80s Australian band, called Flowers at first; they renamed themselves after one of their songs. Finest Hour: the Primitive Man LP - Iva Davies pulls off a convincing simulation of what Bryan Ferry and the on-hiatus Roxy Music would have been doing at the time (1981-2; Avalon wasn't out yet, IIRC). Davies later exhumed the bones of Davids Bowie and Sylvian as well. Also the name of a beer from "Plank Road Brewery", bogus entity from Miller.

An Icehouse Set (also referred to as a Martian Chess Set) is a collection of 15 pyramid-shaped game pieces, evenly divided among 3 different sizes. Each player needs their own set, in a different color. It can be used to play a complex abstract strategy board game, like chess for which the game set itself is named. But like a deck of cards, it can also be used to play a bunch of other, completely unrelated abstract strategy games - some easy, some complicated.

Icehouse itself is an abstract strategy board game played by 2 to 6 players. It is turnless and may be played on a board of any size or shape. It depends upon the concept of the touchmove to adjudicate play. However, due to the intricate arrangements of pieces that result in the course of a game, the accidental shifting of any piece on the board once it has been played (termed a crash) is penalized by the loss of the piece in the crashing player's hand.

Based upon informaton found at http://www.wunderland.com/icehouse/Default.html


I had been looking forward to a game of Icehouse against m_turner for sometime. It was to be at the The NoCal Super Layoff Unemployment Collecting BBQ Moonlit Bowling Noder Meet, where misuba brought his own set of pyramids. The three of us played a challenge match at dinner at the chain brewpub while noders looked on. I don't think that any of us were in top form. misuba won the game, at 23 of 30 points, subsequent matches were interrupted by appetizers.

There is an obscure rule in Icehouse that holds only when playing in a restaurant: Any pieces disturbed (touched or crashed) by the waitstaff are to be left in their "new" position. Unfortunately, the waitress refused to play along.

From the makers of Fluxx and Aquarius, Icehouse is a set of game pieces featured in the book The Empty City by Andrew Looney. The full text of the story can be found at:
http://www.wunderland.com/icehouse/emptycity.html

There are four colors of pieces, classically: red, green, blue, and yellow. The pieces come in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large. A full set of Icehouse will have 60 pieces, 15 of each color, and 5 of each size for each color.

Just as with any other set of game pieces, Icehouse pieces can be used in a number of games:

  • Ice Towers - A high speed game of pyramid stacking
  • Zarcana - A game of strategy played on a world of Tarot cards
  • Martin Chess - A chess like strategy game in which location (rather than color) determines ownership.
  • Ice Traders - A space opera game
  • Trice - Three player game of control of mystic symbols
  • Focus - An Icehouse and Magic: the Gathering hybrid
  • Igloo - A turned based boardless strategy game of connectivity
  • DNA - A game of mutation
  • Gridlock - Form chains on a chess board, harder than it sounds
  • Pantopia - Another territorial game for Icehouse and two decks of Aquarius
  • Ice Chess - Its chess, with pyramids.
  • Martian Go - A turn based strategy game starting from the root

Andrew Looney has a patent for Icehouse: #4936585

An icehouse used to be exactly what the name implies: a building used to store ice. The first recorded ones date back to Mesopotamia around 2000 B.C.; those rich enough to afford it would have snow and ice brought down from mountaintops and stored in straw-lined pits in the floor of the low building. A lot would have melted by summer, but enough was left to be useful for cooling.

The idea was popular; it spread or was thought of independently throughout the ancient world. The Romans introduced icehouses into the conquered portion of their empire, until even places as far from Rome as Great Britain had icehouses. Their popularity among the rich was seen as overly indulgent by others, though. Their use waxed and waned, reaching another peak starting in the seventeenth century. Ice from icehouses was not particularly clean or pure, though; it was often contaminated with straw or sawdust from the storage pit and not something a modern person would want to put in their drink.

The icehouse idea took off in North America, where the cold winters and hot summers gave both a supply of ice and a desire for it. In New England, ice harvesting from ponds and rivers became an industry; some was used locally and some was packed on ships and taken south to other colonies or even across the Atlantic to England. This kept on for years; a new type of icehouse invented in the 1820s reduced melting from 60% of the ice to only 8%. Along with horse-driven ice-cutting equipment rather than hand-sawing out block of ice, this caused the price of ice to become a lot more reasonable in the United States; the use of ice became a lot more widespread than it ever had been in Europe. This may account for the greater popularity of iced drinks in the U.S. than in many other countries. Large estates might have an icehouse that would hold several tons of ice just for family use.

The icehouse continued to be used even after electrical refrigeration was available; the name was applied to the building where ice is made rather than just stored. Large blocks of ice are still used by many food industries, as well as being carved into ice sculptures.

Sources:
Barr, Andrew. Drink: A Social History of America. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishing, Inc., 1999.
http://www.capepondice.com/history.html
http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/4079/History/IceCream/IceCreamHistory.htm

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