Just in case you haven’t heard the latest news about boardgaming awards, here’s what I think about the Dice Tower Awards winners and the IGA nominations:
Dice Tower Awards
Game of the Year – 7 Wonders
Best Family Game – Forbidden Island
Best New Designer – Tory Niemann for Alien Frontiers
Best Reprint – Survive: Escape from Atlantis
Best Production Values – Dust Tactics
Best Small Publisher – Clever Mojo Games for Alien Frontiers
Best Party Game – Wits & Wagers Family
Best Expansion – Dominion: Prosperity
Best Innovative Game – Catacombs
Best Artwork – 7 Wonders
Best War Game – Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-?
I’ve been a big supporter of the idea for the Dice Tower Awards from way back when it was originally called the Board Game Podcast Awards. Since podcasters and bloggers probably have their finger more on the pulse of the hobby, it only makes sense that they would have a valuable opinion when it comes to things like awards. I also like having a large slate of awards rather than just one or two big awards, since it helps highlight games for the role they fill rather than just trying to shoehorn every game into the same mold.
All that said, I think that this is a truly excellent list of games. Tom Vasel has worked hard to put together a wide variety of podcasters and blogger to cover all sides of the hobby, so it’s no surprise that the game which appeals to almost everyone, 7 Wonders, took the Game of the Year award. It’s won pretty much everything else so far, and I’d say it’s deserving. (And by the way, Tom, if you’re looking for more contributors, I’d love to participate! )
I’m obviously a big fan of Forbidden Island and Catacombs, so I’m happy with their wins. Alien Frontiers is a really great game from a new designer and young company, so I think it’s a great choice as well. It’s great that Stronghold games got some love for its Survive: Escape from Atlantis, both because it’s a fantastic production and because it sort of validates their whole business model up to this point. I haven’t even played it, but everyone raves about Dominion: Prosperity, so I figured it’d win.
If I’m disappointed by anything, it’s probably the win by Dust Tactics for Best Production Values. It may well be worthy, but it’s more of a miniatures game than a boardgame, and I would have liked their nominations to be a little more focused on true boardgames for this list.
Still, though, in my mind the Dice Tower Awards are probably the strongest list of boardgame awards in the hobby, and I appreciate all the work that Tom and the rest of the “jury” puts into them.
International Gamer’s Awards
• 7 Wonders, by Antoine Bauza (Repos Production)
• Airlines Europe, by Alan R. Moon (Abacusspiele)
• Asara, by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (Ravensburger)
• Die Burgen von Burgund, by Stefan Feld (alea)
• Dominant Species, by Chad Jensen (GMT Games)
• Inca Empire, by Alan Ernstein (White Goblin Games)
• K2, by Adam Kałuża (REBEL.pl)
• London, by Martin Wallace (Treefrog Games)
• Navegador, by Mac Gerdts (PD Verlag)
• Troyes, by Alain Orban, Xavier Georges and Sébastien Dujardin (Pearl Games)
• Vinhos, by Vital Lacerda (What’s Your Game?)
• A Few Acres of Snow, by Martin Wallace (Treefrog Games)
• Battles of Westeros, by Robert A. Kouba (Fantasy Flight Games)
• Earth Reborn, by Christophe Boelinger (Ludically)
• Famiglia, by Friedemann Friese (2F-Spiele)
• What’s My Word?, by Joli Quentin Kansil (Gryphon Games)
Unlike the Dice Tower Awards, the IGA’s tend to be very euro-centric, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but is just something that you need to be aware of. They also usually focus on heavier games, and sometimes the games have barely even made over to the U.S. by the time they are voted on. So it’s a bit elietist, but still very solid and reputible.
From the Multiplayer list, I’ve only played four of the games (7 Wonders, Troyes, & Airlines Europe), but several others are on my wishlist and sound really great (most notably Die Burgen von Burgund, Dominant Species, Navegador, and Vinhos). I assume that 7 Wonders will win, but maybe something else will rise to the top in this group sort of like how Le Havre beat out Dominion for the 2009 award.
I’m frankly pretty much blown away by the Two-Player list, though. It’s got a couple of “euro” games, but then also has some Ameritrashy titles like Battles of Westeros and Earth Reborn on it, as well as a word game originally designed 2 years before I was born! I have no earthly clue what should win, but it’ll be interesting however it goes.
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