Nominees 2019

Dear All,

We are pleased to inform you that the following games are selected as nominees for our 2019 edition (random order):

  • Newton – Cranio Creations
  • Solenio – Pearl Games
  • Crown of Emara – Pegasusspiele
  • Key flow – R&D games
  • Underwater cities – Delicious Games
  • Everdell – Starling Games
  • Coimbra – Eggertspiele
  • Gùgōng – Game Brewer
  • Carpe Diem – Ravensburger/Alea

The selection process of the nominees is not yet completed. We hope to do so on short notice. After the nominees have completed, we will inform you about the tournament games to be played at the EC event.

Disclaimer: Please note that the selection of the tournament games is not based on single titles. We have to take into account total overall playing time, different gaming mechanisms, etc, etc. So we opt for a best possible mix.

Our nomination list of 2019 (so far) is:

Around the middle of the 17th century with the advent of the scientific method, a period of great change begins, called the scientific revolution. Many great scientists, with their theories and ideas, change our perception of the universe: Galileo Galilei, Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon and, above all, Sir Isaac Newton.

In Newton, players take the role of a young scientist who wants to become one of the great geniuses of this period. To do this, they travel around Europe, visit universities and cities, study to discover new theories, build new tools, and work to earn money.

The game is played over six rounds. Each round, every player plays five cards from their hand, with each played card allowing the player to perform one of the game’s actions. An action has a variety of effects, which depend on the symbols of that action visible on the board. At the end of the round, a player can take back all the cards played except one. One card has to be left on the board, which means that you give up one possibility of doing that action, but also that the action will be carried out with greater strength. Fortunately, you can acquire new cards that will allow you to perform more actions and with additional powers.

After six rounds, you calculate your final scoring, and the player with the most VP wins.


The great river Key Flow passes through the new Key Lands, carrying ships laden with resources for building and trade. Along the riverside, buildings are built, boats are moored in docks, and animals graze in the fields. Players build communities alongside this river, and send workers (known as “keyples”) to work in both their own and their neighbors’ businesses, enabling their economy to develop and flourish.

Key Flow is a card-driven game based on many of the ideas contained in the award-winning game Keyflower. The game flows quickly over four game rounds (seasons), allowing players to develop their own unique village, with many ways to score points for their buildings, animals, keyples, resources and other items.

Key Flow is played over four seasons (rounds). Each season, players are dealt a number of cards. They then choose one of their cards and pass the remaining cards to the player on their left or right — depending on the season — until all the cards have been chosen. All scoring takes place at the end of winter. Points are scored from the village cards in various ways, through upgrading buildings, and from gathering gold. The player who scores the most points wins.


Several millennia ago, the tiny planet Solenia lost its day-and-night cycle: Its northern hemisphere is forever plunged into darkness, and its southern hemisphere is eternally bathed in sunlight. Your mission is to carry on your ancestors’ honorable task of traveling the world to deliver essential goods to the inhabitants of both hemispheres. While the Day people want you to deliver the rarest gems and stones, the Night people sorely need wood and wheat to survive. Be efficient and outpace your opponents to collect the most gold stars by the end of the game!

A game of Solenia plays out over 16 rounds, and in each round, each player plays one card from their hand onto an empty space of the 5×5 game board. You can play the card on either:

  • A floating production island, to gain as many resources as the value of the card you played of the type corresponding to this space
  • A floating city, to fulfill a delivery tile by delivering the resources depicted on it.

You must play your card adjacent to the airship in the center of the playing area or adjacent to another card of yours already played. When someone plays a 0 card, the airship advances one space, then at the end of your turn, you remove the back edge of the board, give players resources based on the cards they have on this strip of the playing area, flip the strip over (turning night to day or dawn to dusk or vice versa), and place it on the other side of the game board.

The game ends when each player has played all 16 of their cards. The player with the most gold stars wins!


In the 15th and 16th century, Portugal is thriving under its leading role during the Age of Discovery. Nestled in the heart of Portugal, the city of Coimbra serves as a cultural center of the country. As the head of one of Coimbra’s oldest houses, you seek to earn prestige by deepening relationships with nearby monasteries or funding expeditions of the era. To reach this goal, you must vie for the favors of the city’s most influential citizens, even if you must offer a bit of coin or some protective detail.

Coimbra introduces an innovative new dice mechanism in which the dice players draft each round are used in multiple different ways and have an impact on many aspects of their decision making. While there are many paths to victory, players should always seek to optimize their opportunities with every roll of the dice. Combined with ever-changing synergies of the citizens, expeditions, and monasteries, no two games of Coimbra will ever be the same!


