I C E F.A.Q.

GUIDE

COMPONENTS/SETUP

How are the components meant to be stored in the insert?

Please follow these images shown here, and you will see where everything is meant to be:

Does the Insert hold sleeved cards? What about the contents of the upcoming I C E Companion Set?

The insert indeed has room for sleeved cards AND the Companion Set!

Speaking of sleeves, how many cards are in the game, and what size are they?

There are 83 cards in the base game (both Standard and Deluxe). They are Standard European Poker size (63mm x 88mm, 2.5″ x 3.5”). The I C E Companion Set mini-expansion has an additional 32 cards of the same size.

In the deluxe edition, what is the smaller black cloth bag used for?

That is used to hold all of the Archaeologist meeples between games!

The 4 magnetic pieces of the I C E board don’t seem to match up properly. What am I doing wrong?

Nothing — the pieces are not all identical or symmetrical, and all 4 are unique and only go a certain way. Keep switching the pieces around until you make a perfect hexagon. The more you do it, the more you learn how it goes and it becomes easier each time.

In the deluxe edition, what is the small white triangular-shaped thing with a modified This Way logo (guitar pick) for?

This was a free post-campaign gift we gave to Deluxe backers. It’s not necessary to use for playing I C E, but some players may find it more useful in lifting tiles when excavating.

ACTIONS

BUILD A CAMP

Is it possible to place a Camp on a tile that already has one?

No it is not possible.

Can a Camp be built on Nunatak tile/ Tunnel tiles / or a tile with Archaeologists? And can Camps be built on tiles below the surface Snow layer?

The only prerequisite for building a Camp is that the tile you are placing it on is not covered by another tile.
So you can build it on Nunataks, Tunnels and tiles with Archaeologists. Even Artifact tiles, whatever the depth, as long as they are not covered by another tile.
As explained in previous question, you just can’t build a Camp on a tile that already has a Camp!

CALL

What happens if there are no more Archaeologists in the reserve?

You cannot use the Call an Archaeologist action.

CONSULT THE REGISTER

I want to perform the action Consult the Register but there are no more Request cards in the deck.

Shuffle the cards from the discard pile and form a new Request deck.

EXCAVATE

When Excavating and revealing 3 tiles underneath, and some of those tiles were already partially revealed and have Explorers on them, do we need to account for them when placing our own Explorers using the Placement rule?

Yes, absolutely! For example, if you excavate a tile with your Leader and 3 Archaeologists (so 4 Explorers in total – see Example A below), and one of the revealed tiles already has two Explorers on it, you won’t be able to place any of YOUR Explorers on that tile, as you need to distribute as evenly as possible. (So the other two tiles would then have 2 each of your Explorers – see Example B).

Example A
Example B

If I excavate a tile that is partially covered by another tile, and the overlapping tile above has Explorers on it, do those count towards the excavation cost reduction for the tile I’m trying to excavate?

No. Only the Explorers on the tile your Leader is on count towards any reductions in Excavation costs. Any components on a tile overlapping the tile you are excavating will be returned to the reserves (the exception is any other Expedition Leaders, which are returned to the Guild Boards of the respective players).

Does a tile with a Nunatak and a Camp on it cost me 5 EP to Excavate? Or if that same Nunatak/Camp tile is the only tile overlapping an Artifact tile underneath, would excavating that Artifact cost 6 EP?

No, the excavating base cost can never be more than 4 EP, even with multiple cost modifiers.

When using the Placement Rule, is there also a placement order for the Explorers that needs to be followed (like placing Leaders before the Archeologists)?

You can place Explorers (Leaders or Archaeologists) in any order you want, as long as they are evenly distributed among the revealed tiles as possible. Only with the Icewalker, there’s an order: you’ll want to place the Archaeologists first (using the Placement Rule), and then use the Icewalker’s ability to place the Leader on any revealed tile afterwards (without placement restriction) once per turn.

What happens to a Camp if there is no valid place to put it after excavating a tile that had it?

If after excavating a tile with a Camp, you cannot place it on a valid tile (which includes a tile already with a Camp, or the edges of the board), put it back in the reserve.

Collapse Rule: If after an Excavation, there’s a tile remaining somewhere that’s only connected to one other tile, it collapses and is returned to the bag. But what happens if by doing that, another tile suddenly has only one edge touching another tile — does it collapse too?

Yes, several tiles can removed this way in a “chain collapse” — so it’s important to keep that in mind when excavating, as it could be beneficial to your gameplay.

