Hear ye! Hear ye! It’s time to announce the winners of the 2016 Tournament of Simulations (ToS). For those who may not be aware, ToS is an annual competition, sponsored by Ongoing Worlds, where role play games of different clubs and genres compete against each other in a friendly manner for several awards. The original tournament was held back in 1999. For this year’s ToS, each participating sim submitted 10 posts that were written sometime during 2016. The posts were then evaluated by three judges in three different categories on a 1-10 scale: Story, Characters, and Readability/Grammar. The final scores were then adjusted based on the individual judge’s respective averages and standard deviations to adjust for both hard & easy grading judges and judges with small & large ranges of scores.
As I say every year, evaluating sims is a subjective art, and this is certainly true with ToS. We’re not here to identify the best games as this is impossible. Instead, we’re here to identify what we think are outstanding role plays that exude excellence. A different set of judges may very well chose a completely different set of winners. And that’s okay! With that said, it’s time to finally announce our winners…
- Outstanding Original Scifi: YE 38 Astral Reverie of Star Army*
- Outstanding Star Trek: USS Vindicator of UCIP
- Excellent Steampunk: Gladiators (independent sim)
- Excellent X-Men: X-Men Awakening (independent sim)
- Excellent Star Trek: USS Portland of Obsidian Fleet
- Excellent Star Trek: USS Cavalry of Obsidian Fleet
- Excellent Fantasy: Disposable Heroes (independent sim)
- Great Star Trek: Andaris Task Force of UFOP: StarBase 118
- Great Firefly: The Kestrel of Phoenix Roleplaying
- Great Star Trek: Starbase Columbus of Shadow Fleet
*YE 38 Astral Reverie was the only chat sim to receive an award. All others winners competed in the play-by-post division.
Congratulations to all 10 of our winners! They were selected from 23 absolutely wonderful and engaging participating sims. Believe me when I say that there were some really good ones that didn’t make the above list! For that reason, I’d like to personally thank all the games that entered for providing a fantastic role play experience for their players–that was more than evident in all of the entries. The individual grade sheets and judges’ comments have already been emailed to each sim’s respective representative.
I’d also like to acknowledge our amazing panel of judges: Chas Hammer, Elena Vasilescu, Kenny Gillis, Leo Handley-Page, James Drysdale, James D. West, Misty Diamond, Myrkul Sharr, Nicole Chamberlain, October Veritas, and Sam Jones. We’ll call them the Elite Eleven! They volunteered hours of their time to serve the simming and online role playing community. I can’t thank them enough for the wonderful job they did!
Sam Jones wins the OWCH
While we’re on the subject of judging, Sam Jones of Sixth Fleet is hereby awarded the Ongoing Worlds Community Honor for serving as a judge in three Tournament of Simulations in a row. Indeed, he volunteered hours of his time to serve in this capacity in 2014, 2015, and now 2016. His selflessness and volunteer attitude are an example for us all to follow. Without Sam and people like him, we simply wouldn’t be able to hold major events like the Tournament of Simulations. Well done, Sam!
A few notes about this year’s tournament
- This is the 6th year in a row that a tournament was held (2011-2016). Six total tournaments were held 1999-2007. No tournaments were held 2008-2010. Twelve total tournaments have been held to date.
- Ten awards were bestowed this year. The 2007 tournament saw the most awards presented, with 26. 148 total awards have been bestowed dating back to 1999.
- Phoenix Roleplaying becomes just the third club with at least 10 total all-time awards. Phoenix now trails only Starfleet Legacy Alliance with 31 awards and Federation Sim Fleet with 12 awards.
- Star Army becomes the first club to win awards in 5 different competitions (2012-2016). Star Army has won 9 total awards across those 5 tourneys. Four clubs, including UFOP: StarBase 118, tie for second with awards in 4 different competitions.
- Obsidian Fleet becomes the first club to win more than one award in a single year since 2014, when Star Army took home 4 awards. The most awards won in a single year belongs to Starfleet Legacy Alliance, which took home 10 of the 15 awards in 2005.
- Shadow Fleet won its first award this year. Every ToS except 2001 has seen at least one club receive its first ever award. In 2015 it was Sixth Fleet. In 2014, RPGWriting.com.
- UCIP‘s USS Vindicator and Obsidian Fleet’s USS Portland were the only repeat winners from last year. Besides the inaugural 1999 competition, all tournaments have seen at least one repeat winner except the following: 2001 & 2002 (only one award presented in both years), 2005 (three years since the previous tournament), and 2011 (four years since the previous tournament).
- Three independent sims won awards this year. At least one independent sim has been represented in every tournament since 2006.
All results are final and are not subject to appeal. Look for next year’s tournament to begin in late 2017 or early 2018.
On an unrelated note, Kenny Gillis has joined David Ball, Leon Archer, Mister Xanadu, Tiberius Creations, and myself, Charles Star, as a member of the Ongoing Worlds Board of Advisors. Welcome to the team, Kenny!