BGG Annual Awards Controversy & Other Board Game News

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  1. Wingspan (+1.0%)
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  3. Gloomhaven (-60.5%)
  4. The Crew (+1.2%)
  5. Maracaibo (-12.5%)

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Top BGA Content

Controversy Behind 14th Annual Golden Geek Awards

"The problem is not popular voting, it's badly-defined categories" - Designer Elizabeth Hargrave

Looks like "awards" will be the theme of this month. Two weeks ago, I wrote an article highlighting how much exposure the past Spiel des Jahres winners have obtained by winning this prestigious award. Few days later, BGG also released the results of their annual awards and caused quite a stir—Wingspan won 7 different categories including Game of the Year, Best Artwork, Best Card Game, Best Family, Best Solo, Best Strategy, and Most Innovative Game. You can take a look here for more background on this story and for convenience, user Crazybirdman gathered Elizabeth's response to this event in the comments section.

The Takeaway

An award with little moderation and clarity in its categories is bound to go south. And with the nominees going against Wingspan that has at least 5-10x the number of owners, it was tough competition. So that got me thinking—what should we do for BGA? I personally love the idea of breaking away from the norm so I started a thread for unconventional board game awards. Here's a highly specific category suggested by J from 3 Minute Board Games that I know for sure we can't use—Best board game that should have been about beavers but wasn't: Barrage.


This week is packed with cool projects we are sponsoring to help spread the word. Whether it's your need for elevating your gaming experience with a modular table and avoiding food hazards, storing your valuable dice set, or searching for a new game to add to your shelf, you can check them out here:

Things Found on the Web

Cloudspire - The Peak of Overproduction?

"The playmat is made of neoprene. The tiles that you put on that playmat are also made of neoprene, making this the first board game in the world that offers you neoprene-on-neoprene action" - No Pun Included

I don't know if I'll ever get past Cloudspire's massive barrier to entry in its high price point and its complex ruleset (same with Too Many Bones), but this is a fun review anyone should check out. Especially if you need a waterproofed game.

Press Releases and Deals

I just got Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated and found out they're coming out with an expansion to accommodate 6 players! Welcome news for any Clank! fans out there. Plus, the release date for Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion has been confirmed for July 2020. This will offer a more accessible experience for those interested in Gloomhaven but afraid of diving too deep.

Lastly, I don't know about you, but the recent times have gotten me into digital board game adaptations way more than ever. There's a great deal on Humble Bundle at the moment where you can get Scythe, Small World, Patchwork, and many other great games at less than $25 total. You'll be helping out a charity in the process and you can specify how your money will get distributed.


You can enter now by contributing to the community! Leave comments, make a post, add missing data on the game pages to gain as many entries before the deadline.

Thanks for the read! I will report in again on the Spiel des Jahres once the nominees are announced in a few days. I'm also thinking of running a giveaway to see what your predictions are for the 2020 winners, so be on the lookout!

- Phil & Trent

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6 months ago

I like the idea of doing something outside of the 'best XYZ' awards. I would kind of be interested in taking winners of previous years awards and assessing the impact and longevity of them: i.e. does this game still hold up 1/5/10 years later? How/has it changed the landscape of board games?

Similarly, some kind of award to raise awareness of games or designers out on the fringes of the board game world. New designers or those from countries without the same kind of board game infrastructure to get the attention they deserve. Give people new places to look and explore. Not sure how you do that but could be cool.

Owner6 months ago

Great ideas, and I'd especially love to help highlight international designers.

6 months ago

Thanks, it is such a saturated market at this point (not that I am complaining) but I don't doubt there are some phenomenal games out by there that I just never hear about!

Supporter6 months ago

Man I love those ideas, especially the first one. 

6 months ago

Thanks! I also wonder if it would be good to have an ever evolving set of awards, with different categories each year, so as not to favour particular types of games?

Supporter6 months ago

I could see that as being a good option.

I was thinking something along the lines of Best (insert category) of 2 years ago......

6 months ago

Absolutely, and have people vote on whether their experience of it has improved/stagnated over that time? Maybe also allow people to vote on what game has become it's successor/great game that it influenced - especially if we are looking further back, like 5-10 years.

Supporter6 months ago

I like that idea.

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