2015 Spiel des Jahres and KedJ predictions

The awards for the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres are announced tomorrow morning. Here is my speculation about which of the three nominees for each prize will be celebrating victory.

Spiel des Jahres

For the main award, I’ve played all three nominees: Colt Express, Machi Koro and The Game… spiel so lange du kannst! All three are fun games that I could see as a good  choice but I don’t see The Game… as a serious contender. It’s a small card game, has little expansion potential and doesn’t do the “co-op with limited communication” genre as well as Hanabi (even though I prefer it to the earlier game). Of the other two, I’d like Machi Koro to win, as it’s a fantastic light game where the dice rarely do what you want them to, but I think the toy factor of the three-dimensional train will get the nod for Colt Express.

Kennerspiel des Jahres

Unfortunately, I’ve only played one of the KedJ nominees: Elysium. As a next step up game, it fits the criterion really well and you can see plenty of potential for expanding the game – even though that’s something I don’t really appreciate. Orleans has the bag-building mechanism that was the novelty of Essen last year and seems a pretty solid game, whereas Broom Service was a surprise nominee to me (and a lot of other people) as it is a re-working of Witch’s Brew but it does seem to add a bit to that earlier game. I really am having difficulty judging what the judges might be looking for from these three nominees so I’m going to say Broom Service, as I hope it makes what was already a fun game even better.

Weekend gaming: Genies, zombies and ravages

Yesterday, Jan, Cat and Becky joined me for a game of Tales of the Arabian Nights, a game we’ve not played since August 2012. Becky was the one who wanted to play and it took us about three hours before I eventually accumulated the right number of destiny and story points. Jan spent half the game as a donkey.

This afternoon, I tried two new games in solo mode. Run, Fight or Die! is an edge of your seat game about keeping the zombies back while trying to rescue followers and get to the edge of town. It was touch and go for much of the game and I thought I was doomed on a couple of occasions but I did just manage to win as the Athlete, helping the Obnoxious Councilman and the Hot Chick with Attitude to the Town Line with 1 health point remaining.

My second game was Sylvion and this seemed really hard. You are trying to preserve the forest while the game is seeking to burn everything down. Unfortunately I lost by the forest being overrun on round 10. However, a helpful video playthrough that I watched afterwards has given me some good ideas on how to play better next time.