2014 Readers Choice Awards WINNERS
Who took home the coveted Readers Choice titles for games released in 2014? Charge on and see!
Our Readers’ Choice Awards process isn’t hard to figure out – it’s all up to you! All year long we take your nominations in the forum threads we keep open for the whole year, and any game that’s nominated (and that was released within that calendar year) gets included. Our editorial team helps group some of the categories together, but if you nominated it, it’s here somewhere – we only edit out the games that don’t qualify based on their release dates.
This year, we saw some excellent games nominated, and some excellent games not nominated (looking at you, Divinity!), but overall, the readership seems to have conferred the coveted “Readers Choice” titles on some outstanding games
Our bread-and-butter, the Tabletop Strategy / Historical Game, didn’t see a ton of nominations. But to be fair it was a down year overall for tabletop wargame releases. GMT’s Unconditional Surrender handily won with 40% of the vote. For the second year in a row, a COIN system game finished second, as Fire in the Lake had a strong showing. Third and fourth place were both DVG games, with Fleet Commander Nimitz claiming the final spot in this category.
The Tabletop Sci-Fi / Fantasy Game of the Year voting would have been a runaway in any other year, with Dead of Winter taking over half the vote. Xia: Legends of a Drift System finished second, and Run, Fight or Die tied with Mars Attacks for third.
The reason that Dead of Winter wasn’t this year’s runaway winner was that Thunder Alley left skidmarks all over the competition in the Tabletop Euro / Casual Game category, with 57% of the vote. Second and third were King of New York and Five Tribes, respectively, but both were barely into double digits.
The Tabletop Expansion of the Year saw two Eldritch Horror games nominated, but Eldritch Horror – Mountains of Madness won handily, while Forsaken Lore failed to finish in the top 3. Among the Stars: Expanding the Alliance finished second; Tuscany – Expand the World of Viticulture took third.
With enough nominations for a separate category, we included a Tabletop 4X Game category, and Imperial Settlers beat out Tiny Epic Kingdoms and Hyperborea for first, second, and third, respectively.
In a return victory from last year the Tabletop Reprint / Reissue of the Year was last year’s winner, as The Hunters (2d printing) took home the prize in a rout.
When we threw every nomination (except the reprint/reissue) in one Tabletop Game of the Year category, the grognards still came out on top, as Unconditional Surrender and Fire in the Lake finished one-two. In a reversal from the category-specific voting, DVG’s Warfighter: The Special Forces Card Game beat out Fleet Commander: Nimitz for third.
The Digital Strategy / Historical Game of the Year category had some fierce competition and close votes, and ultimately East Prussia ’14 came out ahead of the much-anticipated Lock n’ Load: Heroes of Stalingrad and Combat Mission: Red Thunder.
The Digital Sci-Fi / Fantasy Game of the Year competition was equally tight, with Distant Worlds: Universe (the subject of one of our running AARs) finishing ahead of Age of Wonders III, and Elite: Dangerous coming in third.
With a variety of Digital Expansion / DLC options to nominate, this category was expected to be pretty competitive, and EUIV – Art of War finished ahead of Rome 2 – Total War: Wrath of Sparta and Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls, with almost everyone seeing double-digit support.
The Digital RPG / Action Game of the Year voting was also all over the place, with no game getting left woefully behind in the balloting. Ultimately Dragon Age: Inquisition could not be denied, and Wasteland 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor finished two and three.
As with the tabletop category, our Digital Game of the Year balloting with everyone in the same category, the grogs smashed the competition. East Prussia ’14 won, with Distant Worlds: Universe sneaking into second, and Lock n’ Load: Heroes of Stalingrad and Combat Mission: Red Thunder tied for third.
Congratulations to all of our winners, and don’t forget to keep tabs on our year-long nomination threads to put forth your favorites throughout 2015.
What do you think? Did our readers get it right? Leave your thoughts below, or in our forums >>