A few months ago, our own Scott Myers put out an IceSheet for the game Pikemen. It is attached here, and if you would like to take a moment and check it out, and have some discussion here about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Once you've checked it out, and if you're a Starship Captain, head over to the Starship Captain forums for the official vote. If ten Captains approve the sheet, it will go up on the More Games page on the Looney Pyramids section of the Looney Labs website.
The requirements list "Rainbow Stash x5", but it would seem more accurate to say something like "1 stash per player". I.e. it doesn't require rainbow colors, and it doesn't really require 5 stashes per se.
> The player who captures a number of enemy Pikemen first wins.
That's not strictly true (victory depends on points captured, not number of pieces captured). So it might be better to say something like:
The player who first captures a certain number of points wins.
>accommodate a large pyramid laying on it's side.
Grammar typo: that should be "on its side."
I'm not a fan of having all the alternate layouts appear on page 2; I'd put them in an appendix. I'd much rather see a single physical sheet with all the truly essential stuff, and put optional/historical/Eeyore/strategy/etc stuff on the second physical sheet. Having a literal single physical "Icesheet" with all I need to play the standard game seems a Good Thing. Optional stuff should be on an optional second physical sheet of additional Pikemen info.
The 3 setup positions on page 1 could be made smaller to make more room for core rules text on pages 1 and 2.
> Gameplay: The tallest player starts, and play proceeds clockwise from there.
Ah, silly starting player rules... Maybe simply "Choose a starting player."?
> Attackers are always laying down, pointing in one of the 8 cardinal directions, on the board.
Remove ", on the board". I'm not sure what benefit/clarity it adds.
> Defenders are always standing straight up, pointing at the sky.
Remove ", pointing at the sky".
> · Any opponent's Pikeman that is not upright.
> · Any opponent's smaller Pikeman which is standing upright.
Inconsistent usage of "upright" or "standing upright". Maybe change to:
· Any opponent's Pikeman that is lying down.
· Any opponent's smaller Pikeman which is standing up.
> Tactics: Always bear in mind, any Pikeman in attack position can be taken by any opponent.
Simplify "Always bear in mind" to "Remember"
I will take a look at some of the grammatical issues later, but for now i will point out that rainbow stashes is the term used because Looney Labs doesn't sell monochrome stashes, just rainbow and xeno stashes. so, for someone to have the ability to play this game, five rainbow stashes are needed. the icesheets are more for new pyramid players than for old hands. going forward rainbow stashes will be the gold standard.
secondly, the layout issues was discussed with the looneys last night and the vote is more about whether the rules are presentedin such a way to be understandable with layout being of secondary concern, because layout becomes more about personal preference rather than playability. So while suggesting layout concerns is important don't let it be the primary factor in the vote. it may take a while to get in the groove of how to do this because so far only andy has really written published icesheets.
but as i said i will review the grammatical errors later today and start a dialog with scott about which layout concerns need addressed and see if we can get the grammar errors fixed. our goal is to get this published asap, but to make sure we don't skimp on quality. we just want to be ready, for all the new pyramid players that will be joining in the next couple months.
The term "stash" is used for 15 monochrome pieces.
Rainbow and Xeno are sets of 15 pieces in five colors (one opaque).
So it's either "one monochrome stash of 15 pieces per player" or it's "five sets of Rainbow or Xeno pieces, so that each player has 15 pieces of the same color (5 of each size small, medium, and large)".
This terminology is consistent across Looney Labs' product page and the Icehouse Games wiki.
The Guide to Looney Pyramids booklet uses the term Rainbow Stash. See also this page. Stash is no longer for monochrome any more. And since the primary way pyramids have been sold since 2006 has been rainbow stashes, I think it's best to use rainbow stashes as the standard unit if possible. The term Monochrome Stash is still officially used, though, so I could see cases where it might be appropriate.
My take is that in the case of a game like Pikemen where each player has their own monochrome stash, it seems clearly nicer to say "1 monochrome stash per player" instead of "5 Rainbow stashes".
If it's a new customer who is buying Rainbow stashes, then "1 monochrome stash per player" still give the information that they'll need 5 Rainbow stashes in order to assemble monochrome stashes, but "5 Rainbow stashes" overly strictly suggests that Rainbow colors are necessary (like RAMbots or Homeworlds) when they're not (you can play Pikemen with Xeno colors or pink or gray just as well), and it too strictly suggests that 5 different colors are needed (when only N colors where N=number of players) are needed.
Maybe "1 monochrome stash per player" with smaller print saying "E.g. 5 Rainbow stashes" or something? I don't know. I can understand the desire to cater to newbies, but at the same time it seems like the game description shouldn't immediately turn people away who have (e.g.) a Xeno stash or who have several monochrome stashes.
The page you point to also defines monochrome stash, as "5 trios of one color". Since the Introduction still includes the term, what's wrong with using it?
My previous post was mostly focused on the word "stash" and I was rather wishy-washy on the use of "monochrome stash." I'm still not sure how best to resolve the conflict between "precise" and "newbie-friendly."
The term "monochrome stash" is defined in the little booklet, but just because a term is defined somewhere, doesn't mean people know it. And some people who don't know the term will turn away rather than trying to figure it out.
At this point, I'm interested in seeing how it would look if you said, "1 monochrome stash per player (or 5 rainbow stashes)", to see if that would crowd the box too much. You could put the parenthetical in smaller type, but that's still a lot.
Is there a way to make it shorter but still understandable? "Stashes: 1 monochrome per player or 5 rainbow" maybe.
I keep looking for an ideal solution, but I don't know that there is one.
How about "1 monochrome stash (15 pyramids) per player"
Because it seems to me that saying "5 rainbow stashes" isn't even newb friendly. Remember that these are game rules, not a shopping list. When I put the game on the table, what do I need to get out of the box? I only ever need 5 rainbow stashes if I'm playing with 5 players.
You'll see that it is only mentions "stash" for an old Tic Tac Doh rule card and for Deluxe Volcano Board ("the equivalent of 10 monochrome stashes").
You'll see that EVERY reference to Treehouse uses "set".
There is no such thing as a "Treehouse stash," a "Rainbow stash," nor a "Xeno stash"... and a customer that searches for those gets 0 hits.
Now... as Jeff points out, a document at LL.com use the phrase "Rainbow stash": a PDF (and a PNG taken from page one of that PDF). Neither PDF nor PNG are directly searchable at the site.
So... I'd suggest that that one document be updated to use the phrase "set" for multi-colored groups trios (Treehouse set; IceDice set; 3HOUSE set) and use the phrase "stash" only for a monochrome group of five trios (in the context primarily of older games--like Icehouse!).
Or, like... we go and update 150+ wiki pages. You know: to align with one PDF. *rolleyes*
I vote rather that Andy update that one PDF and we all stick to the conventions established when the product line was rejiggered. I think that's less confusing for new customers, and it's what we old hands are used to.
Or don't, and continue to be vague for both old and new players. Whatever y'all think is best for the brand....
I think we should let Andy vet the Icesheet for Pikemen before it's posted on the page. So why don't we let him decide whether to use "stash" or "set" or whatever? And similarly for other questions that there is disagreement on.