Octopus's Garden Issue Twenty-Six

Current Issue
Back Issues
Other stuff
Last issue
Next issue
Search site


HELLO, good evening and welcome to issue 26 of Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own Mark Nelson letter. An html version of this subzeen is available on the Web at http://www.manorcon.demon.co.uk/octopus/index.html. It's also sent to the TAP mailing list, which you can join automatically by sending the message 'subscribe tap' to majordomo@igo.org. The message 'unsubscribe tap' sent to the same address will get you off the mailing list.

Round 7 (RR 1549 FR)


Railway Rivals (France)

1) (12-51) Paris -- Clermont Ferrand
1st TBNS 20+4 ; 2nd RAVEL 10-4 ; LFffCC 0.
2) (25-43) Orleans -- Dijon
1st FREAK 20+6 ; 2nd LFffCC 10-6.
3) (@5-33) Italy -- Lille
1st RAVEL 20-3 ; CANCAN +3.
4) (61-@1) Grenoble -- England
1st RAVEL 20+4 ; 2nd FREAK 10-4.
5) (41-14) Strasbourg -- Paris
1st LFffCC 20-1-5 ; =2nd CANCAN 5+5-1 ; =2nd FREAK 5+1+1.
6) (31-22) Amiens -- Cherbourg
1st CANCAN 20.
7) (54-62) Bordeux -- Montpellier
1st TBNS 20.


Little Froggy FooFoo ChooChoo (LFFfCc) [orange] (Pitt Crandlemire, MA)
(Metz) - G69 [-3 purple] ; (Z10) - X9 - Nantes ; (G68) - I69 ; (K23) - H24 [-1 purple] [-1 blue] - H25 [-1 yellow].
French Rail Emperors And Kings (FREAK) [purple] (W. Andrew York, TX)
(J25) - F23 [-1 yellow] [-1 blue] - F22 [-1 blue] - E22 - E21 [-1 yellow].
Conrad's Absurd Names Create Acronymic Nausea (CAN CAN) [green] (Conrad von Metzke, CA)
(C49) - C47 - D46 - D45 - E45 - E43 - D42 - Brest [+6] ; (P11) - N10 [-1 blue] - M11 [-1 orange].
The Blue Nosed Special (TBNS) [blue] (John Colledge, Scotland)
(B58) - B54 - A54 - A53 - Z12 [-1 orange]. (Q23) - Lyon.
Railways Asserting Very Egalitarian Lines (RAVEL) [yellow] (Berry Renken, Netherlands)
(D59) - D64 [-1 purple] - A66 - A67 [-1 purple] ; (D64) - E65 [-1 orange].

Scores on the Doors

       b/fwd   1   2   3   4   5   6   7 builds c/fwd 
       -----  --  --  --  --  --  --  -- ------ -----
LFffCC    65   0   4          14         -20 +3    66
FREAK     34      26       6   7         -16 +6    63
CANCAN    38           3       9  20     - 8       62
TBNS      56  24                      20 -15 +4    89
RAVEL     45   6      17  24             -17 +3    78
       -----  --  --  --  --  --  --  -- ------ -----
         238  30  30  20  30  30  20  20 -75+16   358

Races for Round Eight

FffCC's 6c) build should have been (O21) - K23. For Round Eight, you may enter four of the above races, then build up to 12 physical points (i.e. excluding all payments to others, known and unknown). Orders for Round Eight by 23:59:59 Greenwich Mean Time on FRIDAY, 12th JUNE, 1998, to Peter Sullivan. E-mail : octopus@manorcon.demon.co.uk PGP key available for the paranoid.

Press :

GENEVA : Well, actually this is me. One thing that came out of this turn was that one player originally tried to build 14 "hexes" rather than 14 "physical points". The rules for the limit on builds during racing rounds have definately shifted over time. When I was a lad, we 'ad to get up in t'middle of t'night it was normally expressed in terms of "total payments, including known payments to other players." This had the obvious problem that you could stick in a completely useless hex of track to create a junction and possibly prevent another player from reaching a critical town until one turn later (by which time, of course, the race to that town may have already come up). So, by the time I started running R.R., it had changed to a limit on "physical points," so that the three points uphill and downhill or across a river counted against the build limit, but not payments to other players for junctions or parallels. Some g.m.s have subsequently changed yet again to just counting hexes, but I haven't. This has mainly been from force of habit, but thinking about this on the train this morning, I actually came up with a good reason for "physical points" instead of "hexes," which I now intend to share with you:

                      __/B \
                   __/  \__/
                __/  \__/
 __          __/  \__/
/A \__    __/  \__/
\__/Hi\__/  \__/
      /  \
      /  \
      /C \

Assume the hex marked "Hi", and all non-shown hexes are hills. If the build allowance is "6 physical points" then both player A and B get to the Town (Tw), and can build south down the valley simultaneously next turn, just as if this were a normal building round. If it is "6 hexes", then A gets to shoot down the valley ahead of B and ends at C, which in a game where simultaneous movement is meant to be the norm, offends my sense of something-or-the-other.

I've made quite a bit of progress on the proto-FAQ for Railway Rivals, but not quite enough to inflict my efforts on y'all (well, it was Dixiecon/World Dip Con this weekend). In the meantime, here's an unexpected e-mail :

Mark Nelson (Auckland, New Zealand) writes :

Dear Pete,

I hope you don't mind this bolt from the blue, but I was asked a question in the common room this lunch time and thought you might be the person to get the answer from...

((My copy of Erskine May is always at your disposal.))

Does the Queen have the right to vote in UK elections? I thought not, but that's a guess.

((No. The idea is that everyone is represented in Parliament somehow. Us plebs get to vote for the Commons. Lords get to sit in the House of Lords, and hence do not get to vote for the Commons (they do vote in European and local elections, though). The Queen is also part of Parliament (since all bills have to be approved by Commons, Lords and the Queen before becoming acts - an idea the American Founding Fathers filched and turned into the Presidential Veto), and so, like the members of the House of Lords, does not need a vote for the Commons.))

Also... I have a vague recollection that I read somewhere that Prince Charles has the right to sit in the House of Lords and vote on the bills. If this is correct is it because he is the heir to the throne, Prince of Wales, or some other strange reaston?

((Princes per se do not sit in the Lords, but they usually have a Royal Dukedom which gives them a seat. In the case of Chazza, he is both the Duke of Cornwall and also has a Scottish Dukedom which I can never remember the name of.))

((So, how goes it down under? Is the second decade of studentship as good as the first?))

((And if our American audience doesn't understand a word of this, I guess that just about makes us even re. the baseball stuff...))

Search this site powered by FreeFind