Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Musings on Martian dice

  • FromJoseph Pate <jpate@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 8 Jul 2009 16:17:28 -0700 (PDT)
Perhaps one of the new faces could be "Meddle", where you roll again 
and perform that action on an opponent's piece (or their treehouse in TH,
if you rolled a legal move).  Second-roll Meddle (or an action that is
not a legal move for any of your opponent's pieces) would just be your 
bad luck, i.e. no change to game state... 

This was one of the features of the old Lord of the Rings board game; one
of the possible actions was to move an opponent 1 space -- so you could 
move them onto a mountain space that's difficult to get off of, or into
a Nazgul, or something else "helpful" like that.

I think in TH there's not much difference between setting your opponent 
back one turn as opposed to advancing your own treehouse one turn (or 
the central TH)... so I wouldn't see it as a game-breaker... and should
be a similar minor setback in MC.  

As with any proposed game mods, the real answer is, how do they fare 
during playtesting?  Do the players have more fun (or at least as much
fun)?  Does it lead to player-turn-order advantage?  Does it seem to 
break the game in any way?

With d6 so much more ubiquitous than d8, not sure how much cost-sense it
would make for LL to offer an "expansion pack" (d8 + new rules) for TH, 
MC, or any of the other dTH-based games... but certainly it never hurts 
for you to invent and implement such ideas yourself  :-) 

In any case, thanks for starting the thread.


>Thanks for your comments, Sam.
>- You're quite right about Redo for Coasters -- TIP would always be
>better.  An improvement for Redo would be to roll the movement die
>again, and have *both* rolls count -- the first and second.  That
>could be either better or worse than TIP -- in fact, the TIP value
>would be the average expected value for Redo, if done that way.  Or,
>one could roll twice and add them, forgetting the first roll, making
>it more non-obvious when to prefer Redo over TIP.
>- You may well be right about Redo for Treehouse too.  I have played
>Treehouse several times, but not enough to get a feeling of how
>unbalancing my proposed Redo would be.  One possible tweak would be to
>have the player roll again 2 times, but count both Redo and Wild as
>blanks.  The result would be that 4/9 of the time you'd get 2 actions
>in your turn (but not a Wild), 4/9 of the time you'd get 1 non-Wild
>action, and 1/9 of the time you'd get 0 actions; that makes 1+1/3
>actions per average turn.
>This whole chain of thought is spurred by some Icehouse game ideas I
>am working on.  First, I was using normal D6 dice for movement, then I
>thought that D8s really fit better (as I described in the OP), and
>finally it occurred to me to have D8 action dice.  That worked well
>since I was overloading the meanings of the TH die a bit, and 2 extra
>die faces allowed me to spread some of the functionality.  Then, I
>tried retrofitting those basic ideas to TH and MC, with the results as
>described.  The Redo was mainly meant for rerolling movement dice,
>which is hard to fit to Treehouse which lacks them.
>Thanks again,
>On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 12:55 AM, Sam Zitin<sammyz@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Leap is interesting for Treehouse and makes sense.  I like your idea
>> for it for Coasters as well.
>> Redo I think I have some issues with.  I think allowing someone to go
>> twice in Treehouse is likely to be unbalancing, as the other player
>> cannot respond with any sort of chance to change the house if one
>> player gets too close.  As for the Redo in coasters, isn't that
>> strictly worse than TIP?  (particularly in a game where higher is
>> always better)  I guess my reasoning for Coasters is that any action
>> should POTENTIALLY be worthwhile using a Wild action on.  TIP is
>> frequently chosen for Wild, I don't think Redo ever would be.
>>> .
>>> My two new sides for a D8 Treehouse die, along with their meanings for
>>> Treehouse and Martian Coasters:
>>> LEAP
>>> TH: You may move any sideways piece to any other empty spot in the
>>> line, without changing its orientation.  ("Empty spot" means one
>>> between 2 pieces or at either end of the line.  You may not Leap onto
>>> or under a piece, nor Leap in place -- the practical order of the
>>> pieces must change.)
>>> MC: You may move to an adjacent square without an arrow pointing
>>> there.  (I'm not sure whether to allow this just once, or any number
>>> of times during your turn.)
>>> REDO
>>> TH: Roll the TH die 2 more times, and take its actions in order.  Any
>>> further Redo rolls this turn count as blanks, allowing you to do
>>> nothing.
>>> MC: You may re-roll the movement die once, before using any movement
>>> points; if you do, only the second roll counts.
>>> WILD
>>> Of course, the Wild side could count as Leap or Redo, as well as Aim,
>>> Dig, Hop, Swap and Tip.
>>> Reactions?
>>> Bryan
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