Evacuate

From IcehouseOrg
Jump to: navigation, search

Under development


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

Evacuate
Designed by Gregory Lattanzio
Evacuate3.jpg
Get your Stacktor clans out of burning nightclubs before your rival/s manage/s to do the same.
:Players Players: 2 - 4
:Time Length: Medium?
:Complexity Complexity: Medium
Trios per color: 5, 4 for a 2-player game
Number of colors: 4
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 4
Five-color sets: 5, 4 for a 2-player game
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
custom board
Setup time: 3 minutes
Playing time: 20 minutes
0.333 Hr
- 40 minutes
0.667 Hr
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: None
Game mechanics: Stacking, Placement
Theme: Martian
BGG Link:
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987


Description

Stacktors are an alien species who love to party. Unfortunately, their love of revelry is matched only by their love of pyrotechnics. For this reason, Martian law confines their clubs to Phobos or the Martian icecaps. Luckily for them, they are a resilient species that rarely perishes in their all too frequent club fires. Instead, they've made a sport of it.

Requirements

  • Five sets of pyramids (four for two players).
  • Choose from the 7X8, triangle Evacuate boards provided.

Goal

The goal of Evacuate is to help your friends to evacuate a stacktor club fire, escaping before your rival stacktors, thus saving yourself the hospital bills for bent points or bruised or burnt pips.

The following rules suppose that you are playing the two-player game.

Setup (Fire in the Disco!)

Stack pyramids in trees on the four starting places on the floor level, as indicated on the game boards. These are the occupants. Any four colors will do, but, to keep it balanced, the colors that have the most pyramids near the evacuation points, should have more of their pieces on the bottom level.

With a rainbow set, I recommend that one player play green and yellow and the other player use the red and blue ones (clear and purple face off against cyan and orange on the xeno board). The unused pieces are put into the movement stash of the players who own them.

  • Alternate who goes first with each round.

Turns

On their turn, a player may either make a move or nudge the pile.

1. To move occupants, a player places a pyramid from their stash onto the numbered spaces on the board, pointing in the direction that the triangles indicate. These pyramids that are placed on their sides are the movement pyramids.

  • a. The space that a movement pyramid is placed on must be vacant, and its placement must actually result in moving at least one pyramid on the ground level.
  • b. A stack moves in the direction of the placed pyramid's point. The movement piece's position on the numbered triangles determines the point from which the stack moves. The first space over from the left moves an entire stack at the bottom level. The next space over moves pyramids from the second to the bottom of the stack and up. Think of this as a three-dimensional space flattened out, with each level being the next space up a wall, all the way to the ceiling.
  • c. The corresponding stack of occupants is moved the number of spaces indicated by the placed pyramid (one for a pwan, two for a drone, and three for a queen).
  • d. Either of a player's colors can be used to move any stack or partial stack on the board.

For the purposes of movement, occupants are moved space to space until they reach their destination.

2. Nudging consists of placing a movement pyramid on the board into a space that doesn't move the occupants.

a. A nudge may only be performed if there is a space on the movement portion of the board where the placed pyramid would effect the immediate surrounding of one or more pyramids.

Movement Limitations

  • Queens cannot end their turn directly on top of pawns. It just wouldn’t be polite, and the pile of stackors might tumble over.
  • Ceiling: If, at any point during the move process or at its destination, an occupant stack increases beyond six pyramids in height, every stacktor above the sixth level is removed from play for the remainder of the round.

These pyramids do not score, and any player whose final pieces have been removed by the ceiling does not score points this round of the game.

Removing Movement Pyramids From the Board

  • At any point during their turn, players MAY remove movement pieces from the board whose sides are completely surrounded by pieces that they control (excluding those sides that the floor, ceiling, or the board's edge create). Pyramids may surround and remove their own color.
  • All pyramids are returned to their owner’s play stash.
Figure 1 and Figure 2
Surround5.jpg SurroundedBoard2.jpg

Figure 1: In the above example from a two-player game, the blue and red pyramids belong to the same player. Since friendly colors combine to surround, the player owning them may choose to remove both the yellow drone and red queen (surrounded by the outer blue pyramids) or to only remove the yellow drone (by surrounding it with the blue and red pyramids). The only way a channel of connected pyramids may be broken up thusly is when your own pyramids give you the option to remove pyramids in more than one way.

Figure 2: In this example from a three-player game, blue is wild. Green may remove the red queen, red pawn, and yellow pawn movement pyramids closest to the ground floor by combining the green pieces and the blue piece to surround them. Notice that the yellow and red pawns and the red queen are unconnected (sharing no sides). Green may choose to remove the queen, the two pawns, or all three pieces, but must remove the pawns as a group.

