|Num.||Name / Alias||Ice-Offs||Finals||Awards|
|101||Eric Zuckerman||22||17||||22||134||Cooler Than Ice|
Prisoners are not nearly as big a deal as they used to be. I played in at least one game with no prisoners that was still fun. One time I got a prisoner due to a trade and wound up losing it due to some sharp playing by an opponent (Jesse). Jake wound up using a bunch of Icehouse-acquired prisoners to make a defensive wall, and squandered the last one on a ranged attack.
The Shotgun strategy is not as disruptive as it once was. As other players get used to the Shotgun, Jake is being forced to moderate his use of it, and incorporate non-Shotgun moves into his play. In short, the Shotgun is becoming just another strategy available on the palette. It's still a good one, but it's not an unbeatable one.
I think I saw more points squandered due to time than squandered in any other way. Even though we played with a 15 minute clock instead of a 10 minute clock as we have in other recent tournaments, it always seemed like the buzzer went off about three minutes too early. ...except when I was winning, had played all my pieces, and wanted the game to end before the other players ganged up to ice all my defenders.
Liam had the very best reaction to finding out he'd made the finals. To wit, "NO!" as in, "You can't *make* me play!" That was cool.
I couldn't have written the script for the finals any better than it came out. Nobody got more than one win so it was all down to points, which since we didn't have a visible scoreboard meant that nobody knew the winner until Dr. Cool finished his top secret calculations.
Super-congratulations to Eric Zuckerman on the Cooler Than Ice.
I totally forgot to mention Cordelia! She learned to play Icehouse that day from somebody in the Looney Labs booth and walked over to play in the tournament. I've never seen anybody learn the game that quickly. I was watching her learn strategies under pressure, playing in ways somebody else had played only moments earlier. This poor woman is going to be totally warped, learning most of her play style during a tournament. I was very impressed, though. Proof that you don't need years of seasoning to compete. (Also, didn't Liam just learn Icehouse back in March or something?
I agree with Eeyore that more games would have been better, even if it meant just 10 minute iceoff games. I will make sure that the next tournament has more time allotted to it. On a related question, a lot of people get fatigued in long tournaments or games, and they need a break from the tension. This is even more true with Icehouse because you need steady nerves to be able to make careful plays. However, I didn't have this problem and I think I could have played twenty games of Icehouse in a row and be as sharp or sharper in the last game as the first. Did other people get worn out and need breaks?
For me, prisoners were a very big deal, and I decided that very few people would be trading them with me. Most of the prisoners I got were from putting people in the Icehouse, which I did several times in this tournament. I feel kinda bad because putting someone in the Icehouse really crushes their score and makes the game no fun for them. I also feel like a vulture watching their stash and counting their defenders. On the other hand, nobody gave me a prisoner that I didn't earn from a trade or from an Icehouse call, so I felt that I played well. Naturally this is a concern for me because I'm always afraid that in a game like Icehouse where players can gang up on me that I've got a big target on my forehead. When I won the first round of the finals, I played my second round by not even putting any pieces out for quite a while, hoping that people would run out of pieces before they started the inevitable "kill Jacob" strategy. Fortunately there wasn't too much ganging up on anyone, and I had a great time playing. It goes back to my first paragraph, that I wish we had played more games.
Like Eeyore, I did see a lot of points squandered due to time. In fact, in the last game of the finals, I failed to play one of my pawns. You will notice from the score sheet that if I had played it, I would have tied for the last game and thus won the tournament. Ah, well. I've never practiced predicting how long 10 minutes or 15 minutes is. Has anyone else?
I was very excited about how many players we had, and I hope that future tournaments have even more.
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