The Spiel des Jahres is considered the highest honor a board game can be awarded. The Spiel des Jahres is a German award for the best family game of the year, and the Kennerspiel des Jahres is the award along the same vein except reserved for more challenging games. The Kennerspiel des Jahres doesn’t get AS much attention as the Spiel des Jahres, but since it covers games for an older, more experienced crowd I tend to care more about it personally. I am avoiding the Kinderspiel des Jahres as it focuses on games specifically for children; a category I know nothing about. Here are this year’s nominees as well as my thoughts and predictions!
2015 Spiel des Jahres Nominees
1. Machi Koro
2. Colt Express
3. The Game
The Nominees – Of the 3 I have heard of only 2, and while that is normal for say… the Kinderspiel des Jahres… it doesn’t bode well for the Spiel des Jahres. The underdog of the nominess, of course, is The Game; an entry which is almost impossible to search for by the way, due to having a name that matches common search terms for board games.
Of the remaining two, I have played only Machi Koro. Colt Express looks mildly entertaining but I have never been interested enough to seek it out. I have passed by it many times on the shelf of my FLGS, perhaps unjustly.
As stated I have played Machi Koro, and thought that it was a decent game. Maybe it just caught me on a bad day but I wasn’t crazy about it. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t love it. I could see having it in a collection as a good thing; perhaps as a gateway game for engine building games. One thing I LOVED about the game was the artwork. I dig that minimalist, colorful style.
My Prediction – Machi Koro. I think it will win because of the inviting theme (city building), easy rules and beautiful artwork.
2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres Nominees
3. Broom Service
The Nominees – Well this is awkward… I haven’t played ANY of these! I know that Orleans has been almost universally liked, and I am personally interested in playing Elysium (and have been since it was released). I was not aware of the existence of Broom Service.
I love the way Elysium looks and the mechanics look fun and interesting. The pillar mechanic appears to add a good deal of strategy to the drafting aspect of the game as well. Orleans, in contrast, doesn’t LOOK as good as Elysium, but has proven itself in gaming circles already. The medieval theme appeals to me also.
I initially dismissed Broom Service as a throw-away candidate, but after doing some research I think I want to play it more than the other two nominees! If you haven’t checked it out, look at it here on BoardGameGeek. It turns out that Broom Service is a “revised and expanded version of Witch’s Brew” per BGG. While I have heard of that game I have never played it.
My Prediction – Orleans. The game has already garnered much praise and I think it will edge out Elysium for the win.
Results – I was right about everything, of course! Oh wait… no… the other thing… wrong about everything!