Unjamming the Occupants (No Legal Moves?)

1. Jams occasionally occur, as Stactors attempt to stack, nest, and hop their way to the exits in packed night clubs. If everyone agrees that no legal moves are available for a player, the current player must do each of the following, in order, until a legal move is available. Performing the following constitutes a players turn.

  • a. Remove all surrounded pyramids from the board, regardless of the color that surrounds them. If a move becomes available, the current player may play, and normal play may begin again, if possible, with the next player.
  • b. If there is nothing to remove or the board remains jammed, the player must nudge if possible.

i. If a move or nudge is performed, the next player may begin playing as normal or begin again with the Unjamming rules if necessary.

ii. If it is agreed that neither a or b is possible, the current player passes.

  • c. If the group goes around with each player passing (no more nudges being possible), the pile is stuck. The movement portion of the board is cleared off, the ground stays as it is, and the ceiling is lowered by one level as a penalty. Play resumes with the next player.

The Exit Doors

  • A player can evacuate their own occupants from either of the exit doors. This occurs when they have been moved beyond the two shaded spaces on either end of the ground floor. They are taken out of play and given to the player to score them.
  • The only time that you may evacuate an opposing player's occupant is by dragging them out by means of the hoist rule. In this, two pyramids of the same color that are currently on one of the grey shaded ground floor spaces may be evacuated along with an opponent’s occupant if all three pyramids can be otherwise legally evacuated together. No additional occupants may be evacuated as the result of this action. Each pyramid scores for the player who owns them.

Ending the Round

1. As soon as all of the occupants of one of a player's colors have evacuated the club, the round ends.

  • a. It does not matter if all of their occupants were safely evacuated. Example: If all but a single pyramid of one of their colors' occupants have hit the ceiling, they can still end the round by getting that remaining occupant across.
  • b. Players score points for all of the occupants that they have successfully evacuated (of either of their colors). The point per pyramid is determined by their pip count.
  • c. The players then meet again at another club for another round of stactor Evacuate, and the board is reset.

Winning (two players)

Option 1: The first player to reach fourteen points wins the game. If this happens during a round, a winner is declared.
Option 2: The player with the most pip points scored after a single round wins. With this option, a player may also win by eliminating all opposing players by means of the ceiling.

BOLD = Recommended method.

Three-Player Game

The rules are mostly the same as above, except the following.

  • Players get their own unique color for occupants and movement pieces (use five rainbow or xeno sets). Two of the players should pick colors that have a pawn on top of the outermost stacks.
  • The fourth color is wild and can be scored by any players, even though you still need to evacuate your own occupants to end a round. This color can be used with another piece of a player’s color to effect a hoist.
  • A player is eliminated from a round if the final pyramid of their own color is eliminated by the ceiling. Wilds do not help.
  • The player with a pawn on top of the middle stack goes first.
  • The remaining pyramids of the fourth color are placed into a general stash area to be used as additional movement pyramids. These may be used by any player to help surround pieces on the board.

  • After the first round, the player who does not have a pawn pyramid on one of the outermost stacks swaps the inner stack with their pawn pyramid with one of the two other players' top pawn stacks of their choosing. They'll swap it with the other player if the game goes three rounds, and then to the other inner position for a possible fourth round.
  • The person who is to the left of the winner of a given round goes first on the next round.

Winning (three players)

The first player to reach thirteen points wins the game. If this happens during a round, the winner should be declared.

Four-Player Game

The rules are mostly the same as for two players, except the following.

  • Players get their own unique color (use five rainbow or xeno sets).
  • To level off any positional advantage, the players who have their pawn on the top the innermost stacks should have their first turn before the other players.
  • It is legal to evacuate one piece of one opponent in a given round, as long as it starts its move from the grey shaded ground floor spaces. It does not have to be evacuated in the two to one ratio of a hoist. This is not a forced move, and the pyramids evacuated in this scenario score for the players who own them.

  • After each round, the stacks’ starting spaces swap, so that the outer stacks swap with the closest inner ones.
  • The person who is to the left of the winner of a given round goes first on the next round.

Winning (four players)

Option 1: As soon as someone evacuates their remaining occupants, the player with the most points wins.

Option 2: The above can lead to a situation where a player has occupants ejected by the ceiling rule and has little chance of winning, so you may find that you would rather play toward a point total. The first player to reach twelve points wins the game. If this happens during a round, the winner should be declared.

BOLD = Recommended method.

FAQ and Notes

1. What happens if it is my turn, the board is jammed, and I can unjam it by releasing one of the pieces that I surround, but I don't want to release those surrounded by other pyramids of my color/s?
A. You'll have to release all of the surrounded pieces. You could have released the piece/s you surround last turn. However, now that there is a jam, all surrounded pieces are automatically returned to players.

