Like all award ceremonies, prepare to read a list of things picked by self-appointed experts that claim to have more authority on the topic than you do.
In this case me..... oh.... and some of my regular gaming gang who chipped in.
Several awards have been suspended from previous years. One, because i'm playing mostly with my regulars and not doing much community gaming and another because I don't think i read any new RPG books this year.
But there are new and exciting awards to replace them. But as always, we start with.......
For model that most made me want to give up painting because anything I do will not be as cool as that.
The "F**k this, I give up" award
While you might not like the art style because it is a little busy, the detail and level of artistry on these Titans is just humbling.
I mean, seriously.... look at that detail work. Ugh, it's just galling to see the level of talent some people have. I've done some pretty average looking banners, and I can write Cygnar lettering pretty well free hand. But that's like smearing crayons on the wall compared to this.
The "The distant future, the year 2000" award
For best solo game of the year
The "Pass me the lotion, I need some alone time" award
This is a new award, as I've spent a fair amount of time playing solo board games and really appreciate a game that can be played by one.
In the past I have played a lot of Arkham Horror solo, Zombicide, Pandemic, XCOM and pretty much any other pure co-op. XCOM won last years boardgame of the year off a strong solo performance as well as good group play.
But this year was a surprise for me as the winner is not a co-op. It's a competitive engine building game that becomes a puzzle game in solo mode.
That winner is.....
The solo game feels very different to the group play, and that's really charming for me. Thanks to Tabletop Simulator, I've played many solo games of this without the hassle of shuffling about 200 odd cards each time and setting up the board.
The "leading cause of paper cuts this year" award
The "What shall we do tonight, Pinky" award
7 Wonders, Terraforming Mars, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Spheres of Influence and Ghost stories were all new to the table for us this year. And every one of them was received well.
So, if I was to listen to my player group, the Winner would be Terraforming Mars with 7 Wonders as the runner up.
But for me, the best competitive Boardgame experience this year was easily Star Wars Rebellion, the first game to come along in years that could dethrone War of the Ring from my "top grand strategy game ever" slot.
Character driven, adaptive strategies, seems close every game, and really nice to look at. A solid game and the best 2 player experience this year easily.
The "Toy soldiers are serious business!" awardFor miniatures game of the year
Designing a skirmish game has been an interesting experience. And trying to make the game simple enough to play, yet deep enough to be rewarding, while not getting away from it's core design ethos has been a great challenge.
I don't think i'll be publishing it anytime soon as it still requires much work, but what a rewarding and enjoyable project, and the games have been legitimately fun.
The "The Computer counts as a friend, right?" award
For best PC adaption of a boardgame this year
This award also came about because the winner was just so good, and so much fun, that I had to create a new award.
Twilight Struggle on PC is a perfect adaption of the board game. It looks good, has good ambiance, nails the game play perfectly, and the AI is not mug. Sure, you can beat it, but you can't play badly and still come out on top.
Also, Twilight Struggle remains a high water mark for game design for me, so seeing this gem bought to PC made me very very happy.