The San Diego Historical Games Convention (SDHist) is proud to announce the winner of 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, ease of play, uniqueness of topic, novelty of approach, and/or effectiveness as a historical game. The 2023 Summit Award winner (for games published in 2022) is Votes for Women.
Votes for Women, designed by Tory Brown, is published by Fort Circle Games. 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.
Votes for Women is a 60-75 minute card-driven game for one to four players. It covers the course of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States from 1848 through 1920, ending with either the ratification or rejection of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Players take either Suffragist or Opposition roles, with the Suffragist seeking to pass the 19th Amendment and then have it ratified by at least 36 of the 48 states and the Opposition player working to prevent 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 winner of the Summit Award was determined by members of the SDHist Board and SDHist Advisory Board. 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 was one of four Summit Award finalists announced this October following a public call for nominations over a period of months. Votes for Women received the highest public nominations of any candidate. The other three finalists, selected by members of the SDHist Board and SDHist Advisory Board in October, were (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), and Stonewall Uprising (designed by Taylor Shuss, published by Catastrophe Games).
Each of the four finalist games was taught and demonstrated at the Nov. 3-5 San Diego Historical Games Convention. Following that, members of the SDHist Board and SDHist Advisory Board met for a final selection of the 2023 Summit Award winner, choosing Votes For Women.
The judges also praised Stonewall Uprising for its unique topic, effectiveness as a historical game, and novelty of approach with the passing action. They endorsed John Company: Second Edition for its novelty of approach with its negotiation focus and substantial reworking from its first edition. And they commended Fire and Stone: Siege of Vienna 1863 for its ease of teaching and play, effectiveness as a historical game with well-crafted asymmetry, and uniqueness of approach with the deception mechanic.
The Summit Award will return in 2024, with games published in 2023 under consideration for that award. A call for public submissions will go out in the spring or summer of 2024. More information can be found on the Summit Award page on the SDHistCon website.
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, and 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 SDHistCon Summit in San Diego from Nov. 3-5 and the 2023 SDHistCon East convention at the U.S. Naval War College in Providence, RI), online conventions, the Conflicts of Interest magazine and Conflicts of Interest Online articles, the Summit Award, and more. SDHist is run by a volunteer board, and also has an advisory board composed of prominent members of the gaming community.
For more information on the Summit Award, please contact SDHist board member and press liaison Andrew Bucholtz. His contact information is here.