2. Okay, the board is not jammed, and I surround multiple pyramids in a group. Do I have to let them all go or can I just release one from the group?
A. If you have multiple, unconnected pyramids surrounded, you may pick and choose which groups you are going to release. However, groups of pyramids that are touching must be released as a group.

3. The board is stuck, and the surrounded pieces need to be removed. There is more than one way to remove the pieces, leaving different pieces behind on the board. How is it decided which pieces get removed?
A. The current player removes the pieces. As long as everyone agrees that there are no more surrounded pieces on the board, play can proceed.

4. So, the board is not jammed and I'm nudging for my turn, do I have to now remove the piece/s that I surround this turn?
A. No.

5. In a 3-player game, can blue movement pieces surround blue movement pieces?
A. They're wild, so yes they can, and any of the players may remove them on their turns.

6. I'm trying to wrap my head around the hoist rule, what are the legal configurations for this move?
A. The possible options that red has for hoisting, listed bottom to top, are RRY, RYR, YRR. Any of these groups could be evacuated if there aren't other pyramids on top of them. Hoisting a group with the opponent's occupant on the bottom level may seem foolish, but perhaps it's the only way to remove them legally, or, perhaps, there is some advantage in ending the round by this means.

Tips and strategies are provided on the discussion page.

Boards

These images work best at the widest setting possible. I tested these images in a pdf, but Acrobat Pro converts the margins to .75". This isn't ideal. I recommend putting the image files into a program like Word and printing them at as close to .3" (left/right margins) as possible. I tested it on the three printers I have, and they were all capable of printing it that way.

Color/Themed Board Files (Rainbow):
Here is the top board, and here is the bottom board. Attach the second file to the bottom of the first one. The triangles on the right correspond to the different levels on a stack and are numbered accordingly.

Color/Themed Board Files (Xeno):
Here is the top board, and here is the bottom board. Attach the second file to the bottom of the first one. The triangles on the right correspond to the different levels on a stack and are numbered accordingly.

Here are the black and white versions of the more elaborate color play field: top and bottom. The order in which the trees should be placed at the start is as follows.
O1: blue queen, red drone, green pawn
O2: green queen, yellow drone, blue pawn
O3: red queen, blue drone, yellow pawn
O4: yellow queen, green drone, red pawn

PDF Copy

A bare bones, two page pdf version of the rules is available for easy reference.
One for the "Phobos Pugilists" variant (or expansion) is here.


Phobos Pugilists (an Evacuate variant for two players) [Not recommended for the ICE Award Evaluations]

This is a 5house, two-player game with a diminished movement stash and a special occupant piece that allows you to circumvent some of the normal movement restrictions. It was inspired by a playtesting comment from Scott Myers. I've designed it specifically for when you're looking for a quicker game of Evacuate. It's a bit chaotic and does not necessarily play as well, but if you like the changes from the original game, give it a try. [Not recommended for first time play.]

Setup:
Each player has a single color for their normal occupant pieces, with pieces being put onto the ground floor as follows below. Two special queens, each of a different color, represent the pugilists. These are well-tested occupant brutes who have survived many Phobos fires.
Each player places their pugilist on bottom of the stack with their inner pawn. That is on bottom of the inner stack furthest from you the side of the row that has your pawn at the top rank. I recommend using black for one player and white for the other, but any other colors will do if this is not an option.

Thus the setup arrangement is as follows:
O1: P1 queen, P1 drone, P2 pawn.
O2: P1 pugilist, P2 queen, P2 drone, P1 pawn
O3: P2 pugilist, P1 queen, P1 drone, P2 pawn
O4: P2 queen, P2 drone, P1 pawn

The pugilists have the added ability of aggressively opening a lane of movement for piles of occupants.

Special Movement:

  • You may move pyramids in the stack that your own pugilist occupies in either direction (regardless of the direction the movement pyramid is normally forced to be placed in). You must still place a movement pyramid onto the movement portion of the board, but feel free to place them against the position indicated.

Players may move either pugilist (or any other occupants). However, their special ability only benefits the player who owns a given pugilist.

  • When both pugilists occupy the same stack, they cancel each other out, and normal movement rules apply.
  • The pugilist pyramid counts toward the ceiling rule and can be evacuated through the exit doors. However, once it exits, it does not count toward your point total but is instead added to the movement stash of the player who owns it.

Special Rule Change

  • When pieces are removed from play by the ceiling rule, they are added to the movement stash of their color.

All other rules basic, two-player rules for Evacuate apply.

Winning:
The first player to reach nine points (or is closest to nine points after all moves are exhausted) wins.