Bottoms Up

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Under development


This game is currently under development, in the Playtesting stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

Bottoms Up
Chris Goodwin
:Players Players:
:Time Length: unknown
:Complexity Complexity: unknown
Trios per color: 5
Number of colors: 6
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 6
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
Bag
Setup time: 2 Minutes
Playing time:
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: Medium
Game mechanics:
Theme:
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BGG Link:
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987

Bottoms Up

What you need: A stackable Icehouse set and the Black Ice expansion or five treehouse sets plus one monochrome set (white or some stand in). [my edit]

Overview: This is a stacking game played with Icehouse pieces for 4-6 players. It could theoretically work with three, but two is kind of iffy.

Setup: Place one small piece of each color into a Black Ice bag (or hat, or paper bag, or whatever other opaque container is handy). Each player draws one piece out at random, keeping the color secret from the others. Each player then writes down the color he or she drew. After all players have chosen pieces, replace them in the bag (still keeping them secret), then mix them up and dump them out.

Next, each player selects a small piece of whatever color they wish. Once each player has chosen a piece, all players place their pieces upright on the playing field.

Place all of the remaining pieces in location(s) accessible to all players; these locations are collectively known as "the stash". (The playing field is the place where pieces are played; the stash is any other area. You might wish to mix all of the pieces up and place them on stash pads in front of players; any player can take pieces from any stash pad. Or not.)

Playing the Game: During each player's turn, that player takes one piece from the stash and puts it on top of any piece that is already in play. The piece in play is affected by the piece placed on it, based on the color of the higher piece (see the Color Effects listing below).

A stack consists of two or more pieces, one placed on top of the other.

Recalculating a stack: Whenever a piece is placed on top of a stack, for any reason, all of the color effects take place. From lowest to highest, each piece in the stack is affected by the color effects of the piece above it. The bottom piece is affected by the next piece up, which is then affected by the next one up, and so on, up to the top. If one stack still has activity left to complete, finish it before recalculating another stack.

Color effects:

  • Red: Shrink the lower piece by one; if there are no smaller pieces of the same color to shrink it to, destroy it (it goes to the stash, laying down, to show that it has been destroyed, and may not be returned to play). If shrinking a queen, and there are no drones of the same color to shrink it to, shrink it to a pawn.
  • Blue: Change the color of the lower piece. Replace the lower piece with one of the same size and another color. If there are no pieces of the same size of another color available, there is no effect, but if there is at least one then you must change it.
  • Green: Grow the lower piece by one size; if the lower piece is already a queen, then a new pawn of the same color is created anywhere on the playing field (not on a stack), but only if there are pawns of the same color available in the stash (if not, then nothing happens).
  • Yellow: Move the lower piece somewhere else, either onto another stack or any open space in the playing field. If the piece is moved onto another stack, finish the current stack's activity, then recalculate the next stack.
  • White: White reflects any effects that hit it. The lower piece takes the effect of its own color. If a piece is placed on top of a white piece, both the white piece and the piece above it take the effects of the upper piece. A white piece has no effect on another white piece.
  • Black: Immune to color effects. Do recalculate color effects against lower pieces in a stack, though.

All effects take place bottom to top.

Note: Only white pieces can affect pieces above them.

Ending the Game and Scoring: Play ends when there are no pieces left in the stash. Once play ends, each player reveals her color. Determine each player's score as follows:

For each piece of the player's color on top of a stack, score 3 points if the piece is large, 2 points if the piece is medium, or 1 point if the piece is small.

The player with the highest score wins.

Design notes: I've made a listing of properties of Icehouse pieces and games in general. (One of these days I'll post it.) I selected the following three items at random:

  • Move to an arbitrary location
  • Under another piece
  • Color

I took this to mean that color has an effect, and that "Move to an arbitrary location" refers to there being no board. "Under another piece" turned into the fact that only the piece underneath the freshly placed one is affected.