Duncan Richer

Imperial Nomic


The Infrequent Ackan

 1.1 (28/11/1997)

 1.2 (3/12/1997)

 1.3 (10/12/1997)

 1.4a (18/12/1997)

 1.5 (6/1/1998)

 1.6 (10/1/1998)

1.7 (17/1/1998)

 1.8 (31/1/1998)

 1.9 (7/2/1998)

 1.10 (14/2/1998)

 1.11 (21/2/1998)

 1.12 (28/2/1998)

 1.13 (7/3/1998)

 1.14 (12/3/1998)

 1.15 (20/3/1998)

 1.16 (28/3/1998)

 1.17 (4/4/1998)

 1.18 (11/4/1998)

1.19 (18/4/1998)

1.20 (25/4/1998)

1.21 (2/5/1998)

1.22 (13/5/1998)

1.23 (21/5/1998)

1.24 (29/5/1998)

1.25 (6/6/1998)

1.26 (1/7/1998)



Volume 2, Issue 1

August 22, 1998

This issue's slogan:
"Bloody Hell! Has it been that long already?"

In this issue:

  1. Editorial
  2. Poll Question #10
  3. More Ackanomic News
  4. The Party Chess Report
  5. Sub-Game Summary
  6. Advertisement



Welcome to a brand new volume of The Infrequent Ackan, Ackanomic's most comprehensive news source over the past 9 months. Apologies to all those who have been disappointed by the Ackan's recent absence from the publication lists, all one of you. Rest assured that, given any chance to spend some time working on it, the Editor and his staff of non-entities will continue to bring you the best information about goings on in Acka. We now return you to your usual diatribe.

The Dropping of Points

Recent developments in major changes to the Ackan ruleset have included the suggestion that points should be eliminated. The proposal appeared to have an uncharacteristic show of initial support, with many people willing to attempt it as an experiment. The immediate issue then became what would replace points as an incentive to take part in the game?

The incentive based on Thrall Attributes was proposed and ran into few hurdles. This meant that the abolition of points and the introduction of its replacement were slated for voting within one week of another, so that the replacement was on the table before the result of the points removal proposal was known.

In a nicely counterintuitive twist, perfectly Ackan in its execution, the repeal of points failed, but Thrall has now been introduced. The unintended consequence of this action has been the creation of an additional method for achieiving a Winning Condition, rather than merely the replacement of one win criteria by another.

Perhaps it is now time for those who thrashed out the initial attempt to eliminate points to examine the submission which was eventually put before the voters. It may well be possible that a number of minor modifications would eliminate some of the problems that the naysayers had with the original concept. Further, given the acceptance of its proposed replacement, the notion of points is no longer as firmly entrenched, and may garner sufficient support on a second reading.

An Explanation for those New Amongst Us

Given the significant changes in Ackan personnel since the last issue of this Newspaper, perhaps it would be best if I said a few words about the role of the Press within Ackanomic.

For those who are new and have (wisely) decided that trying to memorise all 600K of rules would be a bit excessive, the Press is regulated by Rules in the 900s (a section which also deals with various miscellaneous entities). Anyone may set up a Newsppaer, for the nominal price of the Standard Harfer Fee (currently a snip at A$25). The only requirement of a newspaper is that it be published at least once in any calendar month (otherwise it goes under). There is no restriction on the minimum time between issues.


However, newspapers also have some responsibility to the Truth. Any player may request that a newspaper retract a falsehood which it has published recently. Refusing to retract such statements is a Criminal offence.

So, given these restrictions, and the lack of any obvious benefits, why publish? I guess I just publish for the fun of it. It probably also helps people who wish to see how Acka has progressed without ploughing their way through the Archives (and might also help out the Historian when e goes through and plots the course that Acka has taken).

To all new players, I wish each and every one of you a good and active time in Ackanomic, and may harf be with you.

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 again soon.

Editor, The Infrequent Ackan 


Poll Question

Time now for the tenth question in the continuing series of the Unofficial Infrequent Ackan polls. This week, with the recent attempts to simplify the ruleset, we are looking for information about your repealing preferences. Apologies to Vynd if this question covers too much of the same ground as his.

Which section of the rules most needs a simplifying overhaul and/or elimination?

(a) - Offices and Office Types
(b) - Accumulation and Existence of Points
(c) - Inventions and Gadgets
(d) - Criminal Justice
(e) - Miscellaneous Entities
(f) - Other (please specify)

As is traditional, one respondent to the poll will be selected at random (but EBSes need not apply) to receive A$10. Unlike some previous contests, though, this will be a cash payment, to save wear and tear on trinkets.

Remember, your opinion does matter to us here at the Ackan. The results should be included in the next issue, which, if I can reduce my lethargy quotient, will be off the press next week. It costs very little of your time to enter, and there's always the chance of that small cash bonus, so please respond to the Great Infrequent Ackan Poll Competition!



More Ackanomic News

Another Win?

July was a remarkable month for Ackanomic wins. Hot on the heels of Slakko's June pair of wins, on the 13th and 20th respectively, came two more interesting wins, from two players previously without a Champion's Cloak.

