles -1 Ben -3
LostValley4Adam 3 Matt 1 Marty -1 ToddG -3
FearsomeFloors6RussW 5 KevinU 3 Tim 1 William -3 JP -3 Clayton -3
SaintPetersburg3RussW 2 JP 0 Clayton -2
MagneticPoetryGame2( Ben SarahM Chad ) 1 ( Whendy Jeffles ) -1
FearsomeFloors5KevinU 4 William 2 Tim -2 ToddG -2 Matt -2
WhatsThatOnMyHead5Jeffles 3 SarahM 3 Ben -1 Whendy -1 Chad -4
Tichu2( William Jeffles ) 1 ( Ben SarahM ) -1
Carabande5Chad 4 William 2 KevinU 0 Clayton -2 JP -4
Carabande4KevinU 3 Chad 1 Clayton -1 JP -3

Ben has been hankering to play Medici with other auction styles than once-around, so we played with simultaneous ("in the fist") style, and with the Dutch twist that the winner pays the second highest bid. The net result seemed to be people paying a little less overall for things, and (IMHO) more agonizing so the game took longer. Perhaps I have an unexpected traditionalist streak here - since the original rules seem to work fine, I feel like "if it ain't broke don't fix it". But I guess it is interesting to experiment sometimes. Aside from that, I got to experience first-hand how painful it can be to end the first round with only 2 goods in my hold while everyone else is maxed out at 5.

Fearsome Floors took way too long for me, with a whole lot of rule re-clarifying (due to the various special blocks, teleporters etc, which in practice take lots of explaining out of proportion to their actual effect on the game, seemingly), turn strategy agonizing, and chaos for such a long game. Alas. I wanted to like it as much as I remembered from a year ago. Maybe the group energy was just off. However it has sufficient numbers of fans who wanted to play it more, and they tried two monsters the second time, which made it much bloodier (and even more chaotic and less strategic, apparently) and left an impressive trail of dead.

The Magnetic Poetry game seems to be a very social/party type game. I've not yet played it myself. I received it in a (non-RussCon) white elephant gift exchange!


Rank Ratings:       
 3.6243 KevinU
 2.1203 Jeffles
 1.7918 Adam
 1.3863 William
 1.3218 SarahM
 1.1632 Tim
 1.0986 Chad
 0.8755 RussW
 0.4055 Whendy
-0.1054 Matt
-0.9808 Ben
-1.7916 Marty
-1.8971 ToddG
-3.2968 Clayton
-3.6889 JP
Win Ratings:
 2.3795 RussW won 2 of 4
 2.2380 Jeffles won 3 of 5
 2.0794 KevinU won 2 of 6
 1.5041 Chad won 2 of 4
 1.0986 Adam won 1 of 2
 0.7577 Tim won 1 of 4
 0.6286 SarahM won 2 of 4
 0.1823 Whendy won 1 of 3
 0.0646 William won 1 of 4
 0.0000 JP won 1 of 6
-0.5108 Matt won 0 of 2
-0.5108 ToddG won 0 of 2
-0.5754 Marty won 0 of 2
-1.0217 Ben won 1 of 5
-1.3863 Clayton won 0 of 5

Jeffles, KevinU, and I am Co-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

Fina was the Meta Devil but was away for Mardi Gras. So I thought of a backup Meta Game, which Ben also suggested to me coincidentally, thus confirming that it was a Good Idea For A Meta Game:

Brainstorm what to do with the $51.

Write a suggestion of how to use the $51 for RussCon. I'll pick the best one. I might not actually use the suggestion in real life, but the submitter of my favorite suggestion gets to be Meta Devil.

The suggestions included:

The clear winner was "Tattoo JP on his butt". Something close to the following dialog ensued:

Russ: "Hey JP, would you get a tattoo on your butt, if it was all paid for?"

JP: "Not a $51 tattoo!"


Russ: "We need to get him drunk."

JP: "With $51 of booze? Ok!"

Russ: "No, no, that's just the first step."


Jeffles: We could get the word RussCon tattooed on his butt!

JP: Only if everyone else gets it too!

Russ: Maybe we can get a group discount.

I am thinking that a Putt-Putt outing might be a more likely use of the money than a Butt-Butt outing. But tattooing JP's butt was the most creative idea and the clear crowd pleaser! So Whendy is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Madonna
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Relative Ways/Homage
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, The Secret of Elena's Tomb
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Worlds Apart

Hurray, the new Trail of Dead album Worlds Apart appeared just in time for my birthday (I treated myself the day before my birthday with it, also scoring a free poster for it at Waterloo.)

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