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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Spiel des Jahres 2011 - The Winners

Laszlo Molnar
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I guess after my blog posts Predictions before the Spiel des Jahres nominations are out and Thoughts after the Spiel des Jahres nominees were announced I should write this follow-up as the winners were announced today.
So, as you quite probably know, Qwirkle won Spiel des Jahres and 7 Wonders won Kennerspiel des Jahres (not really "Complex game of the year" award as many think; it's more "The game of the year that is accessible to those who are not absolute beginners").

In my predictions I said I can see 7 Wonders easily winning the "more serious" award and I was right; of course it wasn't hard to predict (it might be a bit better feat that i predicted this even before the nominations were announced).
A month ago I wrote
Now all I want to see if my prediction about 7 Wonders
I predict hardcore gamers getting upset because of this nomination/win.

turns out to be true or not.

and I see I was quite right so I feel satisfied.

On the other hand, there is the surprising news of Qwirkle winning Spiel des Jahres. I predicted Asara winning although I thought Forbidden Island also might have a chance (friendly theme, a family-friendly version of an already Spiel des Jahres-nominated game...). While I really like Asara I think it was the Fresco of this year, being a fairly simple Euro that was still not outstanding enough to win. I feel a bit sad as I liked Asara more than Fresco as its core "worker-card placement" mechanism was a nice idea that made the game feel fresh (while I could not find any novel idea in Fresco, a game I also like).
So what about Qwirkle? Do I think this one didn't deserve the award? I can't tell. Probably it deserved it. I taught the game to my wife who enjoyed it pretty much and said she wants to play it again soon. So it quite probably fits the award.

It's just... I can't help but think about how unlucky Herr Knizia was because Ticket to Ride was published in the same year as Ingenious. Ingenious would have won the award in many years of the 2000s but not in 2004. Qwirkle (originally published 2 years later) takes more than one idea from Ingenious, feels like Ingenious, is (just a bit) more luck-dependent than Ingenious and is clearly inferior to Ingenious. It's not a bad game... I just didn't see this one winning.

Whatever. Congratulations to the winners, and I still think the jury knows their job exceptionally well!
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