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DODEKKA from Coiledspring Games, designed by Andy Hopwood of Hopwood Games.

DODEKKA is a gamer's corruption of the word DODECA which means a combination forming twelve.

Official Note:
Your goal is to collect the highest score from one element suit. Take a card or turn a card, but keep an eye on the Dodekka, if the total goes over 12 you might have to pick up all the cards and some of those elements will count against you. Dodekka is super fun and super quick to learn. With elements of strategy, probability, maths and a tiny bit of luck, Dodekka is a card game the whole family will enjoy.

DODEKKA, when in stock, is available from ZATU games online for the ridiculous price of £2.84. Wayland Games have it at £7.15 (also not in stock atm). Imagination Gaming and Amazon.co.uk appear to have it in stock for £10.00.  
Also.. dodekka is available from www.hopwoodgames.com for £5 plus postage.

  

There are five suits of cards that represent the elements:
Red = Fire
Blue = Water
Purple = Air
Green = Earth
Yellow = Ether
They are all shuffled together to form a single draw-pile/deck. From this three cards are placed/displayed in a row, side by side (this is the Dodekka), and the game is then set up and ready for play - no cards are dealt to the players. Play is from the chosen first player in a clockwise direction round the table.

A player's turn consists of one of two actions: Take the card nearest to the Draw Deck into your hand or turn over the top card from the draw deck and add it to the end of the Dodekka (display). The basic idea is to collect as many cards of one colour as you can, or at least the highest valued cards (they are 0-4) of one colour as possible.

If you take the card nearest the deck it is added to your hand, hands can be of any size - no limitations - though you may only add one card per turn by taking a card from the front of the display.

If you flip over the top card of the deck you must add it to the end of the display. Whenever you add a card to the Dodekka you must count up the value of all cards in the row. If they equal or are less than 12 you are safe. If the card you flipped takes the overall value beyond 12 then you must pick up all the cards in the row into your hand, then place the top three from the deck to form a new Dodekka display.

HOWEVER: If the card you flip over that takes the display value above 12 is the same value as the last card in the row then you are safe and may position it as normal. 

This can cause the next player a nasty conundrum. If they flip over the top card it has to be the same value as the card you placed, thus making (at least) three of the same value cards in the last space, or they can take the card nearest the deck. The problem here is that if the card removed from the first position doesn't lower the overall value of the display to 12 or below then all of the cards have to be collected by the player at turn.

When the last card from the deck has been flipped over or used to repair the display, the game ends.

Players decide which is their best set (highest value) of one colour of the cards they hold in their hand and declare its total value; this is your score. Then they reduce that value by the NUMBER of remaining cards in their hand NOT the value of those cards. Each remaining card is minus one point from your score and the resulting value is your Total Score for the game. The player with the highest Total Score is the Winner.

On the face of it DODEKKA sounds like a very simple game, and indeed the rules are not in any way complex or complicated. However the way it plays out has elements of skilful play as well as luck of the draw. The last game we played (due to Lockdown this was 2 player)  Fran flipped a card twice and both times drew a '4' which sent the value over 12 but was equal to the previous end card, while I took the first card in between her two turns. Then on my next turn, seeing how the cards were running, I flipped the next card, fully expecting another '4' and instead drew a '3'. As the first card was a zero Fran flipping the third '4' had forced me into flipping a card - taking the zero would still have left the value at 16 - so I ended up with all the cards in the row, plus the 3 valued card that I had drawn.

The outcome of our 2-player games has always been fairly close, the last being -2 to Fran and -7 to me; this was indicative of our general scoring (and yes, I do mean that Fran won more games than I did).

I find it hard to believe that anyone could value this imaginative game at £2.84. It is well worth the £10.00 Imagination Gaming and Amazon are selling it at. In fact with games lasting 10-20 minutes, playing it 4 or 5 times in the same session more than repays the cost.

This is a good game for families and games players. I wouldn't put it on a list for core or strategy gamers as there is more luck involved than most of them care for, but I would definitely bring it out for fun gaming sessions with friends and family. It is possibly not a great game to introduce new gamers to the board/card game hobby we all known and love, but it is a good social game for (almost) everyone.

Game Designers 2-Player House Rule: We house rule a two player game thus... split the deck and play two separate games. The second game is influenced by what you learned in the first. 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015