Knizia. Spiel des Jahres. Some other thoughts, but only rarely. I'm not that much of a big thinker, you know - but I love games.
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Predictions before the Spiel des Jahres nominations are out

Laszlo Molnar
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As far as I understand Spiel des Jahres nominations are out tomorrow.
I have no idea about the Kinderspiel des Jahres list but have some predictions about the Spiel des Jahres and the Kennerspiel des Jahres (new category - Game of the year for experts).

According to an interview the jury said previous nominees Puerto Rico, Vikings, Stone Age or Torres would have been better fits for the new award than for the Spiel des Jahres. As many of these are games for 10+ year-olds I do predict that many geeks will be upset seeing the games nominated for the complex game award are still not the most complex ones, not the ones they like to play.
Now I'm pretty sure a geek favorite like Vinhos will not be nominated for the award; quite probably it won't even be recommended. The Spiel des Jahres jury prefers games that are fun and don't have unnecessary complexity. Now we can be sure simpler, easier games are going to dominate the Spiel des Jahres list and you are going to find more complex, but still family-friendly and enjoyable games in the "complex games" category (and that's something I expected when they announced they are going to have a separate category for these awards - they awarded Caylus, Agricola and World Without an End before).

So what do I think gets nominated?
Complex award: (more like "an award for those who are not totally new to the hobby") :
7 Wonders (probable winner) - no, the game is not that complex; it's rather light but it's not less complex than Stone Age or Vikings either - and it can be hard to learn for those who are totally beginners (as you have to learn many icons and cards and can't ask anyone during your first play). I predict hardcore gamers getting upset because of this nomination/win.

I'm really not sure about the rest. What is going to be the upper limit in complexity?
I would not be surprised to see some of the following here:
Grand Cru - I know it's a simple game (well, with a weight rating right now at a surprising 3.2) but it's also the game that won its designer a special Spiel des Jahres scholarship some years ago.
Navegador - which is tense, fun and fine
Die Burgen von Burgund - which is great and also more fun than the usual - really good - Stefan Feld games
Firenze - which is just very enjoyable
Industry (? haven't played it yet)

(only) recommendation:
Troyes - might make it to the nomination list but I'm really not sure. I'm also not sure it got a German release.
Olympus - did it get a German release?
Glen More - or was it released earlier?
Tikal II - why not? It's fine; it's just not Tikal.

no Pantheon - doesn't seem likely
no Vinhos - a 'too complex game for its own good' with a beginner designer's flaws.

(simple) Game of the year (Spiel des Jahres) award:
not in any order, I have no idea which one of these has a real chance to win:
Asara - If 7 wonders stays in the complex category then it might win the award.
Forbidden Island - The jury likes Matt Leacock, liked Pandemic and this family-friendly, simpler version of Pandemic might be just what they were looking for. Also the German edition is said to be better than the English one.
Airlines Europe - Union Pacific was nominated more than 10 years ago. This is a simpler, probably better version (that is different enough), also having some small ideas taken from Moon's SdJ-winning Ticket to Ride and feeling like SdJ-winning Alhambra (which was based on Stimmt So! which was actually pretty much a simple card game of stock-holding copying the original Airlines). Still it's a bit more complex than either so it might end up in the complex category, I don't know.
Mondo - which I haven't played yet but seems to be another Michael Schacht family winner.
Safranito - is simple, is different, also has a dexterity element to it and it got good (though not great) reviews.

Skull & Roses - I believe this one got a German release. If it did, it might even be nominated.
Uluru- might get a nomination
Cargo Noir - is okay and nice for families
K2 - is simple enough to stay here; a themed race game - fine
Pergamon - is not bad but not that special either; I'm not sure if it gets recommended here or in the other category
Snapshot - seems fine for what it is. Is it?
Funfair - is a really nice and really fun game compilation for children and families.
BITS - FITS was nominated; this one might get recommended.
possibly The Great Fire of London 1666 - not bad game with too long set-up; are there german rules added?
possibly Isla Dorada - not as good as it should be, its "Elfenroads meets Ulysses" idea is rather nice and can be fun with the right circumstances.
possibly Artus - I don't know which category and in case of this one the jury's personal tastes might differ (too) much.

And of course there will be some surprise names, names that I have probably never even heard of in the lists. There are surprises each year.
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