Origins and Spiel de Jahres

Well Origins was last weekend so it’s time to find out the winners and the losers.

Ogre Cave has the full list, some highlights: Dresden takes out best RPG, over and above the popular (DC Adventures) and the truly interesting (Fiasco, Dragon Age) and also picks up best supplement for its GM book. Clearly, I have misunderestimated this Dresden Files rpg.  Castle Ravenloft got best board game so clearly the rpg-board game hybrid is getting a lot of attention these days. Best card game goes to the rebranding of Chrononauts, because Looney Labs always sells well!

I was on the jury determining the short list for Best Family or Party Game and I’m disappointed that Zombie Dice won. I guess its because Origins is more for non-families, and also, gamers will vote for anything with zombies in it. Hamlet’s Hit Points – also dissed. Origins, you are a crazy mixed-up bitch.

Meanwhile, the Germermans know games and the Spiel de Jahres (game of the year) is always worth sitting up and staring at with gibbering intensity. This year it went to the family-friendly and brightly coloured Qwirkle – you have my attention, pretty coloured shapes! They also finally added a Best Game For Gamer Nerds category – the Kennerspiel de Jahres, or Connoisseurs’ Game of the Year, which went to 7 Wonders.  Wonders has been on my “must save up and buy” list all year, this tips it over the line.

Interestingly though, while Qwirkle looks all family friendly and you might suspect is of more general appeal, it’s actually a strategy game, whereas most of the BoardGameGeek crowd have dismissed 7 Wonders as being mostly about luck. One wonders if the Kennerspiel is not so much for connoisseurs, but for Eurogeeks who would be outraged that the American-made non-historical Qwirkle won the day?

Not to be bitchy, but surely the game of the year is going to be a game for connoisseurs already? Or are we still dividing the world into Regular People and Gamers? Wasn’t the whole point of Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride to get rid of that divide?

Food for thought. Or possibly games for thought.


2 thoughts on “Origins and Spiel de Jahres

  1. I played 7 Wonders on… let’s see… 44 times and
    I can tell your readers that it is a a game about tactics and not luck. You have to react to what the other players are doing, make decision every turn – on strategy : will you specialize ? In which domain? Will you try a little bit of everything? when do you stop laying ressources? who’s investing in Knowledge cards? The player you’re passing your cards to? So instead of giving him a card he needs, bury it in the building of one of your wonders… or do you prefer to play this other card, that you have just one chance to play?

    It’s not a game of chance. It’s a game of making the most of what fortune gives to you.

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