Here is the second half of the matchups in our Tournament of Champions! For more details on the whole thing, read here
Torres / Tikal
The end of an era. Torres and Tikal marked the last real meaty games to win the SdJ. These Kramer/Kiesling games have spawned a whole host of action-point games to be analyzed and to induce paralysis among gamers worldwide. Whether it’s better to spend 5 action points for castle rebuilding or 10 for temple exploring, you make the call.
This is also an interesting matchup because it’s the only occasion of consecutive winners from the same designer(s)…
Scotland Yard / Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
Two deductive games, ironically pitting Sherlock Holmes, the consulting detective, up against his non-Moriarty competition, Scotland Yard. Scotland Yard has multiple detectives pitting their collective minds up against Mister X. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is an engaging solo game where you read the paper, interview suspects all over London, etc. to try to solve the mystery! While Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is an older game, and accordingly somewhat hard to find, it is being reprinted (in English!) by Ystari this year.
Dominion / Qwirkle
Two of the more recent winners – both of which take home the win despite the (previous) prevailing wisdom that games originating outside of Germany have a lesser chance of winning the prize. Both designers are American. Dominion is the first published design of Donald X. Vaccarino, and Qwirkle is the first SdJ winner to be solely designed by a woman.
Zooloretto / Hare and Tortoise
The theme here – animals. Which would you rather do? Collect them or race them? Only one lets you Jug the Hare, of course. Zooloretto looks like a typical game of ours, but is simple enough that children can play it without a handicap. Hare and Tortoise looks like a kids game, but there is a lot of math involved in playing this one well!
Settlers of Catan / Liar’s Dice
Two great games go into the cage, but only one can come out. Do you go with the social and psychological dice game or the negotiation and road-building dice game? One showed up on Big Bang Theory and the other one in a Pirates of the Caribbean film. Teuber vs. Borg.
Um Reifenbreite / Mississippi Queen
This battle is between two non-traditional racing games – instead of cars or horses, it’s riverboats or bicycles. I actually like Breaking Away a little bit more as far as cycling games go, but Mississippi Queen is definitely my favorite steamboat game!
Auf Achse / Thurn and Taxis
Both of these are solid connection/routing games. T&T is cleaner, in that it does not have AA’s blocking and auctions, but AA has traveling salesman aspects, which makes for good fun. T&T has expansions, one of which I really like (Offices of Honor part of All Roads Lead to Rome). AA has been rethemed in unofficial versions and rereleased, but not really expanded. I’d be happy to play either one!
Railway Rivals / Ticket to Ride
Two “rail” games face off here – Railway Rivals was definitely one of the first rail games that I had played. Once the “track” is constructed, the racing is controlled by a die roll. Ticket to Ride isn’t a rail game in the traditional sense but it does include railway connections!
Time for you to make your picks…
I’m seeing a definite cult of the new slant to the voting.
Of course, it’s possible that game designs have gotten better over time, amiright?
Poor Railway Rivals. No love at all.
Or most people here just now the newer games better (I actually voted mostly for the older ones… and loosing…).
I try to play another game of Dampfross (Railway Rivals) since about 15 years or so, because we loved ot so much in the 80s and I havent played iut since then. Will it hold up? I have no idea…
Well, Randy, this can’t really be “Cult of the New”, since there’s no more than one game per calendar year. So call it “Cult of the Newer”, instead.
And it’s very predictable and understandable. I bet a lot of gamers have never even heard of Um Reifenbreite and Auf Achse, much less played them. So all things being equal, you’d expect the newer game to do better in each matchup, simply through greater familiarity.
I was really disappointed by the Railway Rivals match-up because I soooo wanted to vote for it. Against a majority of the other games I would have as well. But, thematically it seems a fair pairing.
I have actually collected all the SdJ winners from flea markets (and used to have many of the nominees, but got rid of most of them), but have not had the opportunity to play all of them yet. Most Germans would be familiar with the older games, as Peer noted, but many of the gamers outside the country probably did not pay attention the award before Settlers of Catan went global, at the earliest.