Duncan Richer

Imperial Nomic


The Infrequent Ackan

Past Issues:

 1 (28/11/1997)

 2 (3/12/1997)

 3 (10/12/1997)

 4a (18/12/1997)

 5 (6/1/1998)

 6 (10/1/1998)

 7 (17/1/1998)

 8 (31/1/1998)

 9 (7/2/1998)

 10 (14/2/1998)

 11 (21/2/1998)

 12 (28/2/1998)

 13 (7/3/1998)

 14 (12/3/1998)

 15 (20/3/1998)



Volume 1, Issue 15

March 20, 1998

This issue's slogan:
"More Frequent than you might Think"

In this issue:

  1. Editorial
  2. Apologies and Retractions.
  3. Poll Question #4
  4. More Ackanomic News
  5. Special Report - Interview with an Evil Genius
  6. Party Chess Report
  7. Sub-Game Salad
  8. Advertisement



Will the last player to leave Acka please turn out the lights? I know it has been asked before, but Acka is going through another Quorum crisis. We lost 5 players to the dreaded Puppet Heads last week, seeing quorum fall to 9. But even that wasn't enough to prevent another failure (and another round of Puppet Heads) in a recent batch of proposals. What is more, of the proposals which did reach quorum, none had more than 10 votes recorded, even though 18 people were eligible to vote. Can such apathy be ignored for long, or will it get us in the end?

Fellow Ackans, I urge you to get out there and vote! Not just for the sake of your own proposals, but for the land itself! Change drives Acka, and with no votes we have no change. So, even if you can only make it to the ballot box once a week, make it there, and cast your vote. Acka will thank you for it. Don't forget, it benefits you too. Absenteeism is the leading cause of Puppet Head Syndrome. Puppet Head Syndrome is associated with the symptoms of loss of 5 points and the appearance of sudden growths of puppet heads. Unlike most medical advice, ex-Chief Medical Examiner Slakko said that application of pressure to the puppet heads actually helped the situation. "My advice to all those afflicted with the Syndrome - touch the puppet head and it will go away for now. The only long-term cure, though, is sustained and continued voting. Once you have the puppet heads, they never go away completely - only ever into remission."

Also remember, voting is good for you. A sustained bout of voting can produce welcome anti-votidants. These leave players feeling flushed with points and refreshed. Be careful, though, excessive exposure to anti-votidants can lead to disfiguring black marks appearing, and to urges to commit Zuriti'ili. So vote often, and consume anti-votidants in moderation, but always think before you anti-vote.

A reminder from the Editor: Letters to the Ackan are always welcome. We will publish contributors within reason, because our aim is to provide Ackans with a comprehensive news and opinions service. This includes opinions contradicting the paper, so feel free to criticise editorial comments.

If you want your opinions heard, or letters published, please send them to dcr24@cam.ac.uk.


Send a stamped self-addressed email to the address listed above, marked "Acka: Ackan" and we'll do our best to get back to you.

Have another good Ackan week - banna willing we'll be back next week.

Editor, The Infrequent Ackan 

Apologies and Retractions

The Ackan apologises for the errors in last issue. However, one non-error has since been corrected anyway. Last week it was pointed out that the Ackan's desire for interviews was restricted to those aged under 112, and this would make interviews with the Ancients impossible. A lobbying effort from a group supporting the Ancients claimed that this was discriminatory. The response from the responsible sub-editor (*click* damn out of ammo) was that e had not managed to employ a translator capable of understanding the language of the Ancients. After explaining why this was an extremely important problem, and why eir very life depended upon obtaining a translator, the sub-editor in question managed to find a translator, just before e went on extended medical leave. Sigh... lose more sub-editors that way.

So the advertisement in this issue, you will notice, has been corrected.

The Ackan heartily apologises for any damage or difficulties caused by these errors and/or omissions.


Poll Question

A new Poll Question this Issue, and here it is:

4. Cheeses - are they too easy, too hard, or just plain cheesy?
(a) Too Easy
(b) Too Hard
(c) Plain Cheesy

Please send your responses in as soon as possible to Slakko here at the Infrequent Ackan. Guaranteed trinket of value A$5 or greater on offer to one lucky respondant, to be chosen at random by our careful bookmodulo algorithm. The record number of responses to the Ackan poll is so far 5 - can we set a new record this week?

Remember, it costs very little of your time to enter, and you could win something. /dev/joe already has (thrice!) in the Great Ackan Poll Question Competition!






 More Ackanomic News

Results Back from Labs - News "Bad, Good, Not So Much"

The Ackanomic Centre for Disease Control finally released the results of its snowgod's Disease tests this week. Unfortunately, the outbreak was confirmed with the note that the prime suspect, Niccolo Flychuck, had indeed contracted the disease. A proposed cure involving harassment of the Brass Monkey and a quick singing lesson has yet to be followed by Niccolo, so we will wait and see whether eir condition improves over the remainder of this month.

There was some good news with the knowledge that Hubert, originally thought to have contracted the disease either directly from Niccolo Flychuck or via contact with Slakko, known carrier of snowgod's, tested clean. E was relieved upon eir release from quarantine, and was reportedly heard muttering between eir two heads "I told you you shouldn't have sent that message on the public list. No, you sent it. What do you mean, I sent it?"

