Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] XVIIIth IIT discussion

  • FromJoshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 13 Jul 2007 11:39:23 -0500
Timothy Hunt writes:
>OK, I was rather hoping someone else would start some
>discussion/feedback on the 18th IIT, but no-one has, so I'm going to.

I've got a writeup I was planning to, well, finish including an
analsys, but alas, I've run out of round tuits.

>2) I'd learnt a lot about snowballing and shotgunning in the classes,
>but something Joshua did in one of the games surprised me.  He had 14
>pieces as defenders, and one as an attacker.  His defenders were all
>huddled together (for warmth in the snowball? ;) ), several of them
>well fortressed in.  If I remember rightly, he scored 28 and a win for
>this game.

Yes.  That was a fun game -- I scored a midgame prisoner that helped
repel attackers, but did also do the defender fortress early without
getting too many (any?) pieces killed in the snowball.

>ranking.  Still, with Joshua choosing Red I was glad to be able to
>choose Blue.

Green!  I always choose green, given a choice.  (I now have two green
finalist medalions).

>I was even more surprised to have been voted Cooler than Ice.

You were Cool, of course.

Oh, FWIW, while I know you prefer Timothy, I prefer Josh.  :)

>Joshua, you are a master at table talk and diplomacy.

Thank you -- but it's undeserved.  I mostly convince people of things
by believing them myself!

>shortage, they may have played differently, allowing for other options
>too.  In any case, I believe I won that one.


>I don't remember much of the second game, other than Eeyore winning
>it.  I know that because of the analysis about the situation in the
>third game.

It was pretty similar to the first one, including my coming in dead

But this was the game where I "got" Ross to end the game while trying
to restructure (not entirely intentionally) -- see below.

>However, going into that third game, I realised I had a strong
>position, and I was going to do my best to take advantage of it.

Heh.  Not always the best seat to start in, but you handled it well.

>From the other side of the table -- between games, I discussed
strategy with Ross -- both of us are (sometimes) reformed shotgunners
-- and I tried to point out that we were both in bad enough positions
that the high risk, high reward nature of a shotgun might be in order.

It's important to note, btw, (as many people here know) that the
true shotgun strategy, unlike my hybrid, is focussed on two things:
	1. Play big defenders away from the snowball, so they are
expensive to ice and can be rescued later.
	2. make sure nobody (or as few as possible) gets a fortress.
This does two things:
		First, it makes it more expensive for someone to try
to ice your pieces (since unless/even if they're working in groups, they're
putting themselves in jeopardy of entering the Icehouse themselves if
they try too hard -- and they don't, remmeber, have a fortress).
		Second, it makes it possible to put someone in the
icehouse -- which can give you lots of prisoners to play with to
rescue what peices get iced.

So Ross and I both played two large defenders to start, then started
trying to interfere with fortress building.  The difference is that he
lead me by a second or so in playing his pieces -- which worked to my
benefit as the snowball formed around him, not me.

(the problem is, you can't actually hold back when playing the shotgun
against the snowball, because you -still- want to interfere with
fortress building.  But yeah, I got a slight advantage from being
outside the snowball, not inside).

>game, I had three walls of a strong fortress, with a defender in the
>middle.  I was reaching for my large, and I heard Joshua and Eeyore
>discussing which of them would Ice that as yet unfortressed defender.

Not exactly.

Eeyore and I raced for the attack, but he got there first, so I pulled

Then he melted down (oops), and you got your blocker in before I could
put my attacker back.

>Eeyore took the plunge, before I could get my large defender there.
>However, he noticed that he was in Meltdown!  He hadn't played a
>single defender, let alone two.

He'd played one, I think, but not a second.

Another important play, btw, was that Eeyore crashed a large piece,
and gave it to Ross.  While I'd been hoping to have an opportunity to
do a prisoner swap with Ross. this pretty much scotched that idea --
as Ross now had a large prisoner and therefore little to no incentive
to give one to me.

Which was one reason I was working on putting Eeyore in the Icehouse.

>me.  Yet again, a small piece of luck was in my favour.  Later on in
>that game, a couple of people are attacking a piece of Eeyore's.


I asked Timothy to help me ice Eeyore's last defender.  (I didn't
mention that's what we were doing, of course).  Timothy joins in, both
hands leave the piece...and Eeyore beats me to the call!  By a
fraction of a second!

He probably couldn't have managed this had I not had help, as there
wouldn't been time to say it once my hand left the piece.

>Once again, the final outcome of this game was heavily influenced by
>Josh's Cool table talk.

Yes.  Though I made one big mistake toward the end.

>If I recall correctly, Josh, Eeyore and I had
>all played out.  Ross had two prisoners left.  Josh's comment "Oh no,
>we're screwed, he can restructure".

This was the second game.

The sequence was more:

Ross has one large prisoner and no other pieces on his scratchpad.

Josh: Quick, everyone, play out! (because that would have prevented
his restructure).  We do.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.

While we were playing out, Ross exchanged his large prisoner for a
medium and a small -- which was what he was left with once we were out
of pieces.  So (not shading a word), I said to Ross, "Ok, we're
screwed.  You can restructure now."  And he plays out the medium
prisoner.  Then he plays out the small prisoner... Game Over.

What I'd expected was for him to restructure using just the medium --
since he'd known enough to do the exchange during the rush.  But since
he didn't...unfortunately, despite my table talk dominance I still
lost that game.

Back to the last game: Timothy had a bunch of pieces, and no prisoners;
I had a bunch of pieces, no prisoners, Eeyore had a large stashpad of
0 point pieces, and Ross had a large red (Eeyore's piece).  My problem
was too much caution around Eeyore, who just hung back menacingly
after it was clear he'd lost the championship.  If I'd just iced some
of Timothy's pieces, I'd have likely won (as I was beating Ross, and
ended up being Timothy by a reasonable score, but not enough to
outweigh my previous losses).

>All in all, it was a great tournament.  As I say, I had a lot of fun,
>even without the winning bit :)

As "always the bridesmaid...", yeah, it was a lot of fun.  Great
playing with you all!

>be.  He described it essentially as "Imagine the piece you wish to
>capture had an attack strength of zero.  Is your defender still Iced?
>If so, you can capture that piece."

Indeed!  This was the description I used the three (!) time I taught
the game that weekend, and seemed to work very well and be very clear!

>potentially blocking other attacks.  I think that the "attack strength
>zero" phrasing is wonderfully unambiguous, and I will be using it when
>I teach the game.


BTW, I was totally lame and didn't take any finals pictures, but I did
take some of my last Icehouse game in the ice-offs -- put up here:


       Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\      _,,,--,,_  ,)
--^--   "Did you know, if you increment enough, you   /,`.-'`'   -,  ;-;;'
 /\\    get an extra digit?"  "I knew," weeps Six.    |,4-  ) )-,_ ) /\     
/-\\\   "We knew. But we had forgotten."	     '---''(_/--' (_/-'

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