OK, it’s that time of year again… for Spiel des Jahres speculation! The announcement of the nominated and recommended games is just around the corner. Well, actually, it’s tomorrow, so that doesn’t give us a lot of time to get our act together. In the two years that we’ve been around, the Opinionated Gamers have tried to predict which game will win the award. We will again try to prognosticate, and in true OG fashion, we will use a different format than the year before!
This year, I simply asked the writers to give me their three choices for Spiel des Jahres (in rank order). These votes were weighted: 5 points for first choice, 3 points for second choice and 1 point for third choice. I figured that we could generate an early list of games we thought could win the award, and we could take the top 5 from this list as our group choice for the nominated games.
Of course, there are all sorts of pitfalls to this methodology. First, and foremost, we’re not SdJ jury members, and we have proven that we can be wide of the mark at times :). Second, since only one of us actually lives in Germany, we’re generally not quite sure what is really available on the store shelves. Third, while we’re going to compile a top 5 list for the nominated games – the question that I posed: “Which game(s) do you think will win the SdJ” most definitely has a different answer than: “Which game(s) do you think will be nominated for SdJ”.
Nevertheless, we’ve polled the writers, and 16 were brave enough to record their votes… After much number crunching, the Opinionated Gamers predict that…
La Boca will win the SdJ in 2013.
Congratulations in advance to us if we’re right!
The full list (with total score, first place votes)
- 1. La Boca (60, 9)
- 2. Augustus (18, 1)
- 3. Escape (17, 3)
- 4. Little Prince (12, 2)
- 5. Rondo (6, 0)
- 6. Forbidden Desert (5, 1)
- 7. Wunderland (4, 0)
- 7. QIN (4, 0)
- 9. Riff Raff (3, 0)
- 9. Zug um Zug: Deutschland (3, 0)
- 11. Gentlemen Thieves (1, 0)
- 11. Guildhall (1,0)
- 11. Hanabi (1, 0)
- 11. Love Letter (1, 0)
- 11. Tokaido (1, 0)
So, in our little poll, La Boca is the runaway winner here, with over half of the participants voting it as the winner (9 out of 16). Escape was the next most voted to win, but interestingly, it came in third overall because people that didn’t think it was going to win didn’t vote for it at all! Augustus had a lot of second place votes – and this was enough to push it into second place.
The Little Prince got a number of votes; and while I personally think that it is better suited for Kinderspiel des Jahres, there were enough OG writers out there that voted for it to win the main prize.
The other big surprise (for me) was the lack of support behind Tokaido. After Essen, many people were talking about it being a contender based on looks alone. However, come late spring 2013, it barely gets a mention in the poll. I know that I had it close to making my top 3, but I must admit that it fell short on my own list; partly because the question that I asked was what would win the award, not what should be nominated…
We’ll have to see what the actual list is Tuesday – and then we can judge how good we are at guessing the SdJ games. And, then once the real list is announced, we’ll run the poll again and see if we can pick the right game from the real nominees!
We also tried to take a stab at the Kennerspiel award. I posed the same question: What will win the Kennerspiel des Jahres –and I used the same scoring mechanism for the results.
The inital results also have a fairly wide gap between first and second place… though not as large as for the Spiel des Jahres.
Our initial pick for the Kennerspiel des Jahres is T’zolkin: The Mayan Calendar
- 1. T’zolkin (38, 6)
- 2. Legends of Andor (23, 3)
- 3. Brugge (16, 1)
- 4. Palaces of Carrara (14, 2)
- 5. Rialto (12, 1)
- 6. Terra Mystica (10, 1)
- 7. Bora Bora (8, 0)
- 7. Seasons (8, 0)
- 9. Il Vecchio (5, 1)
- 9. Suburbia (5, 1)
- 11. Libertalia (3, 0)
- 11. Keyflower (3,0)
- 13. Agricola: All Creatures Great and Small (1, 0)
Unlike our poll for SdJ, there does not appear to be as much consensus for the picks here. Only 5 games got first place votes for SdJ, as opposed to 8 for the Kennerspiel. This award, in my opinion, was harder to predict the winner of because I’m honestly not sure that I have a good feel for the criteria used to select the winner. The past 2 years (which were the first 2 years for the award) have not really shed any light on a consistent type of game that the jury is looking for here…
So, we’re putting our predictions out there prior the the actual lists being announced. We’ll see how many of our top choices are on the SdJ and KedJ lists on Tuesday – and it wouldn’t surprise me if there is at least one nominated game that didn’t even get a mention from our little pool here…
What do the rest of you think? Care to put your predictions in the comments?