2011 Dice Tower Awards Winners Announced

Although not perfect, the Dice Tower Awards seem to be one of the better sets of board/card gaming awards out there (imperfection #1: total blind spot when it comes to CCGs like Magic/L5R and miniatures games like WH40K/War Machine). That and the Golden Geek Awards from the various Geekdo websites, really. Well, the 2011 winners have now been announced (yes, that’s 2011 – unlike most awards they actually let at least a little time pass before deciding on the winners, so that there’s a little more time for people to play games and for longer-term opinions to form). Thankfully, Quarriors! did not convert any of its multiple nominations into a win.

I won’t just list all the winners here, since you can follow the links. Mostly a good set of choices (maybe not what I would have picked, but mostly reasonable). There are two that I’d like to comment on, however. First, best art. The winner was the Lord of the Rings LCG. Now, it’s not that this game doesn’t have good art. But, when listening to the Dice Tower episode interviewing the LotR art director and how such a big deal was made out of the process they had to go through with all the art, all I could think about was how every decent CCG has to go through this process with every single expansion. This was one area where the blindness to CCGs seemed pretty blatant – Magic and L5R constantly churn out art quality that is way higher than almost any board/card game out there. But they aren’t even considered for this award, apparently for no reason other than their sales model is CCG instead of LCG.

The award that raised my eyebrows was handing Best Wargame to A Few Acres of Snow, a deckbuilding/wargame mix. It’s an asymmetrical two-player game that is completely broken once you know what you’re doing – one side basically can’t win. I can’t tell you which wargame should have won (I join most of the Dice Tower voters in not being plugged into that particular subsection of the hobby), but I don’t see how the very best wargame of the year could be a game that is entirely nonfunctional once you actually know how to play it.

That’s only 2 out of 13 categories, however, which is a much better hit rate than something like the Origins awards, which often seem to have no connection to what good games actually came out that year. So it’s worth checking out the awards (and nominees) list if you’re looking to see what you might have missed from last year.

4 thoughts on “2011 Dice Tower Awards Winners Announced

  1. You should’ve known that, as your own opinion about games (like your Quarriors! review), TDT opinion is also biased.

    About aFAoS I can’t tell because it isn’t my cup of tea, I don’t spend time on Martin Wallace games.

    As for the LOTR as best art… well, you want to top it with L5R. Ok, L5R has great pieces of artwork on the cards, but look at the card design. Much has improved in L5R card design, bless that, but compare the card design of this new design with the card design of the LOTR: CCG. The LOTR cards don’t have any borders and the artwork just fusion with the remaining elements of the card. They (FFG) did this with Warhammer Invasion LCG and the result was astonishing.
    Also, add that to the LOTR license and there you’ll have your prize.

    I’m not biased at all… I’ve had a copy of LOTR and sold it again because I didn’t like how the game flows, it didn’t make sense to me. But the looks of it, yeah, the main reason I’ve bought it!

  2. LoTR definitely has some great art, but I’d have to agree that the best of Magic and L5R trumps the best of LoTR, and the fact that they weren’t at least nominated in this category is fairly telling.

    What’s a bit frustrating to me is that there is no text explaining the picks. Perhaps they just liked the way that AFAOS mixed in deckbuilding and chose innovation over repetition? (Completely a guess, I’ve not played the other games so it’s a complete shot in the dark)

    Also, I assume you meant to link the awards somewhere in the article? 🙂

    1. I’m not sure what they’d do for an explanation. They have a panel of about 40 people (not all of whom vote on every category). There’s some statements on the podcast episode doing the announcements, but I imagine that’s mostly the opinion of the guy who is tasked with making that particular announcement, rather than some formal blending of the opinions of the various voters.

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