SDHistCon is very proud to announce the annual Summit Award, recognizing 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 winner of the inaugural Summit Award (2022, for games published in 2021) is Red Flag Over Paris, designed by Fred Serval and published by GMT Games. The winner of the 2023 Summit Award (for games published in 2022) is Votes For Women, designed by Tory Brown and published by Fort Circle Games. More on these games and the overall award can be found below.
Why an award?
Awards can be useful tools to achieve organizational goals, by recognizing achievement or promoting something believed to be scarce. Awards may also be used to counterbalance a negative force or recognize positive outcomes. For the SDHistCon team, the Summit Award is an opportunity for us 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.
What games qualify?
To be considered for the Summit Award entries must
- be a manual tabletop game
- have a closed-system rules set that does not rely on role-play or referee
- simulate an historical setting through specific game mechanics rather than historical themes as an afterthought to game mechanics
- concern political, social, cultural, scientific, economic, military, or any other human affairs
How will games be judged?
Games will be judged on 5 criteria
- Ease of Teaching
- Ease of Play
- Novelty/Uniqueness of Topic
- Novelty of Approach
- Effectiveness as a historical game
Examples of past games that expanded historical gaming
Games that have had a positive impact on the hobby and are good examples of what we are hoping to further include: Undaunted: Normandy (2019), Watergate (2019), Pax Pamir: 2nd Editions (2019), Twilight Struggle (2005), and Memoir ’44 (2004).
Games designed, developed or otherwise affiliated with someone on the SD Hist Con Board or Advisory Board (Affiliated Person) should be evaluated under a special set of considerations to ensure propriety. The following rules are presented to address those considerations.
An Affiliated Person may not nominate a game which they are affiliated with (Affiliated Game) for the Summit Award. If an Affiliated Game is nominated, the Affiliated Person is responsible for bringing that game to the attention of the SD Hist Con Board. The SD Hist Con Board will vote on the recusal of the Affiliated Person from the process of selecting a winner for the Summit Award. (edited)
In the summer of 2022, the Summit Award judges rolled out the award information to the public and began accepting nominations for games that fit that criteria. The judges — which include the SDHistCon board, the SDHistCon advisory committee and any honorary members as agreed to by the SDHistCon board — met in September to discuss and narrow down the game nominations. These are the four finalists they selected (in alphabetical order):
Red Flag over Paris, designed by Fred Serval and published by GMT Games, is the spiritual successor to Mark Herman’s Fort Sumter. It is a short, yet challenging, two-player card-driven game depicting the two months of intense confrontation between the Communards and the government in Versailles during the 1871 Paris Commune.
Atlantic Chase, designed by Jeremy White and published by GMT Games, simulates the naval campaigns fought in the North Atlantic between the surface fleets of the Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine between 1939 and 1942.
Nicaea, designed by Amabel Holland and published by Hollandspiele, is a tableau-building game set in the year 325 when Christian bishops convenened in Nicaea on orders by the Roman Emperor Constantine, a pivotal time in the history of the Catholic Church.
No Motherland Without: North Korea in Crisis and Cold War, designed by Dan Bullock and published by Compass Games, is a card-driven strategy game for two players. The game depicts the struggles of the Kim Regime from 1953 to present day North Korea against the West.
These games were taught and demonstrated at SDHistCon 2022 in November. Following that, members of the SD HistCon Board and SD HistCon Advisory Board met to determine the winner of the 2022 Summit Award, selecting Red Flag Over Paris . The judges praised Red Flag Over Paris for its ease of teaching and play, novelty of topic, and effectiveness as a historical game.
Red Flag Over Paris is designed by Fred Serval, with art from Donal Hegarty, development from Luke Billingsley, Jason Carr, and Joe Dewhurst, and solitaire mode design by Jason Carr. It is published by GMT Games.
In the summer of 2023, the Summit Award judges rolled out the award information to the public and began accepting nominations for games that fit that criteria. The judges — which include the SDHistCon board, the SDHistCon advisory committee and any honorary members as agreed to by the SDHistCon board — met in October to discuss and narrow down the game nominations. These are the four finalists they selected (in alphabetical order):
Fire & Stone: Siege of Vienna 1683, designed by Robert DeLeskie and published by Capstone Games, 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.
John Company, 2nd Edition, designed by Cole Wehrle and published by Wehrlegig Games, 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.
Stonewall Uprising, designed by Taylor Shuss and published by Catastrophe Games, 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.
Votes for Women, designed by Tory Brown and published by Fort Circle Games, 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.
These games were taught and demonstrated at SDHistCon Summit 2023 in November. Following that, members of the SD HistCon Board and SD HistCon Advisory Board met to determine the winner of the 2023 Summit Award, selecting Votes for Women. The judges praised Votes for Women for its novelty of topic, streamlined rules that facilitate teaching and play, effectiveness as a historical game (including with the extensive historical materials included), and well-crafted asymmetry between the sides.
Votes for Women is designed by Tory Brown. It features art and graphic design from Brigette Indelicato and Marc Rodrigue and development from Kevin Bertram. Dr. Rachel Michelle Gunter served as historical advisor and Kimberly Himmer served as copy editor. It is published by Fort Circle Games.