2010 Meeples Choice Awards Nominations

Last Friday, the first week of voting for the Meeples Choice Awards ended with the announcement of the 25 nominated games.  80 participants from the Spielfrieks user group cast 660 votes during this stage.  Here are the games selected for the final week of voting, together with their designers and publishers:




20th Century Vladimir Suchy Czech Games Edition/RGG
7 Wonders Antoine Bauza Repos
Age of Industry Martin Wallace Treefrog/Mayfair
Alien Frontiers Tory Niemann Clever Mojo Games
Asara Michael Kiesling, Wolfgang Kramer Ravensburger/Rio Grande
Catacombs Ryan Amos, Marc Kelsey, Aron West Sands of Time Games
Dominant Species Chad Jensen GMT
Forbidden Island Matt Leacock Gamewright/Schmidt Spiele
Founding Fathers Christian Leonhard, Jason Matthews Jolly Roger Games
Fresco Marco Ruskowski, Marcel Süßelbeck Queen
Glen More Matthias Cramer Alea/Rio Grande
Inca Empire Alan Ernstein White Goblin Games/Z-Man
Innovation Carl Chudyk Asmadi
Kaigan Kenichi Tanabe Ascora Games
Key Market David Brain R&D Games
London Martin Wallace Treefrog/Mayfair
Luna Stefan Feld Hall Games/Z-Man
Merkator Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games
Navegador Mac Gerdts PD-Verlag/Rio Grande
Poseidon Helmut Ohley, Lonny Orgler Lookout/Z-Man
Samarkand: Routes to Riches David V.H. Peters, Harry Wu Queen
Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game Kevin Wilson Fantasy Flight
Sun, Sea & Sand Corne van Moorsel Cwali
Troyes Sebastien Dugardin, Xavier Georges, Alain Orban Pearl Games/Z-Man
Vinhos Vital Lacerda What’s Your Game?/Z-Man
20th Century Vladimir Suchy Czech Games Edition/RGG

 There’s a couple of notable things about this list.  First of all, no designer or publisher came close to dominating it.  Martin Wallace is the only designer to have as many as two nominated games.  And only Lookout, Queen, and Treefrog have as many as two published games on the list.

The second thing is the large number of first-time designers and publishers to be found here.  This is truly impressive, so let me cite them here:  Tory Niemann and Clever Mojo Games (Alien Frontiers); Ryan Amos, Marc Kelsey, Aron West, and Sands of Time Games (Catacombs); Marco Ruskowski and Marcel Süßelbeck (Fresco); Matthais Cramer (Glen More); Ascora Games (Kaigan); David Brain (Key Market); Sebastien Dugardin and Pearl Games (Troyes); and Vital Lacerda (Vinhos).  As we have seen in recent years, there is a tremendous amount of new blood coming into the hobby every year and that has to be good news for gamers everywhere.

As always the voting was close, particularly for the last few slots.  The three games that just missed being nominated were Famiglia, High Frontier, and Space Hulk: Death Angel.

Even though all of these games are well known, there are still a few surprises in the list.  Kaigan has had limited exposure—in fact, it isn’t even in the Geek’s top 1000 rated games—and yet the voters thought enough of it to make it a nominee.  Other games that might not have made the pre-voting handicapping include Catacombs and Poseidon.  On the other hand, Runewars is the 30th ranked game on the Geek, but still didn’t make the list.  Merchants & Marauders is another game in the Geek’s top 100 that fell short.  The voters tend to follow their own agenda, which is one of the things that makes the MCA voting so attractive.

The voting to pick the top three games from the 25 nominees has already begun.  If you haven’t voted already and would like to participate, just check out the poll in the Spielfrieks Yahoo user group.  If you’re not a member, you can send a request to spielfrieks-owner@yahoogroups.com and an invitation will be sent out allowing you to join.  Once the winners have been selected, I’ll report the results here.