MOVE

How does moving along the edges of the board work?

Each layer of tiles in I C E is smaller in size than the previous layer, which means when you excavate along the edge, you won’t reveal 3 “loose” tiles as normal as some of what is revealed will be the edges of the board instead. However these spaces (which after much excavation along a single edge might appear as one long connected tile) must still be treated as if each Excavation reveals 3 “spaces” as normal. (The printed art on these edge areas makes it clear what is a “space”). These spaces can be moved upon as normal, and MUST be used when distributing Explorers following the Placement Rule after an Excavation.
The only edges of the board you can never move along are those on the very first surface (Snow) layer.

“Rifts” on Snow Tiles cannot be crossed with a regular move action. But what about when using the Build a Camp or Call actions? Do we have to account for any rifts that may be between our current tile and the tile we intend to move to?

No. Think of the Build a Camp and Call actions as “teleporting” the meeples in question to the tile you’re placing them on. Rifts do not affect this action.

An Expedition Leader can bring up to three Archeologists with them, but is 4 the limit for how many Explorers can be on a tile?

There’s NO limit of Explorers that can be on a single tile! You can bring your own maximum number of Explorers to a tile that already has many of them on there, AND use stuff like the Exalted Artifact, “White Spiders” Snow tile, or other tiles/effects to bring even more… (granted some tile spaces, especially partially covered ones, can be way too small to fit so many Explorers — so in those cases sometimes it’s better to place them all outside the board first (you can always use the top tile of the Snowflake pile as a proxy without looking at it), then Excavate the tile the Explorers would have been on (since you’ll clearly have enough for a free excavation) and then start bringing them back to the board by evenly distributing them among the revealed tiles (which could possibly trigger even more free excavations).

FREE ACTIONS

There are many types of free actions mentioned, but does that mean you can do each one only once?

You can potentially do multiple different free actions in a single turn, and it completely depends on the action and whether it specifies any limits:
SNOW TILES: You can play as many of these as you have in a single turn. (A maximum of four, since that is the Snow tile limit)
ARTIFACTS: All are free (except Exalted, which uses 1 of your EP of your turn), and they can only be activated once per Day (unless you’re playing Incandescents and using their activation token, which allows a 2nd trigger of an Artifact per Day)
GUILD ABILITIES: They are indicated on the boards and are either once per turn, or once per Day, or in the case of the Enlightened trigger after excavating but before revealing the tile.

SNOW AND SNOWFLAKE TILES

With a limit of only 4 Snow Tiles in hand, what happens when a player excavates a 5th Snow tile? Can they look at it or exchange it with one in their hand?

No. If you excavate a Snow tile when you already have 4 in hand, you must discard the new one without looking at it. However, you can always use a Snow tile at any time during your turn (right before excavating) as to not discard anything.

When using the “Boreal Smilodon” and placing it on a tile, does anything happen to the Explorers on that tile? (Are they “eaten” and removed from the board 🙈)?

Explorers are used to dealing with these creatures and can usually defend against their attacks (as shown on the art), although sometimes fatalities may occur within the Lore of this universe. For game mechanic purposes, when a Smilodon is placed with “Boreal Smilodon” (or the Smilodon logbook card), the tile simply becomes inaccessible until the Smilodon is removed.
An inaccessible tile:
— Cannot be excavated (but can still collapse). The tile under it can still be excavated if there is only one tile on it.
— Explorers cannot move onto this tile, but can leave it.
— Explorers who should be placed on this tile are returned to the reserve instead. It doesn’t matter where the effect that triggers this comes from (it can be a Snow tile, a Logbook card or a Call action).
— Explorers already on the tile are not affected in any way (apart from the fact that they cannot excavate the tile). They can be moved away with an action, a tile or any effect that moves them off the tile.

For example, if a player has an Expedition leader on a tile with a Smilodon and moves to another tile (via the Move action), the Archaeologist on the original tile will follow him leaving the Smilodon alone.

“Charisma Stone”: When it says “you may control any Expedition Leader as your own,” what exactly does that mean? Can I also use that Leader’s abilities?

No! We regret not explaining this better in the rulebook, but only basic actions (that all players are allowed to do, such as Move, Excavate, etc) are allowed. Additionally:
— You cannot use the other Leader’s abilities OR your own while using “Charisma Stone.”
— You MUST use up your own allotted actions.
— You can split your allotted actions of a turn and use 1EP to move your own Leader, and then use “Charisma Stone” (by spending 1RP) and use your second EP for controlling the other Leader.

