Hello, all! Because we had to rush and skip the scoring sections of the normal tourney, and because many people had to rush out to make Slapshot next, I've gotten several requests to post the more detailed results of the Facts in Five Tourney, and I felt this was the best place to do so.
Before I begin, I'd like to give special thanks to the people who helped me out, and without whom none of this would have been half as good as it was:
* Greg Crowe, my main co-conspirator, who helped with ideas for categories, research in pulling out correct answers, and doing the un-glamorous portions of GMing (passing out and collecting sheets; correcting answers later; knocking me on the head when I was being an idiot).
* Kaarin Englemann, who helped a new GM get set up for a huge event, from early advice to technical work in trying to get the projector to work; the whole thing would have been much smaller in scope and impact without her help.
* Sarah Beach, Jim Eliason, and Winton LeMoine; all of whom saw us grading answers at midnight, and were weird enough to say "Wow, that looks like fun!" Thanks again for so much help, without which the GMs would have gotten far less sleep before posting results and heading home and I might have ended up typing this from inside of a flaming wreck on Route 30. Though that means I would have likely done it a week earlier, so there you go.
* Mike Young and Ken Brown, my guinea pigs for categories and letters for the last year. If you thought "Wow, that was a horrible category" while playing, you have no idea what horrors you missed.
* Sean McCulloch, who ran it last year and kept the tradition alive. I definitely felt your pain this year.
And finally, thanks to everyone who came by and participated; it wouldn't have been half as fun without everyone who was there.
If you want all of the answers, they're posted on a public Google spreadsheet for you to review at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aj6fC61oa9LcdDB....
For full scoring, it's at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aj6fC61oa9LcdDV...
All listings are by badge number to make it less embarrassing. If you don't remember your badge number, send me an e-mail and I'll try to help you out.
This will be a list of the categories and letters, along with some discussion of the best performances for each round, which categories were the toughest and the easiest, and which ones were the most 'fluid' (i.e., people either got most or none of the answers).
As the best part of doing the grading is reading the humor people throw in when they're got no idea what else to do, I'll share what in my opinion were the funniest or most eyebrow-raising answers people gave. If you'd like to see the funny answers before anyone else next year, we can always use volunteers to grade papers!
Round 1 Categories:
Given Names of Characters in Shakespeare's Tragedies
Beatles Original Songs
Pitchers in the Baseball Hall of Fame
American Kennel Club Breeds of Dogs
Current United States Senators
Round 1 Letters:
B, G, H, L, P
Best incorrect answers:
Apparently, the "Beatles" category threw a bunch of people, so "George" and "Harrison" showed up as many peoples' guess for a Shakespearean character or a HoF pitcher. Outside of that, the best guesses for Shakesperian characters were "Gollum" and "Garrrrr".
For Beatles songs, the guesses "Blues Traveler" and "Bob The Builder" were the top wrong answers, though honorablish mention to the person who answered "Boooo", "La la la", and "Poop" as three of them, because the GM is 11 at heart.
Also thanks to the person who answered "Gertrude" for G for every category.
Paul Bean, who won the tourney, started off strong with the highest score of 15 here, followed by a six-way tie of 14 for second between Frank Cunliffe, Stu Hendrickson, Thomas Strock, Kevin Lewis, Jason Levine, and Rich Meyer.
Average score: 9
Most answered category: Dog Breeds
Least answered category: Current U.S. Senators
Most variant category: Beatles songs, with Shakespearean characters a close second.
Round 2 Categories:
Individual Performers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under a Stage Name
Superbowl Starting Quarterbacks, 1997 - 2012
Members of the X-Men
Tony Award Winners for Best Musical
50 Most Populous Cities in the World
Round 2 Letters:
B, C, D, J, M
Best incorrect answers:
The most unknown of the X-Men was probably Lorna Doone, whose shortbread-based powers made her a force to be reckoned with. We were also surprised to find one person writing Bat-Man and Cat-Woman were X-Men, as everyone knows they were Avengers. Also, two people decided that we must have been looking for secret identity names, so we received "Brian, Craig, Dave, John" and "Bob, Carl, Dave, Joe, Moe" as answers.
