Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

RE: [Icehouse] Shotgunning

  • From"Ryan Hackel" <deeplogic@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateThu, 19 Jul 2007 09:01:35 -0400 (EDT)
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.


 --- 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>

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