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10 Responses to 2010 Meeples Choice Awards Nominations

  1. peer says:

    And the 20th Century apparently was nominated twice! Which makes Wallce and Suchy the only authors twice on the list ;-)

  2. Larry Levy says:

    Heavy sigh. My struggles with tables in WordPress continue. Good catch, peer, but I’m afraid it won’t help 20th Century in the voting! :-)

  3. Josh Miller says:

    “The voters tend to follow their own agenda, which is one of the things that makes the MCA voting so attractive.”


    “Spielfrieks is a mailing list for Eurogamers, so it’s not surprising that games like Runewars and Merchants & Marauders didn’t make the list.” (Also: Earth Reborn, Castle Ravenloft, Washington’s War, Labyrinth, etc.)

    I voted Dominant Species, Innovation, and Troyes. I wanted a fourth vote for 7 Wonders, but I figured it would make it without my help so I went with Troyes instead.

  4. Larry Levy says:

    Well, that’s part of it, Josh, but even though the MCA’s are definitely slanted towards Euros, the voters have shown love for some hybrid wargames in the past. I didn’t think Runewars was going to win, but I was surprised that it didn’t get nominated. A nomination for Castel Ravenloft wouldn’t have shocked me either. OTOH, I didn’t expect Washington’s War or Labyrinth to make it.

    Every year is different, though, and while I find the Spielfrieks voters to be easier to predict than the SdJ jury, they still surprise me with some regularity.

  5. Josh Miller says:

    And to be perfectly clear, I think its a GOOD thing to have awards that represent different segments of the gaming circle. That keeps the awards from all being the same, and allows gamers to gain some degree of trust for whichever awards tend to be the best match for their tastes:

    Spiel des Jahres = German family-oriented industry promoters
    Deutscher Spiele Preis = German-speaking game hobbyists
    A la carte = German game journalists (card games only)
    International Gamers Award = “Gathering of Friends” types, with international emphasis
    BGG Golden Geek = BoardGameGeek.com dwellers
    Meeples Choice = English-speaking Eurogamers selected mostly from 2000-2005 era
    Charles S. Roberts = Historical wargamers
    As d’Or = French-speaking family/party gamers
    Games Magazine = American eclectic game/puzzle journalists
    Mensa Select = Smart non-gamers
    Origins Awards = Crazy people and industry shills
    Spiel des Josh = Gaming superheroes with perfectly-attuned tastes and sensibilities

  6. Garry says:

    “Spiel des Josh = Gaming superheroes with perfectly-attuned tastes and sensibilities”
    Hah…although I do enjoy reading your list(s) and your comments about the games!

  7. Doug says:

    I’m surprised I’ve played as many as 17 of those, of which I think Luna, Navegador and Samarkand are the best. But no Rallyman, no Yomi, no WOTR: CE…. not a shock, but a shame. Great to see Catacombs there … charming game.

  8. Larry Levy says:

    I’ll take the hit for excluding the WotR Collector’s Edition from consideration, Doug, as I figured it was mostly the original game with uber-nice components. Rallyman is a 2009 design, so it also wasn’t on the first list. It didn’t get much exposure in most of the gaming world until it’s multilingual version came out last year. If someone had requested I include it, I probably would have, but no one did. And Yomi is a 2011 game, so you can vote for it next year!

    • Doug says:

      Oh Larry, you’re so technical :)

      I think there the first edition of Rallyman was very, very late 2009 – and French only, and only a few were talking about it from March 2010.

      You’re right about Yomi, sort of… they were shipped in late 2010, but didn’t turn up until 2011. It was available as a P&P to purchase last year, though.

  9. Larry Levy says:

    Just going by what the Geek says, Doug. I know it’s not always correct with its dates, but given the scope of the voting, it’s the only real starting point I can use.

    That’s why I asked the Spielfrieks group to suggest any games I may have excluded prior to the voting. Starting next year, we need to make sure you’re part of the audience I’m talking to, bud! :-)

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