The Golden Elephant Award is the annual award handed out to the most outstanding board game of the year, from the heavy-gamer perspective, as voted upon by Heavy Cardboard.
The criteria used to judge each game is as follows:
- Depth of Analysis & Planning
What considerations must be taken into account to make the right decisions?
- Depth of Gameplay
A game doesn't have to be complex, but it should require solid analysis during play to play well.
- Game Length
A game doesn't have to be long, but it must comprise a multitude of meaningful decision points.
- Low Luck Factor
Winning and losing, ultimately, should be determined by whomever made the better decisions throughout the game.
- Opacity of Decisions & Interaction
To what degree do the critical decisions within the game have an impact upon other players?
- Innovation and uniqueness of the mechanisms and theme
What makes the game stand apart from its contemporaries?
- Enjoyment Factor
Ultimately, do we enjoy the experience that the game provides both to ourselves as well as to the other players?
Reprints are ineligible. The first year that the game is physically available is the year that it will be considered for inclusion for the award.
Each year, around the beginning of April, the finalists are announced. Then, at HeavyCon, that year's Golden Elephant Award winner is announced.
1822: The railways of Great Britain
Designed by: Simon Cutforth
Published by: All-Aboard Games
An Infamous Traffic
Food Chain magnate
Designed by: Jeroen Doumen & Joris Wiersinga
Published by: Splotter Spellen
Triumph & Tragedy
The US Civil War
Designed by: Stefan Risthaus
Published by: Spielworxx/Capstone Games
Fire in the Lake
Three Kingdoms Redux
Designed by: Nuno Bizarro Sentiero & Paulo Soledade
Published by: What's Your Game?