Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

RE: Re[2]: [Icehouse] new Treehouse rules layout

  • FromScott Sulzer <ssulzer@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateSun, 22 Jan 2006 17:27:26 -0800
Lots of discussion on this, but I think I'll kick in my two cents

Personally, I think having a different single stash game printed on each
tube would be beneficial, and included with them could be rules for one
of the n-stash games, one of the games that require a stash per player.

Having a multi-color stash as a gateway product does seem somewhat
limiting, unless you plan on focusing on some of the games where color
does not matter.
There are plenty of them out there, and with some modification, some
other games can have the color restrictions removed, i.e. Zendo could be
played without using color as part of the Buddha nature.  And, it will,
most likely, get the word out about Icehouse games, and that is the most
important factor for future sales.  While many of the people that read
this board will buy a single-color stash as opposed to a multi-color
stash, I believe that is in large part due to our familiarity with
Icehouse.  It may also harken back to the days of individualized,
home-made stashes.  This is your piece, and that is my piece and we can
tell them apart because of the colors and/or markings on them.  Old
habits die hard.

Now, on to the rules...I liked the graphics used for each "command", but
then I recognize them from some of the other Icehouse Games, though I
liked the die face from the first edition and I think those should be
included in the second printing.  A key for Icehouse games graphics
might help at some point.  I read the rules after the second revision
came out, and I found a lot of them to be confusing.

Two items to note in the basic rules, not everyone will know what the
terms "flat" and "nest" mean.  I know that we don't even think about it
when we spout off these terms, but people unfamiliar with Icehouse may
look at you with a clueless expression when you say it.

There is also some terminology which is not consistent.  For example, in
Tip, you use the term "up or down the line", in Dig the term "upstream"
is used, in Aim, the terms "forwards" and "backwards" are used.  All of
this can lead to confusion, as many of these terms are relative to the
position of the trio as compared to the player.  Personally, I felt that
"up or down the line" wasn’t needed in the tip definition.  And,
forwards and backwards are relative terms based upon your point of
reference and facing and should be changed, just to prevent confusion.
Right and left, which were suggested by others, are also relative terms.

Swap, with the comment "Re-orient only if required"?  When is it
required?  What are we swapping, just positions or positions and
orientations?  Does it mean that the pieces swap position and
orientation, so that the only thing that changes from pre-swap to
post-swap is the size of the pieces in the respective positions, or,
does it mean that their orientations only change if needed, such as
swapping a flat piece with a piece in a stack, resulting in both swapped
pieces ending in an upright facing?
It is clearer after reading the first edition rules, so maybe just a
simple, "Choose two pieces, swap their positions and orientations" might
be easier.

I also found Dig confusing, kinda.  It turns a sideways piece upright,
and it can be righted under or beyond any piece that it points at.  The
between point makes me believe that it can be placed in the middle of an
existing stack, or on the bottom of an existing stack, but it must be
under something else, it can not be placed as the top of a stack, unless
it is the stack, correct?

Hmm, I think it might be best to include a short glossary of terms to
help avoid confusion.  i.e. upstream is the direction the piece points,
downstream is the direction the piece doesn't point, etc...

Sorry if this is too long, just want Looney Labs games to be enjoyed by


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