Bag of Ice
|Bag of Ice|
|Designed by J.D. Top|
|A simple push-your-luck game for many different player counts|
|Players:||2 - 12|
|Trios per color:||2|
|Number of colors:||5|
|- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -|
|Bag, Pyramid die, any score-tracking method|
|Setup time:||2 minutes|
|Playing time:|| 20 minutes|
0.333 Hr- 40 minutes
|Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2021|
- Printer-ready rules with examples, images, a pyramid die lookup table, and a PnP can be found HERE. To download them, click on 'download PDF' in the top right.
What You Need
- Two trios in four different colours and one additional trio in a fifth colour. Yellow, Green, Cyan, Purple, and Red, respectively, are assumed in these rules, but you can substitute them for any other colours.
- Make sure it is not possible to differentiate, by touch, between different colours of pyramids of the same size. For example: Icehouse Pieces have a sharp tip, while Looney Pyramids have a rounded tip.
- The pyramid die
- If you do not have a pyramid die, you can use a regular D6 and a lookup table
- An opaque bag
- A way to track up to 60 points for each player. If you use pyramids, it is recommended to use Smalls, Mediums, and Larges to denote 1, 5, and 25 points respectively. Using this method, you need one additional stash for each player, where colour does not matter. Pen and paper or other tokens also work.
About the Game
Bag of Ice is a push-your-luck game where you spend your turns drawing pyramids from a bag to accumulate points. The only way to 'cash in' your points is to quit drawing. If you draw a red pyramid you bust, and you get NO points for your turn. Do you play it safe and let points slowly trickle in, or do you take a risk to get points faster than your opponents?
This game was designed to be playable with the pyramids in Ice Duo and some additional components (a bag and a score-tracking method). The design is inspired by Pass the Pigs (1977) by David Moffat.
For this game, you do not need all 9 trios. Take the following pyramids and put them in the bag. All remaining pyramids will not be used in this game (unless if you use pyramids for scoring):
- One Large in each of the five colours.
- One Medium in the colours Red, Yellow, and Purple.
- Two Mediums in the colours Cyan and Green.
- One Red Small
- Two Smalls in the colours Yellow, Green, Cyan, and Purple.
The following image also shows the pyramids that should be in the bag:
Before putting these pyramids in the bag, you may want to let each player look at them so they know what is in the bag. After putting these pyramids in the bag, shuffle the bag's contents. Place your method of tracking points within reach of all players.
Randomly select a starting player (one option is to have each player roll the pyramid die and start with the player who rolled the highest total pip count - reroll on ties for highest), and give them the pyramid die and the bag.
Goal and Game End
The winner is the first player to reach 60 points or more. The game immediately ends when someone wins.
Starting with the starting player (duh), players take turns in clockwise order. During a player's turn, they cycle through the following until they either quit or bust (more on those later):
Continue or Quit
First, a player decides whether they want to continue or quit. if the player continues, see 'Roll and Draw'. If a player quits, see 'Scoring'.
Roll and Draw
If a player decides to continue, they roll the pyramid die to determine which pyramids they are allowed to draw from the bag. If the pyramid die shows a single pyramid, they must draw one pyramid of that size from the bag. If the pyramid die shows two pyramids, they must draw one pyramid of one of the shown sizes from the bag. Place the drawn pyramid in the center of the playing space, leaving it there.
If the player draws a red pyramid, they bust. If a player accidentally draws more than one pyramid, draws the wrong size of pyramid, or breaks the rules in any other way, they also bust. If a player busts, their turn immediately ends, and they get no new points for this turn. See 'upkeep' for what happens next.
If the player draws a non-red pyramid, they do NOT bust, and are allowed to continue their turn. See 'Continue or Quit' for what happens next.
If a player quits before busting, scoring takes place based on the pyramids drawn from the bag, now at the center of the table:
- Each yellow or purple tree is worth 20 points.
- Each cyan or green tree is worth 15 points.
- Each mixed-colour tree is worth 10 points.
- Each remaining pyramid is worth points equal to its pip count.
During their turn, a player may rearrange the pyramids they drew in any way they want. Each pyramid can only be used in ONE tree. If your pyramids can't stack, you can simply arrange them in groups of three to show which trees you want to score.
In the following image, the player receives 20 points for the yellow tree, 10 points for the mixed tree, and 2 points for the spare smalls, for 32 points in total. Swapping the purple small for the yellow or cyan small does not change the points received.
The player adds these points to their total score. If this causes them to reach 60 points or more, the game ends, and they win. Otherwise, continue to 'Upkeep'.
Between turns, all drawn pyramids are returned to the bag, and the bag is reshuffled. The pyramid die and bag are passed to the next player.
- While this game can be played at any player count above 1, it may be inadvisable to do so, as this causes very long downtimes and playtimes.
- If you want a shorter or longer game, you can change the points required to win from 60 to a different number.
- While I did not give the game a theme, you could imagine one if you want, such as thiefs trying to steal jewelry without setting off an alarm, or miners trying to dig for precious gems without hitting a pocket of explosive gas.
- Yes, you are totally allowed to laugh at your opponents if they draw a red.