August 14, 2006

International Gamer Awards 2006 Finalists Announced

Every year the IGA Committee selects the best of the best board games from that year, including the genres of Multiplayer Strategy Board Games, Two Player Strategy Board Games, and Historical Simulations (read: Wargames). Past winners include Ticket to Ride Europe (2006), War of the Ring, Puerto Rico, and Memoir '44, which are all really top notch games. In other words, the folks in the IGA Committees don't make poor decisions, at least not when it comes to gaming.

So whats up for an award in 2006? Glad you asked! Here are the nominees for the Multiplayer and 2-Player Categories (if you're a wargammer, then you should check out the Official Nominee List which includes Historical Simulation category, too). Our favorite titles on the lists are described in detail

==Multiplayer Games==

Antike.8.14.06.jpgANTIKE [FunagainGames]

  • Designer: Mac Gerdts
  • Publisher: Rio Grande Games
  • Antike is a challenging strategy game about evolution and competition among ancient civilizations. Ancient nations create cities, build temples, sail the seas, and discover new principles of science and technology. Their legions and galleys open new settlements and defend their people against attacks from their enemies. Two scenarios can be chosen as the game board is two-sided. Players choose from Greeks, Romans, and Germanic tribes and Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians, and Babylonians.

BlueMoonCity.8.14.06.jpgBlue Moon City [Funagain]

  • Designer: Reiner Knizia
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • Blue Moon City -- the board game for 2 to 4 players -- picks up where the 2-player card game ended: with the reconstruction of the destroyed city of Blue Moon. Players vie to impress the dragons, collect crystals, and ultimately gain the leadership of Blue Moon City and win the game. Blue Moon City’s modular board is formed from 21 large building tiles, which show building plans on one side and the buildings in their reconstructed glory on the other. The game also includes wooden player figures, 80 cards depicting the 8 races of Blue Moon, and, as in the card game, 3 large molded plastic dragons.

Caylus.8.14.06.jpgCaylus [Funagain]

  • Designer: William Attia
  • Publisher: Rio Grande Games
  • The year is 1289. To strengthen the borders of the Kingdom of France, King Philip the Fair decided to have a new castle built. For the time being, Caylus is but a humble village, but soon, workers and craftsmen will be flocking by the cartload, attracted by the great prospects. Around the building site, a city is slowly rising up...

    The players embody master builders. By building the King’s castle and developing the city around it, they earn prestige points and gain the King’s favor. When the castle is finished, the player who has earned the most prestige wins the game.

DasEnde.8.14.06.jpgDas Ende des Triumvirats [Funagain]

  • Designers: Max Gabrian & Johannes Ackva
  • Publisher: Z-Man Games
  • The year is 56 BC. Civil war prevails in the Roman republic. The historical three-man alliance between Caesar, Pompeius and Crassus, the first "Triumvirat", could not be renewed at the conference, and an embittered enmity breaks out between the three rivals. Now they try to outdo each other, in order to attain supremacy in the realm.

    In addition they demand supply from their provinces, move their legions through their opponents' spheres of influence, and try to bring the citizens of Rome onto their side. To whom will Jupiter be most disposed at the end?

Hacienda.8.14.06.jpgHacienda [Funagain]

  • Designer: Hans im Glück
  • Publisher: Rio Grande Games
  • Argentina at the beginning of 19th century. The pastures of the pampas seem to go on forever. You have enough money to buy land and cattle to build a small hacienda. During the game, players develop their haciendas, increase their herds and land holdings, open new markets, and worry about water supplies and harvests. Also, players must watch their competitors at all times. At game end, the winner is the player with the largest and most important hacienda.

    The game comes with two game boards, each requiring a different strategy and approach to be successful and win. The game also offers an alternate scoring system, giving players yet other ways to play. Hacienda is a game that requires thought and planning throughout, representing a challenge for each player.

ThurnAndTaxis.8.14.06.jpgThurns & Taxis[Funagain]

  • Designers: Andreas & Karen Seyfarth
  • Publisher: Rio Grande Games
  • In 1490, Kaiser Maximilian I awarded Franz von Taxis the contract to deliver mail between the Kaiser's residences in Innsbruck and Brussels. He did such a good job, that postal services in the country continue to be connected with the name Thurn and Taxis. With the introduction of postal carriages in the middle of the 17th century, members of the family were raised to Count status and given the hereditary title of Postmaster General. The game begins at this point in history.

