This is an AutoGeneratedTextVersion of Activator
A game for the piecepack and piecepack pyramids by Michael Schoessow
Version 1.0, January 10, 2004
2 players, 20-40 minutes
License Agreement Copyright August 2003 by Michael J. Schoessow. These game
rules may be copied and distributed as long as the author is
credited or this header is left in place.
Equipment Needed 4 piecepack tiles (any 4). piecepack pyramids as follows: one A,
one B, two C, two D, two E, two F, in Red, and similarly in Blue.
(20 pyramids in all, 10 red, and 10 blue)
Activator is a 2-player game. One player is called Red and the other player is
Use the four tiles, grid-side-up, to form a square gridded board of 4x4 spaces.
board at 45 degrees rotation so that it appears as a diamond shape from the player’s
perspectives. The corner square closest to a player is that player’s home square.
arranges his own color pyramids as follows (and orients them so that the large suit
visible on the pyramids from his seating position). Place an F pyramid on the home
square. Place another F pyramid on the space diagonally adjacent to the home square.
Place E pyramids on the two spaces orthogonally flanking the home square. Place D
pyramids next to each E pyramid, so there are now two lines of F,E,D, starting from
home square. Stack the two C pyramids on top of the two E pyramids. Stack a B
onto the F pyramid setting on the home square. Now Blue arranges his pyramids in the
same fashion, on his end of the board. Lastly, each player stacks his A pyramid on
the other player’s home square, on that player’s B pyramid. This completes the set-
Home Square: the corner square closest to a player is that player’s home square
Piece: the B,C,D,E,and F pyramids are pieces.
Activator: the A pyramids are activators, and are distinct from pieces.
Stack: 2 or 3 pieces, setting one on top of another
Double: a stack containing 2 pieces
Triple: a stack containing 3 pieces
Single: an individual piece, not stacked
Ranks and Files: lines of orthogonally adjacent squares (as in chess)
Orthogonal: two orthogonal squares share a side
Diagonal: two diagonal squares share a corner but not a side
Object of the Game
Occupy the opposing player’s home square for a full turn or reduce the opposing
to a single piece or stack.
Rules of Movement
Red moves first, and thereafter, players alternate turns.
The rules governing singles and stacks are described first. Then the movement rules,
the effects of, activators are described.
Single pieces move one space, orthogonally.
Stacks of two pieces (doubles) move up to two spaces orthogonally.
Stacks of three pieces (triples) move orthogonally or diagonally, up to three
Taller stacks are not allowed.
Pieces and stacks require a clear path to move. They may not jump over, or move
through, other pieces.
Pieces may only be stacked onto larger pieces. In any stack, each piece in the stack
be smaller than the piece beneath it. Pieces in stacks need not be strictly
wise. For example a stack of (top to bottom) B,D,F is legal.
Note that activators are not considered pieces, so a single piece with an activator
on top is
still considered a single piece and not a stack. Similarly, a stack of two or three
topped by an activator is considered a double or triple respectively, and moves as
When a piece is moved onto the space of a larger friendly piece, a stack is formed.
Singles may also be stacked onto friendly doubles (or vice versa) to form triples.
may be deconstructed by moving off the top one or two pieces. A triple may be
deconstructed, either by moving off the top piece and leaving behind a double, or by
moving off a double and leaving behind a single. When deconstructing stacks, the
movement capability of the portion being moved is determined by the number of pieces
contains. It is legal to move the top part of one stack directly onto another
or stack. In all cases, each piece in a stack must be smaller than the piece beneath
When a piece or stack moves onto a space occupied by an enemy piece or stack, a
takes place and the enemy piece or stack is removed from the game. Stacks are not
powerful than singles, and triples are not more powerful than doubles, regarding
capturing powers. All pieces and stacks have the same capturing power, differing
their movement capabilities.
Activators have different movement rules than pieces and stacks do. An activator may
be captured. An activator must always rest on top of one of the opposing player’s
or stacks. Each turn a player has the option to move their activator, after moving a
or stack. The rules for moving an activator are:
• It moves orthogonally, up to 4 spaces, and does not require a clear path. Thus it
cannot be blocked.
• It must always rest on top of one of the other player’s pieces or stacks.
• It may not be placed on top of the other player’s activator.
Activators have the following three important effects on pieces and stacks:
• A piece or stack may not launch an attack unless it is resting on the same rank
on the same file as the friendly activator. In other words, the position of a
activator determines what squares that player may attack from (assuming there
are pieces or stacks in a position to do so).
• There will always be two spaces on the board that are the rank and file
intersections of the two activators (the intersection of one activator’s rank with
other activator’s file and vice versa). Pieces setting on either of these two spaces
are frozen. They may not be moved. This makes them vulnerable to attack. Note
that when the activators are both on the same rank or are both on the same file,
then the two rank and file intersections are coincident with the activators
themselves. Only pieces and stacks can become frozen however, not activators, so
an activator that is setting on a frozen piece or stack is not itself frozen. It is
for a piece or stack to end its movement on a frozen space during a move (but
then that piece or stack will become frozen).
• Pieces or stacks that are holding activators are immune to attack (an activator
confers immunity to the piece or stack beneath it).
Note: A piece or stack that has an activator setting on it is no different from any
other piece or stack as
regards movement and attack capabilities, and how they are affected by activators.
If a player moves
the piece or stack containing the opponent’s activator, then the activator goes
along for the ride. A
player may attack the opposing player using a piece or stack that holds the
opponent’s activator for
example (assuming the player’s own activator is in the appropriate position of
Winning the Game
There are two ways to win the game:
1) The first player to occupy the opponent’s home square wins the game, provided
the occupying piece or stack survives the opponent’s next turn, i.e., suicide runs
don’t win the game. When a player moves a piece or stack onto the opponent’s
home square, the opponent has one turn to capture the occupier. If the opponent
cannot capture it, the game is over. If the opponent does capture it, the game
2) When one player is reduced to owning only a single piece, or a single stack,
the other player immediately wins the game.