An Icehouse game for 2 to 4 players, one stash per player.  It’s also available in Playing With Pyramids.


In Pikemen, pieces are warriors with long spears.  Each turn, a Pikeman may change in the direction he is pointing and then orient his pike in any direction, including straight up for defense.  The player who captures a number of enemy Pikemen first wins.


Each player sets up his or her pieces based on the number of players, as shown below:

2 players:


3 players:


4 players:



  • Tallest player starts. Play proceeds clockwise from this player.
  • On your turn, you may move any one of your Pikemen any number of empty squares in the direction he is pointing. You may not jump over intervening Pikemen, but you may capture any opponent’s Pikeman that is not upright or any opponent’s smaller Pikeman which is standing upright. When you capture an enemy, your Pikeman stops in the square previously occupied by the captured enemy.
  • After moving your Pikeman, you may orient him in any of the eight compass directions (attack position) or stand him upright (defensive position).
  • You may decide not to move a Pikeman at all and simply reorient any one of your Pikemen.
  • Keep any Pikemen that you have taken. They count towards your score, with the smallest being worth one point, the middle being worth two points, and the largest being worth three points.
  • You cannot take your own Pikemen.


The first player to 12 points wins. For a longer game, agree to play to a higher number before starting.

Rule Clarifications

  • Your first move, and many thereafter, will be to reorient a Pikeman pointing out, into attack position.
  • Any Pikeman in attack position can be taken by any opponent.
  • After moving your Pikeman, if the square he lands in is not under attack by a smaller or equal sized Pikeman, it is probably to your advantage to orient him in attack position.
  • After moving your Pikeman, if the square he lands in is under attack by a smaller or equal sized Pikeman, you can defend your Pikeman by ending upright.
  • A large Pikeman standing upright cannot be taken.
  • If you have any Pikeman pointing at an opponent’s standing Pikeman, the standing Pikeman is pinned. If the opponent reorients the standing Pikeman, he can be taken.

Thanks to Adam Kopczenski for creating the setup graphics.
This game used to be called “IceChess,” but sounded too much like Martian Chess and was thus changed.