For the "50 Most Populous Cities", the most slightly-off answers were "Denmark" and "Macao"; likewise, Constantinople was a little out-dated.
Matthew Beach and Natalie Beach tied the high of 14 here, which may say something about their family. Just behind them with 13 were Rich Meyer and Matt Craig, followed at 12 for Jacob Hebner, Jason Levine, and Richard Irving.
Average score: 7.5
Most answered category: Most Populous Cities
Least answered category: Rock and Roll Hall of Famers
Most variant category: Members of the X-Men
Round 3 Categories:
Bill Murray Movies
Current Members of the League of Arab States
Major Party Nominees for Vice-President, 1952 - 2008
HBO or Showtime Original Series with new episodes airing after 2000
Atari 2600 Cartridges
Round 3 Letters:
E, L, M, Q, S
Best incorrect answers:
Okay, let's just get this out of the way right now:
This is Bill Murray: http://billmurray.tumblr.com/
This is Tom Hanks: http://hellyeahtomhanks.tumblr.com/
That people don't know the difference is the only explanation for the number of answers of "Sleepless in Seattle", "A League of Their Own", "The Money Pit", and "Saving Private Ryan". I don't even know how you'd mess up that last one, unless you thought Stripes ended with the Omaha beach landing.
Also, special thanks to the two people who answered "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day" for all five letters.
For League of Arab State Members, thanks to the people who answered "Quam", "Quazar", "Evil Guys With Guns", "Elk", and "Mambi". Your heads have beautiful worlds within them.
For HBO/Showtime Series, the best 'almost' answers were "Spin in the City" (so close!) and "Enthusiasm, Curb Yours" (good try!).
For VP Candidate, as we said spelling was only sort-of-important, we did give credit to the person who put "
Quelle Queel (sp?)" for Quayle.
And for Atari 2600 cartridges, we had to choose "Mrrnglle!" and "Lasagna" as games we're thankful we didn't play, as the nostalgia for them would make current life unbearable.
Finally, special mention must be given to the two people who were getting impatient with the whole process and started to answer "Slapshot!" for every S answer.
Jason Levin and Mark Guttag tied for tops with 15 each; followed by J.R. Tracey and Richard Irving with 14 and Paul Bean and Eric Brosius with 13.
Average score: 7.3
Most answered category: League of Arab States
Least answered category: Bill Murray Movies
Most variant category: League of Arab States, with VP Candidates as a close second
Round 4 Categories:
Colors in a Standard Pack of Crayola Crayons
Disney or Pixar Animated Full-Length Features
German Cities with over 100,000 Citizens
NFL / NBA / NHL / MLB / MLS Team Nicknames
Round 4 Letters:
A, E, I, O, U
Best incorrect answers:
Crayola Crayon colors were pretty standard, but we have to wonder what kind of world the color "Evil Red" would be part of as a crayon handed to children.
The category of German cities apparently sparked a creative streak among people who figured they had nothing left to lose, and so we had a deluge of great possible-names, including: Indio, Orienburg, Unterbruche, Ostabacht, Utchen, Engleslatch, Icenach, Offenhagen, Underhook, Achtung, Elchfest, Oppenheim, Ulreth, Octoberfestville, and Untemmensch. Special un-credit to the person who answered Anahiem and Indianapolis; either they were way off, or they're from a horrible, horrible alternate history.
For Disney / Pixar movies, we had several movies that don't exist, but we'd happily spend time watching, including "Eugene", "Octopussier", "Igloos R Us", and "Oh No Zombies".
For Sports team nicknames, we apologize to the person who decided the best name to put on a U was "U Suck". We're not sure what we're apologizing for, but there it is.
Richard Irving won this round with 16 ; followed by Mark Guttag at 15 and then a six-way tie for 14 by Stu Hendrickson, Natalie Beach, Christopher Yaure, Lynda Shea, Sceadeau D'Tela, and Jason Arvey.
Average score: 9.4
Most answered category: Team Nicknames
Least answered category: Disney / Pixar Movies
Most variant category: German Cities, with Team Nicknames as a close second
Avalon Hill bonus round!
