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Musings: Enthusiast's Game of the Year Part 2

RANDOM MUSINGS on the fin-de-millénaire games scene . . .

23 May 2011 . . .

Nominations for the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) and Enthusiast's Game of the Year awards have been announced. The list is presented below, in a peculiar way.

In the past couple of years BoardGameGeek's Game Weight statistic has become more and more accurate. This scale exists as follows:
Medium Light
Medium Heavy
Since the new Enthusiast's award is presumably taking weight or something like it into account, it's interesting to rank the six nominees by their weight rating, here from lightest to heaviest. (The E stands for the Enthusiast's award while the N for the Normal award.)

1.7 – N – Forbidden Island
1.8 – N – Qwirkle
2.2 – E – 7 Wonders
2.5 – N – Asara
2.9 – E – Lancaster
3.0 – E – Strasbourg

One might expect to find the three Enthusiast nominees at the heavy end of the school, but strangely they are not. Instead, we find a puzzle. There is an overlap with 7 Wonders from the Enthusiast list being rated lighter than Asara from the normal list. Have the anticipated difficulties in having two such awards already appeared or is there some explanation?

The eventual winners this year appear clear. The jury had the option to decide that Forbidden Island was too similar to last year's finalist, Pandemic. That this was not done indicates their purpose. They mean to give the award to Forbidden Island.

As for the Enthusiast's Award, the story is told by the swapped positions of 7 Wonders and Asara. In a category where it could not win because Forbidden Island is already there, 7 Wonders' move to this category means that it is intended for the award.

The Spiel des Jahres winners will be announced June 27. See the long list of this year's nominees here. See the list of past winners here.


by Rick Heli