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Nominees for the 2013 Spiel, Kennerspiel and Kinderspiel des Jahres

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
The nominees for the Spiel des Jahres – Germany's "game of the year" award and the most influential award in boardgaming – were announced today by the jury of ten German journalists, and the three nominees are:

-----Augustus, by Paolo Mori (Hurrican)
-----Hanabi, by Antoine Bauza (ABACUSSPIELE)
-----Qwixx, by Stefen Benndorf (Nürnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag)

Board Game: Rise of Augustus
Board Game: Hanabi
Board Game: Qwixx

The goal of the Spiel des Jahres, as described on the SdJ website, is to "promote games as a cultural asset to encourage gaming amongst family and friends". Are these the best choices to make that happen? At least ten people think so, but personally I'm stunned as I thought Inka and Markus Brand's La Boca was a shoe-in and have been saying so for months. Instead the list includes two smaller games – Hanabi and Qwixx – and only one game of the more traditional size. I had initially included Hanabi on my list of nominees, but then pulled it in favor of Wunderland as that game seemed to have the right stuff in addition to being a larger game. Shows what I know, although La Boca does appear on the list of recommended games for the SdJ category:

-----Divinare, by Brett Gilbert (Asmodee)
-----Escape: The Curse of the Temple, by Kristian Amundsen Østby (Queen Games)
-----Hand auf Herz, by Julien Sentis (Zoch Verlag)
-----La Boca, by Inka and Markus Brand (Kosmos)
-----Libertalia, by Paolo Mori (Asmodee/Marabunta)
-----Mixtour, by Dieter Stein (Clemens Gerhards)
-----Riff Raff, by Christoph Cantzler (Zoch Verlag)
-----Rondo, by Reiner Knizia (Schmidt Spiele)
-----Yay!, by Heinz Meister (Noris Spiele)

This same jury also announced its nominees for the Kennerspiel des Jahres, an award that debuted in 2011 to honor games intended for connoisseurs and gaming experts, and those titles are:

-----Bruges, by Stefan Feld (Hans im Glück)
-----Legends of Andor, by Michael Menzel (Kosmos)
-----The Palaces of Carrara, by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (Hans im Glück)

Board Game: Bruges
Board Game: Legends of Andor
Board Game: The Palaces of Carrara

The jury included only two recommended titles at the Kennerspiel level and they are the widely praised Terra Mystica, by Jens Drögemüller and Helge Ostertag (Feuerland Spiele) and Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, by Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini (Czech Games Edition).

As for the Kinderspiel des Jahres – the children's game of the year – the three nominees for this award are:

-----Der verzauberte Turm, by Inka and Markus Brand (Drei Magier Spiele)
-----Gold am Orinoko, by Bernhard Weber (HABA)
-----Mucca Pazza, by Iris Rossbach (Zoch Verlag)

Board Game: The Enchanted Tower
Board Game: Gold am Orinoko
Board Game: Mucca Pazza

Well, hey, the Brands did end up on a nominee list, just not the one that I and many others expected.

The Kinderspiel winner will be announced on Monday, June 10, while the Spiel and Kennerspiel winners will be revealed on Monday, July 8. Congrats to all the nominees!
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