Jake, this is an excellent strategy article! Thanks for taking the effort to write and post it. Much of the recent discussion on Icehouse strategy should be on the wiki here: http://icehousegames.org/wiki/index.php?title=Icehouse_strategy With your permission, I would like to add some posts straight from the mailing list, particularly posts from Jake, Joshua, and Eeyore. I strongly encourage you Icehouse veterans out there to contribute to the wiki page on Icehouse strategy as well. ---Ryan --- On Wed 07/18, Jacob Davenport < jacob@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > wrote: From: Jacob Davenport [mailto: jacob@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] To: icehouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 13:05:33 -0400 Subject: [Icehouse] Shotgunning Timothy Hunt wrote:<br>> I'm also not sure *how* Jake Davenport came up with the shotgunning<br>> strategy, and I would love to know how it came about.<br>OK. I came up with it after playing the snowball strategy in 1994 and <br>being unsatisfied with it. Really, the strength of the game is <br>overicing, and I don't know if John just added that rule to stop people <br>from just attacking one piece over and over, but it has this really cool <br>consequence.<br><br>I played around with the game on my own and figured out I could use <br>overicing, as long as I had a large prisoner, to make all my pieces <br>safe. I have two talents that make Icehouse easier for me, namely very <br>good spacial relationship ability, and quick decision making. I like to <br>restructure attacks, and do it quickly.<br><br>But I could only do this if I had enough space around my defenders, so I <br>didn't want them in the snowball. I assumed that other players would <br>imitate this, and thus my attackers were at risk, but not my defenders, <br>so I made three strategy decisions. One, don't attack anything, two, <br>get a prisoner, and three, don't snowball. I played this strategy in <br>1996. In the first few games, people traded prisoners with me and I was <br>able to get near-perfect scores, wasting lots of people's attackers. <br>People were used to a prisoner just making one attack restructured, but <br>not all of them. As such, in later games, people were afraid to attack <br>me at all.<br><br>In 1998, I realized that nobody will give me a prisoner, so I went on a <br>rampage to put someone in the Icehouse, which is a hard way to get <br>prisoners. My favorite game of all time was the one where I put all <br>four players, including myself, into the Icehouse. Whee!<br><br>When I teach people how to play better, which seems to happen every year <br>I'm at Origins, I suggest this exercise. First, play eight yellow <br>defenders (four medium and four large) scattered with about four inches <br>between them. Then take a stash of red pieces and quickly ice them <br>all. Ice them without crashing, with the tips nice and close, and <br>minimally (no extra attacker points, you should have a medium left <br>over). This practices moving fast and precisely on an attack, a skill <br>that is always valuable. Then take exactly one large green piece and <br>use it to restructure all the attacks, ending with the green piece <br>successful. This practices restructuring attacks, and assumes that the <br>green player gave you the prisoner on the agreement that you'd not <br>squander it.<br><br>Now, how to restructure all those attacks is the fun part. I already <br>knew about the 2-for-1 exchange, the ice trap, tip blocking, and the <br>forced retreat. I use all of these in combination. Regularly I force <br>retreats so that the retreater tip blocks a previous retreater, which <br>sets up a nice ice trap. Retreat the right pieces in the right way, and <br>you can do a 2-for-1 exchange or even better. If you have two large <br>defenders near each other, both iced, you may be able to point all four <br>of the attackers with their attacking lines intersecting at one point, <br>and then just pop one of your small pieces in front of all of them, <br>collecting the three new prisoners in a 4-for-1 deal.<br><br>Speaking of which, because of the 2-for-1 exchange, I don't play my <br>small pieces down as defenders until near the end, because they are so <br>important for the 2-for-1 deal. My initial defenders, as in the <br>practice session above, are all mediums and larges. This is another <br>reason to avoid the snowball: people tend to put their small pieces into <br>the snowball, and I would rather save them. Yeah, if you set up a <br>fortress, I might pop mine inside it, but usually it will pay better on <br>the outside.<br><br>Of course, the 2-for-1 deal only works if done quickly, because somebody <br>will try to pop their own small piece in front and pick up the <br>prisoners. The best way to do it is to have attackers of several <br>colors. If I'm doing a 2-for-1 with two large pieces, one red and one <br>green, neither the red nor green player will benefit from putting a <br>small in front of those two pieces. I just need to be faster than the <br>blue player.<br><br>So all of my restructuring ideas came from extending the strategies I <br>already knew about and practicing them. Icehouse is not as deep as <br>chess, and I'd be surprised if anyone found strategies at this point <br>that were previously unknown. But that would be fun if it happened.<br><br>Questions?<br>_______________________________________________<br>Icehouse mailing list<br>Icehouse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<br>http://lists.looneylabs.com/mailman/listinfo/icehouse<br> _______________________________________________ Join Excite! - http://www.excite.com The most personalized portal on the Web!