Good times in the tiny kingdom of Emara: During the reign of King Thedorius the Wise, wars, uprisings, and other inconveniences became a thing of the past. Thedorius always cared more for the well-being of his subjects than for power or riches. Therefore, only the nobleman who is able to care for Emara’s citizens as well as Thedorius himself did shall become Thedorius’ successor and wear the Crown of Emara.

To test the skills of all aspirants, Thedorius and his counselors issue a challenge of practical use: Whoever can persuade the majority of the newly arrived citizens in the capital to support their claim shall become the future king of Emara. To achieve this, players have to cater to the citizens’ needs and — most importantly — offer proper housing for everyone. This means that promoting the building activities in town will be one of the major tasks of the candidates.

Crown of Emara skillfully combines card actions with worker movement actions, allowing players to plan their turns carefully during their downtime. The two counselors available to every player move in two separate roundabouts, requiring players to optimize every move. Additionally, two scoring tracks lead to a multidimensional playstyle as only the lower score counts towards victory and thus both tracks have to be advanced equally.


Within the charming valley of Everdell, beneath the boughs of towering trees, among meandering streams and mossy hollows, a civilization of forest critters is thriving and expanding. From Everfrost to Bellsong, many a year have come and gone, but the time has come for new territories to be settled and new cities established. You will be the leader of a group of critters intent on just such a task. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, events to host—you have a busy year ahead of yourself. Will the sun shine brightest on your city before the winter moon rises?

Everdell is a game of dynamic tableau building and worker placement.

On their turn a player can take one of three actions:

a) Place a Worker: Each player has a collection of Worker pieces. These are placed on the board locations, events, and on Destination cards. Workers perform various actions to further the development of a player’s tableau: gathering resources, drawing cards, and taking other special actions.

b) Play a Card: Each player is building and populating a city; a tableau of up to 15 Construction and Critter cards. There are five types of cards: Travelers, Production, Destination, Governance, and Prosperity. Cards generate resources (twigs, resin, pebbles, and berries), grant abilities, and ultimately score points. The interactions of the cards reveal numerous strategies and a near infinite variety of working cities.

c) Prepare for the next Season: Workers are returned to the players supply and new workers are added. The game is played from Winter through to the onset of the following winter, at which point the player with the city with the most points wins.


SIn Underwater Cities, which takes about 30-45 minutes per player, players represent the most powerful brains in the world, brains nominated due to the overpopulation of Earth to establish the best and most livable underwater areas possible.The main principle of the game is card placement. Three colored cards are placed along the edge of the main board into 3 x 5 slots, which are also colored. Ideally players can place cards into slots of the same color. Then they can take both actions and advantages: the action depicted in the slot on the main board and also the advantage of the card.


Actions and advantages can allow players to intake raw materials; to build and upgrade city domes, tunnels and production buildings such as farms, desalination devices and laboratories in their personal underwater area; to move their marker on the initiative track (which is important for player order in the next turn); to activate the player’s “A-cards”; and to collect cards, both special ones and basic ones that allow for better decision possibilities during gameplay. All of the nearly 220 cards — whether special or basic — are divided into four types according to the way and time of use. Underwater areas are planned to be double-sided, giving players many opportunities to achieve VPs and finally win


China, 1570. China is under the reign of the Longqing Emperor, of the Ming Dynasty. He inherited a country in disarray after years of mismanagement and corruption. He resided in the Forbidden city, which was the seat of many emperors under the Ming Dynasty. Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres). It is also under the Ming Dynasty that the Great Wall of China was rebuilt, fortified, and expanded. Around this period, China was under heavy attack from the Mongols, so maintaining the Great Wall was essential. Most of what we now have left of the Great Wall, we owe to the Ming dynasty.

The country was already famous for its very intricate bureaucracy, but this also led to a lot of corruption. Even though the penalties for corruption were very high, the highest Officials of the Forbidden City would pretend to uphold the ban on corruption, by accepting gifts of petitioners, and returning one of seemingly lower value.

Gùgōng uses this extraordinary custom as its basis. Players take on the role of powerful Chinese families trying to gain influence and power by exchanging gifts with Officials. The gift cards you offer as a player have to be of a higher value than the one you receive, forcing you to make strategic choices regarding which actions you want to take each turn. You will travel around China, sail down the Grand Canal, purchase precious jade, help construct the Great Wall, secure advantages through decrees, influence the game through intrigue, and ultimately, receive an audience with the emperor. If only 1 player succeeds in doing so, he wins. If several players succeed, the player with the most VPs among those players wins the game.


Author:
Stefan Feld

The players slip into the role of rich patricians in ancient Rome. Everyone is trying to build a lucrative district to score as many prestige points as possible. The novel way to get to the individual buildings of his district, and the varied display of the many different score cards makes the game to an unusual and very varied strategy game of the successful author Stefan Feld.


Our prize sponsors for 2019:

to be determined

With many thanks to boardgamegeek.