Duncan Richer

Imperial Nomic


The Infrequent Ackan

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Volume 1, Issue 25

June 7, 1998

This issue's slogan:
"Newspaper Slogans are Unregulated, so it Happens"

In this issue:

  1. Editorial
  2. Apologies and Retractions.
  3. Poll Question #8 Results
  4. More Ackanomic News
  5. The Party Chess Report
  6. Sub-Game Summary
  7. Advertisement



Where Have All the Gamers Gone?

Gone non-voting, every one. Or so it appears sometimes. This week has seen an unprecedented (in the experience of this game player) number of players dropping out of subgames, or failing to make moves within the necessary time.

We at the Ackan appreciate that it is not always possible for a player to keep up with moves in a number of different subgames. However, such a large amount of apathy as has struck recently is rather difficult to accept as mere coincidence.

However, lacking any reasonable motives and such for this sudden drop, I feel I have little choice but to mark it down to coincidence. This being a rant column, though, it behooves me to rant:

Starting play of a sub-game in Acka is something that should not be taken lightly. Some subames are extremely time-intensive, to the extent that they can overshadow most other Ackanomic play. Many other players put a lot of effort into the subgames, some of which is no doubt wasted when other players forget to make their moves. So, if you are going to join a subgame, make sure to the best of your ability (I know that some things are unforeseen) that you will be able to carry through with it.

What is this message, anyway?

On the first of this month, yet another in Acka's long tradition of scams continued. However, like only a very few of the scams provided, there was a risk that this one would have crashed the game.

Fortunately, it is generally believed that this is not the case, and play appears to be proceeding as normal. We are indebted to K 2 for organising the later scam attempts so as to leave the game in a very playable situation, and to eir decision to step down as Emperor after a very short period. Congratulations on exploiting the hole in the rules to the best of your ability. If only Paradox Wins were as easy to come by.

Traditional Summer Lull

As we head into June, the game will no doubt take a bit of a downturn in activity. This is perfectly normal, due of course to the reliance of the game on university students to play and run it. Hopefully we will be able to continue play with a sufficiently large contingent of active players that the downturn will not have significant negative repercussions.

This is not meant as criticism of any university students playing - far from it as the Editor is one himself. Rather, it is simply pointing out a situation which may occur, and which we should be careful about.


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 accidentally shooting one of our *blam* sub-editors. It was his own fault for mistakenly pointing out that he had not been shot. As a result, for pointing out the error, which happened to be in his department, he was subject to summary shooting. The new sub-editor for Firearms was seen heading for a large roll of gaffer tape, just after having shaved. We can only hope he is attempting to learn from the example of his predecessor.

If you think you have found an error in the Ackan, point it out! It never hurts to have a little "clean-out" around the office.

The Ackan heartily apologises for any damage or difficulties caused by the omission of such errors and/or omissions.


Poll Question

Question Number 9 to be asked this week:

Are you utterly sick of Witchhunts?

(a) - Burn the Middle Ages! (as suggested by Niccolo Flychuck).
(b) - Frankly I'm getting a little tired of it.
(c) - I don't really have an opinion, I just want a chance at that brilliant Trinket.
(d) - I don't see any need to repeal it yet.

As usual, there will be a randomly selected winner who will receive a Trinket, valued at A$10 or more.

Remember, your opinion does matter to us here at the Ackan. The answers will arrive next issue, if the Great EBS is willing. It costs very little of your time to enter, and there's always the chance of that Trinket, so please respond to the Great Infrequent Ackan Poll Competition!



More Ackanomic News

Emperor Proclaimed, then Abdicates

K 2 became a de facto Emperor of Ackanomic on the 1st of June, sources report. While Slakko, the President, was outraged at this loss of power, K 2 quickly stepped down from the position he had achieved.

Some tried to blame the Quirpele of Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis for the lax security which saw an effective Emperorship form. Others then spotted said Quirpele merrily fixing up the spelling errors in the rules, and wondered how such a thing could cause any problems. Of course, an Emperor worth eir salt would easily be capable of covering eir tracks with such novelties as a stinging Quirpele.

Even the Rule which housed the instrument of K 2's power has mysteriously vanished from the Ruleset, possibly never to be seen again. Is there no way to bring to Justice those who allowed a tyrant on a throne?

In possibly related news, Ackanomic Police reported a 200% increase in thwappings for the past week, over the previous week. This represents a dramatic increase in the rate of this crime, which was unheard of in Ackanomic prior to 1998.

Cross Purposes

After a wait of a few days, a relieved JT was finally presented with his Blue Cross this week. JT became the youngest player (in Acka terms) to own a Blue Cross, and the first one to have joined the game in 1998. Congratulations on your achievement, and may many more rule changes develop from your proposals.

In further Medal news, Slakko reached a Blue Cross Rank of 100 since our last issue was published, and so was eligible for a second Gold Stripe. E presented it to emself in a mockery of a ceremony, probably designed purely to beat Alfvaen to the stripe-presenting punch.


Court Report

Now that Mr. Tambourine Man, the Clerk of the Court, is on an unfortunately unintentional vacation, court duties have passed to JT. This is entirely appropriate, given the large number of CFJs which JT has been called upon to decide recently.

In a nice twist, the new Acting Clerk of the Court invalidated the scam attempted by the previous Clerk of the Court to get Alfvaen (who appointed JT the Acting CotC) a Cycle Win. The time period for appealing this judgement has expired, so it appears that the infinite-points scam is no more. A fortunate result that, as it prevents the Treasury (and all its branches) from going broke, and does not part the dead from their hard earned Ackadollars either.

