Game Icehouse: Atom Smashers


Caption: The atom we were smashing on 20100101.

Played 20091231 Daniel (13) Stephanie (13)(Most of Large) Me (4). Daniel first. Stephanie won.
Played 20091231 Daniel (7) Stephanie (15) Me (8). Daniel first. Stephanie won.
Played 20100101 Steve (32) Michael (11) Me (16). Michael first. Steve won.
Icehouse: Atom Smashers
Icehouse: Atom Smashers page @ BoardGameGeek.com here
Icehouse: Atom Smashers page @ IcehouseGames.org here

20091231: We played with one color, i.e., 15 pieces. Various things we tried were throwing and flicking. At first I was doing a sideways flick, as you would do to get a quarter spinning. However, in the second game, I discovered it's easier to do a vertical flick, so that you're sure your piece will go straight. The next thing you have to try to do is force the piece to go along the table, not a flick so that it'll do a field goal. My throw was terrible. It's a fun game, though a small round table would be the ideal playing surface. We built close to the rules of the game in the first game. We deviated a lot when we built the atom during the second game.

We played atom smashers after we played Icehouse.

Maybe throwing wasn't in the original rules, but it was fun, so we can decide in the future whether we want to keep it or not. Flicking is a bit more controlled and limited in power... From IcehouseGames.org:

On each player's turn, he or she attempts to separate pyramids from the atom by flicking or sliding the smasher into the atom. Though the player may shoot from any side of the playing surface, the player's wrist may not cross the edge of the playing surface (which means that the smasher must be placed very near the edge of the surface, of course, before flicking or sliding it).

It's important that only one finger touch the smasher tip when circling an atom.

Oh I forgot this important rule, but I don't think we ever had a meltdown:
A player that is guilty of a meltdown immediately ends his or her turn, without picking up any pyramids, be they successfully circled or not. The player must take a token from the sink; and on that player's next turn, he or she returns the token to the sink instead of smashing the atom.

Regarding end game:

When all pyramids in the atom have been removed and scored, the player with the most points is the winner. It is traditional for the now-wealthy grant winner to buy a round of beverages for the other players, though all players should agree to this price of victory prior to play.

In the event of a points tie, the player with the most larges wins. Should that be tied, the player with the most mediums wins. Should that also be tied, the player with the large opaque wins, regardless of whether or not that player has the most points, most larges, or most mediums—the lunatic investor likes opacity more than bickering physicists.

So while it doesn't really matter, the game as it was originally designed should consist of a treehouse (3 Red, 3 Blue, 3 Yellow, 3 Green, 3 Black) and an icehouse (15 of a color, for me this is most conveniently Pink. A substitute could have been using two other treehouses to get say 6 Red, 3 Blue, 3 Yellow, 3 Green. Note: every 3 comes in S,M,L). As such, there will be 29 pieces in the atom and a small black smasher.

20100101: Michael was fairly good with knocking off parts of the atom, but at first he was having trouble with the circling. I was able to make use of this, and while my flicking often hit the atom, it failed to knock anything away, either because it was too weak or because the angle was bad. Steve figures the best is to have the smasher be lying down point forward and aim for a crevice; the point being to not just knock off atoms, but attempt to wedge them apart if you got lucky. This game, we were able to play with the rules and setup as the original design asked for. The game was longer which was good. The only exceptions we made were (1) a change of color for the smasher from (black) opaque to green to make it easy to find (Great idea Stephanie!) and (2) ignored losing a turn on meltdown, which happened enough for Michael that it would be too detrimental to take away his turn, and it didn't happen for Steve or me.

[Actual Post Date and Time 1/1/10 3:50 PM]

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