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Solo IceDice (vs Automa Opponent)[edit source]

Meet my automa friend, Chester. He likes playing games - but watch out! He can be a bit of a cheater.

Anytime someone wants to play Ice Dice but doesn't have an opponent available, Chester is happy to help out. Just follow the IceDice rules as written with the exceptions below:

  • You always take the first turn, and Chester goes second.
  • Chester stops rolling dice and ends his turn as soon as he has taken at least one pyramid. However, Chester doesn't follow the standard rules when taking pyramids... instead he does the following:
    1. First, Chester ALWAYS steals pyramids from your stash if possible, before taking pyramids from the bank. I told you he cheats!
    2. Second, whenever Chester is asked to choose between two differently sized pyramids, he take both sizes (if possible; they can be taken from different locations).
    3. Finally, if Chester ever rolls a wild for color then he gets confused and simply re-rolls both dice.

End game conditions remain the same: the first person to collect enough parts to build 3 complete trees of any color wins!

Advanced Variant for Expert Players[edit source]

Some players might find Chester too soft, and wish for a more challenging opponent. In that case, let me introduce his automa sister Chelsea!

Chelsea follows the same special exceptions as Chester, but whenever she rolls a wild color you must give her one pyramid from the bank (your choice of size and color) before having Chelsea re-roll the dice. If her second roll also shows a wild color, then you give her another pyramid from the bank and Chelsea ends her turn; otherwise she takes whatever additional pyramid(s) are shown on the second roll. In this way Chelsea can potentially take up to three pyramids on a turn, and you may be forced to help her choose what colors to collect along the way.

Chelsea taught Chester everything he knows; now she's aiming to teach you a lesson or two! It will take skill and some luck to beat her, but I know you can do it!

Design Commentary[edit source]

As a game, IceDice involves a significant amount of randomness due to the dice. This seems to lend itself well to a solo mode, but the only version I could find previously (CarboniteDice) used a "beat your own score" approach, which prompted me to alternative that defined actual win/loss conditions.

In this solo variant, the automa (aka: Chester) makes slow and steady gains - often interfering with your plans at the same time by actively stealing pyramids. Combined with the fact that he sometimes takes two same-colored pyramids in a single turn, players often need to push their luck instead of simply playing it safe if they want to come out victorious. In my tests, I found this variant well-enough balanced to be interesting... winning was possible but not assured, and of course using dice meant that nothing was ever certain.

Let me know what you think!

--EdwardJ (talk) 20:50, 18 January 2021 (PST)

Disclaimer: This variant is my own work, and only intended to compliment the original IceDice design by Andy Looney. As far as I know, Andy hasn't seen or tested these proposed rules, although he is free to use (or alter) my suggestion as he sees fit.