Meanwhile, the initial sample taken from Guy Fawkes proved to be insufficient, producing inconclusive results. On further examination, and with a second sample, e was found to be suffering from a mild variant of the disease, and was given a quick cure by Witch Doctor Hubert. I found the Witch Doctor, he told me what to say.

Financial Follies

A change in emphasis at the Stock Market saw the week include a large climb followed by an extremely dull few days, as the freezing (effectively abolition) of the Activity Index saw the stock positivity gains of last Monday set into a higher plateau. How will stock prices fare over the next few days? Check out the regular details with else...if's useful Ackan Financial Times.


 Election Month - Not Quite Over Yet

The big spate of elections is almost over. Only one post remains yet to be filled, one that was, at the start of these elections, considered to be secure. Unfortunately, in the mean time else...if was delinquent in eir duties as Caped Crusader, allowing Crimes to run rampant as not even a single CFCJ was issued by him over a 30 day period. The current nominees include the Boy Wonder, still enjoying eir post until a new Caped Crusader is elected. Who will be this new Knight of the Night? Who knows?

The last of the nominee positions is also being dealt with. Fresh from eir job as Caped Crusader, TGW announced that e was not particularly interested in continuing to maintain the Treasure Archive, especially as e is currently very busy as Clerk of the Court. We at the Ackan hope that some kind soul is willing to take up this post, and spread the work around.

Still No News on Proposal Front

Another week passed, another dribble of proposals. The queue has been frobbed for so long that people are beginning to despair that the frob will ever be lifted. Unless more proposals arrive tonight with the judgement of the 5 whose periods have now finished, we could be facing our lowest proposal counts since the Great October Proposal Drought. Is the frobbing agent now a yoke around the throat of Acka, or is this just a tabloid beat-up overreaction? A sign of Acka's slow gradual decay (if there is any sign of it please tell me so I can give it a once-over with the high gloss), or just a slow bit of apathy between periods of excitement? Whatever the answer, we hope the proposal bot is up and running soon - the sooner the better from the Ackan's point of view.






 Special Report - Interview with an Evil Genius

The Ackan provides its second in a (thankfully) ongoing series of interviews with the names that have made Acka great and are still working to make it great. This week we are interviewing (primarily in eir position as Caped Crusader) one of Acka's younger brigade - else...if. Thanks to else...if for helping The Infrequent Ackan out and deigning to be the subject of this interview.

IA: This issue our interviewee is else...if. else...if is currently Chair of the Ackan Reserve, and has the distinction of being the first ever Ackan to become Caped Crusader. else...if, welcome.

ei: I'm glad to be here.

IA: Why did you decide to apply for the position of Caped Crusader?

ei: It furthered my secret evil plans.

IA: How much crime did you see being ignored in Acka when you first arrived in the job?

ei: I didn't really notice. I guess there was some.

IA: Do you feel you had adequate support in your role from the Boy Wonder?

ei: Doing what? He didn't know about my plans. Oh, the official job. Yeah, I guess.


 IA: You started off tough on crime, but the frequency of your prosecutions decreased markedly as time went on. Were you going soft?

ei: I needed to devote more time to my evil plotting. Frankly I hadn't made much progress, and I'd already gotten everything I could from the position of Caped Crusader. I didn't want to let it be publicly known at the time that I was using the position for evil, so I just let it expire.

IA: I put it to you, ex-Caped Crusader, that your stint was nothing but an excuse for the crime gangs of Acka to tighten their grip on this land while our trust was placed solely in one person.

ei: Absolutely. That was the whole point.

IA: In the short period that you were simultaneously Caped Crusader and Chair of the Ackan Reserve, your powers to issue CFCJs for free could have had significant impact on share prices. Did you think about a crime crackdown for pecuniary benefit at this point?

ei: I wasn't really thinking about it. I had more important things on my mind. I was preparing to announce my plot to the world and threaten them with world destruction unless they met my demands. Unfortunately, I've had to scale back a little.

IA: I guess we'll have to leave it there. else...if, thanks for your time.

ei: It's been a pleasure.  







Party Chess Report

Since our last report, there has been some interesting news. Firstly a new player, and secondly a new order in the game. Guy Fawkes is now the NAP Swinger, a position last held by Red Barn before e became increasingly inactive. Guy responded quickly when called to the Board in Party Hall for eir first move. One can hope that this positive trend continues, and that e becomes a valued player in the game. E could easily move into positive Weight on this turn, bringing the number of Swingers eligible for Swingpoints to the maximum permissible 6, and leading Goldenmean into a fight for Swingpoints if e wants it.

Regarding the change in order, last time a Report came to you it involved discussion of a continued three-way battle for Party Chess domination. Since then, Slakko has unleashed the power of the Tornado. Despite Alfvaen's partial muzzling of the Tornado's power, it still went on the rampage, capturing five pieces in a single move, including 3 of Alfvaen's own in a stunning display of some kind of poetic justice. This carnage rapidly rewrote the Swinger Weights, to the point where there are now 5 Swingers all with a reasonable shot at Top Weight and the extra Party Swingpoints that it provides. Good luck Swingers, and may fortune favour the bold!

