Sunday, November 15, 2009

TSR's Weird Little Minigame: Icebergs

It’s hard to know what was going through the minds of the marketing team at TSR when they decided to go ahead and publish the little minigame called “Icebergs” by Tom Wham. Wham also authored Snit’s Revenge (and others), another TSR minigame which originally appeared in an issue of Dragon magazine, several years earlier. The idea of navigating a supertanker through treacherous icy waters seems something more likely to be exciting in the form of an Atari videogame (big at the time), rather than a hex map, turn and counter based game. I’ll say this though, as a wargaming, rpg playing kid I would buy just about any new game TSR put out if I could afford it, and yes, I actually bought this back in the day (along with Saga, Vampyre, and a number of other mini games by Steve Jackson and Mayfair). From that perspective, they might have made a nice little profit from these.

The idea here is to move your ship from one side of the map to the other, avoiding ice floes and icebergs. That’s really it. You can move ice floes and icebergs to impede other players. You can play solo by rolling d6 to randomly determine the movement of floating ice.

Maybe the intent was to give some kids something cool (cold, that is) to think about on their Summer camping trip or in the motor home on the road or something. Too much wind or movement would quickly destroy a game though, due to the small size of the map and counters. I don’t remember ever actually playing this game, it may well have been the first of many games that I’ve bought where this is the case.

Here are some scans:

Map Detail
Map Detail - Ship Stats

Counters (This scan is of the counters actually printed on the inside of the rear cover, kind of nice in case you lost the heavier card-stock counters. The originals came in eight colors.)


MIK said...

There's an awesome boardgame to play with kids out called "Hey, that's my fish!" and it uses this same mechanic, maybe TSR was just way ahead fo their time!

edit: sorry, typo!

Don Snabulus said...

Maybe that is how the Titanic sunk. Some jealous captain of another boat rolled a six and moved the iceberg in front of the Titanic. ;)

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