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Vote for the Charles S. Roberts Awards for the First Time since 2013

Candice Harris
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After a seven-year slumber, the Charles S. Roberts Awards have been reawakened thanks to director Tim Tow!

Named after the founder of the Avalon Hill Game Company, the Charles S. Roberts (CSR) Awards are the oldest board game awards, dating back to 1975. In fact, the awards were first issued at the Origins Game convention in 1975 and had been issued annually through 2013 with a hiatus until this year. Voting is open through June 15, 2020 and ballots can be submitted online, emailed to, or can you believe it? — sent via the vintage option of snail mail. I figured I'd pass this info along to hopefully get as much gamer participation as possible.

The rules for voting are pretty clear on the website, and you can vote for up to three games or individuals in as many or as few categories as you'd like — it's really up to you. The goal is to have as broad of a voter base as possible, so they're trying to make it convenient for people to vote.

Although the focus is on wargames, any game that has a historical or conflict simulation element would qualify, so pretty much any game or publication released in 2019 is eligible as long as it fits in one of the categories below:
Milieu Awards
• Best Ancients to Pre-Napoleonic Era Board Wargame
• Best Napoleonic Era Board Wargame
• Best Post-Napoleonic to Pre-World War 2 Era Board Wargame
• Best World War 2 Era Board Wargame
• Best Post-WW2, Cold War, & Hypothetical Era Board Wargame
• Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Board Wargame

Format Awards
• Best Solitaire/Cooperative Board Wargame
• Best Magazine Board Wargame
• Best Amateur / Print-and-Play Board Wargame
• Best Postcard/Small format Board Wargame
• Best Expansion or Supplement for an Existing Board Wargame
• Best Board Wargame Playing Components
• Best Board Wargame Map Graphics
• Best Board Wargame Rules
• Best Original Box Cover Art

Computer Gaming Awards
• Best Pre-20th Century Era Computer Wargame
• Best Modern Era Computer Wargame
• Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Computer Wargame
• Best Computer Wargame Expansion or Update
• Best Computer Wargame Graphics
• Best Board Wargame Computer Assist Module

Publication Awards
• Best Professional Wargame Magazine
• Best Amateur Game Magazine
• Best Historical or Scenario Article
• Best Game Review or Analysis

Overall Awards
• Best Board Wargame of the Year
• James F Dunnigan Award for Playability and Design
• Clausewitz Award HALL OF FAME
Since the 2012 CSR Awards were issued, Tow and the CSR Awards Board of Governors have modified the award categories to reflect changes in the board gaming industry in the past decade.

1) The first historical period (Best Ancients to Napoleonics) was divided into two categories because more games are released for these periods than in the past:
____• Best Ancients to Pre Napoleonic (anything before 1792)
____• Best Napoleonic (1792-1815)

2) The Board Wargame Graphics category has been split into multiple categories because nowadays components, rulebooks, and maps are done by different people:
____• Best Rules Presentation
____• Best Map Graphics
____• Best Components
____• Best Box Cover Art

3) A Best Computer Assist Module category was added to represent the growing trend of people using online tools such as Vassal, Tabletop Simulator, and Cyberboard to play board games.

The CSR Awards Board has a few more categories in mind to incorporate in 2021 and welcomes feedback/suggestions from the community:
____• Best Podcast
____• Best Board Game Computer Implementation, which may replace or supplement the Computer Assist category
____• Best game of the last five years to highlight games that are standing the test of time

Even though podcasts and web articles are not explicitly set as a category for the 2019 awards, they do count for the Best Analysis and Scenario categories.

I also want to call out the Clausewitz Hall of Fame award, which is the last category on the list above, but quite possibly the most important. Named after legendary military writer Carl von Clausewitz, the Clausewitz Hall of Fame award is intended to recognize a lifetime of excellence to individuals who have made a significant impact on the hobby. Just remember when submitting your vote for this award that anyone who has been a previous recipient is not eligible to win again (i.e., Mark Hermanwe were all thinking it).

Tim Tow sees the Charles S. Roberts Awards as a helpful source for discovering new games which inspired the awards' rebirth in 2020. It's clearly also a great way to acknowledge all the great conflict simulation games and creators behind them. If you're interested in voting or learning more about the Charles S. Roberts Awards, be sure to check out their website. I'll be looking forward to seeing the results!
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