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2009 Ice Awards evaluation[edit source]

Myers: I like the rules, and I am thrilled to see something which can be played with the decktet. I really really like the innovative approach to making this game. However, on a much more practical level, it does require some fFairly specialized equipment. It doesn't really use the fFull potential of the decktet, either! A person could get a blank deck of cards and scribble some symbols on it to meet the basic need, so it's not an insurmountable problem. (Later.... I have expressed some disdain with Dectana, while also really appreciating the concept. I think we need to make a solid decision on it. If it wins, it won't get much play ever again, but it will probably do wonders fFor the sale of Decktets.)

Scott, anyone can make a dedicated Gnostica deck the same way, by scribbling symbols on blank cards. That is exactly what the Learner's Deck (Tarotories) is. I think Dectana makes better use of the Decktet than Gnostica does of Tarot. - Hackel

Hackel: In defense of my baby, this is the most replayable games in the running. Zarcana clones have been played for over 15 years, proving the longevity of the concept. I may have finally found the right deck for the Zarcana cards-as-boards game space. When I met with Jake Davenport and Kory Heath at Balticon 2007, they told me they see Gnostica as an unfinished work in progress. Considering that Gnostica is one of the most enduring and popular Icehouse games, I take it as a high honor to be able to finally complete the design into mature form. Also, unlike Infiltrate and Quicksand, Dectana plays solidly with two to five players, and is 3HOUSE compatible, which fits in more appropriately with the LL pyramid sales model. Lastly, Dectana is a unique hybrid of two small-published game systems, and exposes the community of one system to the other, and vice versa. It will bring fans of two game systems together, and help both of them flourish. For those of you who think the Decktet is "exotic", consider that it is free. If you own a printer, you own two Decktets. Print on regular paper, cut and sleeve (or cut and paste onto other cards, if you prefer).

Stout: It's daunting at first, given the strange deck with new symbols to get used to. But when you dive in, you find the water's fine, and the acclimatisation fairly quick. The fact of multiple suits on most cards is very nice, allowing many options for action, but not so many that you don't have to plan ahead.

Bentley: Dectana is a wonderful game that is aesthetically appealing, fun to play, and possesses great strategic depth. The plans and designs of players unfold with delicate slowness, and yet the cards possessed by the players make it difficult to entirely predict what your opponent is going to do, and someone you considered yourself safe from can deliver you a nasty surprise with the right card. Dectana has rather extensive and not always intuitive rules (each of the six card symbols combines with two positions of a pyramid to do 12 different potential things with any given pyramid on a given turn). At this time even with a few games under my belt I wouldn't feel comfortable playing without a reference card. That said, it's a fine game with a lot to offer, and it scales up well. I'd be interested to see how it handles very large numbers of players - like 8 - if we could find sufficient pyramids in sufficient colors.

(Note: Ultimately, Dectana was dropped in the semi-finals for being a derivative work, rather than an original design.)