The IceAwards for 2012/ Play through of the games from 2011 ROUND 2

Round two of the 2012 Ice Awards, for the games of 2011, has closed. As we have exactly seven games passing, there is no for second evaluations of the games to further narrow the list.

My thanks goes to all of you who contributed comments and reviews. The first round of voting will begin shortly.

The goal of the ICE Awards is to evaluate and celebrate the games from the prior year (being the games created in 2011). It also provides means to encourage game designers by offering a certain amount of recognition, along with a small reward.

We have made it through the first round (which was to simply verify that the games listed “can be played as written”), and now the fun begins. We welcome anyone and everyone in the community to become involved in evaluating and voting on these games.

Here are the games up for evaluation in the 2nd round of the 2011 Ice Awards:

Awaiting Evaluation:


Passes to Round 3

1• Evacuate  

2• Freeze Tag

3. Gleebs and Grues 

4. Paint the Line 

5. Martian Canals 

6• Stawvs

7. Ziggurat Demolition Throwdown

Does not currently pass:

Having one negative review, these games are not out of the running. We will attempt to get up to two reviews per game this round. If there’s a game here that you think might be worth a second look, give it a try. If you think it belongs in the top 50% of the remaining games, it will be reconsidered. 

1. Bridge

2. Chain Reaction (Although we allowed it through the first round, it had two initial negative but passing assessments. Since they were both in the first round, if someone has a positive review of it, it would then be up for reconsideration.)

3• Ice Colony

4. Pentamid Twist

5• Whack Chess

6• The Wilds of Mars

Disqualified (having two negative reviews):


None yet. 


2nd round goal: (Slight updated) To speed up the evaluation round, and get us to the final voting rounds, we need to get a single vote per game. If we can get it down to seven games passing, and no more, we will simply move on. If we have more than seven games passing, then I will ask for a second vote until we've gotten it down to seven. 


A game needs at least one passing evaluation to make it through to the next round.

For the reviews: You are free to evaluate these games as you wish. My recommendation is to ask yourself whether the game is fun, interesting and worthy of being in the top half of games. I recommend that you refamiliarize yourself with the games you wish to review, perhaps playing them again if it has been some time. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions that you might have of the designer (or other players). We hope to thin the field down to the best games of the year per the contest, but this process will hopefully also help designers to improve/fix their games and thus improve the overall quality of the wiki, regardless of whether they are the winners.


Note: The Original IceAwards rules states that different players should review each game then did the prior round. This is to encourage more players to learn the games, but, as the first 1st round was only to "pass" a game as playable, I believe that reviews for games you played in the first round should be allowed. I do, however, encourage players to also review something that they have not commented on yet, just to get more of us familiar with a greater number of games. 

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So, how should we submit evaluations? Just post them to this thread?

Yes, feel free to post them in here (or on the wiki). Even feel free to have discussions. We'll probably switch to secret ballot for the final two rounds.

Could you include links to all the games' rules here, so we don't have to go searching?  Thanks.

I’m at work, and it is easier for me to do that from home, so I’ll link them up tonight.

I have done something ... strange.  I have made a specialized deck of too many cards, fFor Ziggurat Demolition Throwdown.

I don't know if this will make the game better, but certainly it will be easier to understand.  Players could also use some sort of player guide, like describing how to attack and defend, and how towers work.  But the important stuff fFor each card is fFound herein.

Note that the Decktet is only 30something cards, and this fFull set catches nearly every combination of actions, fFor a whopping 90 card deck!  Also it doesn't include pawns.  It is not, to be sure, a Decktet replacement.  But it is an overlarge deck of cards fFor this one game.

I haven't actually played with this deck, but I should be able to print it out on plain paper and use some of these card sleeves I have lying around the house, in order to see if it works well.

I imagine P.D. Magnus choking on his coffee this afternoon when sees what I have wrought.  Sorry, dude!  I think I like the game, but i wanted to test this theory I have.


I confess that I'm more puzzled than anything. This custom deck doesn't just provide more explicit instructions on the cards. It also changes the game.

With this custom deck, there are 9 special defense cards. I guess "attack strength" can still be stacked together to use cards for defense? Are black towers still required for defense?

In the game as written, everybody loses one pip of tower every time the deck is exhausted. With the larger deck, this well happen less often. But the attrition is deliberate: Players can't just keep drawing cards and defending forever. If you get stuck with towers that are useless to you, then you can change one colour eventually (by taking attrition to it and making change for a different colour).

NB: Reference cards for the game as written are available on the Decktet Wiki.

True, and true, and true, and true.

The 9 special defense cards are partly because I was a little lazy, and didn't fFeel like removing 3 cards fFrom my 9-card layout.  But also I fFigured, with a larger deck, more special defense cards would be an okay thing to have.

Yes, Attack Strength is intended to reflect defense strength as well.  And yes, players still need a black or green tower to do any defense.  I did not (intentionally) change the game mechanics.

However, I did actually overlook one rule entirely:  "Everybody loses one pip of tower every time the deck is exhausted."  Oh dear, that does change things, doesn't it.  I don't believe I even noticed that rule, and I've been playing it wrong altogether!  It's a small note, but an important one.

The best solution I can think of right now is to invoke the rule that, at the start of the game, you should draw 30 or 40 random cards fFrom the deck.  That way you never really know what you're getting.  As a matter of fFact, this solution would allow the game to be played with more than 2 players.  Perhaps it should be 15 cards per player, so the deck scales with the number of players in the game.  I might also invoke some rule that reduces the size of the deck as players are eliminated, but now we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Another option is to simply play with the cards that appear in the decktet.  I could mark those cards with a small glyph in one corner, or something.  I might make up a new version with that, now.  I sorta need to make an 11th page anyway (one color combination is missing)(even though that bumps the card count up to 99 (oi vey!)), so what the heck.

By the way, the fFact that we can have this conversation probably means the games passes the second round.  I still have not had a chance to play it more, but I can imagine myself playing it more than just fFor testing or whatever.  It's a cool thing.  The name of the game is an unfortunate run-on, but I like the things this has going on.

Scott, at least when we played it, we did use the lose one pip rule.

Also, the game always allowed for more than two players. However, I have worried some that the deck recycle penalty might get a little crazy with a four or five player game. Scaling the deck some way may be an option, if that is a real concern.

I am going to cut Bridge.  It is not a bad game, it's just not especially profound.  I've played it a couple times, and it didn't really move me.  It is workable, and not at all tragic.  But it tends towards specific outcomes.

I found Bridge's movement rules to be unclear. Must you move onto an empty space? Or can you move onto an occupied space (I hesitantly suppose so), and if so do you cover/stack, or do you capture? Can the bishop movement go through occupied spaces (I hesitantly suppose not)?

(I also added this to the game's discussion page at the wiki.)

Whoops, I meant that I hesitantly assume you can NOT move onto an occupied space. Not that this changes my point that I found the movement rules to be unclear. :)

Paint the Line

The rules seem clearly written to me. The mechanic of the game is solid; I like how the game plays out on two distinct levels. On both of these you are trying to limit the possibilities of the opposing player while opening up your own pieces and strengthening your position at the ideal time.

Because of the nature of the game, essentially strategy develops once the board has progressed to a bit. For the first moves, players are free to make selections based on a very general plan of attack. After those initial moves, the real fun begins, and this makes for a solid game of medium length.

Having played this three times now, I am confident that it belongs in the next round.  



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