Since 2000, the International Gamers Awards have recognized outstanding games and their designers and publishers. Each year, an international collection of committee members votes to determine the best general strategy game in two categories: Best Multi-player Game, and Best 2-Player Game. Game released from July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 are eligible for consideration. Below are the finalists for the 2018 International Gamers Award.
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – Multi Player category
Designer: Michael Keller
Publisher: Quined Games
Designer: Reiner Stockhausen
Publisher: dlp Games
Designer: Michael Kiesling
Publisher: Plan B Games
Clans of Caledonia
Designer: Juma Al-Jou Jou
Publisher: Karma Games
Designer: Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance
Publisher: Le Scorpion Masqué
Designer: Jens Drögemüller & Helge Ostertag
Publisher: Feuerland Spiele
Designer: Stefan Risthaus
Heaven & Ale
Designer: Michael Kiesling & Andreas Schmidt
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Lookout Games
Designer: Vladimir Suchy
Publisher: Czech Games Edition
Rajas of the Ganges
Designer: Inka & Markus Brand
Designer: Eilif Svensson & Kristian Amundsen Ostby
Publisher: Aporta Games
Designer: Mac Gerdts
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – 2 Player category
Designer: Vlaada Chvatil & Scot Eaton
Publisher: Czech Games Edition
The Fox in the Forest
Designer: Joshua Buergel
Publisher: Foxtrot Games
13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Designer: Asger Harding Granerud & Daniel Skjold Pederson
Publisher: Jolly Roger Games
Designer: Scott Almes
Publisher: White Goblin Games
Designer: Brian Train
Publisher: GMT Games
Fog of Love
Designer: Jacob Jaskov
Publisher: Hush Hush Projects
Shadows in Kyoto
Designer: Wei-Min Ling
Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.
The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.
Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.
Creating New Galaxies and Federations
Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.
Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.
Starting on the Cutting Edge
You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.
Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.
Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.
A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.
A Legacy of Success
Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:
The Dice Tower Top Ten Lists still include Terra Mystica on a frequent basis, including these appearances:
- The 2017 Top Ten from 5 Years Ago list had Eric placing the game at #2 and The People ranking the game #2.
- The 2015 list of the 100 greatest games had Tom listing the game at 39, Eric listing the game at #19 and The People ranking the game at 15.
- Eric ranks the game as the 7th best Long Game.