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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.

Designed by Erik Oosterwal
A multiplayer combinatorial game with a very loose association to the game Nim.
:Players Players: 2 - 6
:Time Length: Medium
:Complexity Complexity: Simple
Trios per color: 1
Number of colors: 5
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes:
Five-color sets: 1
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
1 Martian Coaster or 1 Volcano Board
Setup time: 1 min
Playing time: 10 min - 30 min
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: None
Game mechanics: Placement, Stacking
Theme: Abstract
BGG Link:
Status: Initial design (v1.0), Year released: 2010

Objective[edit | edit source]

Place a pyramid on to the playing board so that it shares no properties with any of its orthoganal neighbors. Nimitz can be played in one of two variations:

  1. Win the game by being the last player who can play a pyramid to the board.
  2. Win the game by being the first player who cannot play a piece to the board. This is called misere play.

Equipment needed[edit | edit source]

1 or more Treehouse sets (depending on the size of the board and number of players)


1 or more Martian Coasters (3x3 movable playing grid)


1 Volcano board (5x5 playing grid)

Terms[edit | edit source]

  • Board , Field , or Play Area - the orthoganal grid where players place new pyramids during their turn.
  • Martian Coaster - a movable 3x3 grid about the size of a drink coaster.
  • Nest - a pyramid construction created by placing a pyramid on top of another pyramid of a smaller size.
  • Set or Treehouse Set - a set of 15 Icehouse pyramids that includes a small (1-pip), medium (2-pip), and large (3-pip) pyramid in each of five different colors.
  • Store - the shared, unsorted pile of pyramids that have not yet been played onto the board.
  • Tree - a pyramid construction created by placing a pyramid on top of another pyramid of the same or larger size.
  • Volcano Board - a formfitting 5x5 grid used for several different Icehouse games, including Volcano.

Setup[edit | edit source]

Board[edit | edit source]

Place the Volcano board in a central location where all players can reach. It is possible to substitute the Volcano board with a number of Martian coasters. For a 2-player game it is possible to use a single Martian coaster; more Martian coasters are required when playing with larger groups. Irregular board layouts can be created using three or more Martian coasters.

Store[edit | edit source]

Dump/scatter all the pyramids in a pile next to the board. This store of pyramids is shared by all players. It is not necessary, or even desirable, to sort or stack the pyramids in the store.

Rules/Mechanics[edit | edit source]

The rules of Nimitz are simple; select any pyramid from the store and place it somewhere on the board. The tricky part is that there are some restrictions as to how, and where, a pyramid can be placed.

Placement restrictions[edit | edit source]

The newly placed pyramid cannot share any of the listed, basic properties with any of its orthoganal neighbors at the same level or with the pyramid immediately below. The basic properties, using generic Icehouse game terms, are:

  • Orientation: There are five different orientations: Upright, flat pointing (North), flat pointing (South), flat pointing (East), and flat pointing (West). The one exception to this restriction is that pyramids of different colors and sizes can be stacked to form trees.
  • Color: Depending on which sets or stashes are being used, the number of available colors can vary. There should be 5 or more colors available.
  • Size: There are three sizes. Mike Myers would describe them as "Wee, not so wee, AND FRICKIN' HUGE!"

Pyramids may be stacked into trees but may not be nested. Because of the size restriction, trees cannot contain more than one pyramid of any size.
Trees can be constructed in an upright or flat orientation. New pyramids can only be added to the smallest end of a tree.
Before adding a new pyramid to a tree it must be compared against neighboring pyramids at the same level. The bottom-most, or largest, pyramid in a square is considered to be in Level 1. Pyramids stacked on top of a level 1 pyramid are considered to be in level 2, and pyramids stacked on top of a level 2 pyramid are considered to be in level 3.

Winning[edit | edit source]

Like the game Nim, the condition for winning a game of Nimitz must be decided upon by the players before the game starts. There are two variations:

  1. The last player to be able to place a pyramid on the board is the winner. This is the default, or preferred, variation. If it was not otherwise stated and agreed upon by all players this is the winning condition.
  2. The first player who is unable to place a pyramid on the board is the winner. This is called misere play and is a common variation in combinatorial games.

When a player is unable to place a pyramid on the board any other player may show the active player how a pyramid can be placed, if they see a way. The winner is declared when all players agree that no new pyramids can be played onto the board.

Examples[edit | edit source]

(stacking a red pyramid on top of a blue pyramid even though there are red pyramids in adjacent squares) (cannot stack a red pyramid on top of a blue pyramid if an adjacent square has a tree with a red pyramid at that level) (cannot create a 2-1 tree if an adjacent square already has a 3-1 tree)

License[edit | edit source]
This work is distributed by Erik Oosterwal under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.