Dave mentioned the SdJ and his hope that Torres would win. I suspect that Torres will be the winner
but I'd place my vote on Carolus Magnus. However, I certainly wouldn't be disappointed if Torres
wins the crown!
I enjoy both games and would easily rate each as a 9 (on a scale of 1-10). However, I really enjoy
the random and often chaotic nature of the dice rolls in Carolus Magnus. A player can never be
certain of having a majority in any color paladin beyond his current turn and must plan accordingly.
Torres is just a little too predictable and only the Action cards provide a random element. Carolus
Magnus, unlike most German style games, (CM, I believe, is an Italian game!) has an element of
direct conflict which I enjoy in a tactical game. By placing paladins you control into an opponent's
territory you can make an attempt to capture it. The conflict in Torres is more subtle. It comes
either with the play of an Action card or by gaining a superior position and denying an opponent
some move options. Moving the king in such a way as to make it impossible for the other players to
earn the kings bonus is an example of this subtle type of conflict. Carolus Magnus (in my opinion)
plays better with just two people. It is also a faster playing game than Torres. However, Torres may
be superior with four players.
Both games have excellent bits and look amazingly beautiful when fully displayed. Torres has an
exceptional 3D appearance which is very appealing! They are comparable in price (CM $22.80; Torres
$23.80 at Boulder Games). Overall I would say that the SdJ committee is going to have a tough time
making their decision. Torres, having been out the longest will probably have that as an advantage.
The only other game in the SdJ top three finalists is a card game by Bruno Faidutti; Ohne Furcht und
Adel (aka 'Citadels'). I've played this game and enjoyed it, but I don't think it should be in
consideration for the SdJ unless there were a separate category for just card games. I also don't
think it can compare with either Carolus Magnus or Torres.
And that's my two cents worth! Regardless of which game wins the SdJ I recommend that we celebrate
by playing the game that wins the award. We could even have an SdJ game night by playing games that
have been nominated in years past as finalists. Now that would be a game night to remember!