Round 5 Categories:
Leaders in Gettysburg '88
Politicians from Kremlin and Kremlin Revolutions
Diplomacy Supply Centers
Advanced Civilization Commodities and Calamities
Creatures from Titan or Titan: The Arena
Round 5 Letters:
B, D, G, S, T
Best incorrect answers:
Apparently, two separate people decided that the best Politburo Politician would be Dracula; and I'm not sure what to say about the person who thought that Randy Buehler would be a fine Defense Minister.
The Commodities / Calamities from Advanced Civilization category drew a bunch of guesses, some of the best were: Girth, Sharpies, Boredom, Tissues, Billy Goats, Gout, Trees (by two separate people) and Ducks (again, by two separate people). Your choice which of those were commodities and which of those were calamities.
For Titan creatures, the best - or best to us - guesses were Starfish, Smelley, and Sandpeople. Special thanks for the person who decided that the creatures shouldn't be othered by race and therefore answered "Bob, Dave, George, Steve, and Tom", and then wrote a personal apology in the margins to Fi5 Assistant GM Greg Crowe (who GMs Titan The Arena) for not being able to remember any of the real names.
A three-way tie at 17 for Jim Eliason, Ted Drozd, and Paul Bean; next was Eric Brosius at 16, and then Rich Meyer with 15.
Average score: 6.7
Most answered category: Titan / Titan The Arena Creatures
Least answered category: Leaders from Gettysburg '88
Most variant category: Diplomacy Supply Centers
#1: Paul Bean, 66 points
#2: Mark Guttag, 65 points (12 in round 5)
#3: Richard Irving, 65 points (10 in round 5)
#4: Eric Brosius, 64 points
#5: Rich Meyer, 63 points
#6: Ted Drozd, 62 points (17 in round 5, 12 in Round 4, 11 in Round 3)
Again, thanks to everyone who participated! If you have any comments or suggestions for next year - and yes, I'm planning on bidding it next year - please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scanned scoresheets to show when some players simply gave up the ghost in the best possible ways:
- Last edited Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:22 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:42 am
Great write-up. Thanks for running the event. It's always the highlight of my week, and you did an excellent job this year. Can't wait for next year.
Thank you! I'm glad you had a good time!
This contest made me feel very ignorant (though many people will gladly confirm that I am anyway). How does one go about preparing for an event like this as a player? Still, I would try this again. Thanks for the entertaining presentation.
The only way I can think of to prepare for this is to live a full and varied life with different interests. I don't know how much of that you can do strictly as prep for Facts in Five, though.
This isn't a "normal" trivia contest - I'm not asking specific questions with specific answers; I'm asking for a list of objects that fit in a category. So on one hand, it can be easier - I'm not asking "Who was the 4th President of the United States?"*, but rather "Can you come up with the name of a President which started with M?"**, which is usually a bigger category.
Conversely, I'm asking for it with a time limit, when you're tired from a week of gaming, and asking for it by first letter of the name - which isn't normally how you store memory information, so it can be hard to pull it out in that way - you may have to ask yourself "Who was the 4th President of the United States?" in order to remember one whose name starts with "M".
I'll let better players chime in with their techniques if they want. But I will point out that even the best scores in a single round never passed 17, so you can entirely whiff on a category or two and still pull a very strong score.
** Madison, Monroe, McKinley
Thanks for your hard work in preparing for Facts in Five. This is one event I generally look forward to attending. While there may have been a few topics I had trouble with in the first 4 rounds, I felt the last round with just an emphasis on Avalon Hill items appealed to only a segment of the population present. So basically, I just guessed on a few and turned in a blank sheet not because the answers were buried inside someplace but because I had no idea. I know a couple others echoed that sentiment, but I probably wouldn't have minded so much if it was just a couple categories.
That being said, I will probably give it a whirl next year and would be happy to assist if you need the help.
answer me a question I can't itemize
In pursuit of Robo Rally wood I had to skip the only event I'm which I've ever taken a first in 8 years. I was the one grading papers for 'German Cities' and found myself laughing all over again. I know when you enter answers like these you gotta be hoping someone will read them.
Thank you for your kind words! I'm sorry that the last round turned out to be too obscure for a lot of players - I had hopes that most people would have had some experience with at least one of those games, and I'm disappointed (in myself, not the players) that a lot of people felt shut out by the last round.
