Octopus's Garden

Issue Ninety-Eight

11th June 2021

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HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own Railway Rivals game. It is a subzeen to Douglas Kent's Eternal Sunshine. It's produced by Peter Sullivan peter@burdonvale.co.uk. It's also available on the web at: http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/.

not Round 5 (RR 2473 B) — "Garrett Hobart" — Railway Rivals Map "B" (Lon&Lpl)

Despite chasing up several times over the last few days, I am still missing orders from one player. I am therefor holding the game over, and will appoint a replacement player if I still have no orders from them by the next deadline. Others players' orders are all safely on file, and will be used unless changed. Orders to me, Peter Sullivan, at peter@burdonvale.co.uk by WEDNESDAY, 7th JULY, 2021.


I went to virtual Dixiecon over the Memorial Day weekend, helping to g.m. a couple of boards of Diplomacy on both the Saturday and Sunday rounds. I started with an almighty blunder whilst trying to adjust the Spring 1901 deadline (Backstabbr only allows you to set it in 2 hour increments), which led to the turn adjudicating itself about 8 minutes early. Happily, all players had provisional orders in that they were happy to stick with. Although we could technically have rolled back the turn, they'd all seen each others' orders, so it was agreed to just carry on. After that, things ran fairly smoothly - the Backstabbr platform handles most of the manual grift of time-keeping and adjudicating, so my interventions was mainly limited to conducting draw votes - and having the occasion al friendly chat with the poor player left at the board when all the other players paired off to go talk in their private negotiating rooms...

One interesting innovation at virtual Dixiecon this year was a 'Speedboat' tournament - Gunboat with 5 minute deadlines. This was held on the Thursday and Friday, determining qualification for the final top board on the Saturday night. This was a successful and popular innovation - so much so that David Hood is considering running it again, even if (as we all fervently hope) next year's Dixiecon can safely revert to being primarily an in-person event. The idea is that the Speedboat would still be run on Backstabbr, and thus open to people playing remotely as well as those at the convention venue. I think this is an excellent idea - it offers a taste of Dixiecon to those who otherwise can't attend, as well as potentially providing an entry route to in-person play for players who only play over the internet at the moment.

That was Octopus's Garden #98, Startling Press production number 394.

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