“Swarm of Polar Termites” says you can excavate a Snow tile for free if your Leader is on it in the rulebook, but then says “You may Excavate a tile that is partially covered” — how can a Snow tile be covered if it’s the first layer?

You can use “Swarm of Polar Termites” to excavate a Snow tile (the top layer) OR a Snowflake tile (the extra tiles set aside in the game that can come into play). The “partially covered” explanation is there because in rare instances (like using 2 “Whistle of Storms” tiles) this is possible with Snowflake tiles.

Can I use a “Whistle of Storms” tile to place a tile on top of the tiles on the first level?

You cannot place tiles above the Snow level.

I need to draw a Snowflake tile but the tile pool is empty, how do I do that?

If the Snowflake tile reserve is empty, take a random tile from the discard bag. If you draw an Artifact put it back and draw another tile.

ARTIFACTS

The Exalted Artifact effect says to pay 1EP to pull adjacent archeologists to your tile. Can you use that if you have already spent 2EP that turn?

No. The 1EP to use the Exalted Artifact must be from one of the mandatory 1-2 EP that you need to use on your turn.

Philosophical Artifact: Are you allowed to peak at the tile that is going to be discarded before recovering it with this Artifact’s ability?l

No. You can’t ever peak at any tiles that are being discarded, unless you’re committing to recovering it using the Philosophical Artifact.
Honestly it’s uncommon that you would have more than one chance to use the Philosophical Artifact in a single Day, so you might as well take a tile when you can!

Can I use the Philosophical Artifact power to collect a tile discarded by the Obliteration Artifact?

Yes! That’s one of the powerful Artifact “combos” you can make.

What is the maximum number of Artifacts I can send to the City area per Day?

Normally 3, but you can send up to 4 Artifacts to the City with the Resend action.

When sending Artifacts to the City, do we have to choose from the topmost Artifacts that are on each stack only?

No, you can choose from ANY Artifacts on your Guild board.

Can I benefit from the effects of Artifacts sent to the City?

No. Artifacts sent to the City are no longer present on the Guild boards, thus no longer count towards unlocking an Artifact’s effect.

When placing Artifact tiles into your City area, the rulebook says to place them face down. At the end of the game those tiles are turned face up. Can players look at their own Artifact tiles throughout the game to check their symbols for end game scoring?

Yes, you can look at your Artifacts sent to the City at any time! The idea was to hide information from other players, not yourself.

GUILD BOARDS

For Incandescents, does the Artifact (that your leader stands on to place your Activation token) need to be completely uncovered, or can it still be covered with 1 or 2 other tiles?

It does NOT need to be completely uncovered! As long as you can see the type of artifact it is, in can be activated with the Incandescent token.

Since the Guilds have asymmetrical abilities, is there a level of “difficulty” for them that you can share, or strategy tips, so I can use that for new players depending on their overall skill levels in playing boardgames?

Yes – we will rank the Guilds in order from what we believe is easiest (first) to most difficult to play (last):

— Nourishers: While this is actually the easiest ability to learn (instead of using the Call action to bring an Archaeologist to a Camp, you bring it to your Expedition Leader’s tile instead), the strategy of how to best use that ability is a little trickier to master. Use the ability earlier in the game to get more Archaeologists sooner to make more powerful excavations in later turns. Sometimes it’s beneficial to Call an Archaeologist so you can do a free excavation right afterwards, while other times it may be better to do a Call action post-excavation to have an Archaeologist already with you for your next turn (though be careful of nearby Leaders who may steal your Archaeologist on their turn).

— Alchemists: Every day they can grab up to 3 tiles from the discard bag and choose one to keep. The only thing to remember is to actually do it every Day, and to pay attention when there’s enough (at least 3) to choose from, though you could always use the ability when there’s less than 3 (especially if you know which tiles are in there and want a better chance of getting the one you want). Also remember that once Artifacts start to be discarded, they can potentially be amongst the tiles you grab!

— Icewalkers: Their ability is quite powerful and easy to understand (after excavating, place Archaeologists first using the Placement Rule, then place your Leader on any of the revealed tiles with no restriction). Beware that due to being so powerful, this is the only Guild that starts with zero Renown, which means the Overwork action is not possible until Renown is discovered from using a Snow tile, or from earning it by sending Artifacts to the City. Note: This ability can only be used once per turn, so use it at the best moment to maximize excavations. Also, this ability works well when your Leader is with 2 Archaeologists, or 4 or more. With exactly 3, the placement won’t be any different than other Guilds.

