Talk:Teaching Icehouse

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I have finally pulled together 4 people who are willing to play Icehouse with me. They range from "excited to finally play" (me) to "willing to play if someone will teach them." Unfortunately, none of us have actually played. Is there a good way to take baby steps to teach the game? Would it work to take turns and discuss things through a game before making it turnless? Any advice is appreciated. -JEEP 20:20, 18 May 2005 (GMT)

The rules as they appear in PwP are the result of ten years of teaching Icehouse. I tried to start simple and build up, so if I'm failing to commmunicate something to you (the reader) please let me know (when you figure out what it is). --Eeyore 21:05, 18 May 2005 (GMT)
I think I understand the game well enough to play. I do not think I understand it well enough to teach it all at once. At least one person will not be willing to read up on his own, so I'll need to teach him the game (or find three new people who have some experience or more willingness to learn on their own.) I am certain I won't be able to teach it as well as it's laid out in Playing with Pyramids. -JEEP 21:14, 18 May 2005 (GMT)
Yeah you can, dude, just read from the book! =^> I know some people hate this, but even when I'm teaching, I like to have the book handy so I can make sure I hit everything. Icehouse is a complex game, there's no way around that fact.--Eeyore 15:44, 20 May 2005 (GMT)
The key to reading the rules is not to read them exactly - that'll just bore everyone if you're not such a good read-alouder, and not everyone is. I find that it's better to interject your own comments and rephrasings and interpretations as you go. This can work whether you're reading the rules for the first time yourself (just verbalize your own thoughts and misgivings as you go) or not (share your time-honored wisdom with the class). - misuba 19:00, 20 May 2005 (GMT)
Well, I tried and it was a disaster. I explained the rules, and stepped through the sample game. Then we started. About 45 seconds in there was a major crash (someone swore he could place his piece in a spot and dropped the piece and then tried to catch it...) so we started over. About 60 seconds in, one player decided he didn't like his piece where it was and moved it. I explained to him that it wasn't allowed and he had to put it back and he decided he didn't want to play any more. There were no harsh words or anything, he just left to the dismay of the three of us. We didn't even think he was cheating, just that he forgot the rules. I commented that we could continue and leave his pieces as they were-- it's a real time game after all. He could decided to come back and finish, but they decided we should just play Volcano. Oh well. Back on my quest to find people who really want to play Icehouse. I must not be a good salesperson. The good news, I think everyone else understood the rules of the game, even if none of us had any clues about strategy. -JEEP 19:55, 20 May 2005 (GMT)

Teaching the turnless concept

One of the problems I've encountered teaching Icehouse to others is that some people don't get the idea of a turnless game. If this isn't a problem for your group, then ignore this advice. When I run into this, I usually teach them IceTowers first, since it has simpler rules while still being turnless. They get a good feel for the idea behind a turnless game, and also a bit of a feel for the diplomacy aspect (though on a very different level from Icehouse).

I also recently bought the game Light Speed (by Cheapass Games), which is another turnless game with simpler rules than Icehouse. I haven't used it as a stepping stone to Icehouse, but it occurs to me that it might serve well in that capacity. I've successfully taught Light Speed to a few people, and had very little trouble doing so. -- Jeremiah 20:33, 18 May 2005 (GMT)

As an aside, from reading about Light Speed, it seems like someone might be able to turn this into an Icehouse game -- Tuxhedoh 00:26, 19 May 2005 (GMT)
See the entry in the current Ice Game Design Competition, Torpedo. — Lambda 02:16, 19 May 2005 (GMT)

Checking out the sample game

There is a sample Icehouse game online with lots of discussion that helped me get a feel for the mechanics when I was first learning Icehouse. You might try going through that with your group. -- Jeremiah 20:35, 18 May 2005 (GMT)