Final thoughts on SdJ 2009

spiel_des_jahresNot too long ago, I wrote a few posts regarding the Spiel des Jahres nominees and winner for 2009 and the list of SdJ recommended games.

Since I wrote my initial thoughts, I’ve managed to play all five nominees and another two of the games on the recommended list. We know that Dominion was the big winner, and while that’s not my personal favorite from the list, I do feel that it was a perfectly valid choice. Congratulations to all involved in the creation and development of Dominion. However, here’s my own list of the SdJ nominees ranked in the order of my own preference.

  1. Pandemic, designed by Matt Leacock.
  2. FITS, designed by Reiner Knizia.
  3. Finca, designed by Ralf zur Linde and Wolfgang Sentker.
  4. Fauna, designed by Friedemann Friese.
  5. Dominion, designed by Donald Vaccarino.

Pandemic was an easy pick for first for me. I love the game. I can play it with gamers and non-gamers. I love the theme and the mechanics of play. It’s just plain fun. FITS takes second place because I love puzzle game. It’s not as good of a game as the three that follow it, but I love puzzle games! This is at the top of my buy list.

The next three choices were much more difficult. I originally had Dominion ranked third, because I think the deck building mechanic is clever, but if I really just base my decision on what I would like to play right now, it ranks at the bottom. I know many people who would rank Finca at the bottom, but my wife likes the game and I really enjoy playing games with her, cause she’s pretty cute, and so I think maybe my opinion of Finca is a bit better than the game deserves. I thought Fauna was a lot of fun, even if we needed a metric conversion chart to play it. I think the scoring can be a little slow, and it really is just a trivia game, but I played it with some really fun people. Maybe my opinion is skewed on this one as well. I think Dominion is a good game, but it hasn’t grabbed me, and if I’m going to play a game in that genre, I would rather play Race for the Galaxy.

On the recommended list, I’ve played both Diamond’s Club and Zack & Pack. Diamond’s Club is a good mixture of a few different games. I enjoyed it, but I don’t really need to own it. Zack & Pack is another puzzle game that I just might have to own. I heard that initially there were some serious issues, but that there was a problem with the translation of the rules. When I played it, there was a new translation, and I loved it. I may add that to the list of stuff to buy for dad because we never know what to get him for Christmas.

Have fun gaming!

3 thoughts on “Final thoughts on SdJ 2009”

  1. Although I’ve been playing the poop out of Dominion lately (and enjoying it), I think I have to agree that Pandemic would have been a better choice. I might be crazy, but I think it’s easier to introduce to non gamers. Also the cooperative nature of the game appeals to me, but that’s probably just because I’m a big Lefty. 😀

    When did you play Fauna, does someone in Fresno have it.

  2. I totally agree with you about Pandemic… very fun and I’d like to see more co-op board games come out other than the handful so far. Dominion, I’m not a fan but I appreciate the game design. The others, I have yet to play. Maybe some games for me to look into.

  3. @middleclassjoe: I need to get in on the Dominion thing. I’ve obviously missed something. I played Fauna in Los Angeles. You should buy a copy so we can have one here. 🙂

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