Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Ice Age Question

  • Fromkerry_and_ryan@xxxxxxx
  • DateWed, 06 Dec 2006 18:34:01 +0000
What what what?  That email address doesn't work???  Well phooey.  I'll have to edit the game page.  Anyhow...

As I recall, yes, we did notice that the game favors the Cavemen, but we didn't find it COMPLETELY one-sided.  I (I can't talk for Kerin) thought of like a game of tenis -- the person serving usually wins, and it's the game that break that pattern that demonstrate a real differnce in skill.

However, if you've found a relatively simple unbeatable strategy for one side or the other, then you've probably already done more playtesting than I ever did.  Now that I see there's some interest in the game, I'll have to look at it again.  First I'll verify that the game IS lopsided.  Maybe there's a tactic that the Mastadon player can use to win at least once in a while.  If I do confirm your findings, then I'll give your proposed fix a try.  

If the problem does exist, we should both see if there is another, perhaps simpler fix.  e.g. Is there a way to modify the Cavemen's moves to limit them a little more.  For instance, what if a Hunter (a medium) can move only 1 diagonally but 2 orthogonally?  What if the Mastadons move first?  Neither one of these would increase the complexity of the rules by adding a new rule or restriction -- they merely change an existing rule "in-place".  Of course, if no simple rule change fixes the problem, then we may have to fall back on adding that "running start" rule/restriction.

On a side note: notice that since this is a single stash game, color doesn't matter, and therefore it can played with a Treehouse set and a Volcano board.  Sweet.


 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: David Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> I e-mailed the Ice Age designer; but I have gotten no reply, so I am going to 
> open it up the the list:
> We have found it nearly impossible to win as the Mastodon in Ice Age. It is 
> almost trivial to array the 10 Hunters so that every square is but one move from 
> having three adjacent.
> See http://home.att.net/%7ekerry_and_ryan/IceAge.html
> To try to solve this problem, we proposed the following rule, which seems to 
> help:
> "The Caveman that is moved to make a capture MUST NOT start its move adjacent to 
> the Mastadon that is being captured. "
> In effect, the last Caveman needed to make three (or four) adjacent Hunters must 
> have had some 'running room" and may not merely step around the Mastodon to set 
> its spear. This prevents the 'hop around" pattern of play that makes the Hunters 
> unbeatable. Thus, to make a Mastodon capture, the Caveman must be moved from 
> nonadjaceny to adjacency *and* it must be the one to bring the number of 
> adjacent Cavemen to at least 3 (or 4, if a herd).
> Thoughts?
> David
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