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Subject: 2011 International Gamers Awards winners announced rss

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Greg Schloesser
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RECIPIENTS OF THE 2011 INTERNATIONAL GAMERS AWARDS ANNOUNCED!

The International Gamers Awards committee is extremely proud to announce the recipients for the 2011 IGA in the General Strategy category:

In the multi-player category, the award goes to 7 Wonders, the creation of Antoine Bauza and originally published by Repos Productions. 7 Wonders created quite the stir when being tested during its development stages, and that enthusiasm grew even greater upon its release. The game combines the excitement and challenge of building an ancient civilization with a fast-playing card game that is accessible by both dedicated gamers and families alike. This is the first IGA for both Antoine Bauza and Repos Productions.

The award in the 2-player category goes to A Few Acres of Snow by prolific designer Martin Wallace and Treefrog Games. The setting is the French and British conflict that occurred in North America during the colonization period. Bitter warfare embroiled the continent, as both European powers struggled for dominance. This quasi war game is intense and plays fast, yet is filled with tough decisions that will affect the fate of the world. Wallace has earned numerous IGA plaques, a testament to his designing excellence.

The International Gamers Awards were founded in 1999 for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding games, their designers, and the companies which publish them. The awards have gained widespread acclaim and have helped bring these outstanding games to the public’s attention.

The individuals who serve on our General Strategy and Historical Simulation committees are extremely qualified, knowledgeable and respected within the gaming hobby. Each and everyone have extensive experience in the playing, reviewing and critiquing of games.

You can learn more about the International Gamers Awards by visiting our website at:

www.internationalgamersawards.net
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Simon Neale
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7 Wonders continues its clean sweep!
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James Fehr
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Thanks for letting us know! With all due respect to the Spiel des Jahres, This is THE game award in my humble opinion - I wish gamers paid more even more attention to it.

Congrats to the designers and publishers of 7 Wonders and A Few Acres of Snow!
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fehrmeister wrote:
With all due respect to the Spiel des Jahres, This is THE game award in my humble opinion


For gamers. This and the DSP.

For families-who-play-games, it's the SdJ. And many others.
 
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John Weber
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I have to disagree with the above posters. This year, 7 Wonders was an easy pick but in the 2P category the group anointed a game that just came out (A Few Acres of Snow) that has recently been discovered to have serious play balance issues, a flawed masterpiece, IMHO, see, e.g., the thread here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/703495/can-france-beat-b...

Now, I haven't played all the 2P games nominated, but I was shocked to see the incredibly innovative Labyrinth not even make the list.

I used to have alot of respect for this award but lost much of it a few years back when one of the best multi-player Euros out there, Vegas Showdown, didn't even make the list in favor of a bunch of second and third rate Essen games released by prominent European companies and designers. It seems that little known US designers not hooked up with the Essen/GoF "mainstream" groupthink are largely ignored by this Euro-centric group. Too bad.
 
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Andrew Laws
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John Weber wrote:

I used to have alot of respect for this award but lost much of it a few years back when one of the best multi-player Euros out there, Vegas Showdown, didn't even make the list in favor of a bunch of second and third rate Essen games released by prominent European companies and designers. It seems that little known US designers not hooked up with the Essen/GoF "mainstream" groupthink are largely ignored by this Euro-centric group. Too bad.


Yeah that's the reason Vegas Showdown didn't make the list.



 
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Greg Schloesser
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John Weber wrote:

I have to disagree with the above posters. This year, 7 Wonders was an easy pick but in the 2P category the group anointed a game that just came out (A Few Acres of Snow) that has recently been discovered to have serious play balance issues, a flawed masterpiece, IMHO, see, e.g., the thread here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/703495/can-france-beat-b...


Hey, John! I abstained from the 2-player voting as I did not have the opportunity to play many of the 2-player games nominated. I know A Few Acres of Snow is highly regarded, and am also aware of this alleged flaw. I'm curious to see if this flaw will remain so after players have more experience with the game.

John Weber wrote:

I used to have alot of respect for this award but lost much of it a few years back when one of the best multi-player Euros out there, Vegas Showdown, didn't even make the list in favor of a bunch of second and third rate Essen games released by prominent European companies and designers. It seems that little known US designers not hooked up with the Essen/GoF "mainstream" groupthink are largely ignored by this Euro-centric group. Too bad.


While I personally enjoy Vegas Showdown and still play it occasionally, I don't consider it one of the "best multi-player Euros out there." Yes, it is fun and a fine design, but it would likely not make my Top 50 games of all time list. That's not a knock, just my opinion.

In 2005 (the year Vegas Showdown was released), there were at least a half-dozen games that made the list of finalists that are highly regarded by most gamers. Here is the list of finalists:

Ticket to Ride: Europe
Shadows over Camelot
Antiquity
Struggle of Empires
Diamant
Louis XIV
Ubongo
Reef Encounter
Keythedral
Carcassonne: The City
(considered by many -- including me -- to be better than the original)
YS
Around the World in 80 Days
(considered by many an excellent Euro and gateway game)

While I enjoy Vegas Showdown, it would be my 7th or 8th choice when considering all of these games.

