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Diana Jones Award 2010 shortlist announced

The committee of the Diana Jones Award has released the shortlist for its 2010 award. This year the shortlist contains four nominees that in the opinion of the committee exemplify the very best that the world of hobby-gaming has produced in the last twelve months. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • BOARDGAMEGEEK, a website edited by Scott Alden and Derk Solko;
  • CHAOS IN THE OLD WORLD, a boardgame by Eric Lang, published by FantasyFlight Games;
  • KAGEMATSU, a role-playing game by Danielle Lewon, published by Cream Alien Games;
  • MONTSEGUR 1244, a role-playing game by Frederik Jensen, published by Thoughtful Games

The winner of the 2010 Diana Jones Award will be announced on the evening of Wednesday 4th August, at the annual Diana Jones Award and Freelancer Party in Indianapolis, the unofficial start of the Gen Con Indygames convention.


A website edited by Scott Alden and Derk Solko

BoardGameGeek is a resource without peer for players of board and card games. Its comprehensive database is a first and best reference for both staunch grognards and casual non-gamers, presenting not only reference data about games but also the reviews, opinions, expansions, photos, and session reports of its membership. The site’s internal economy effectively rewards those who continue to make the site broader, deeper, and stronger, and as a result its community is smart, enthusiastic, and steadfast. In 2010, BoardGameGeek celebrates its tenth anniversary, adding longevity to the roll of its merits. In one small corner of human endeavor, BoardGameGeek’s exhaustive knowledge base, devoted community, and collaborative bedrock exemplify the absolute best that the Internet has to offer society.

Chaos in the Old World
A board-game by Eric Lang
Published by Fantasy Flight Games

In Eric Lang’s Chaos In The Old World, players take the roles of four cruel and hateful gods, competing—and cooperating—to debase and destroy the human world. Lang takes the heart and flesh of the Warhammer cosmos and stretches it as tight as a drumhead across a boardgame that richly evokes the baroque insanity of its source material while remaining elegant and rational in design. Side elements feed game play rather than distracting from it, and each god fulfills its individual character while reinforcing the game’s structure as a whole. The basic mechanics repeat and reveal themselves from new angles, channeling competition and fueling flavor as the game builds to its climax. Simultaneously rewarding planning and immersion, Chaos In The Old World masterfully bridges the board-game design gap between European architecture and American art.

A role-playing game by Danielle Lewon
Published by Cream Alien Games

With Kagematsu, creator published roleplaying games boldly continue their advance into uncharted territory. Set in Japan, the game flips genders on the players, casting men as village women whose efforts to romance the wandering ronin Kagematsu are judged by the woman playing him. The text is lucid and elegant. The game plays to a natural conclusion in four or five hours—resolving the fates of the women, Kagematsu, and the village—with no need to force things along to finish on schedule. And play is lush, anxious, and partakes of great dramatic energy from its tight mechanics and device of gender-reversal.

Montsegur 1244
A role-playing game by Frederik Jensen
Published by Thoughtful Games

Montsegur 1244, by Frederik Jensen, uses actual history to frame a tightly focused game that explores faith, loyalty, and the bonds of kinship. Using the final, brutal siege in the Catholic crusade against the Cathar heresy as a backdrop, players take the roles of true believers trapped in the fortress of Montsegur. As the inevitable endgame draws closer, each player must decide—will their character abandon their faith and recant, or will they burn for what they believe? This single, simple choice drives the entire game. Montsegur1244 succeeds brilliantly in evoking the horror and pathos of the doomed Cathars, and combines the best of Nordic and North American roleplaying traditions. The game is carefully structured where it needs to be and completely freeform where it doesn’t. Elegant, simple mechanics support play that is often surprisingly emotional. The choices players are presented with are impossible to reconcile. The tangled web of family, love, duty and belief only amplify the difficulty of the decision each must eventually make.

The Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming was founded and first awarded in 2001. It is presented annually to the person, product, company, event or any other thing that has, in the opinion of its mostly anonymous committee of games industry alumni, luminaries and illuminati, best demonstrated the quality of ‘excellence’ in the world of hobby-gaming in the previous year. The winner of the Award receives the Diana Jones trophy.

Past winners include industry figures Peter Adkison and Jordan Weisman, the role-playing games Nobilis, Sorcerer, and My Life with Master, and the board-game Ticket to Ride. The 2009 winner was the card-game Dominion, designed by Donald X. Vaccarino and published by Rio Grande Games.

This is the tenth year of the Award.

For more information, see the website or contact the committee directly:

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