|Trios per color:||4|
|Number of colors:||2|
|- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -|
|Setup time:||2 minutes|
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|Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987|
Description: As in Chess, you control an army of minions on a chessboard battlefield, represented by Icehouse pieces on a chessboard. Your minions are drawn from species of mind-controlling parasites like in that episode of Star trek or Hal Clement's 'Needle'. They may destroy enemy pieces as in chess, or take control of them -- controlling their minds. Then they will fight for you instead of against you. Whether a piece controls or destroys another is determined by their relative pip counts. The motion of the piece is that of the piece being controlled (thus your piece of small motion can give you control of a piece of larger motion and pip count) Control is represented by stacking a piece upon another piece. The piece on top is controlling (capping) the piece below it.
Set up: Take 4 pieces of each size, set up in 3 rows in the center of your edge of the board, with the smaller at the front and the larger at the back. You could use the Ice Chess setup too, but the diagonal pieces will be unbalanced to start with (which might not make very much difference)
Small moves and attacks one square in any direction including diagonally (like a King in chess).
Medium moves and attacks diagonally any number of squares (like a Bishop in chess).
Large moves and attacks orthogonally or diagonally any number of squares (like a Queen in chess).
Destroying (similar to Taking in chess): The total pip count of the attacking stack must be greated than the total pip count of the defending stack. Move the attacking stack to the square occupied by the defending stack and collect the defending stack (for scoring at the end). This means that same-size pieces cannot attack each other at all.
The base piece of the attacking stack must be smaller than the top piece of the defending stack. Place the attacking stack on the defending stack. The colour of the top piece indicates which player controls the stack. The size of the base piece determines how the stack moves. (In other words a stack cannot be more than 3 pieces. A 1 can control a 2 or a 3, a 2 can control a 3. A 1 can also control a 2-on-3 stack, and a 1-on-2 stack can control a 3. You may not 'un-control' an enemy piece you are controlling (though I am not sure why you would want to.)
Destroying a Controller:
Your smaller minions can also rescue your larger ones. The 'controlling' enemy minion is understood to be slightly weakened by the necessity of maintaining control, so the same size minion may replace it. Thus your 2 can replace an enemy 2 controlling your 3. The enemy 2 is taken and added to your captured pieces. Even if the 2 is controlled by a 1 in a 1-2-3 stack, you can replace the 2 thus taking the 1 and the 2 (this hasn't come up very often, so far...)
If you have rescued a controlled piece, you will have a stack of friendly pieces (same colour). Since they are 'friendly' you may optionally move the stack together, or move just the top piece thus splitting the stack. You may not form such a stack by moving your piece on top of another one of your pieces (this would be excessively intimate for your minions under normal conditions, but they will do it to save one another's life ...)
End of Game: This occurs when one player has no pieces left, or when all the remaining pieces or stacks are the same size or total count (so no more attacks are possible)
Score: Add up the pip count of all the pyramids you have taken (including your own colour pyramids taken when you destroyed a controlled stack). Whoever has more wins.
Strong elements of Chess, you have to set up threats and threats-of-control as well. You cannot destroy 3 pointers until you get a stack. Elements of Monochrome chess too, you can get a higher score by letting your piece get capped and then destroying it with a bigger stack, thus scoring for pieces of your own colour.