    Can you emulate the achievements of this family and build a successful postal network? Do you have the talent to connect the right cities to create an effective network and not lose sight of the need to acquire new carriages when they are needed? Plan your moves carefully and watch your opponents' moves carefully, so you are prepared to respond to them.

    The game takes you back in time and gives you challenges that will bring you back to the game over and over.

Other Nominated Multiplayer Titles:

  • Indonesia [Funagain] - Splotter Spellen
  • Jenseits Von Theben - Prinz Spiele
  • Mykerinos [Funagain] - Rio Grande Games
  • Railroad Tycoon [Funagain] - Eagle Games
  • Um Krone Und Kragen [Funagain] - Rio Grande Games

==Two Player Games==

TwilightStruggle.8.14.06.jpgTwilight Struggle [Funagain]

  • Designers: Ananda Gupta & Jason Matthews
  • Publisher: GMT Games
  • In 1945, unlikely allies toppled Hitler's war machine, while humanity's most devastating weapons forced the Japanese Empire to its knees in a storm of fire. Where once there stood many great powers, there now stood only two -- the United States and the Soviet Union. The world had scant months to collectively sigh in relief before a new conflict threatened. Unlike the titanic struggles of the preceding decades, this conflict would be waged not primarily by soldiers and tanks, but by spies and politicians, scientists and intellectuals, artists and traitors. Twilight Struggle is a two-player game simulating the 45-year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the USSR and the USA. The entire world is the stage on which these two titans fight. The game begins amidst the ruins of Europe as the two new superpowers scramble over the wreckage of WWII and ends in 1989, when only the United States remained standing.

    Twilight Struggle inherits its fundamental systems from the card-driven classics We the People and Hannibal. It is a quick-playing, low-complexity game in that same tradition. The game map is a world map of the period, whereon players move units and exert influence in attempts to gain allies and control for their superpower.

    Twilight Struggle's Event cards add detail and flavor to the game. They cover a vast array of historical happenings: the Arab-Israeli conflicts, Vietnam, the peace movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and other such incidents that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. Subsystems capture the prestige-laden Space Race as well as nuclear tensions, with the possibility of game-ending nuclear war. Can you, as the U.S. President or Soviet Premier, lead your nation to victory? Play Twilight Struggle and find out.

PUNCT.8.14.06.jpgPUNCT [Funagain, Amazon]

  • Designer: Kris Burm
  • Publisher: Rio Grande Games
  • PÜNCT is the final game of Project GIPF, a series of games that, as you probably know, was announced to consist of 6 games and a number of sets with additional pieces. GIPF, the central game of the Project, was initially released in Belgium in 1997. Now, 8 years later, the series is complete.

    PUNCT is a connection game: the goal is to link two opposite sites. On your turn, you either bring a new piece into play, or you move a piece that is already on the board. The more pieces you bring into play, the more possibilities you have to make a connection. But each time you put a new piece on the board, you reveal a bit of what your plan is. The trick is to place your pieces in such a way that your opponent will expect you to do something different from what you really have in mind. As such, PÜNCT is not only about making a connection, but also about misleading your opponent! You'll have to proceed subtly!

BattlesOfTheThirdAge.8.14.06.jpgWar of the Ring: Battles of the Third Age [Funagain]

  • Designers: Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello and Roberto Di Meglio
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • The first expansion to the best-selling War of the Ring game makes the greatest strategy game created from The Lord of the Rings even greater, with more figures, exciting additions to the rules, and a complete companion game which enables you to re-fight the most popular siege battles at the end of the Third Age!

    War of the Ring: Battles of the Third Age introduces new armies and figures, including the Ents, Dunlendings, Siege Towers, Catapults, Orc Archers, Southron Cavalry, and more!

    You will have a chance to add these new figures to make your War of the Ring battles even more fun... and to re-fight the battles of Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith on a new gameboard, with new rules which move the game from the grand-strategy to the tactical scale and add a whole new dimension to War of the Ring!

Other Nominated Two Player Titles:

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at August 14, 2006 1:59 PM

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