In the Criminal Courts, the only proceeding to be decided recently was the Iconoclasm case involving Hubert. Presiding first-round Judge Koxvolio acquitted Hubert, on the grounds that it was impossible to know whether a Founder had committed Iconoclasm in eir own Church, simply because of the secret nature of Church Policy. This ruling affirms the religious tolerance that Acka has always held important, and protects the rights of Church Founders against unwanted intrusions into their private lives.

Financial Follies

The Ackan Reserve has forced stock prices down to an affordable level once again. It is unlikely that the giddy heights of investment which were reached earlier this year will be repeated, as the watchful eye of the Reserve will be no doubt ready to intervene should any excessive profits arise.

With a significant number of proposals due to have their results distributed very soon, the stock tip of the week is to buy. Even with the new N-rating of 0.2, compared to the P-rating of 0.1, Acka's historically high proposal acceptance rates mean that the expected trend for the market is again upward, albeit more slowly than it once was.




The Party Chess Report

After last week showing how easy it was to accumulate a large Weight very quickly, Koxvolio has produced the first double check of the new Party Chess game. With a stunning strategic use of a Benefyt, his first Special Move (and, indeed, the first Special Move used at all) left both Mr. Tambourine Man (currently on holiday) and Niccolo Flychuck in check. No checkmates at this stage, but nonetheless some moves to make players think very carefully.

Swingpoint distribution is due on Monday, and with no FairPlay awards being handed out recently it looks like one certain to be monopolised by the Swingers. With Alfvaen having taken over from J. M. Bear, e is certain to be back amongst the Swingpoint leaders, while Slakko, for a long while a regular podium finisher in the Swingpoint tallies, looks certain to finish well down the order.

/dev/joe's new strategy is intriguing, to say the least. E has been building eir weight slowly, through the use of a large number of Pawns. The aim appears to be the creation of a large defensive net protecting eir King. With the elimination of the Tornado, defensive rings are much easier to maintain, but no longer need rely on pawns (which were effective Tornado barriers after the Alfvaen Amendment). Still, we will see what results from /dev/joe's new tactics, and whether they will be of any use against insistent opponents.

Sub Game Summary

"Every week - every subgame".


Game 1 is now paused, waiting on Mr. Tambourine Man to return from vacation. E is the only legitimate player left, with /dev/joe and else...if having responded incorrectly.

Ayla appears to have the secret rule guessed in Game 2, remaining in the Prophet's Chair for a long time now. The only question left in this round is therefore whether or not any other player will guess the rule in time to receive a decent second-place score.


Round 7 collapsed under its own weight when else...if failed to supply the list of definitions for "geniculate". E took it upon emself to leave the game of eir own accord immediately after this blunder was pointed out. rufus followed suit, apparently for preventative reasons, soon after.

Round 8 has fallen to Attila the Pun, who has provided us with the word "zeugma" to test our definitional skills. Rumours claim that this round will be over before voting commences, just like round 1.


The most recent game of Ghost was won by Alfvaen, after Slakko was stumped to come up with a successor string to "eavy", and chose to erroneously claim that it was a word in its own right. This stupid tactic backfired immediately, leaving Alfvaen a satisfied winner. The 9 player game was the largest game of Ghost played in Ackanomic.


Grab-a-Donkey is down to under 10 players, but may well be a long time from completion yet. There are still players whose future is guaranteed for the next round, being proud owners of herds of 3 or more donkeys. However, there are still more players who need to take care every round for survival.

At the Ackan we are expecting to see more donkey covering in upcoming rounds, and, as the stakes increase, much less admiration for donkeys, and more admiration for successful grabs. Even with the high attrition rate of this particular game, the gradual shift from standing around to covering should see the elimination rate slow dramatically.



Pure Skill

Game 1 of Pure Skill finished with Pandora a worthy winner. The order of the final three win cards proved to be in favour of Pandora, enabling em to come home with a wet sail and join the list of those who have won an Ackan subgame. A good performance from a relative newcomer, and commiserations to both Koxvolio and J. M. Bear, who made it into a much more interesting game of Pure Skill than Game 2 turned out to be.


/dev/joe has started refereeing Game 3 of Viruses. We are two rounds in, but have already lost 3 players due to severe "real life" constraints. Only one Viruspoint has been awarded so far - to Mr. Tambourine Man. This vacationing player appears to be running rings around all of us. Can e still do so while under the effects of a computer crash? Wait and see.

Word Un-Association 

Word Un-Association is trying to drag itself out from under a bed of apathy. With two players having left suddenly, we are reduced to a six player situation in Game 2. I can only assume that new players would still be welcome.

On the actual gaming front, Koxvolio is set to rake it in, if e can provide a reasonable link between "llano" and "ugly". No-one provided a valid link word between these two, putting the onus on Koxvolio to provide the correct link to receive 2 points.


Alfvaen has run himself out of cards, but has yet to finish the story, in what could prove an engrossing finish to the YORL game. With not long left before e falls asleep, we are still wondering whether or not Alfvaen will be able to win from here, or whether the story is set to continue.

We can only hope that the game does not turn into the YORL equivalent of the Mornington Crescent Long Game - something that would prove very uninteresting for all of us. It might make a great story, but the Brass Pot would just sit there with its A$220.


Duel Summary

The Spades Duel between Hubert and Goldenmean is stuck waiting for Goldenmean to bid in Round 6. Will /dev/joe have to invoke the rufus amendment to see this Duel ended, before it becomes mired in a mass of non-plays?

Meanwhile, the only other duel in progress during the week finished yesterday. Mr. Tambourine Man's vacation cost em any chance of beating Koxvolio, and saved Koxvolio from having to finish what appeared to be an increasingly dark tale.



The Ackan is still looking for more interviews. If you have yet to respond to the Ackan call for interviews, 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", 7th June 1998.

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