I understand there was quite a to-do over in Germany a few hours ago—something to do with a gaming award. As a result of this, there are several very happy people and a few disappointed ones, but the most important outcome is we get to see who won the Opinionated Gamer’s SdJ Prediction Challenge!
Well, truth to tell, the final result didn’t change all that much. Just about everyone picked 7 Wonders for the Kennerspiel and hardly anyone picked Qwirkle for the SdJ. So there was only a little bit of movement at the end.
Even the bonus points given for picking the winners after the nominations had been announced had little effect. In this case, everyone picked 7 Wonders and while five people went with Qwirkle, only three of them had submitted predictions and none of them was particularly near the top.
The fact is, the “smart money” (that is, the leaders after the nominations were announced) all went with Asara and Forbidden Island. In fact, only one of our 20 prognosticators had the foresight to originally make Qwirkle one of their predictions. That was our man in Berlin, Jeff Allers, who shamelessly used his knowledge of the German gaming scene to realize that this game that was old news to the rest of us was brand new over in Deutschland. But even Jeff changed his vote for the post-nominations prediction, switching to Forbidden Island instead.
In the end, it didn’t matter. That original pick of Qwirkle was enough for Jeff to edge out Jonathan Franklin to claim OG bragging rights for the next 12 months. Or at least until we do our next silly competition.
Here are the final results. Congratulations to Jeff and thanks to all the folks who helped me out by participating.
Jeff Allers – 18
Jonathan Franklin – 16
Jonathan Degann – 13
Joe Huber – 13
Brian Leet – 13
Erik Arneson – 12
Luke Hedgren – 12
Liga – 11
Doug Garrett – 10
Larry Levy – 10
Dale Yu – 10
Craig Massey – 9
John Palagyi – 8
Tom Rosen – 8
Matt Carlson – 7
Mark Jackson – 7
Patrick Korner – 6
Valerie Putman – 6
Greg Schloesser – 6
Jennifer Geske – 5
In multi-player games, not last is almost as good as winning.
Or that’s what I keep telling myself.
The secret is to have played as few games as possible. That way, you’re not biased by what’s actually good.
I was almost convinced to change my vote away from Asara… and to Forbidden Island. So, I guess I was sunk either way. It was a fine pick by the jury, and congratulations to both winners!
Don’t worry, I won’t rub it in (although, I would like Valerie to teach me how to do her Snoopy Dance in Essen this year).
What keeps me humble is the knowledge that this might very well be the only “game” I can win against the other Opinionated Gamers. From what I know of them, I probably would not be able to compete with them in their beloved “meaty” games of Brass, Agricola, Caylus, etc.
The difference in picking the right titles for this year’s SdJ was not that I knew about Qwirkle (I forgot about Forbidden Island, after all) but that it seemed clear–from Berlin–that “Kennerspiel des Jahres” did not mean “gamer’s games.” While hobbyists in other parts of the world licked their chops in anticipation, the SdJ Jury was going about “business as usual,” picking games for both categories that would be suitable for German families, with only a slight (and, in some instances, arguably indistinguishable) difference in complexity level.
Whoo hoo! I went from last place all the way up to 6th from last! Yay! Good thing we got to re-pick a winner when the nominations were announced!
Interestingly enough, I was in Germany when this was all going on. But we were galavanting around Bavaria shopping and visiting the sites like Munich, Rothenberg ob Der Tauber, Bad Tolz, Garmish Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Salzburg. Didn’t run across any game stores while we were shopping (but we find a nice cuckoo clock). But in the toy stores we looked into for our son, a couple of games were consistently there. Quirkle and Dominion were predominant and Carcasonne was in many of the toy stores as well. Getting immersed in culture is a very cool thing and quite useful when predicting Spiel Des Jahres, I suppose. So when Jeff Allers puts his picks together next year, pay attention folks. : ) Tschuss.