K 2's win will remain unique in Acka, for it was rewarded for helping to restore Acka's topography to an understandable state. What with all the debate over the roundness or flatness of the Earth, and the numerous witchhunts that this fierce debate enabled, it was up to the compromise brokers from the Cubical Earth Implementation Society to fix things.

K 2 provided sufficient items to the Society to be selected (at random, ahead of Vynd), to be chosen to perform the task of cutting the Earth into a cube. On his return, a Winning Condition was magnanimously granted.

The other win earned in July went to else...if. This was the second, and final, win by Museum that was helped significantly by Stock Market fluctuations. Some grizzling was heard when this particular win was pointed out, no doubt due to else...if's intensive involvement in the Stock Market, and eir role as dual-personality head of the Ackan Reserve. Nonetheless, such a win required the complicity or indifference of the other members of the Ackan Reserve Board, and so was fairly achieved by a single person.

Now, as August heads for a close, Acka is headed for its fifth Cycle Win in under three months. After an initial claim for a Winning Condition was denied, /dev/joe's appeal to the Supreme Court finally came back this week with a TRUE verdict. The judgement on whether any "effect" was created as a result of /dev/joe's palindromic proposal that "Lager, sir, is regal." may appear contentious. However, on closer examination it becomes clear that the decision is merely in keeping with previous CFJs on related issues, and in fact there is very little objection to the win.


Court Report

Slakko became Clerk of the Court just over a week ago. Since then the major action has been the Supreme Court's verdict on CFJ 630, overturning Alfvaen (now Justice Alfvaen)'s original FALSE judgement.

Other facts cleared up through the courts in the last week have included:

Mr. Tambourine Man is off the hook after a claim of Spamming was placed on him by Slakko. With the precedent that 12 messages does not constitute an annoyance, we now have a base limit within which it may appear that multiple message sending is acceptable (CFCJ 172).

Despite having too few players to technically be an acceptable game, Eleusis Game 1 still exists, thanks to Rule 701's retroactive legitimisation. (CFJ 638, Piz).

CFJ 643 was judged INVALID, though, so despite Vynd's very persuasive arguments, no explicit game custom (or whatever it is CFJs actually make) will be created.

Stripe Attack

As you would expect, during a six week period in Acka it can reasonably be expected that some players will manage to achieve new Stripes. K 2 has been a particular star of late, coming out with a huge number of proposals to reach a Blue Cross Rank in excess of 60. Congratulations are due to K 2, and all the other Stripe recipients (especially JT and Alfvaen), for continuing to uphold the tradition of heavy mutability that Acka so enjoys.

Bring on the New Players

Since this paper last came out, a large number of new players have joined the game. They have included Publius, Studge, Rig R. Mortis, Piz and Memo. Unfortunately Real Life commitments have seen Publius drop out, but the other new players have survived this long.

Each new player has, as tradition and the Rules demand, been granted their own home, on its own 1 kaa of land in the city. In addition, to help them in their job of blending into Ackan life, each new player has received A$900 for the essentials of their living. Best of luck to all the new players.




The Way We Were

Two years ago, on the 22nd of August 1996, the fight to block Malenkai's Loophole was in full swing. Despite the loophole being named after Malenkai, for eir successful surf of it, Malenkai claimed to be the true anti-loophole surfer. This claim was in response to /dev/joe's attempts to find a way to eliminate the loophole forever. While the loophole still exists today, the existence of Rule 721 means that its use is not only frowned upon, but subject to criminal sanctions.

In addition, this was the time of the Consecutive NO votes. Given the recent suggestions about Tammany scamming, and how a related situation could develop, this is somewhat spooky.

Malenkai had a series of proposals, all called "Coup I", benefitting em significantly. At the time, no player could cast more than seven consecutive NO votes, and if seven were cast, the next one had to be YES. Fortunately, the PRESENT vote meant that players need not vote YES if they counted their proposals correctly, and so the scam was prevented.

The Chess Umpire post remained stubbornly vacant, amidst claims that the game was still unplayable (but would become playable shortly). Niccolo Flychuck eventually stepped up to become Chess Umpire, but that would have to wait for an amendment which allowed Umpires to act as Swingers as well (a situation which continues to the present day).


22 August was also the day when Simon Marty Harriman announced e was leaving the game. SMH was one of the first Senators, but is not an Elder. Further, chess piece face, former Registrar, also left the game on that day.

On the 22nd of August, 1997, Alfvaen was busy reattaching Malenkai's Castle to the ground, after unfortunate tether failure caused it to float away.

At the same time, Malenkai's Loophole was, yet again, being discussed. This time the question was the rule against Patent Infringement. Alfvaen wondered whether the rule, as it stood, could convict someone who held a rule-defined entity which was then granted new powers by a proposal.

Another useless trivia fact: Malenkai used the name of a player who didn't even exist at the time - except he misspelled it. He mentioned the idea of a proposal which would put Alfvaen "in Gaol with a sentence of 8675309 days". Quite remarkable prescience from Malenkai.

The only proposal issued on that day was a minor fix, changing the character representing a Party Chess Piece Zombie to avoid conflict with the Kamikaze.

Those were the days that were, one and two years ago.






