Best board games of 2018, as chosen by the Board Game Geek community

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The members of Board Game Geek, the largest online community of board game fans, have selected the winners of the 2018 Golden Geek Awards. Walking away with four awards this year is Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right.

Root stole the show at last year’s Gen Con in Indianapolis, the nation’s largest tabletop gaming convention. The asymmetrical strategy game looks cuddly on the surface, but in reality it’s an intense strategy game assembled from political and social metaphors. Most interesting: No one at the table is playing by the same rules. That means it has more in common with some niche wargames than it does with traditional tabletop fare.

That ingenious crossover earned Root’s developers and publishers, Leder Games, loads of recognition from the Board Game Geek community. It took home top awards for game of the year, best artwork and presentation, best thematic game, and most innovative game of the year.

Here’s all the winners, by category, plus links out to the developers and publishers of those games. For more, see Polygon’s own picks for the top 10 games of 2018.

Board Game of the Year

Winner — Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right

Runner Up — Brass: Birmingham

Runner Up — Architects of the West Kingdom

2-Player Game

Winner — KeyForge: Call of the Archons

Runner Up — Duelosaur Island

Runner Up — War Chest

Artwork & Presentation

Winner — Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right

Runner Up — Everdell

Runner Up — Brass: Birmingham

Card Game

Winner — The Mind

Runner Up — KeyForge: Call of the Archons

Runner Up — Thunderstone Quest

Cooperative Game

Winner — The Mind

Runner Up — Chronicles of Crime

Runner Up — Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game

Expansion

Winner — Scythe: The Rise of Fenris

Runner Up — Terraforming Mars: Prelude

Runner Up — Root: The Riverfolk Expansion

Family Game

Winner — The Quacks of Quedlinburg

Runner Up — Welcome To…

Runner Up — The Mind

Innovative

Winner — Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right

Runner Up — Chronicles of Crime

Runner Up — KeyForge: Call of the Archons

Party Game

Winner — The Mind

Runner Up — Decrypto

Runner Up — Just One

Print & Play

Winner — Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game

Runner Up — The Coin Tribes’ Revolt: Boudica’s Rebellion Against Rome (Currently unavailable online, but playable via Tabletop Simulator on Steam.)

Runner Up — The Soo Line

Solo Game

Winner — That’s Pretty Clever

Runner Up — Chronicles of Crime

Runner Up — Welcome To…

Strategy Game

Winner — Brass: Birmingham

Runner Up — Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right

Runner Up — Teotihuacan: City of Gods

Thematic Game

Winner — Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right

Runner Up — Rising Sun

Runner Up — Western Legends

Wargame

Winner — Hannibal & Hamilcar

Runner Up — Cataclysm: A Second World War

Runner Up — 1066, Tears To Many Mothers

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