Welcome to the Second Annual ISN BattleTech Fan Choice Awards!
The moment we've been waiting for is finally here. It's time to find out the winners of the second annual ISN Fan Choice Awards! Things didn't quite go as smoothly this year. First Fasa died (not good), so we decided to wait for the final products to come out before holding the awards. Then the last couple of products took a little longer than expected so we started the voting anyway, then they came out shortly after. As a result, just about everything on the Most Anticipated list was out shortly after the voting started;)
Still, everyone seemed to have fun voting for their favorites anyway, and after a month and a half of voting, it's time to reveal the winners.
And the winners are...
Best BattleTech related novel: Path of Glory by Randall N. Bills
Runner up: Illusions of Victory by Loren Coleman
Commentary: This was a very close race between the two listed above, but at the end Path of Glory pulled ahead by just a few votes. An interesting story examining the fallout of the new Nova Cat/Kurita alliance. Combine that with two interesting characters and events which throw the Inner Sphere into even more chaos, and you can understand why this title won. Not bad for Randall's first novel!
Best BattleTech related Game Related Release: Heavy Metal Pro & Heavy Metal Vee
Runner up: Field Manual: Federated Suns
Commentary: The hands down winner is the Heavy Metal programs by Rick Raisley. Though there are other programs that do the same thing for free, none do it so well as these, and because they're official, they're constantly updated. FM: FedSuns and AeroTech 2 struggled for the Runner Up position, but in the end, the Davion fanatics out there pushed FM: FedSuns over the top into the #2 spot.
Best BattleTech Cover Art: Field Manual: Federated Suns
Runner up: (tie) Record Sheets: Upgrades, Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, Operation: Flashpoint
Commentary: Usually there's one or two favorites in a category that get a clear cut majority of votes. Not this time. For a long while there was a four way race between: FM: Federated Suns, FM: Lyran Alliance, Record Sheets: Upgrades, and Operation: Flashpoint. In the end FM: Federated Suns pulled ahead, but only by a couple of votes!
Most Innovative BattleTech release: Heavy Metal Pro & Heavy Metal Vee
Runner up: Operation: Flashpoint
Commentary: No contest here. The Heavy Metal programs swept everything else aside in this category. Operation: Flashpoint gets the runner up, and it's well deserved. As far as I'm concerned it's the best scenario book ever!
Most Anticipated Release for 2001: Of Patriots and Tyrants by Loren Coleman
Runner up: Field Manual: Periphery
Commentary: With double the votes of the runner up, Loren Coleman's upcoming novel concerning the Victor/Katherine feud ended up getting more votes than anything in any of the categories!!! People want the next "spine" novel and they want it yesterday;)
And yes, I know some of these ended up coming out just after we began the voting. Doh!
There's no doubt about this year's big winner: The Heavy Metal Programs seemed to impress just about everybody. I was surprised that the Inner Sphere sourcebook didn't do better though. Last year Shattered Sphere and Clans: Warriors of Kerensky did very well, but this year the similar in style Inner Sphere sourcebook didn't win any spots, not even a runner up spot. Maybe everyone was just comparing it too much to the old House Books?
In the Cover Art category there were more votes for novel covers than last year, showing the improvement in the art for the novels has been appreciated. Votes for sourcebook covers still drastically outnumbered the novels though.
The Most Anticipated Release winner showed beyond doubt that fans have been missing the "spine" novels. So much for the argument that the BattleTech storyline should slow down;)
And that's just about it. There's unlikely to be a Fan Choice Awards next year due to a lack of releases to vote on. When BattleTech makes it's return under Wizkids we'll start holding them again. We'll throw in all the novels between then and now into the voting as well. We may skip a year, but hopefully the year after will bring the Fan Choice Awards back, bigger and badder than ever! Maybe we'll even get around to automating the process!!
Hope to see you then....