Root dominates winners at 2019 Origins Awards


Codenames designer Vlaada Chvátil inducted into Hall of Fame

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design has named this year’s winners of the long-running Origins Awards.

Coming away the big winner was Cole Wehrle’s asymmetrical woodland wargame Root, which was named Best Board Game and Game of the Year by Academy members, as well as picking up the separate ‘fan-favourite’ award for Best Board Game voted for by visitors to the Origins Game Fair.

Close behind was brilliantly simple social card game The Mind, which claimed the prizes for Best Card Game from both the Academy jury and the public.

KeyForge, the hugely successful ‘unique deck game’ from Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield, collected both the Academy and fan-favourite awards for Best Collectible Game, after not being included in the running for the card game category.

The jury and visitors also agreed on Vampire: The Masquerade being the Best Roleplaying Game and Star Wars: Legion being Best Miniatures Game – although a split vote among the Academy also saw Games Workshop’s rebooted Necromunda also named Best Miniatures Game by the jury.

Cutesy graphic novel spin-off The Tea Dragon Society was named by judges as the Best Family Game of the last year, while fans instead picked Echidna Shuffle as their choice.

The Origins Awards also award roleplaying supplements and gaming accessories, with the former unanimously going to Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes for Dungeons & Dragons. The jury favoured the life-size trophy of a Black Dragon from D&D for Best Game Accessory, while fans opted instead for D&D’s monster cards. 

Codenames designer Vlaada Chvátil became the latest gaming figure to be inducted into the Origins Awards Hall of Fame, alongside fantasy horror artist Gerald Brom. Chvátil’s epic fantasy adventure Mage Knight joined the list of games in the Hall of Fame with fellow 2019 inductee Apples to Apples.

A new award for 2019’s Origins Awards, celebrating a ‘Rising Star’ in the world of games, went to designer Jamey Stegmaier – perhaps a curious choice of an apparent up-and-comer, given that Stegmaier’s Scythe won Board Game of the Year at the 2017 awards.