— Enlightened: The rule for them is actually quite easy (predict which type of Snow tile or shape of Artifact before you’re about to excavate, and receive 1EP or 2RP respectively if correct, with a 1-in-3 chance for each). This is the only Guild with “luck” as a factor, and can definitely be played by newcomers if they enjoy more random gameplay (it’s also just fun to play for players who don’t take their games too seriously) — though we also recommend it for players who have played the game a few times at least. Because if you familiarize yourself with the tiles well enough, and pay enough attention to what’s been excavated/played already, you can start to better increase your odds with the guesses. That’s why they fall in the middle of our rank — even 1st-time gamers can play them with no problem, but expert players will have the best advantage.

— Incandescents: The ability is easy enough to understand (when your Leader is on an Artifact tile, even when covered by 1-2 tiles, use the Activation token to use that artifact‘s ability regardless of whether you have excavated that Artifact type yet). But this ability can’t be used until players have started excavating, and you need to keep track of the Artifacts that are nearby you and plan and strategize moves ahead accordingly.

— Navigators: Up to 3 Archaeologists can follow the Navigator on ANY move action (including the Build a Camp and Call actions, and the Ice Manta Ray Snow tile). But it’s tricky to get that many Archaeologists with you when excavating, since the Placement rule splits you apart often. That’s why it’s important to use the Call action whenever you are on or near a tile with a Camp to get more Archaeologists with you earlier in the game. Pay attention to tiles like “Abseiling Rope” which is even more powerful for the Navigator. Also be aware of moments where you can Build a Camp or Call yourself to a Camp where other Archaeologists may already be (even if you have less than 3 with you). With enough planning ahead, you will soon see how useful this Guild can be.

— CryoArchitects: This guild can be quite powerful when used properly, but most beginning players have trouble using them effectively as they forget to use their ability or don’t quite understand it. Use The Build a Camp action whenever possible and near other Camps, and optimize your moves using these camps as often as you can. NOTE: Camps still modify the costs of Excavations (+1) for CryoArchitects, but their ability essentially nullifies this extra cost.
After excavating a tile with a Camp, it’s important to strategize where you place your Camp afterwards. (It can be placed on any revealed tile, as long as it’s not an edge, and does not need to follow Placement Rule).
Try to use Camps to make it harder for nearby leaders to excavate tiles you might want.

EDIFICES & ENDGAME

Can an Edifice tile with just one tile above it be excavated?

An Edifice can never be excavated. It’s only “discovered” when all tiles above it are removed, and then gets automatically flipped over (no need for the excavation action).

What happens if an Edifice is revealed triggering the end of the game, and then an additional Edifice is also fully uncovered during the last round of turns?

Any other Edifices that may get uncovered are not revealed, and do not score any additional points. In the rare occurrence that two Edifices are uncovered at the same time, the active player must choose only one to be revealed. VARIANT: Players can choose to reveal additional Edifices that get uncovered, and can decide to use their effects in future games. However, no additional points are scored for these additionally revealed Edifices – only the first player that discovered an Edifice scores 2 RP for triggering the end of the game.

When we “discover” an Edifice, are we supposed to remove it and have it on display for the next game?

We don’t recommend removing any of the 12 Edifice bottom layer tiles as that may affect the stability of the structure of the layered board.

(We created the Edifice Deck for the I C E Companion Set so that the discovered Edifices could be displayed as cards, to have a visual reminder of which Edifices you’ve found and how they will affect your next games. The Companion Set also features an extra 13th Edifice tile, which means you could actually leave the last discovered Edifice on display).

In the meantime, you’ll have to rely on memory for which Edifices you’ve discovered and refer to the Edifice booklet (which you could leave open on display) instead.

VARIANT: If you’d like to ensure you never discover a previously discovered Edifice in subsequent games, flip over the Edifice tiles to their “discovered” side when setting up the board. (It’s ok that players see and memorize where they are).
When an already discovered Edifice is completely uncovered, nothing happens. It can’t be excavated, and it does not trigger the endgame. A new face-down Edifice must be discovered instead to end the game (unless the game ends because it’s the end of the 7th Day).

When it says all players get an extra turn after an Edifice tile has been discovered, does that mean even players who ended their Day and already sent Artifacts to the City?