The Party Chess Report

Niccolo's summary sent to the main list last week appears to have been the best strategic article written on Party Chess ever. For those who wish to look beneath the veneer of weight and Knife wrestling, I thoroughly suggest you go through it.

The game of Party Chess really has three distinct goals. Firstly there is to Win the game - this involves achieving sufficiently many Stabber's Knives through the successful checkmating of other players. Secondly, we have the goal of achieving a high Weight, so as to maximise the Swingpoint rewards. The third goal is a survivalist one, but it is really the converse goal of the other two. A player who stays on the board does not let others get Stabber's Knives, and will need a significant Weight to have any effect on the game.

Currently Slakko and Koxvolio are best placed for reaching the Winning goal, each in possession of 1 Stabber's Knife. However, as that score would suggest, any actual win is a long way off.

Niccolo is looking the best Swinger in terms of the second goal. E has had a consistently high weight for a few weeks now, and has been raking in a large number of Swingpoints. Although these no longer have the easy transferability to points that they used to, they are nonetheless valuable as sources of Bonus Votes and Otzma Cards.

/dev/joe, meanwhile, appears to have the most stable position. The Vulcan King is surrounded by sufficiently many Pawns to block most attackers, and Pawns are heading towards the centre to gain promotion and further improve eir position.

Meanwhile, one Party has so far failed to join the PartyChess atmosphere. The Anti-Voting Preservation Party has yet to appoint a Swinger, despite being in existence for some time now. With all the free Swingpoints on offer just for getting involved and putting a King on the board, I hope someone in the Party is willing to take on the job.


Sub Game Summary


Game 2 of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is apparently stalled. There appears to be little progress in the game. Meanwhile, Game 1 will almost certainly not have any further play, despite not having much play to start with. Ayla's inactivity has left it moribund, with no other player willing to step into eir shoes.


Game 1 is progressing slowly through Round 2, with the players having sever difficulty in their attempts to guess the pattern. On more than one occasion all three players have failed to play a successful card in a row, thus making us wonder how tough the rule actually is.

Game 2 is now back in business, as Robin Hood has valiantly stepped in to replace Ayla. However, with K 2 having left, this game has probably lost some of its initial impetus. Personally, I think that the time demands on a full game of Eleusis are too much for Acka - as at this rate it may well take upwards of nine months for a single game to be completed. Perhaps restructuring the game with a Referee / Deus who takes no part in play would be a more appropriate way to play Eleusis in Ackanomic?



Grab-a-Donkey is now 24 rounds old, making it a colossal game. It is almost complete, with only 3 players remaining. However, the last round failed to see any decent action, with one cover and two admirings. Hopefully else...if, Fortunato and rufus can be a little more aggressive, and get this game over with in the not too distant future. The rest of us have been unable to play GAD for upwards of 3 months in some cases.




Alfvaen has taken a stranglehold on Game 3 of Viruses over the past few weeks. At one stage it looked like e might be unstoppable on eir way to 10 Viruspoints and eir second Virus win. However, a case of Early Leader Syndrome can prove quite difficult to shake off in Viruses. Alfvaen has finally succumbed to this dreaded ailment.

After reaching 7 Viruspoints, Alfvaen had established emself as undisputed leader. So everyone combined to take em down a peg. Rex Mundi won the most recent round, so the game is hopefully far from over. The collapse of Alfvaen's large module of viruses may see eir Viruscount collapse further this round, allowing more players to have a shot at the lead.

Word Un-Association 

Word Un-Association is effectively moribund. Do not bother staying tuned for more details.


A severe case of the sleepies appears to have infected most of the players of Game 2 of Ye Olde Rusty Lantern. While it looked like the game might be due for a win in early to middle July, a lack of involvement has meant that the story still continues.

A lucky interrupt of "killer" saw Slakko back in control most recently. E took over from 867-5309, who, along with Alfvaen, appear to be the only other active players in this game. On the next round of passes (if it happens) we may expect to see a number of players thrown out of the bar altogether, for sleeping too much.

Meanwhile, in the story itself, the intrepid trio dealt with Narf in a most effective fashion, firstly removing eir possession, and then setting the Godfather on em. Not a pleasant fate to happen to anyone, but you could tell Narf was heading for it.

They then encountered the snowgod. While the actual resolution of this battle is not yet confirmed, it is known that the crucial element is a blue canary, carrying a very small (but no doubt very powerful) stick of dynamite. The old cartoon tricks are always the best. 

Duel Summary

The Duels between Vynd and else...if, and JT and J. M. Bear both finished during the last week. Vynd's skill at Double Crash was apparent with a demolition of else...if, successfully spotting the key word on the third salvo.

Meanwhile, after an abortive attempt at a Single-Capture Go game, JT and J.M. Bear's Viruses Duel also came to a premature end. The unfortunate need for J. M. to go inactive led to em forfeiting the Duel. A sad way for a Duel to end, but there you go.



The Ackan is looking for interviews, as always. The criteria remain the same - having held a public office in Acka for at least one month. So, if you are interested, /dev/joe, JT and anyone else who qualifies but has not yet given an interview, please contact us.

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. 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", 22nd August 1998.

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