|In Catapults, each player builds a castle and then tries to tear down the castles of the other players.|
|Trios per color:||5|
|Number of colors:||1 per player|
|Monochr. stashes:||1 per player|
|- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -|
|Setup time:||2 minutes|
|Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987|
Catapults puts you directly behind the controls of a catapult with which you aim to destroy the enemies fortress.
Use your centrificeing catapults to destroy your opponent's fortress before he can destroy yours.
Since there are a few terms that should be referenced coherently throughout the game, they are all listed here.
A stack of at least two Icehouse pieces, placed flat on the playing surface.
The topmost piece of a Catapult. This is the piece that is actually hurled about and counts toward the victory conditions.
The lowermost piece of a Catapult. Only this piece may be touched to finally hurl the Projectile.
"flipping" the Centrifuge about it's lowest base edge to hurl the Projectile over a certain distance (See image below). Only the Centrifuge may intentionally be touched, while centrificing.
the act of centrificing, as in "the throw"
a structure built from all non-Projectile and non-Centrifuge pieces a player owns. A fortress may have any form or height as long as all pieces touching the playing surface are standing upright and the fortress is not wider than it's long. (The wide side of a fortress is the side that is parallel to the starting line, the long side is the side orthogonal to the wide side).
Always centrifice pieces AWAY from yourself and others, never target people with a Centrifice!
Each player chooses a stack of Icehouse pieces of different color. Catapults can be played on almost any surface, but in order to avoid damage or scratches to your icehouse pieces, a smooth, soft surface is recommended. Players agree on a common starting line, which should be marked in some way. The area behind the starting line is called the battlefield and must have enough room for a flat playing surface big enough to contain the fortresses of all players without any obstacles or uneven ground on it. All players now build a Catapult out of pieces from their stack and place it directly before the starting line. Then all players simultaneously centrifice their Projectiles into the area behind the starting line. If there are more than two players, until there are only two Projectiles left, remove, alternating between the furthest and the closest, Projectiles from the board. This removal of Projectiles determines the reverse turn order for the game (the player, whose Projectile was removed first, goes last, etc.). The player of the last two Projectiles determine their turn order randomly. Approximately determine the center between the last two Projectiles and mark an imaginary fortress line, which runs parallel to the starting line. Then remove the last Projectiles, also. If the fortress line is closer to the starting line than the height of four Queen-pieces, move it to that distance. Each player now builds a fortress out of all of his Pawn and Drone pieces. Each piece of the fortress must touch at least one other piece of the fortress and the piece closest to the starting line must touch or stand on the fortress line. All pieces touching the playing surface must stand upright. In addition to this the fortress may be constructed at will, with the constraint that the fortress may not be wider than it is long (the width is the dimension of the fortress that is parallel to the starting and fortress line, the length is the dimension of the fortress line that runs orthogonal through the starting and fortress line.) Aside from these constraints, the pieces may be stacked, nested, laid upon each other, etc.
Players take turns according to the turn order. The active player builds a Catapult out of two of his Queen pieces and tries to centrifice his Projectile into a fortress of an opponent to topple any of the constructing pieces. If the Projectile doesn't touch any other piece after the centrifice (regardless of it hitting any pieces before that), the player takes back the Projectile piece. Then the next player, according to the turn order, becomes active player. If at any time, a player has only one Queen piece left (and thus no Projectiles to build a proper Catapult), he decides, which of his Projectiles to remove from the battlefield. He must then extract the piece with as few changes as possible to other pieces! (An upright fortress piece must remain an upright fortress piece in about the same location, etc.)
Losing and winning the Game
When a player has no pieces left in his fortress that are standing upright AND touch the table, he immediately loses and may not centrifice any more Projectiles. The last player to be in the game is automatically the winner.
- Experience has shown that it makes sense to use a Drone or Queen as Centrifuge with a piece of equal size stacked directly above it as a base for every Catapult (which becomes the Projectile, when using only two pieces).
- Using Brute force will probably only damage your Icehouse pieces and won't achieve as good results as a fine tuned dexterity shot.
- Play without turns. In a siege, there are no game turns, either! Can you feel the heat of battle already? The play only stops to allow players to recollect their Projectiles after all four of them have been centrificed by each player. Only the pieces, not touching other pieces may be recollected, except if that would leave the player without any Projectiles afterwards. In that case the player may recollect two of his own Projectiles of his choice according to the regular rules. Play resumes after all player are ready to centrifice again.
- Use Drones to build the Catapults and Queens for the Fortress instead.
- Play with different rules for castle building (a non-flat surface, obstacles on the battlefield, no limit for pieces touching the ground, no width/length limit, etc.), but expect the game to become harder and potentially unbalanced.
- Play with each player having to destroy a certain opponent's fortress only to win.
- Play without a turn order, After the first player, the player who's fortress was targeted last, does the next centrifice.