Thursday, August 16, 2007

International Gamer's Awards - WTF?????

The IGA announced their Historical Simulations category winner for 2007, and it was A Victory Lost. Up against it were several mediocre games, including the sadly broken Shifting Sands, and the SCS reprint of Afrika, but I have to say I was stunned that Combat Commander did not whup every other game in the field. CC:E is superior in almost every measurable way to AVL, the sole exception being that if you can't handle the fact that a battlefield is an inherently chaotic place, you won't like the game. Most armchair generals tend toward being control freaks, I guess. Still, they gave the nod to Twilight Struggle the year before, which I find equally baffling, so I guess they are living up to their non-newsworthiness that has plagued the award since it's inception.

What is definitely disturbing, and why I won't pay the slightest attention to the award in the future, is that the developer for A Victory Lost is one of the judges. Yes, I've looked at how they vote and who wins, but the very fact that the developer is involved in any way completely destroys the credibility of the vote. [Ed. note - Adam Starkweather abstained from the voting, and I apologize to Adam and the IGA for not checking this before posting to the blog. I still stand by my contention that CC:E is a more worthy recipient of the award. Thanks to Greg for catching this.]

I would like to be clear that I think that AVL is a very good game, and in any other year it probably *should* be the winner. However, given the expandability, story, elegance, tension, literary feel, and above all the best damned wargame rulebook *ever*, how CC:E failed to win completely escapes me. So what killed it, guys? No tanks? Didn't draw a Recover card when you needed one?

I guess that's why no one cares about this award.


Greg said...

I can't comment on the relative quality of the games in question, not having played any of them, but I think you may be off base about the judges.

I don't see Tetsuya Nakamura on the list of committee members on the IGA site for either the historical or strategic categories.


Dug said...

I'm not talking about Tetsuya. I'm talking about Adam Starkweather, the guy who brought the game to the US. He's definitely one of the judges.

Frankly, I understand that this is an incestuous industry/hobby, and the luminaries tend to also be involved in producing games as well. And that doesn't minimize my concern one bit.

Dug said...

I should be specific here: I said "developer" which is Adam Starkweather's role in the game. Tetsuya is the designer. Adam has a financial interest in the game, even if we're all pretty sure that no one is getting rich in this industry. Hence, a conflict of interest.

Greg said...

After reading your recent comments I checked with Greg J. Schloesser, the contact at the International Gamers Awards site, and he promptly replied that Adam abstained from voting this year.

I don't know why I'm following through with this, since I hold no stake in the awards or any of the games or persons involved. I apologize for the confusion over developer/designer and for possibly being annoying.