From Looney Pyramid Games Wiki
Nick Wedig
Exchange your pieces for those in a circle. Avoid getting 3 pieces of the same size.
:Players Players: 2
:Time Length: unknown
:Complexity Complexity: Low
Trios per color: 5
Number of colors: 1
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 1
Five-color sets: 1
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
Setup time: 5 minutes
Playing time:
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: None
Game mechanics:
Theme: Abstract, Strategy
BGG Link: Epicycle
Status: Complete (v1.0), Year released: 2001

Overview[edit | edit source]

Epicycle is a simple game for two players that requires a single Icehouse stash. The object of the game is to force your opponent to pick up three pyramids of the same size or to deprive your opponent of any legal move.

Setup[edit | edit source]

::S::M::L Initial setup ::S::M::L
Player 1 Setup in center of table Player 2

Pieces are arranged as if to form a pie shape of ten pieces. The tip of each piece points toward center. The initial setup of the board follows an order of a small pyramid, medium, then large, then repeat twice (ie, 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3), with the final space of the ten-slice pie left empty.

Each players receives one pyramid of each size.

Determine who goes first by whatever means both players agree upon.

Play[edit | edit source]

On your turn, place one pyramid from your inventory into the gap in the center of the table. Then remove one other pyramid from the board. The pyramid you remove must follow two rules:

  • It must be a different size than the one you just placed.
  • It has to be an exact number of spaces away from the one you just placed.

The number of spaces is determined by the size of the pyramid you have just placed: count the pips on your pyramid and then count that exact number of spaces away from it, either clockwise or counterclockwise. You may take either piece as long as it differs in size from one you have just placed. So if you just placed a medium piece, you are prohibited from picking up another medium. This keeps players from immediately reversing the last move, and also keeps your inventory in constant flux.

Example Play Example: Player 1 has placed a 3-pip pyramid in the gap (shown in green). He counts exactly three to the right or three to the left of the pyramid he has just placed. Three spaces to the right is another large pyramid, which he is not allowed to take because it is the same size as the pyramid he has just placed. Three spaces to the left is a small pyramid. He takes that pyramid, which creates the new gap into which Player 2 will play. His new inventory is now ::S::M::S. Next turn he will try to avoid picking up another ::S.

A player cannot pass on a turn if any move is possible. If no move is possible, that player has lost (see below).

Victory Conditions[edit | edit source]

A player loses when they have three pieces of the same size in their inventory.

A player also loses if they have no legal play possible.

In either case, the other player is the winner. (In games of more players, the losing players are removed from the game, and the last player in the game is the winner.)

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

The strategy in the game comes from forcing your opponent to make certain moves, by limiting the choices available to them.

  • Although two move loops are impossible (because you cannot take a piece of the same size you play), larger loops are theoretically possible. If both players agree the game has become stuck in a loop which neither can break out of, then they can quit and start a new game, or go off and play something else, or do whatever they wish.
  • Theoretically, more players could join using multiple stashes.
  • Once the players are familiar with the basic game, the setup of the board could be randomized, with pieces drawn from a bag or something similar, and placed around nine places in the pie shape.