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Subject: Words, words, words rss

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Benny Sperling
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Dexikon is an interesting game to play as it is the second deck building word game to hit the market. Paperback was first with a Dominion sort of style where Dexikon looks to Ascension for cues.

I will say this first and foremost about Dexikon, being able to wipe the board and reset it before you buy is the best part of the game, so awesome and it keeps you from getting stuck.

I demoed it twice with 3 players. Once to get the rules down, once to really play it. Dexikon hums along with some downtime, but as long as the players are into word games it's pretty quick. Being able to spell is a benefit of course and the Scrabble players of the world will like that you have a rotating selection of letters each turn.

I thought collecting words for points was really clever. There is a balance of trying to collect the words at such a time that they pay off in big points, but also keep you ahead of your opponents. Since the game end is triggered by collection of words, I found myself focusing on that aspect while my opponents built their decks and worked on better words for more cards. That felt like a distraction from the goal to me and I did well with getting the Black letters that let me take away negative cards at the end and running up the score with my 5 and 7 point words ushered me to 2 victories.

I will say this about Dexikon, it is clever, it has decent replay value. The game worked for us in that we enjoy challenging games, but in being like Ascension, it ends up feeling more like Dominion as you can collect words for points or you can hold off and get more cards for your deck. In Dominion, always go for the points, same with Dexikon. Those cheap words may seem poor to your opponents, but in the end, you speed the game along and they are left wondering while they only scored 20 points.
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1 Lucky Texan
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yeah - really need to watch your opponents 'bank' and try to avoid pink cards. Also, fun to switch from 5-6 letter words to a huge word at the end.

(kinda wonder about using a timer at the end.)

Great game - probably second best word game I've played (i love Tisby ). certainly among the best that is actually available.
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Andrew Rowse
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During testing, I ran a few sessions where I asked another player to start banking early, having stressed to all the players that they should avoid ending the game with fewer than five banked words at almost all cost. In one test I was the early banker and started banking on turn one.

Because the sessions were run at different points in the game's development (with different mixes of abilities in the card pool), I can't give any sort of conclusive verdict, but it was definitely the case that the advantage lay with the late bankers (ie those who started banking on turn n+2, where n is the turn when the early banker started) when the early banker started banking before turn 5.

As n increased, the early/late effect became much less noticeable, and by n=10 the effect had been eclipsed by player skill. As a rule of thumb, I advise players against banking words worth less than 6 points, because adding a 0 or 2 cost card to your deck (buying at least one card is mandatory, and you only get half points rounded down to spend if you bank) tends to dilute your point-scoring ability in future turns.

Like all rules of thumb, once you get the hang of the game you know when to ignore the rule! For instance, if you have a few black cards, it's generally worth pushing to the end of the game quickly, because your deck won't have the in-game abilities that other decks do.

Great to hear that you enjoyed the game, and neat that you find the pool wipe the best bit. It's really interesting to see what different people find most appealing! For Eagle-Gryphon (the publisher), it was the 'last word' mechanic that was the hook, and Craig from the Botch Games podcast was delighted by the banking mechanic and always being able to spell 'outset' on the first turn (admittedly I'm quite delighted by that coincidence myself!)
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