Tastes and opinions vary, which is part of the reason we have so many games from which to choose! That's a good thing!
 
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John Weber
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Greg, they say hindsight is 20-20, but if you take a look at the games that are actually being PLAYED at events where the games have to all compete against each other, Vegas generally does quite well while most of the other games on your list of nominees do not. At the World Boardgaming Championships, Vegas Showdown tops just about every game you have listed, except perhaps for Ticket to Ride (where you list one expansion) and Carcassone (where you list another expansion). Louis XIV, a fine game IMHO, had an impressive debut year (I happened to be the GM and picked a very "soft" late night time slot) but it fell off the list a year later. Vegas actually outdrew the highly acclaimed Agricola its first year at WBC and has grown each year since and is now in the "Century" list of games for the fourth time. Vegas was played by over 90 people at this year's WBC, an impressive number when you consider there are over a 100 different games at the convention.

By the way, my recollection is that your list of 2005 nominees seems incomplete. I also seem to recall a game like To Court the King being on the list for that year. That game is now ranked something like #800 on BGG these days. Many of these games have justifiably dropped off everyone's radar since making the list. Ubongo, which you list, is like #350. Diamant is somewhere in the 400s. Vegas has held up well, still in the top 200 despite the plethora of "the hottest new thing" that always seem to shoot up the list each year.

I suggest you get out to these conventions and see what games are being played by real gamers before making your selections.

At least GAMES magazine had it right when they named Vegas the best game of the year in 2007.
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Greg Schloesser
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John Weber wrote:
By the way, my recollection is that your list of 2005 nominees seems incomplete. I also seem to recall a game like To Court the King being on the list for that year. That game is now ranked something like #800 on BGG these days.


I don't think so. I've double-checked the list of finalists for 2004, 2005 and 2006, and To Court the King was not on any of these lists.

John Weber wrote:
Many of these games have justifiably dropped off everyone's radar since making the list. Ubongo, which you list, is like #350. Diamant is somewhere in the 400s. Vegas has held up well, still in the top 200 despite the plethora of "the hottest new thing" that always seem to shoot up the list each year.


One of Vegas Showdown's great strengths is its ease of learning and understanding. It is easy to learn and can be played competently by even folks new to gaming. For me, it is a very good gateway game. Plus, it plays quickly and easily and has an appealing theme. All of these assets help make it quite popular. The IGA, however, isn't strictly seeking the most accessible or popular game, although I am sure these qualities factor into the committee members' assessments. We are seeking what we consider to be the best game(s) for a particular year. Vegas Showdown failed to garner enough votes from the judges that year to make the list of finalists.

John Weber wrote:
I suggest you get out to these conventions and see what games are being played by real gamers before making your selections.


A list of the conventions I attend or have attended:

Gulf Games - 2 each year
The Gathering of Friends - yearly
Essen - 6 of the last 8 years
Oasis of Fun - 3 of the last 6 years
GameFest South

I play every week with the East Tennessee Gamers, a diverse group of folks who play all types of games, including both American and European style games.

So, I'm pretty sure I get out and play games with a wide variety of folks -- including "real gamers" -- whose interests vary considerably.

Again, as I mentioned in a previous post, tastes vary, which is one of the reasons we have such a wide selection of games being published from which to choose. Unfortunately, this also means that sometimes a personal favorite or even widely appreciated game may not win or be nominated for a particular award.
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Jesse Dean
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Could you please explain to me the reasoning behind picking 7 Wonders for the Best Strategy Game?

I was also a previously a fan of IGA compared to all the other relatively useless awards out there but between an inferior retread (Age of Industry) winning Best Strategy Game last year and something as light and fluffy as 7 Wonders winning this year, not to mention the proven broken A Few Acres of Snow winning the Best 2-Player Game, I admit I am finding myself less interested in what the IGA judges have to say.
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Greg Schloesser
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doubtofbuddha wrote:
Could you please explain to me the reasoning behind picking 7 Wonders for the Best Strategy Game?

I was also a previously a fan of IGA compared to all the other relatively useless awards out there but between an inferior retread (Age of Industry) winning Best Strategy Game last year and something as light and fluffy as 7 Wonders winning this year, not to mention the proven broken A Few Acres of Snow winning the Best 2-Player Game, I admit I am finding myself less interested in what the IGA judges have to say.


We have nineteen folks on the committee, so I certainly cannot speak for everyone. For me, 7 Wonders has some outstanding and appealing features. There is a nice atmosphere of building a civilization, different strategy paths to pursue, and some tough decisions as to what to build. The card exchange mechanism is extremely clever. Further, the game plays up to seven players in a brisk 30 - 45 minute time frame, something which is quite astounding. In short, it has all of the hallmarks of a popular and dare-I-say great game. I think this has been born out by its incredible popularity and the fact that it has earned the Spiel des Jahre, Deutsche Spiel Preis and International Gamers Awards.

While it might not be as deep as other games, it still is a fun strategy game worthy of the award. Your opinion, of course, may differ!
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