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Diamond Mine Redevelopment Notes[edit source]

I created Iceminers after listening to a large chunk of feedback on my previous (and I think inferior) game I decided to scrap a great deal of it and work on Iceminers. The main mechanic of exploring caches of hidden pieces and then picking them up and delivering them is the same, but many of the other aspects are different.

Main changes include

  1. Board is now 5 coasters in a + configuration rather than a chess board
  2. Game only requires 2 treehouse sets and 1 opaque stash rather than 7 stashes
  3. Players can now steal from other players.
  4. Movement is rolled on a die each turn rather than programmed with cards. I think this adds a lot more replayability and strategic depth as players now have to think on their feet and adjust their tactics based on their rolls. It also brings it more in line with the feel of games like Treehouse and Martian Coasters.
  5. Pieces are delivered off of the end of the appropriate colored coasters rather than to the players home square. This makes pickups and deliveries non obvious, as a player might have to go much farther to deliver a particular piece and will have to balance their desire to deliver against the desire to either steal or protect themselves from being stolen from.
  6. It now costs movement points to pick up (or steal) a piece.
  7. Probably still works best with 4, but should scale much better at 2 and 3 than previous version.

I would love to hear some feedback on this version if anyone gets a chance to test it out.

Rules Questions[edit source]

What is the point of allowing diagonal movement? It costs double, so it's no faster than just making two orthogonal movements. Caches and other players do not block movement, so there's no need to sneak between two obstacles. It seems like an unnecessary rule that adds nothing to the game but complication. - Cerulean 13:17, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Are you supposed to remove the opaque caps instantly upon landing on them? Do they ever return to the board, or do they stay out of play once first removed? If I move onto a cache, can I choose not to remove the opaque cover? I'd like to keep the cache contents secret until later. Also, if I remove a large opaque and take one of the two gems underneath it, do I continue to cover the remaining pyramid with the large opaque? - Cerulean 13:17, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

2010 Ice Awards comments[edit source]

I played IceMiners with three players, and felt that this game was all about roll-and-move. We kept our eyes open for good steal opportunities, but it never came up. Other players were always farther away than unmined gems, so it seemed like I'd have to go well out of my way to bother stealing (and I'd pass up an easier mining opportunity in the effort). In the end, the winning player felt like he won only because he had consistently good dice luck. The luck of the die still carries this game, and it needs less randomness and more decisions.

Also, I think you can make the game end sooner by setting a target point value. Consider that a perfect score is 20, 8 points for matching color pyramids and 12 points for the remaining pyramids. (We did not have an extra opaque color on hand, so we did not follow setup step #4). This assumes that you are able to capture all the gems, which is doubtful and unlikely. Now, in a two-player game, you can call it over when either player brings in their 11th point of gems (meaning that there aren't enough points left for the other player to overtake the lead score). For three players, the game could end when somebody reaches 7 or 8 points. For four players, the game ends when somebody has 6 points.

Lastly, I think IceMiners would be far more interesting with more restricted movement. A few ideas here:

  • First, the coasters have arrows... use them! It's a mine. There's difficult terrain everywhere.
  • Second, movement should cost more when you are carrying a gem. You will travel more slowly, which will give a chance for unencumbered rivals to overtake you and steal from you, thus giving players a better incentive to try stealing rather than mining.
  • Third, consider allowing that other player pawns DO block movement through a square. You would need to modify the stealing mechanic to work from an adjacent square, perhaps.

Give these suggestions a shot, and see if they improve your game. - Cerulean 13:17, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Setup is a bit fiddly; we accidentally revealed a gem while placing caches, and had to re-shuffle. Fortunately, the rules are easy to get the hang of after a couple of moves. The light roll-and-move gameplay makes for a pleasant social environment.

Note that Xeno colors don't map very well to the coasters, so Rainbow should be recommended. It could be played with only one Treehouse set, using the opaque smalls as extra gems under the colored mediums. However, the extra set of colored smalls are certainly a bit more fun. --eswald 04:47, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Other Talk[edit source]

I took the liberty of adding some formatting code to your page. I hope you don't mind. - Jwolfe 20:15, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Don't mind at all, glad you did!

Is there any particular reason that you only have 2 and 4-players listed under "categories"? I'd assume, from a quick read of the rules, that this game could work with 3 players as well.

Comments[edit source]

These are some comments I made on the "Icehouse Community Excellence Awards" thread on the Fan Club website:


PROS: A fun race to grab the gems and get them off, using the Martian Coasters very well. I like how you have to get the different colors off at their appropriate coasters, guaranteeing lots of crossing paths. The point balance is nice, too, with the doubling for getting your own color, and the medium values for the center gems. I like the ability to steal from each other.

CONS: The total experience is not a fun as I want it to be. I think what I'd like is more stealing back and forth, which is not that often since you can only carry one gem at a time, and while you're running one gem off you cannot bother others.

One possible tweak: let each player have two miners, so while one is depositing the other can be getting more or stealing, guaranteeing more interaction. Other ideas include: use 2 dice and split up the movement points however you wish; let a miner pick as many gems as he wants, but his movement points per square go up 1 per pip he is carrying.

Bryan 10 June 2011