I'm still wrestling with how to handle it next year - it's a boardgaming convention, I feel like there should be categories about boardgames - but I still have to figure out a good way to make it less all-or-nothing.
Thank you for being willing to help next year - if you want to hang out afterwards and help correct papers, we need all the help we can get, and it comes with the added benefit of being able to see the funny responses well before anyone else! Also, you're seeing when you're really really tired, so they're even funnier. Or they are to me, at least.
Winton: Thanks again for showing up to help grade! I'd say that I had wished you'd been able to participate, but I won't begrudge anyone a try for wood over showing up to Facts in Five.
- Last edited Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:31 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:29 am
This looks like the type of game I could come in dead last and still enjoy myself. I'll have to give it a try next year.
Thanks, John, for running this--you did very good job! Speaking as someone who has run this event before, it is very hard to come up with categories that are not too obscure, but not too easy and fun to play.
Only a few quibbles--the only categories I would quibble with are AH games categories. Any specialized category can cause the "all or nothing" problem. If you've never played Titan or Dip, you have no chance. Even though I have played all of the games listed except Gettysburg '88, I still did relatively poorly in the round.
Other examples: Songs by a particular artist--Except for the most well known stars like the Beatles (which you used) or Elvis or Madonna, the song titles will be too obscure for anyone but their fans. Episode titles for a TV series, same problem. Even worse, many aren't shown at the start of the episode.
Also I suggest going to 2 hours and having everyone score the sheets. That saves you a lot of time. You only have to collate the scorecards for each player, add the scores, find the top 15 or so and check every answer on those and you should be able to find your top 6 before the clock strikes 12. When I was running the event, I had **just** enough time to record everyone's score on a score sheet during the next round. (Granted, I only had half the attendees you have now.)
Those are mere quibbles. I hope you can run it again!!
This tournament is close to the top of my 'I wish I had time for...' list - and I did in fact have time this year, just not without falling asleep. Next year!
In contrast to other comments, the inclusion of the AH round is the only one that really makes me feel I might have had a shot - never played Gettysburg but a quick thought got me 20 in the other 4 categories . Which is about 18 better than any other round, I suspect..
I absolutely agree that the "AH games" set of categories turned out way more narrow than I thought they'd be, and if I could go back and re-do any set, that would be the one. I'd hoped that s few of the categories were generally condusive to guessing or "other" knowledge (like generals at Gettysburg, or historical Soviet politicians), but it certainly wasn't nearly enough.
I disagree with you on song titles, mostly because I think certain groups are ubiquitous enough it's no more a problem to expect someone to remember a few Beatles or Elvis song titles than it is to ask someone to remember a few Broadway musicals or Atari 2600 cartridges, but I understand your gist and absolutely agree that categories should be as broad as possible to allow everyone to get at least a few. I just have to figure out how to bound the category so that I can actually have a list of "correct" answers.
On going to 2 hours: yeah, that's a huge question, and I'm very much open to discussion and advice on that. Here's the conundrum as I see it:
* Going to 2 hours and asking people to grade each other's papers saves a lot of trouble for me, Greg, and anyone who might volunteer to grade papers, as it's just a quick-check rather than a long slog; if I do that, I can probably get to bed in time to be somewhat coherent on Sunday morning (which is a lie; it actually means I'd have time to go to open gaming until 3 instead). It also means I can go through the intro and my patter at a more relaxed pace rather than the frenzy I was hitting near the end.
* But, the time people spend grading their papers is dead time for the game. Not just in terms of me standing around and waiting; it slows down the pace of the game to the slowest grader, and when the audience is sitting around with nothing to do they start chatting and stop paying attention, and that slows things down further. If we skip the audience grading papers, I can show the answers and let people react, and then move on at a decent pace so that I don't have to grab everyone's attention again once we're ready to start the next round. It makes things move on more of a rhythym, and I think that's good - but I'm open to players telling me they'd rather have a relaxed, chatty pace as well.
If people have opinions on the matter, I'd love to hear them.
And thanks, Richard, for your feedback and compliments! I definitely want to run this again next year.