Ice Dao

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Ice Dao
Ryan McGuire
Ice Dao is a quick little abstract strategy game for two players.
:Players Players: 2 - 2
:Time Length: unknown
:Complexity Complexity: unknown
Trios per color: 2
Number of colors: 2
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 2
Five-color sets: 2
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
5x5 board
Setup time: 1 minute
Playing time:
Strategy depth:
Random chance: None
Game mechanics: Alignment
Theme: Abstract
BGG Link: 60048
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987

Object of the Game

To get four of your pieces in a straight line (orthoganlly or diagonally).

Start of Game

The board is set up as shown in the diagram below. Decide who goes first.

Start of game


Players alternate taking turns. On a player's turn he moves one piece of his color as far as it will go in one of eight orthogonal or diagonal directions. A piece's movement is subject to the following restrictions:

  • A piece must stop at the edge of the board.
  • A piece may not land on or pass through a square that has a piece of the same size or smaller of either color.
  • A player may move only the top piece in a stack.

The diagrams below show the possible moves for the medium blue piece from the center square. Notice that if Blue selects this piece to move either south-east or north-west, the small one square away in each direction limits the medium to moving zero squares. This effectively provides Blue with a "pass" move in this situation.

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The first player to get his four pieces in a straight line horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in any order wins. The pieces must cover four consecutive squares. i.e. Pieces cannot be stacked on top of each other to get a win. However pieces in a stack with the opponent's pieces (either above or below) may be part of a win. If a loop of board positions develops and neither player is willing to make a different move, the game is declared a tie.

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In this diagram, it's Green's turn. Green would like to block the space between Blue's large and small, but cannot get a piece to end a move there. There's no way to stop Blue from winning.

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This situation is similar but not quite so desperate. Blue cannot win on her next turn. If Blue moves the lone small south, it will end the move stacked on top of the large piece.

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In this situation it looks like Green can move his large piece as shown to block Blue. However, a large piece has no effect on the movement of a medium, so Blue can still move her medium as shown to get the win.

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A better move for Green in the situation above would be to move his small piece as shown. Now Blue cannot win immediately, because the small green piece is "pinning" the the medium blue one. This move is at least better than the one above, but is the best move for Green? You tell me.


Initial Concept: Ryan McGuire
Playtesting (so far): Ryan
Comments and Suggestions are Welcome

External Links

See the official page ( for more information.