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2019 Board Game Award Winners

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2019 Board Game Award Winners

A couple of weeks ago we announced our nominees for our 7th Annual Board Game Awards. 2019 had some great offerings for tabletop gaming and we always enjoy taking one last look back at the year to recognize the best and most creative among them.

Today we are excited to announce the winners for our 2019 Board Game Awards. As usual, the voting was difficult and some categories were extremely tight. But our editorial staff (along with input from our readers) have made their selections. So without further ado, here are the winners of our 7th Annual Board Game Quest Awards. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

2019 Board Game Award Winners

Marvel Champions

Best Cooperative Game

2019 Best Cooperative GameMarvel Champions
Designers: Michael Boggs, Nate French, Caleb Grace
Fantasy Flight Games
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When Marvel Champions was announced at Gen Con 2019, the BGQ staff gave a collective “meh.” It seemed… OK. Well, we are big enough to admit it when we are wrong. Marvel Champions ended up being an exciting, easy to learn game that lets players jump into the shoes of their favorite Marvel superheroes. While the gameplay allows for some creative deck construction, it can also be played by just mashing together a hero, an aspect, and a few basic cards. This allows players be as granular as they like with their decks. With regular releases every month, this one has been getting to our tabletops quite often!

Runner Up: Letter Jam

 

Claustrophobia 1643

Best Tactical/Combat Game

2019 Best Combat Game

Claustrophobia 1643
Designer: Christophe Réaux, Laurent Pouchain
Monolith
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This excellent 2-player, asymmetrical game has one side controlling a team of warriors trying to hold back the darkness, and the other taking charge of a host of demons. Claustrophobia 1643 is actually based off the 2009 version of this title, but takes it to another level with upgraded components and more streamlined rules. It’s easy to jump in and started playing Claustrophobia 1643, and the diverse scenarios offer players plenty of chances for fast and furious combat.

Runner Up: Undaunted: Normandy

 

Raiders of the North Sea Digital

Best Digital Board Game

Best Digital Board GameRaiders of the North Sea
Developer: Direwolf Digital
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Developer Dire Wolf Digital is no stranger to board game apps, having developed both Lotus and Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. However, their implementation of Raiders of the North Sea is their most ambitious title to date and they absolutely nailed it. They took this unique worker placement game and gave players a variety of ways to play. Not only that, but there is a guided tutorial that easily teaches players the ins and outs of the game. There were a lot of great board game apps released this year, but Raiders of the North Sea was definitely our favorite.

Runner Up: The Castles of Burgundy

 

Wingspan Gameplay

Best Production Values

2019 Best Production ValuesWingspan
Designer: Elizabeth Hargrave
Stonemaier Games
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Publisher Stonemaier Games is no stranger to amazingly produced games. From their very first offering of Viticulture, Stonemaiaer always seemed to emphasize quality of components and artwork. Wingspan definitely carries on that tradition with attention to detail given to every aspect of the game. From the custom dice, to the thematic dice tower, to even the excellent artwork, Wingspan impresses from the moment you open the box.

Runner Up: Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon

 

Nemesis Gameplay

Best Thematic Game

2019 Best Thematic GameNemesis
Designer: Adam Kwapiński
Awaken Realms
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Stop me if you heard this one before… you wake up out of cryosleep on your spaceship and something isn’t right. All of a sudden monstrous aliens appear threatening to tear you limb from limb. Nemesis is a call back to the Aliens franchise as players must either cooperate, or kind of work together as they attempt to survive aboard a ship full of alien monsters. Players will be searching for useful items, exploring the ship to find objectives, and just doing their best to stay alive in an environment that’s constantly trying to take them out.

Runner Up: Star Wars: Outer Rim

 

Barrage Gameplay

Best Euro/Strategy Game

Best Euro GameBarrage
Designer: Tommaso Battista, Simone Luciani
Cranio Creations
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Barrage does what you want from a complex Eurogame. It has long term planning and benefits for scoring in individual rounds, while having enough opportunities to score in other ways. It has a variable set up so there isn’t an optimal first move to make. There are player power combinations that create different strategies for each play. And there is just enough interaction to where the players care what each other can do. Barrage’s crunchy decisions and inventive construction wheel make it stand atop the majority of today’s Euros, while fitting in with classic heavy games like Terra Mystica and Dominant Species.

Runner Up: Pipeline

 

Parks Gameplay

Best Game from a Small Publisher

2019 Best Game from a Small PublisherPARKS
Designers: Henry Audubon
Keymaster Games
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With PARKS, Keymaster Games created a game that’s not only beautiful to look at, but fun to play. Players embark on a hiking trip to visit national parks around the country. As they move along the trailhead they will be collecting resources (to visit parks), taking pictures, and acquiring special abilities in the form of canteens and gear cards. PARKS was a pleasant surprise and has us looking forward to the upcoming expansion later this year.

Runner Up: Dinogenics

 

Watergate Gameplay

Best Two Player Game

2019 Best Two Player GameWatergate
Designer: Matthias Cramer
Capstone Games
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This was a super tight race, but the scandal themed game just barely takes the nod for best two player game. Watergate might not attract everyone with its political theme, but it’s almost impossible not to immediately love it after playing a game. Watergate forces players to walk a tightrope as they try and balance collecting evidence, momentum, and initiative in this asymmetrical game. Throw in some multiuse cards with a lot of hard decisions to make and you have a game that impresses from right out the gate.

Runner Up: Shobu

 

Best Party Game

Best Party Game

2019 Best Party GameTEAM3
Designer: Alex Cutler, Matt Fantastic
Brain Games
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This unusual game from Brain Games has players trying to assemble blocks of shapes. Sounds easy right? Not so fast because players must work in teams of three players. One player can’t see and is the only one that can touch the pieces. Another player can’t talk and is the only one that can see the card that has the order of the shapes. And the third player? They have to act as the go-between for the other two. TEAM3 can be played fully cooperative with just three players, or you can add in more players and have it be team vs team vs team game as players race to be the first to complete the structure.

Runner Up: Letter Jam

 

Parks Gameplay

Best Family Game

2019 Best Family GamePARKS
Designer: Henry Audubon
Keymaster Games
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PARKS takes home its second award in the best family game category. The beautiful art and easy to learn gameplay made this one an easy choice to play with family and friends. The rules are simple enough that players can sit down and be playing in a matter of minutes, and each park card also has interesting information from the national park it’s based on.

Runner Up: Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale

 

Wingspan Gameplay

Game of the Year

2019 Game of the YearWingspan
Designer: Elizabeth Hargrave
Stonemaier Games
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Wingspan debuted in the first week of January 2019 and there was talk even at that point in the year that it could be the best game of the year. So it should be no surprise that Wingspan takes home the top spot in our awards this year. Wingspan is already on its 7th printing in just a year and a half, a feat most new board games could only dream of accomplishing. Designer Elizabeth Hargrave’s engine-building game about birds has already seen an expansion and is attracting more and more fans every day. From its engaging gameplay to its excellent production values, Wingspan never fails to impress us.

Runner Up: Marvel Champions

Note: Per award rules, because it won Game of the Year, Wingspan was removed from consideration from other award categories except Best Production Values.

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