Sub Game Salad

As always, "a delectable collection of subgame treats to delight the gourmand".

Abstract Crescent

Abstract Crescent Game 1 started with 6 players. However, in the first two rounds, only 5 and 4 responses were received, a disappointing turnout. Hubert and Alfvaen have each won, but each required a first-round win (i.e. a number less than or equal to the number of players) to garner the win. As a result, they each earned a large number of points, with competitors also interested in a quick win. How long will this state of affairs continue? What kind of points spread can we come to expect? After all, the game is capable of giving winners negative scores as well as positive ones, but given the current situation that appears extremely unlikely. Round 3 is now in submission mode, and if everyone gets their act together the game will be well and truly underway. So stay tuned for more of the leanest, meanest version of MC you've ever seen.


Alfvaen has won Fictionary, with a round to spare. The battle for second, in contrast, has come right down to the wire, with a 3-way tie for second going into else...if's final round. Don't forget to submit your definitions, Bluffers, as every point can and will count. At least, it would count if second counted for anything other than pride. Give Alfvaen three cheers and a Jade Grapefruit for the win, and get on with the next game I say.

Grab a Donkey

Grab-a-Donkey results for round 11 saw the list remain at seven, but with a scare nearly seeing the game end in a sudden swoop. K 2, secure in possession of the Little Lamb, went for the grab, an action no other player was willing to risk. Meanwhile, rufus defaulted into standing around admiring eir donkey, a game move which normally rates fairly low on the list of choices. However, rufus' choice of that move inadvertently saved the game - preventing K 2 from winning by being the only non-coverer of the round. The most recent casualty of the game was breadbox, one of the two leaders sunk by a suddenly lariat-happy Slakko last week. Was it just the Little Lamb that got to him, or was it something more, a whole change in strategy?


 The betting pool is becoming a nail-biter with the game nearly finished. Three bids were received, and currently all three bids are still capable of being winning bids. So, will Alfvaen, TGW, or /dev/joe walk away with a cool A$15? It could have been you, if you had entered - remember that the Ackan runs the betting contests that you want to see in Acka! Trust Slakko to take the role of the SP bookie - if he defaults once he'll never get to do it again, so what have you got to lose except your bet? Keep watching Grab-a-Donkey as the tension mounts for players and punters.


It's a ding-dong battle for supremacy in the Viruscounts this week in viruses. The most recent round saw a 3-way tie for most cells infected, seeing no-one get another Gamepoint. /dev/joe, Slakko and breadbox fought bravely to a 20-20-20 standstill, with else...if a mere 1 virus behind. With /dev/joe the best placed of this group for an outright win, but still too far away to win quickly, how long before strategic anti-joe concerns outweigh individual battles? Will such a situation ever happen, or will dominance of another player be established soon enough to change the game dramatically?

This week the hideout at the bottom consists of two-star and The Gingham Wearer, but both are still within striking distance of the leaders. Viruses consistently remains the most interesting game - so keep your eyes peeled.

Word Un-Association 

Just as it looked like Hubert was going to get passed, e comes out with an uh? word of "braid", right out of left field, and once again gets a pair of points, leaving the other players in eir wake. Slakko's momentary advantage has now fallen back, but the game is still so close that anything could happen at this stage. So what's going to happen next? Will Hubert get the link from "braid" back to score the 2 points in time? How about "raising" - what the hell does that have to do with a "braid"? The CSR has fixed part of the game for now, so the emails should be going to the referee from this point on. Hopefully this will speed up the game a little and fix the slightly broken wagon that is Word Un-Association.


Yo, Bard, wake up! I said wake up! Apparently a lot of the Bards are sleeping right now, along with the proposal queue. Poor old Sam has been stuck in that trap with the giants on the moon for a week of game time now - he must be getting pretty tired of waiting for them to attack. Alfvaen and now two-star have failed to continue the thread - when will someone pick it up? And will anyone ever pick up the Lunatic Finger? It is a real shame that it wasn't on a card to be left as a loose end, as that might have been very interesting. There is also still a bench empty - so if you want in on the crazy goings on down at the moon, park your seat in a seat, drop A$20 in the pot and get ready to play Ye Olde Rusty Lantern.



On the heels of the hopefully wildly successful breadbox interview, the Ackan is looking for more interviews. If you're aged over 12, and have held a public office in Acka for at least one month continuously at any stage in Acka's history, then the staff of the Infrequent Ackan would like to hear from you. Just email us at dcr24@cam.ac.uk with the keywords "Acka: Ackan" and say you would like to do an interview. That's all. If you are accepted (which, let's face it, is still pretty likely at this stage) then someone from the Ackan will be around to contact you shortly.







The Infrequent Ackan, first to you with Ackan news.

Copyright © Duncan Richer writing under the pseudonym of "Slakko", and Henry Towsner as "else...if", 20th March 1998.

Check us out on the web, at http://dcr24.quns.cam.ac.uk/Nomic/Acka/infrequent.html