Noname is an abstract strategy game for two or more players. It uses Icehouse pieces, which are played on a table without a board.
"Noname" is a placeholder name - the final name of the game is yet to be decided.
Warning: Unplaytested alpha release of rules.
- An Icehouse set.
- A flat horizontal surface (table or floor).
- A stash pad for each player.
Each player chooses a colour, takes all 15 pieces of that colour, and places them on his stash pad. The stash pad may be any
object which can hold all the pyramids. It is used only to make it clear which pyramids are in play, and which are yet to be
played by each player.
Choose a player to take the first turn by any means desired.
Noname uses several terms to describe particular configurations of pyramids. All terms used are defined below:
- Points: Small pyramids have a value of 1 point. Medium pyramids have a value of 2 points. Large pyramids have a
value of 3 points.
- Defending: A piece is defending if it is standing upright.
- Attacking: A piece is attacking if it is lying on its side. It need not be pointing at anything in particular.
- Pointing: An attacking piece has a notional straight line extending along the table from its tip, in the direction
extending the bisector of the face on the table. If this line intersects another piece, the attacker is pointing at the
nearest piece so intersected. Farther pieces along the same line are not being pointed at. The piece being pointed at may
be any distance from the attacker.
- Subdued: A piece is subdued if the total point value of all attackers of any single colour pointed at it
is greater than or equal to its own point value. Both attackers and defenders may be subdued. A piece may be
subdued by multiple colours at once. A piece may be subdued by pieces of its own colour. Note how this is different to the
definition of "icing" in Icehouse.
- Subduing: An attacking piece is subduing another piece if the piece is pointed at a subdued piece, and is of a
colour which is causing the subdual.
- Victim: A piece being pointed at by an attacker which has just been placed on the table.
- Prisoner: A piece which has been captured by a player playing a different colour. Prisoners sit on the stash pad
of the player who captured them.
- Native: A piece on the stash pad of, or being played by, the person playing its colour.
Players take turns to put one piece on the table. Any piece on the player's stash pad (of any colour) may be placed anywhere
on the table. Pieces must be placed resting on the table only, not leaning on or standing on other pieces. Native pieces may
be placed in any orientation. Prisoners may only be placed upright, unless the player has
another prisoner of the same colour still on his stash pad, in which case they may be placed in any orientation.
If the player makes a capture (see below), he removes the captured piece and places it on the stash pad of the player
playing the colour of the piece he played - this might not be himself! The turn then passes to the next player in sequence.
Once a piece is placed on the table it may not be moved or removed, except by being captured. If a player accidentally
disturbs any pieces while making his move, they should be returned to their previous position.
A capture is made when:
If all these conditions are met, the victim is captured and removed from the table. A captured victim may not be left on
the table. The captured victim is given to the player of the colour of the just-placed piece. This is usually the player
who placed the piece, but might not be.
(Possible alternate rule: Captured pieces go to the player making the capture, not the player of the
colour making the capture.)
The player taking possession of the victim places it on his stash pad, where it
is now a prisoner. Prisoners may be played just like any other piece on a player's stash pad, with the orientation
restriction noted above.
- The piece being placed on the table is an attacker; and
- The piece being placed is pointing at a piece of a different colour (known as the victim); and
- The play causes the number of attackers of the same colour pointing at the victim to equal or exceed the victim's
A capture is not made in the following circumstances:
- A piece is played such that it has a number of attackers greater than or equal to its point value, and of a single colour,
pointing at it. i.e. The piece is played into a "capture" position.
- When a victim is removed another piece becomes exposed to a number of attackers greater than or equal to its
point value, and of a single colour. i.e. The other piece is exposed to a "revealed capture" position.
Game End and Scoring
The game ends when all the stash pads are empty. If a player runs out of pieces before this happens, he simply forfeits his
turns for the remainder of the game.
Points are tallied for each player as follows. Each piece of a player's colour is worth:
The player with the highest (most positive) score wins.
- Minus its point value if it is subdued for each colour subduing it, excluding its own colour. i.e. minus twice its
point value if two colours are subduing it, and so on.
- Minus its point value if it is pointing at a piece of its own colour, whether it is subduing it or not.
- Minus its point value if it is being pointed at by a piece of its own colour, whether it is subdued by it or not.
- Plus its point value if it is defending and neither subdued nor being pointed at by any piece of its own colour.
- Plus its point value if it is subduing a piece of another colour and not being pointed at by any piece of its own colour.
- Zero otherwise.
How to capture
Capturing a small piece is easy - simply place an attacker pointing at it. Capturing a medium or large piece is harder, since
they require multiple pieces pointed at them. If you place a small attacker pointing at a large piece, your attacker may be
captured before you can complete your own capture of the large piece. To capture a large piece safely, you need to make your
initial attacker a large pyramid, then a medium or large for the second attacker. This ensures your attackers cannot be
captured before you complete your own capture.
Since attackers are often placed with the goal of capturing the piece being pointed at, some thought should be given to what
the attacking piece will be pointing at after the victim is removed. It's no good capturing a piece and removing it only to
end up with all your atackers pointing at each other! If you are careful you might be able to line up another potential
victim, or a whole string of them, which you can capture in sequence on later turns.
What to do with prisoners
Clearly a good thing to do with prisoners is to point them at pieces of the same colour. This is only possible though if you
have at least two prisoners of the same colour on your stash pad. If not, you can try placing them in defending positions
where they are being pointed at by attackers of the same colour. It is not always possible to find such places however.
If you do have two prisoners of the same colour you can place one pointing at nothing and then next turn put your second
prisoner in its attack line (assuming nobody else does something to disrupt you).
Another option is placing prisoners into positions where you are subduing them.
Sometimes you want to capture your own pieces, if someone else has placed a particularly nasty group of your pieces all
pointing at each other. You can do this by capturing them with prisoners, but unfortunately your piece goes to the player
whose prisoners you used, who might be tempted to put it back if he can.
You can also use prisoners to build walls around your own pieces, to make it difficult or impossible for others to attack
When not to capture
Sometimes it is in your best interests not to complete a capture. If a piece you can capture is pointed at or pointing at
a piece of its own colour then you might be better off leaving it there to count as negative points to its player.
You could try playing this game in real time, with no turns - each player placing pieces whenever they like - but it was
designed as a sequential game. When played sequentially the game is guaranteed to end. This may not be the case for a real
time version unless a timer rule is added.
Game Design: David Morgan-Mar.
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