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2015 Golden Elephant Award Winner & runners up!
Edward Uhler
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The Heavy Cardboard podcast has announced the winners and the runners up of the annual Golden Elephant Award! It crowns the best heavy game of the year each year, which started in 2013. Finding many of the major awards neglecting the heavier end of the hobby gaming world, we decided, back in 2013, to create our own. If you have a problem w/ something, offer a solution and this is that solution.

Have a listen and tell us if we got it right, wrong, or your thoughts!

Previous Winners:
2013 - Madeira (click to listen)

2013 Golden Elephant Award- Heavy Game of the Year! (click here for 2013 geeklist)

2014 - Arkwright (click to listen)

2014 Golden Elephant Award- Heavy Game of the Year!(click here for 2014 geeklist)



Winner:

Food Chain Magnate




1st Runners-Up:

Edward: Triumph & Tragedy - Amanda: Pax Pamir - Tony: The U.S. Civil War

2nd Runners-Up:

Edward: Lignum - Amanda: Mombasa - Tony: 1857

3rd Runners-Up:

Edward: The U.S. Civil War - Amanda: Lignum - Tony: Mombasa

4th Runners-Up:

Edward: Mombasa- Amanda: Triumph & Tragedy - Tony: Lignum
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1. Board Game: Food Chain Magnate [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:28]
Edward Uhler
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Designer: Jeroen Doumen & Joris Wiersinga

Publisher: Splotter Spellen

Synopsis:
Quote:
Food Chain Magnate is a heavy strategy game about building a fast food chain. The focus is on building your company using a card-driven (human) resource management system. Players compete on a variable city map through purchasing, marketing and sales, and on a job market for key staff members. The game can be played by 2-5 serious gamers in 2-4 hours.
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2. Board Game: Triumph & Tragedy [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:402]
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Designer: Craig Besinque

Publisher: GMT Games

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Triumph & Tragedy is a geopolitical strategy game for 3 players (also playable by 2) covering the competition for European supremacy during the period 1936-45 between Capitalism (the West), Communism (the Soviet Union) and Fascism (the Axis). It has diplomatic, economic, technological and military components, and can be won by gaining economic hegemony or technological supremacy (A-bomb), or by vanquishing a rival militarily.

Triumph & Tragedy is a true three-sided game: there is no requirement that the West and Russia be on the same side (and in fact there are valid reasons to attack each other), and only ONE player can win the game. Table talk is allowed (and encouraged) but agreements are not enforceable. Alliances are shifting and co-operation is undependable. The game can continue as an economic battle of attrition or a sudden military explosion can change everything. There is immense replayability as players can pursue dominance in Europe via land, sea or air military superiority, technological supremacy, or economic hegemony without rivals realizing their strategy until it is TOO LATE! It is a highly interactive, tense, fast-moving game with little downtime between player turns, covering THE crucial geopolitical decade of the 20th century in 4-6 hours.
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3. Board Game: The U.S. Civil War [Average Rating:8.36 Overall Rank:1512]
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Designer: Mark Simonitch

Publisher: GMT Games

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The U.S. Civil War is a 2-player strategic-level war game of the American Civil War. The game covers the entire war from 1861-65 on a large 30” x 44” map area (2 mounted maps) of the Southeastern United States. Turns represent 3 months during the winter and 2 months during the summer, with four Action Phases to each turn.

Military forces are represented by generals and strength-points (SPs). Each SP represents approximately 5,000 soldiers. Game mechanics stress strategy, maneuver and leadership but details like ironclads, naval battles, leader promotions, forts, and commerce raiders are included.

Shorter scenarios are included that cover just 1861, 1862 and 1863.
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4. Board Game: Pax Pamir [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:1068]
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Designer: Cole Wehrle & Phil Eklund

Publisher: Sierra Madre Games

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With the fall of Napoleon, the British East India Company plied its trade unchecked from the Cape of Good Hope to the markets of Hong Kong. India stood at the center of this sprawling imperial network, and the currents of empire ran through its ports, tying the Far East with European markets and awarding the British virtual control of the vast wealth of the subcontinent. However, the "crown jewel" of the empire was far from secure.

Across the forests of Siberia and the steppes of Asia, the Russian Empire advanced at a rate exceeding even the pace of America's western pioneers. This expansionism by the world’s largest nation loomed over British holdings in India, casting a longer shadow each year. In the buffer region of central Asia, surveyors, adventurers, industrialists and government agents crossed paths, all seeking to manipulate the byzantine local politics. There, in the shadow of the Pamir Mountains, the stage was set for a game that would define the limits of global power in the 19th century and the present day.

In Pax Pamir, two to five players assume the role of Afghan tribal leaders navigating the winds of colonial power in "The Great Game". If either the Russian, British Empire, or Afghan is able to achieve supremacy, the player with the most influence in that empire wins.
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5. Board Game: Lignum [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2247]
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Designer: Alexander Huemer

Publisher: Mücke Spiele

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Lignum is a game about the logging industry in the 19th century. As a woodcutter, your task is to prevail against your competitors and collect the most money after two years. Lignum (Latin for "wood") is a game for lovers of complex strategy games. After cutting and transporting your wood, don't think your job is finished. You'll still have to optimize your entire processing chain - and have fun doing it!

Each of the eight rounds always begins with the cutting of trees. If your supply lines are set up and the timber has been approved for felling, then the players claim an area using secretly selected cards. Since each of the areas contain differing amounts of food and wood, players must learn to recognize and adapt to their opponent's strategies because if two players are both in the same area, they must share the resources. Players continue to move along their supply route, using the marketplace to trade tools and food as well as recruit workers.

The players have to decide how their wood will be transported to their lumberyards (by raft, by foot, or in the winter by sled), if the wood should be dried or be processed immediately, and when the wood should be sold. The player must also think about new acquisitions (such as saws, sleds and pasture land) and fulfill orders to sell the wood. Because in the end, this business is all about money, and whoever can make the most wins.
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6. Board Game: Mombasa [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:66]
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Designer: Alexander Pfister

Publisher: eggertspiele & RnR Games

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In Mombasa, players acquire shares of chartered companies based in Mombasa, Cape Town, Saint-Louis, and Cairo and propagate trading posts of these companies throughout the African continent in order to earn the most money.

Mombasa features a unique, rotating-display hand-mechanism that drives game play. Each round players choose action cards from their hand, then reveal them simultaneously and carry out the actions. These cards are then placed in a discard pile, and the previously played cards recovered for the subsequent round.
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7. Board Game: 1857 [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:5101]
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Designer: Eddie Robbins

Publisher: Winsome Games

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1857 — one of three titles in Winsome Games 2015 Essen Set — is set in Argentina and requires some of the components from 1830 in order to play. There are 8 companies in the game with 6 unique privates. Several of these privates continue to function if owned by a railroad when they would normally close and removed from the game. Companies also have stations on the board from the beginning of the game that block passage through those locations, even before the company floats.
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