Players 3-4
Length 60 minutes
Equipment Required standard piecepack, one set of PiecepackPyramids, one candle, paper and pen
Designer Tim Schutz
Version 0.4
Version Date 2002-12
License GNU Free Documentation License , dual-licensed CC BY-SA 4.0


It's the middle of the winter and WhirlpoolPond is frozen solid. You've been ice fishing, you've played hockey, you've done a lot of different ice sports and now you're looking for something new to do. How about a game of IceFloe? Never played before? Well, grab your chain saw, some spray paint, some small explosives and meet me on the pond.

First we start by spray-painting the large 5x5 grid of spaces on the ice. Then we drill a small hole in the middle of each space and place a small explosive in it. Next get your chainsaw and start cutting along the grid-lines to create the giant game board of 25 ice floes. OK, now we use the torch to light the fuse and remove the center ice floe with a "boom" and the game begins. You got a love a game that starts with a bang.

Time to play. This game is fairly easy to learn. There are 3 or 4 teams of six players. Players can jump from ice floe to ice floe, but be careful because if there is too much weight on one ice floe it might crack and into the lake and out of the game you go. Ice floes will be removed with a bang one by one and hopefully you're not standing on one when it goes, but hey you won't get hurt because the explosion is not that strong, it'll just break up that ice floe into little pieces and you'll be a little cold and wet, and out of the game. The game ends when a team has lost all of its players into the pond or all the remaining players are on one ice floe and then the team with the most points, which are scored throughout the game and have a lot to do with the size and weight of a player, wins.

Starting board of Ice Floe
Starting board of Ice Floe (prior to players taking turns placing their piecepack pyramids)


Example Game

An example game in PortablePiecepackNotation

GameType: Ice Floe
PlacePawns. pS@e11 pM@k6 pC@f0 pA@(0,5) 
RollDice. dS5@f11 dMa@k5 dC3@e0 dA2@(0,6) 
PlacePyramids. xn{S@h7,M@d5,C@j1,A@b1}; xa{S@d3,M@f3,C@j9,A@f9}; 
               x2{S@b5,M@b9,C@h1,A@j3}; x3{S@h5,M@d9,C@d7,A@f1};
               x4{S@h9,M@b3,C@d1,A@b7}; x5{S@h3,M@j7,C@f7,A@j5};
Round1. ?xS4-3L; ?xM3-f10; *4?Ca; ?xC2-g3; ?xAn-d4;-h4; *4?C2;
        ?d{S~5,M~n,C~n,A~a} . c5A@g11 c4A@k4 c3A@d0 cnS@(0,7) . *2?An . *?M2
Round2. ?xMn-3L;-2U; ?xC3-b8; *4?S4; ?xA3-3R; ?xSa-3L;
        ?d{S~5,M~a,C~n,A~a} . 2@g0; 2@d11; a@h0; */cf; ?c5~C ?c{4,3,n}~S . *2?Sn; *?S3
Round3. ?xC4-4R; ?xA3-3L; ?xSn-3L; ?xM2-2SE;-f8; *4?Aa;
        ?d{S~5,M~4,C~5,A~5} . ?c{5,3,n}~M ?c4~C . *2?M5 . *?S5
Round4. ?xA3-2UL;-b4;*4?A2; ?xS2-4U; 2?Ma-2U; ?xC4-i3;
        ?d{S~3,M~3,C~2,A~3} . ?c{5,4}~C ?c3~A ?cn~M; 
        a@(0,4); 2@k3; 2@(0,3); a@{k2,d11} . */cf; *3?C3; *?M4
{ Final coins: Suns: none; Moons: none; Crowns: none; Arms: none }
{ Final score: Suns: 3, Moons: 2, Crowns: 3, Arms: 0 }
An example game of Ice Floe
An example game of Ice Floe

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Reviews & Comments

One of the RecommendedGames. (./) (./) (./)

Has a similar "Survivor" mechanic to Rette Sich Wer Kann, but I like Tim's game better.


From the ChangingLandscapes page:

IceFloe is another game that displayed balance and polish, and was also surprisingly fun to play considering that it's pretty abstract in nature. I don't mean to imply anything against abstract games (which I'm a big fan of) but usually I think of them as providing "satisfaction" rather than "fun". The heart of this game is a clever secret voting mechanism for elimination of part of the board each round of turns. Two critical rules really make this work well; firstly, there is always one player (called the torch-bearer) who oversees the vote and in the case of a tie the torch-bearer gets to decide the outcome. This leads to some very interesting bluffing, temporary alliances, etc. It all feels rather Knizian in some ways. Secondly, table-talk is regulated. Talking is allowed but only in generalities, with the utterance of names, numbers, colors, etc. being sharply proscribed, with violators losing voting rights for one round. Altogether it's a highly enjoyable game. Thanks Tim! One last thing; the rules suggest that the torch-bearer be identified by an actual burning item such as a candle that can be passed to the next player between rounds. This is essential for proper enjoyment of the game. We used one of those giant stand-alone candles (3" dia. by 8" high) and it was very satisfying to have the torch passed to you at the beginning of a round.


BGG page:

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