San Diego Historical Games Convention announces 2023 Summit Award finalists

San Diego Historical Games Convention Announces 2023 Summit Award Finalists

The San Diego Historical Games Convention (SDHist) is proud to announce the four finalists for the second annual Summit Award. The Summit Award aims to recognize a historical board game published in the preceding year that most broadened the hobby through the ease of teaching and/or play, uniqueness of topic, or novel approach. The inaugural winner in 2022 was Red Flag Over Paris. The four finalists for the 2023 Summit Award (for games published in 2022) are (in alphabetical order):

Fire & Stone: Siege of Vienna 1683. Designed by Robert DeLeskie, published by Capstone Games.

John Company, 2nd Edition. Designed by Cole Wehrle, published by Wehrlegig Games.

Stonewall Uprising. Designed by Taylor Shuss, published by Catastrophe Games.

Votes For Women. Designed by Tory Brown, published by Fort Circle Games.

Each of these four games will be demoed at the Nov. 3-5 2023 San Diego Historical Games Convention. (Limited tickets are still available.) Following that event, SDHist board members, advisors and other invited judges will vote on which game will win the 2022 Summit Award. The winner will be announced to the public by the end of 2023. Here are short descriptions of these games, based on their Board Game Geek pages: 

Fire & Stone: Siege of Vienna 1683 is a 60-90 minute game of asymmetric siege combat for two players. It depicts the 100,000-strong Ottoman army besieging 12,000 Viennese soldiers, the city militia, and citizen soldiers, with time and the potential of relief a critical consideration for both sides. Each player has a completely different set of cards, covering everything from outright assaults to digging tunnels packed with explosives. 

John Company, 2nd Edition is a 90-240 minute economic negotiation game for one to six players. Players each assume the roles of influential families trying to use the British East India Company to boost their own reputation. The game features struggles for control of key company offices and decisions, as well as frequent negotiation with other players, with almost everything up for negotiation. Players gain reputation through their family members retiring at the right time, but do not have full control of when that will happen. The company’s fortunes also can wax and wane, impacting all players. The game comes with four scenarios, with some of those including the potential for private trading firms. The standard game is for three to six players, with variants of facing an AI-controlled Crown included for one or two players.

Stonewall Uprising is a 30-60 minute asymmetric deck-building game for one to two players. It covers the struggle for gay rights over the course of three decades, with players taking the sides of either Pride or The Man from the 1960s through the 1980s. On each turn, players either play a card or fold, with card play moving three different tracks (Systemic Support, Public Opinion, and Individual Support). Folding allows a player to acquire new cards, but doubles the value of their opponent’s remaining cards, but also allows them to draw a card for each card the opponent plays. The shift in decades changes what cards players can buy. The Man wants to detain or demoralize 10 cards from Pride’s deck, while Pride wants to shift the Overton Window and keep their movement’s momentum going.

Votes For Women is a 60-75 minute card-driven area majority game for one to four players. It covers the course of the American women’s suffrage movement from 1848 through 1920, ending with either the ratification or rejection of the 19th Amendment. Players take either Suffragist or Opposition roles, with the Suffragist side seeking to pass the 19th Amendment and then have it ratified by at least 36 of the 48 states and the Opposition player preventing either of those conditions. The game offers competitive, cooperative, and solo play modes, with the cooperative mode and the solo mode seeing a Suffragist player or players taking on the “Oppobot.”

The creation of the Summit Award was announced in Issue 1 of SDHist’s free Conflicts of Interest web magazine in June 2022. As with the 2022 Summit Award, nominations for the 2023 Summit Award were collected from the public over a period of months, with Votes For Women selected based on public nominations. The SDHist Board and Advisory Board met to determine the other three finalists, with public nominations also considered there.

About The Summit Award: The Summit Award is an opportunity for the SDHist team to recognize the positive impact of a game that broadens the historical gaming hobby by drawing in more players or by introducing a new and unique subject or perspective. Our ultimate hope is that the Summit Award helps foster a discussion amongst players, designers and publishers about new ways to broaden the hobby through teaching, play, topic, and approach. Games are judged on five criteria: Ease of Teaching, Ease of Play, Novelty/Uniqueness of Topic, Novelty of Approach, Effectiveness as a historical game. More details on the award and eligibility guidelines can be found here.

About SDHist: The mission of SDHist is to create a diverse and supportive gaming community dedicated to playing, discussing, designing, and promoting historically-based board games. Through this commitment, SDHist seeks to serve both the existing historical board gaming community as well as grow it through the addition of new voices and perspectives. This is done through physical conventions (including the 2023 San Diego Historical Games Convention from Nov. 3-5), online conventions, the Conflicts of Interest Online web magazine, the Summit Award, and more. SDHist is run by a volunteer board, and also has an advisory board comprised of prominent members of the gaming industry.

For more information on the Summit Award, please contact SDHist board member and press liaison Andrew Bucholtz. His contact information is here.