No – players are allowed one more turn only if they still have actions left!
Additionally, it’s important to remember that if you still have Artifacts on your player board, this last turn (if you have EP remaining) can be used for the Resend action allowing up to 4 Artifacts to be sent to the city, which also ends your Day.

SCORING

Can I validate a Request card with 3 Animas with my two 2-Anima Artifacts?

You can validate Request cards with more Anima than you actually need. The extra anima is wasted, however, and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Why is there no “tie-breaker” if more than one player receives the same highest score?

The designers aren’t fans of this, and believe that if more than one player gets the high score, that the victory should be shared!
However we’re aware that there are some more competitive players who prefer tiebreakers. We will leave that up to our community (and their own creativity) if they want to come up with some and use them.

What is the “Old” and “New” on the bottom of the Scorepad for?

Old and New are referring to the Edifice Tile you’ve discovered on the previous Expedition (your last game) and the one you discover in the current one. Because in most games (except the ones that finish because you reach the end of the 7th day) you reveal an Edifice tile.

VARIANTS

When playing in SOLO mode, there are a few event cards and tiles that refer to the player with the fewest of something (e.g, fewest Snow tiles in hand). So does that always mean me, and I just take the effect?

Yes indeed. These cards are part of the additional logbook card pack and won’t be in the base game. They are designed to balance a multi-player game, but can also be played in a single-player game. They’ll just make your game a little easier. So it’s up to you to adjust the difficulty to suit your needs.

In SOLO and COOPERATIVE modes, how are the tiles “Boreal Smilodon,” “Charisma Stone,” and “Whistle of Storms” supposed to be used, since they seemed designed for competitive modes?

The instruction for this was on the bottom of page 16 of the rulebook, but we understand this may have been missed since it was not connected to the actual Solo and Cooperative sections. In these two modes, a player can discard one of these 3 Snow tiles at any time to gain 1 EP + 1 RP.

In SOLO and COOPERATIVE modes, can the discovered Edifices be used in subsequent games, just like in multiplayer?

You can absolutely use the Edifices in the solo/coop variants of the game!
However these were originally created with multiple players in mind, so some Edifices don’t work as well in solo, such as “Containment Sphere — which only works when other Expedition Leaders are on the board. And for Monolithic Lotus, the player in question (with fewest artifacts who then gains one EP) will always just be you, and just makes your game easier. We recommend if playing solo and discovering these Edifices, to simply choose another one randomly as “discovered” to use next game. (The Edifice Deck from the I C E Companion Set will make this process easier).
Many other Edifices will score you more RP in your games, while Sentry Wurm (which can work great in a competitive game), can be used instead to move Explorers as you see fit. They definitely add variance to ANY game of I C E, so feel free to use them!

In COOPERATIVE mode, does fully revealing an Edifice tile still end the game?

Yes! But if you do so before completing the objectives for your player count, you will lose the game! So be careful this doesn’t happen before that.

2-PLAYER variant rule: Could you use only 1 EP each turn to move the two spaces and end your turn. In doing so all 5 of your EP would actually allow you to move 10 total spaces?

Yes, this is possible!

Using the 2-PLAYER 2-space Move, can all Archaeologists be “picked up” along the way the same as a 1-space move.

Yes any time your Leader is on or passing through tiles that contain Archaeologists, you can bring them with you (but must always respect the 3 Archaeologist limit).

MISCELLANEOUS

What is the difference between “fully revealed ” and “fully uncovered” tiles?

They both mean the same thing:
A tile that has no other tile overlapping it. It can, however, have other components on it: Explorers, Camps, Smilodons, etc.

What is the maximum number of EP I can start with in a Day?

The reserve of EP can be increased during the Day, but cannot exceed 7 EP.

I need to take a RP token but there are no more available, what should I do?

RP tokens are the only inexhaustible elements of the game. If the supply of RP tokens is empty, use a substitute. Please note when scoring Decrees and Requests at the end of the game you can simply write the scores directly on the scorepad without having to collect Renown tokens first.


Some graphic elements on the tiles or cards seem to not be used in the game…

There is a Soft Legacy component in I C E, represented by the variants brought by the Edifice tiles. These graphic elements will be used by some Edifices.

ERRATA

Page 24:

In the English rulebook only, the text explanations for the “Cataclysm” and “Smilodon” cards were accidentally swapped. 

On the 1-page Expedition Note (Kickstarter Versions):

The extra cloth bag was mistakenly labeled as “sand colored” but it is actually black.