Summit Award

SDHistCon is very proud to announce our first 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.

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).

Affiliated Persons

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)

2022 Award

This past July, the Summit Award judges rolled out the award information to the public and  began accepting nominations for games that fit that criteria. Additionally, the award candidate 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

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: 

  • Red Flag Over Paris 
  • Atlantic Chase
  • Nicea
  • No Motherland Without

Red Flag over Paris, designed by Fred Serval and published by GMT Games, is the spiritual successor to Mark Herman’s Fort Sumter, 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.

Judges will select one of these four games, which all came out in 2021, to be the SDHistCon Summit Award winner. For those attending SDHistCon in November, a copy of each game will be available for play. 

And for full disclosure, games designed, developed or otherwise affiliated with someone on the SDHistCon Board or advisory committee are 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 SDHistCon Board. The SDHistCon Board will vote on the recusal of the Affiliated Person from the process of selecting a winner for the Summit Award.