As a new gamer who only really entered the hobby late in 2014, board game awards are less a chance to be annoyed that my favourite game didn’t win, but more a chance to find out what I really should have played from the previous year(s) and thus add some great titles to my collection or at least add them to the ‘to play’ list and hope I see them at a game group soon.
So this morning I watched the live stream of the Dice Tower Awards taking place at Dice Tower Con. I was a little disappointed to realise how few games I have played, but also pleased with myself that the hours I spend watching game reviews gave me enough insight to be able to predict many of the winners (though not quite as many as Eric Summerer).
Firstly...wooo Star Realms! – the only winner I’ve actually played and do really enjoy. I’m not sure that I rate it highly enough to think it should win both the Best 2-Player and Best Small Publisher awards, given that it is quite a simple game that hasn’t really done anything very innovative. That said I am addicted to playing, especially on Android and iOS.
Otherwise I’ve played a few of the nominees, namely Camel Up, King of New York and Legendary: Alien Encounters and Alchemists (Winner of the Best New Designer award) is on the pile of shame, waiting to be played, hopefully today!
Out of the winners in other categories there are definitely some games I really want to try, but there are a couple which just don’t appeal. To start with the negative, here are the ones which I won’t be seeking out to play in the near future;
- · Abyss – Winner of the award for Best Artwork
I’m currently not sold on this game. All that people seem to be talking about is how pretty the game is and I’m not one for buying a game just because it looks nice. If someone wants to tell me about the awesome game-play then maybe I’ll become more interested.
- · Ticket to Ride 10th Anniversary Edition – Winner of the award for Best Re-Print
I own Ticket to Ride: Europe, I’ve played the original Ticket to Ride and I prefer Europe. I just don’t see a need for the original game in my collection, no matter how awesome it looks. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen a friend’s copy and it truly looks awesome!
- · Dead of Winter – Winner of Game of the Year, Best Cooperative Game and Best Thematic Game
Obviously this game is taking the world of gaming by storm, but for me, the zombie theme doesn’t appeal and I really don’t enjoy hidden traitor games.
- · Tuscany – Winner of Best Expansion
Quite simply I don’t have the base game of Viticulture, I’ve never played the base game of Viticulture and I’m waiting for that opportunity.
And now to the positives – many of the games that a near the top of my list to try and also to buy, if I can just find some shelf space and justify some more expense! Also if you are near Southampton and willing to teach me any of these games – please let me know and we can play!
- · Splendor – Winner of Best Family Game
I honestly don’t know a lot about this game, but I’ve heard enough good things to think I want it and will enjoy it.
- · Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Winner of Best Components
I am scared of this game and its price tag. I’m really not sure that direct tactical combat is my bag. However I’m sure Amy will love it and given the credentials of the skirmish mode as a 2-player game, I’m sure at some point this will find its way into our collection. I do also really enjoy X-Wing Miniatures, so there is at least a precedent set for the fact I might enjoy it.
- · Spyfall – Winner of Best Party Game
Like Splendor I know very little about this game, bt I’m only hearing good things from the USA. Perhaps the craze hasn’t quit hit the UK yet, but expect to see it at gaming groups very soon.
- · Five Tribes – Winner of Best Strategy Game
As a Days of Wonder game and a winner of the Kennerspiel des Jahres award, this game is well and truly on my radar, I just haven’t had the chance to give it a go yet.
- · Tragedy Looper – Winner of Most Innovative Game
I find the idea of this game intriguing but it’s probably going to take a leap of faith to buy it. It sounds like a game you need to invest in, in order to really learn and understand the game. As such, people who already know the game are reluctant to teach the game and you also can’t gain an appreciation of the game in one play at a gaming cafe. So perhaps at some point in the future when I have some time to invest in a single game, I’ll give Tragedy Looper a go.
So thank you Dice Tower Awards for confirming a few of the next games in the queue for me to play and buy. Maybe next year I will be more critical when you don’t pick my favourite games, but this year, the fact that I could predict many winners proves that the awards do at least seem to reflect popular opinion.