Ice Miners

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Under development

This game is currently under development, in the Initial Design stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

Ice Miners
Tanis Kint
A 2-player game of underground survival inspired by Settlers of Catan.
:Players Players: 2
:Time Length: Medium
:Complexity Complexity: Low-Medium
Trios per color: 5
Number of colors: 5
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes:
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
Setup time: 2-5 Min
Playing time: 10 Min - 30 Min
Strategy depth: High
Random chance: Medium
Game mechanics: Resource management, Building
Theme: Underground survival
BGG Link:
Status: Initial design (v1.0), Year released: 2011
Made July 2011

Ice Miners is my second attempt at a game, with hopefully simple rules, yet a sufficient amount of strategic depth. The only thing you need aside from 5 Treehouse sets is a single six-sided die.

Note: For simplicity's sake, all colors are referred to by Rainbow colors. If you're using Xeno colors, Red would be Orange, Blue would be Cyan, Yellow would be Clear, Green would be Purple, and Black would be White.

Story[edit | edit source]

The surface is a wasteland. Humanity has sucked the earth dry of it's resources. With no hope left, people began to dig. And, in a moment of fortune, they found a new way to rebuild their civilization. They uncovered four new minerals: Electronium, a greenish mineral that has the capability to create and transfer it's own electricity; Terredible, a strange, yellow mineral that can sustain humans that consume it; Duranium, a shiny blue mineral that's extremely tough, good for walls and other such things; and Razorock, a red metal that is extremely sharp and retains it's edge for a long while. With these new minerals, the humans were able to begin repopulating their planet, beneath the crust.

But all is not peaceful. Men are going to any lengths short of violence to procure these minerals, and the supply is not infinite...

Setting up the Game[edit | edit source]

Separate the pyramids into stacks according to size and color. Set aside a black (or white) pawn with the d6. This will become the production pyramid. Then, gather all 20 of the colored pawns and conceal and shuffle them some way, be it a shoebox, a small bag, or simply under the table. Draw them, one by one, and rebuild the stacks. For every one you draw, place a queen in the following order:

   9  10 11
20 1  2  3  12
19 8     4  13
18 7  6  5  14
   17 16 15

Then, each player rolls the dice. The player with the highest roll chooses a color. They take all drones of the color and place them in front of them, as well as one pawn, which is placed on the 'X' in the above diagram. This is their mining squad. They then place a drone on any position, which is now called a drill. The second player then repeats this process. Then, for each of the colors that was NOT chosen (excluding black), remove one pawn from the game. Once you've done this, the game is set up, and you are ready to play!

Each of the colors represents a different mineral.

  • Red pyramids represent razorock.
  • Yellow pyramids represent terredible.
  • Green pyramids represent electronium.
  • Blue pyramids represent duranium.

Playing the Game[edit | edit source]

Why do I have this pyramid here?[edit | edit source]

On your turn, you begin by rolling both the d6 and the black pawn. Why the pawn, you ask? The pawn is referred to as the production pyramid. It's roll determines which kind of resource you mine this turn. If it:

  • lands on it's side, both players gain the resource on the side of each of their drills that the production pyramid points to. To gain a resource, take a pawn of the same color and place it in front of you. Do this for every drill you have. Drills can never mine the mineral directly below them. For example: I have a drill. On it's north side is duranium, on it's south and left sides are terredible, and it's right side is razorock. The production pyramid points to the left when rolled. I would take a yellow pawn and place it in front of me (with exceptions)
  • lands pointing straight up, no one mines any resources this turn.
  • somehow lands on its tip, both players gain a resource of their choice. (Just covering my bases here.) ;P

A few exceptions to mining minerals:

  • If there are no more pawns left of the color, neither player receives that kind of mineral.
  • If there are not enough minerals to go around, i.e. I should get two, and my opponent should get one, but there are only two left, then neither player receives that kind of mineral. It's a harsh world out there!
  • If the space you should receive a mineral from has a hostile drill on it, you cannot receive that mineral.

So then what's with the D6?[edit | edit source]

After the roll of the production pyramid has been resolved, you may then move your mining squad up to the number of spaces as marked on the die, plus one additional space for every vehicle depot they have in their principality (more on that later.) They do not have to use all their movement points. A space is a large pyramid. A player may move through spaces with drills on them. They may not move through the other player's mining squad. Remember, while no blood has been shed, the opponent is still hostile. Then, an action is determined by where your mining squad lands. If it:

  • lands on an empty space, or a space with one of your drills, you receive one of the type of mineral of the same type as that space.
  • lands on a space with one of the other player's drill, you do not receive any resources, but that drill will no longer mine minerals until your mining squad has left the space.

One thing to note, is that even though you start off the board, you may not move back off once you have moved on. You must enter on one of the three spaces in front of you for your first move.

I have all these resources. What do I do with them?[edit | edit source]

Now that both dice have been resolved, you get to expand your principality (The area where your mining squad began the game). To do this, you may build any drills you wish, then any vehicle depots (black pawns), then any mining villages (black drones), then any underground cities (black queens). You MUST build in that exact order.

  • To build a drill, return two razorock (red) to the supply pile and put a drill on the space your mining squad currently occupies. You may ONLY place it in the space your squad currently occupies.
  • To build a vehicle depot, return one terredible (yellow) and one duranium (blue) to the supply, then take a black pawn and place it in your principality. These increase your movement rate by one per one you have.
  • To build a mining village, return one terredible (yellow) and one eletronium (green) to the supply, then take a black drone and place it in your principality. These are worth one victory point.
  • To build an underground city, return two duranium (blue) to the supply, as well as one of your mining villages, then take a black queen and place it in your principality. These are worth two victory points.

Help! I can't end the game![edit | edit source]

In order to end the game, you must collect eight victory points out of the fifteen available (five villages and five cities). When you've done this, congratulations! You've won the game!

But I have a group![edit | edit source]

If you'd like to play this with more than two people, feel free to. Have each player choose a color and place a drill in a counter-clockwise order, then the last player plays first, and play proceeds in a clockwise order. Starting points for the other two players are on the two unused edges.

Unfortunately, I've found that four players renders the board too cluttered, and your drills end up doing little to nothing.