Blockade
an Icehouse game designed by Kristin Looney

 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • An Icehouse set and the Black Ice expansion pieces
  • Four dice: one red, one green, one yellow, and one blue
  • Optional: A 5x5 grid to setup the board on
  • Number of Players: 2
  • Playing Time: 10 minutes

G -->

C B B B C <-- R
R R R B Y  
R G C B Y  
R G Y Y Y  

Y -->

C G G G C <-- B

SETUP

Arrange 25 Larges in a 5x5 grid, as shown. Then put one Small of the same color onto every Large (except for the Clears.) Stack up all the Mediums on the corners (upper left corner: Green, upper right: Red, lower left: Yellow, lower right: Blue)

Place the Black pieces to the side, they will be used during the game. The remaining Clear pieces will not be used. Then, one player chooses to play the hot colors (Yellow and Red), while the other player plays the cool colors (Green and Blue). To start the game, each player rolls two dice, rerolling ties. The highest roll goes first.

PLAY

On your turn, roll the two dice corresponding to your two colors. You have a number of movement points equal to the number rolled, to be used on the color of pieces corresponding to the color of the die. So a 5 rolled on a blue die means 5 points of blue movement. Each movement point allows you to move a piece of that color one square, following the Rules of Movement.

RULES OF MOVEMENT

  • You may divide these points up amongst any number of pieces, in any order. So you may move a piece one square, then move another piece, then come back and move the original piece, should you so desire.
  • You may move pieces in any direction, including diagonal.
  • A piece may move over any of your or your opponent's pieces, regardless of size and color. However, a piece may not move over squares of your opponent's colors that have been blockaded (capped with a Black piece.)
  • A piece must end its movement for the turn on one of the following: a piece of its own color of equal or lesser size, a Clear piece, or a Black piece on top of a piece of its own color provided that the piece is smaller than the Black piece.
  • If BOTH of your dice show numbers of three or less, then the two dice may be combined together and used for either one of your two colors.
  • You do not need to use all your points of movement.
  • Large pieces may not move.

BLOCKADING

Whenever a tree (consisting of one large, one medium on top of it, and one small of top of that, all of the same color) is completed the tower is finished and becomes a blockade. Place the largest available Black piece on top of it. As stated above, an opponent may not move through one of your blockaded squares. You may not move a completed tree.

WINNING

When all pieces of one color are completed into trees, the player who owns those pieces wins the game.

STRATEGY NOTES

The most common move of the game is to move one small piece onto another stack, run a medium piece to the now vacated large piece, and then move the small piece on top of that.

Combining the dice together on a low roll becomes important near the end of the game. Sometimes you may want to combine both dice together to get your last remaining pieces out before your opponent completely blocks you in. Other times, if you are close to winning, you'll want to use all your movement on the color you are closest to.

Remember that you can move over your opponent's non-blockaded pieces, and also your own blockaded pieces. Watch out for the size of the black piece, though, since you cannot have a piece end its movement on a small black piece.

CREDITS

Designed by Kristin Looney
Playtested by Andrew Looney and Alison Frane
Rules documented by Dave Chalker
Pictures by Andrew Looney

 

also see Volcano - another Icehouse game designed by Kristin