Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My Hangout Gaming Group's 2018 Annual Awards

Written by Lloyd Gyan

Yes it was a tough contender, with Games coming out of the woodwork to score ALL the points in all the wrong places. We had some surprising twists in certain categories.

Best System:
Yes this award goes to god's gift on dice and possibility. Considering the crazy amount of games that went through this year, this was not chosen lightly, and I think we can all agree that the winner impressed us with its style, understanding, and adaptation to our gaming formula

Tied 1st place: Rovers, and 2d Engine

Rovers by Aviatrix Games has come out of nowhere to completely dominate our Space Game market. What started off as a simple one page document run on off-days spawned a 5 part series that none of us expected. It was only beaten by the 2D engine game Tales from the Water Margin written by our own Ricardo Lenzi. Both games were very much top contenders for this role, so it's nice to see a tie for systems in a world where we were all so very much divided.

Runners up: Scum & Villany, Forbidden Lands, L5R 5th Edition, One Ring.

Best Setting:
This award goes to the world that mostly wowed us with its lore, people, and style. A fantastic universe that helps secure the winning name and structure is a difficult task, considering how many worlds we end up seeing each year, and this award is not one to be given lightly.

1st Place: Shadow of the Demon Lord

Shadow of the Demon lord will not win any awards for the dice mechanic, but what it will win is its hollow aesthetic of a dark, desperate world, where monsters are monsters and heroes are just monsters with hats on. This dark fantasy romp through two sessions stayed so deep within the hearts of the boys that it echoes throughout the rest of the awards, and may easily be back here again for next year's prizes.

Runner Up: Coriolis, Forbidden Lands, Lone wolf, Symborum, L5R 5th Ed, 2D Engine

Coriolis Effect winner:
Everyone has a bad day here and there. Walk past a broken mirror, under a ladder, scare a black cat, etc. And suddenly your luck is against you. You just cannot stop yourself from rolling those Crit failures. Nothing goes your way in the form of dice. And you hate it. This award goes to the game that we basically cannot seem to do well in no matter how hard we try, where the mechanics and the dice are just solidly out to get us. Name after the only game in the entire group’s lifetime that killed a character in the first session (Coriolis).

1st Place: Mutant Mechatron

The idea of being a badass robot in a world where the humans are gone was beyond exciting. The GM brought us into a special universe of robot speeches, power outages, and the core reason why we don't let Certain Members of the group make up their character on his own before the rest of us do. However, using the same mechanic as the Coriolis game did not help in the slightest, and we ended up in the last session trapped in a submarine bound for God knows where. Great game, but we can't roll dice for crap.

Runner up: Shadow Of the Demon Lord, Feet Dry, Scum & Villiany, Apocalypse World

Repeat Offender:
Some games are just too good for two sessions a year. This is the game and system that absolutely captivated us to no end. We loved everything about this game (or we didn't really feel we had enough gameplay to fully appreciate it) and we would love to see it again.

1st Place: Rovers

Naturally, this is no surprise to anybody. It has the most amount of requests to be run, some of us have already expressed an idea of expanding it, and it was one GM’s go-to for 'game to run for the group that I don't have to think too hard about'.  We will be seeing more of Rovers as we go along.

Runner up: Scum & Villainy, L5R 5ed, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Forbidden Lands, Coriolis

Some games were a bit too... much. Too much of one thing, not enough of another. This is an odd category, as its for games that we feel not only that we did not enjoy, but for games we have seen quite enough of. The factors that make up what goes into this category are plentiful, and not a snide against the people who ran it.

1st Place: Mysteries of the Yokai
We spent a lot of time in fantasy Japan, either as Samurais, Outlaws, or badass ninjas. But no game confused us more than the Mysteries of the Yokai and its 4d chess character generation. For a game with such potential, it is a shame to see a labor of love with such little love given to it by its players. But then again, having actually played the game, its placement seems perfectly justified, even by the GM himself.

Runner up: Symbourum, Mysteries of the Yokai, 5e, Mechatron, Shadow of the Demonlord

Coming Soon
Finally, here is the list of games that people have been 'Requesting' that we possibly take a lot at. A lot of these are new to us, and we all have our reasons, so I will do my best to put them in perspective as much as I can:

Technoir is a fantastic game from 2012 that went up against Lady Blackbird for Ennie contender in 2012. A Game that uses verbs, adjectives, and burning your connections with your friends to get shit done, in a cyberpunk neo noir universe.

High Plains Samurai is a fantastically visual game where we play the writers of characters, in a Wild West magical world with samurais and cowboys. Definitely on the top of the list.

Never Tell me the Odds recently got Kickstarted to an obscene amount of cash for a very VERY indie game. Not sure how they will play here, but it is Prince Valiant levels of simple.

Blades Against Darkness Turbo created by Dylan Green blessed us with its new version of the Blades against Darkness Forged in the Dark game that runs faster, harder and better. He used the phrase Castlevania-lite and that instantly bought me in, although how it will work remains to be seen

The Expanse is a Green Ronin license jackpot, by slapping the popular series The Expanse with its non-award winning Space Age system, going through the Savage Worlds greatest trick: Licenses Sell.

Warhammer 4e is the fourth iteration of the popular Warhammer franchise (after FFG finally lost the liscence to it) taken over by Cubicle 7. Although it is recently released, how similar it will be to the other systems is going to be if it makes it or breaks it.

Nahual is a mexican roleplaying game essentially about killing gods and wearing them like jewelry. Expect a very culture-based roleplaying game the likes of which Fantasy Asia has never seen before.

Mutant Year Zero is the game that started it all for Free League, and their second biggest breadwinner. Now a video game, and possibly a movie (think Tank girl and you're practically there) nothing has come close to creating its own popular franchise in roleplaying game form than Mutant: Year Zero.

Psi Run is another classic from yesteryear. An indie game where you explore your memories and abilities after waking up in a horrible situation. Very much what the players make of it will determine what the game will be.

Dying Earth is a romp into a... well...dying earth. A Game that favors exploration, discovery of old technology, and adventure through uncharted territory. It also uses Gumshoe.

Achtung 2d20  “Set in WWII, a band of Allied heroes fight a Secret War against the Nazi occult.”  It does sound interesting...

And so we have it. Thank you very much for one of the best years of Gaming, and we will see you all in MeWe for now on, because Google+ will soon be a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

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