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Feedback Request [GDS] Feb 2011 "Entry #35 - D'ice Cubes: the Battle of Frostflake Pond "

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/15/2009

This is a request for feedback on my submission, which unfortunately did not make it past the first round. If you have any suggestions, or if something in the rules did not make sense, please let me know!

D'ice Cubes: the Battle of Frostflake Pond

25 white dice (d6)
4 blue dice (d6)
4 transparent pawns (sculpted minis): 2 each of 2 different colors
Set up:

Orient the 25 white dice like so: set 1 die to 6, 4 dice to 5, 5 dice to each 4, 3, 2, and 1. Place the #6 dice in the center of the board. Choose a player to go first. Then, taking turns, each player will take 2 of the remaining dice and place them on the board, with the following restrictions:

* Each die placed must be adjacent (left-right or up-down, NOT diagonal) to an already placed die. (see illustration)
* Each row or column of dice may have a maximum of 5 dice in it.
* Gaps in the grid are allowed (see illustration), but each row and column cannot have more than 5 dice in it.
* Leave some space between the dice, so that they are easier to pick up and change. But, keep the dice in a regular grid pattern when placing them.

Each player then places their 2 pawns on top of any die. Two pawns cannot occupy the same space.

The Dice:

The dice represent a frozen pond, with each die showing the relative thickness of the ice. Your two pawns represent a pair of penguin shamans (they always come in pairs) who have the ability to raise or lower sections of the ice. The goal of the game is to eliminate your opponent's two pawns by sinking the ice chunks they are on, while not getting sunk yourself.

Turn Order:

Roll: take 2 blue dice for each of your pawns and roll them. Arrange all of the dice in numerical order, from lowest to highest. These represent the actions that you can take this turn.

Move: move both pawns to any adjacent empty die. If you cannot move, immediately change the die that pawn is on down by one (6 becomes a 5, a 5 becomes a 4, etc). If that die was a 1, remove both the die and the pawn from the board.

Raise or Lower the Ice: Starting with the lowest blue die, the player must either:

* Drop all the white dice with the matching number by 1, including any dice that have pawns on them. For example, if the player rolled a 4, all dice showing a 4 could be dropped to 3s. Any dice that are dropped to below 1 (that show 1 and are dropped to 0) are removed from the board, along with any pawns that were on them.
* Raise only the die that your shaman is standing on by one, as long as the numbers match. For example, if the player rolled a 2, and one of his shamans was on a die showing a 2, he could raise that die only to a 3.
* If the one of the player’s shamans is on a 6, and the player rolled one or more 6s, he can choose to raise any other die by 1, or add a new die to the board, set to 1.
* If there are no dice on the board that match the rolled die, the die is discarded.

You must use a dice if there are dice on the board that match.

Play continues to the next player.


If a player rolls 2 or more of a number, there are two options:

* Drop all of the dice of that number by one, and discard any matching rolled dice. For example, if the player rolled two 5s, he would be able to drop all the 5s to 4s, but then wouldn’t be able to use the other 5.
* Raise a matching die that his pawn is on, and then lower all other dice that match that number. For example, if the player rolled two 5s, and one of his pawns was on a 5, he could raise just that 5 to a 6, and then lower all of the remaining 5s on the board to 4s.


If a player rolls a string of numbers, they can use them to raise a die (that his pawn is on) by 2 or more. For example, if a player’s pawn is on a 2, and the player rolls a 2, 3, and a 4, the player can (if they choose) raise the die from a 2 to a 5 in one turn (2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5).

Four Player rules:

For a four player game, split the players into two teams. Each team takes the turn steps together, but each player only rolls for their pawn. Teams may take their actions in any order.

drktron's picture
Joined: 07/18/2010
I liked this game and gave it

I liked this game and gave it a vote. I thought the use of the dice as an unstable playing surface was a creative and unique approach to a dice game. I even liked the cute theme, though penguins regularly swim in icy water.

Still not sure if the movement is mandatory or optional.
I see that the set-up phase is meant to be strategic but I don't see how useful it is. Maybe just a big roll to set up the board would be more time efficient.

Since you have to use all the dice per turn there's not much strategy. You either lower all the matching white dice or raise the one your penguin is on if it matches. So much of your turn is just dictated by your roll. Maybe roll 4 and use 2 or have a mechanism to reroll some would work better.

I think the game would be more interesting if you had more penguins and each had different values (like Survive!) and you had to move them to safety (point A to point B). Anyway, just a thought.

Joined: 09/15/2009
Thanks for the feedback. I

Thanks for the feedback. I believe that you are wrong about penguins swimming in icy water. But, with the theme, the penguins are trying not to fall into the water, so it's fine either way.

I need to make a few clarifications in the rules. That is a good point about movement being mandatory. In a recent playtest, we ran into a issue that one player was stuck right from the beginning of the game, so I am thinking of making movement optional. You can either move, or stay put and sink your own die, but also raise another die. Maybe lower your die by 2 to raise another by one? I will have to try playtesting that one.

Thanks again!


Joined: 04/18/2009
Yes normal penguins swim in

Yes normal penguins swim in sub-zero water al the time. But theese are penguin shamans. And they have a ancient ritual that they can onley perform while dry. So when a penguin tribes shaman comes across shamans from another tribe they challange them to battle. Getting them wet would make them not able to perform there ancient ritual. And the shame would forc them to not be shamans any more. (or the tribe have to be assimilated in to the winning tribe).

I did not know some penguins liked to dance (happy feet) and aparently you (drktron) do not know that much about penguin shamans =)

drktron's picture
Joined: 07/18/2010
I think having the movement

I think having the movement optional is better. I like the idea of sinking your own to raise another. Maybe you can only raise an adjacent die like a see-saw effect or a die of the same number.

Also what if every die you jumped off of sunk by one? That might make some interesting strategies to try to trap your opponent.

Just a few thoughts. Good luck with the game, seems like it would be fun to play.

@hulken: It all makes sense now. I must shamefully admit my lack of knowlege about penguin shamans. Thanks for enlightening me ;)

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