Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Four-house Zendo

  • Fromkerry_and_ryan@xxxxxxx
  • DateThu, 15 Jun 2006 21:28:48 +0000
To answer the last question first...
Of course, the Official Zendo boxed set contains RGBY, so that is, by definition, THE standard.  The Zendo-Terminology page says that, "[...]other pyramid colors can be added or substituted."    Along those lines, the Other Variations pages says...
   In addition to the four standard Zendo colors, other pyramid colors 
   are available, such as purple, orange, black, white, and clear. Any 
   four colors may be used for Zendo. It's perfectly possible to play 
   Zendo with more than four colors. However, my experience is that 
   this doesn't make the game more interesting, only more difficult. If 
   you're looking for extra difficulty, I recommend simply playing with 
   four colors and asking the Master for a more difficult rule. 
   Beginners may consider playing Zendo with fewer than four colors, 
   which makes the game easier.
(see http://wunderland.com/WTS/Kory/Games/Zendo/index.html )

If you played with Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Clear, would "Has at least one piece from the Rainbow set," be a reasonable rule?  Absolutely.  But don't be surprised if the winner merely mentions Blue and Yellow without reference to the Treehouse color schemes.  The master should assign difficulty ratings to rules based on the way of phrasing them.  

e.g. You might thinking...
  "AKHTBNI all stacks are in alphabetical order."
But to uncover that the students need to find...
  "AKHTBNI either there are no towers OR in every tower that does exist the 
   colors are arranged so that the blue pieces, if present, are the lowest;
   the green pieces, if any, are next; the red pieces, if any, are next; and
   the yellow pieces, if any, are the highest."

As another example, Dan Isaac mastered one game a few years ago where... "AKHTBNI no two pyramids would be 'connected' planets in a game of Ice Traders/Homeworlds."  Oy.

Similarly, you should hear the rule from the one game Jacob and ToK played where, if I recall correctly, purple was trump and the third hand won.  (I know that's not enough to fully describe the rule; ask one of them about it if you see them.)

So legal/valid/reasonable?  Heck yes.  Think in Zendo-only terms to see how difficult it's likely to be, and don't be disappointed when they don't see the higher-level concept you were using.

In a larger sense, you can play Zendo with just about any set of objects, or even abstract ideas.  It's just that the mix of "pieces" that share a particular property helps determines how hard certain rules are going to be.


 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Carol Townsend" <carol.townsend@xxxxxxxxx>
> One question:  would "is found in the Rainbow Treehouse set" be an OK
> rule when having mixed sets?  If you cut back on absolute color rules,
> you can have mixed sets very easily (like 2 Rainbows and 2 Xenos).  Or
> is playing Zendo with colors other than the original RBGY vorbotten?
> thoughts?
> Carol
> On 6/15/06, kerry_and_ryan@xxxxxxx <kerry_and_ryan@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> > Just in case anyone's getting together with their gaming groups this weekend, 
> let me give you a little something to try.
> >
> > Now that Treehouse is the flagship product in the Icehouse line, I'd love to 
> see how Zendo with four Treehouse sets "works".  I would guess that, given the 
> current mix of rules, existing koans will have to be cannabalized more often 
> because there is only four large blues instead of five.  Of course, you could 
> just use absolute color rules less often or rate such rules as being relatively 
> more difficult.  Either way, I'd love to hear any playtest results.
> >
> > Yes, I know that five Treehouse (of the same color scheme) would give you a 
> superset of the Zendo set, but that would crank the price up one more MSRP.  
> (What is it?  $9?)  How is Zendo for less than $40 plus stones?
> >
> > Ryan
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