UKGE Awards, Best Expansion Category: One Size Fits All
The Expansion category has historically been the place where everything that doesn’t fit into either of the other two categories gets placed, which means that the variety found there is always more than we expect, with everything from GM’s screens to Monster Cards, to dice trays and the dice that go in them.
The problem here is deciding what falls into the category of Expansion, because by definition, it has to expand on something. This is the question that the judges are tasked with every year, because very often, the item sent in will only have purpose within one system, which doesn’t reduce the items usefulness, it only restricts it to a single system. Judging this objectively, particularly when you might not play that system, is always a challenge.
What isn’t well known about the Expo judging is that we always take a look at all the things that have been submitted before we move to judging. If we don’t feel that something belongs in a category, then we make an overture to the company who has submitted it, suggesting the category that it might fit into and pointing out that it might not do so well if it remains in the category that it’s been submitted to.
We don’t do this because we’re showing favouritism to the company, we do this because we want to judge things are fairly as possible. This year we had several things that were submitted as expansions that were clearly main rule books, we had a few more that were submitted as expansions when they were clearly adventures. In many cases, it’s because a company has several different products, and they don’t want to put forwards several things in for the same category, because you can’t win in the same category twice.
We always say that if you put something in the wrong category, you won’t win even once…
One thing that we always have trouble with is Starter Sets, because for the most part, they don’t fall under any of the categories. They’ll have rules, but not enough that you could call them a main rule book. They’ll have an adventure, but usually not enough content in that adventure to put it up against the other contenders in the category. They’ll have counters and maps and a variety of other things, but they’re to get the players started on their journey, not to enhance a journey that’s already begun. With this, we always go back to the companies and advise them accordingly, and we let them choose which category they want to put the set in, but do let them know that it might not do well against products that were designed for that category.
This is not to say that Starter sets have no places in the awards, merely that if it’s difficult to decide where something should be, it’s because it belongs everywhere, and as we all know, Jack of all Trades, Master of None.
With that in mind, the next few entries are going to be covering the Expansions that have been submitted for the Expo awards this year.