I absolutely love awards, even ones where I don’t have a stake in them. I’ll watch the Academy Awards with baited breath even though I’ve only seen the animated movies of the year — young kids. Most of all I love board game awards, I love the Deutscher Spiele Preis, I love the International Gamers Award and most of all I love the Spiel des Jahres and the awards that come with it, the Kenner and the Kinder. So I was more than happy to see a committee form last year and try their hands at something new, a more American version of the SdJ. While it definitely lacks in history and some of the credibility built up over the years of the SdJ, the American Tabletop Award is off to a good start.
From the press release:
The American Tabletop Awards are a new annual award designed to celebrate excellent games that came out in the previous calendar year. To decide which games should be chosen for this award, the American Tabletop Awards Committee was formed. The American Tabletop Awards Committee is comprised of 10 members all based in the United States — Brittanie Boe, Becca Scott, Theo Strempel, Suzanne Sheldon, Amber Cook, Jonathan Liu, Ruel Gaviola, Annette Villa, Nicole Brady, and Eric Yurko.
To kind of differentiate the award from other awards they have created four different categories to give awards to. Last year instead of giving nominations and such they just gave the winner of each category an award.
Early Gamers which is for “games intended particularly for younger players (typically ages 12 and under) and players new to modern board games. Game duration usually runs 15 – 45 minutes.” Last year’s winner was Catch the Moon.
Casual Gamers which is for games that are approachable and appealing to gamers at all levels of experience. Play times typically fall into the 30-60 minute play time. Last year’s winner was The Quacks of Quedlinburg.
Strategy Games which is for games that take a step beyond Casual games in their complexity, planning requirements, and duration. Play time typically runs from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Last year’s winner was Chronicles of Crime.
Complex Games which is for Deeply strategic games especially appealing to experienced players. Often employ a myriad of game mechanisms and lean towards longer play times. Last year’s winner was Root.
So, as you can see, the awards kind of line up pretty well with what we see has popular among the newer gamer crowd, and even some of the older crowd. It’s a new award and it’s going to take a bit of time to build up a following, make some inroads into the community and the industry and build up some cred.
This year, they are adding some drama to the awards and announcing all the Finalists a bit early and building up some anticipation. With the announcement sometime in the next week as to what is a Nomination, what’s Recommended and what are the Winners. Here are those Nominations.
- The Aquicorn Cove Board Game – @PlayRenegade
- Draftosaurus – @AnkamaBG
- L.L.A.M.A. – @AMIGOSpiele
- My First Castle Panic – @firesidegames
- Snowman Dice – @BrainGames_int
- Miyabi – @HABA_usa
- Point Salad – @alderac
- ShipShape – @CalliopeGames
- Silver & Gold – @Pandasaurusgame
- Wavelength – @WavelengthDaily
- Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated – @PlayRenegade / @direwolfdigital
- Ecos: First Continent – @alderac
- Hadara – @Zmangames_
- SHŌBU – @SmirkandDagger
- Wingspan – @stonemaiergames
- Barrage – @CranioCreations
- Cthulhu: Death May Die – @CMONGames
- Pax Pamir – @wehrlegig
- Pipeline – @Capstone_Games
- The Taverns of Tiefenthal – @NorthStarGames
There ya go, the 2020 American Tabletop Award Nominations, what do you think was omitted? What do you think should win?