Geeks A Gogo made the trip out to Columbus, Ohio for Origins 2019, and we had a great time at this gaming convention—which has been going on for over 40 years. This is an amazing convention with tabletop gaming front and center, with a variety of events that included board games, card games, roleplaying, and war games. In addition to that, the event also includes a film festival, anime viewing, a cosplay contest, and an awards ceremony to honor the top game designers in the industry, the prestigious Origins Awards. This is a great convention for hardcore gamers who want to spend a four-day weekend gaming, talking with game designers and writers, and trying out games before they're released at Gen Con later in the summer.
A nice feature of this convention is that it's located in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is a very beautiful city with a lot of great restaurant and bars, and some nice hotels. Our only complaint is that there isn't a lot of parking around the convention center, so it's not always easy to find parking. We recommend staying at a hotel close to the venue and avoiding parking there if you can. Also, most years, the event coincides with the Columbus gay pride parade during the Saturday of the convention, and passes right by the convention center--which provides some great views of the parade. Be aware of this when planning your Saturday, since the parade route may cut off access to the convention center.
As for what we did at the event--we jumped in and did some gaming, of course! We had an awesome time participating in just a few of he many games that were available for play. Origins is a mid-sized convention and wasn't too crowded or too difficult to get into some of the games that we wanted to try out. Friday night, we dropped by the amazing room that the folks at Rogue Cthulhu had set up and got in on a game of 7th edition Call of Cthulhu. As well, we were able to find a game of Dungeon Crawl Classics from Goodman Games, we tried out Games Workshop's Kill Team with an amazing 3D terrain setup, and we even got to try out a demo of Shadowrun 6th edition! Though many of the events filled up ahead of time, it wasn't hard to get into a game if you got on the wait list, or if you looked around for a session that needed some players. Most events cost 2-3 tickets (about $4-6). Though this conventions draws around 20,000 people, it was still relatively easy to find a game to play in. Here are a few pictures of the gaming you can experience here:
One of the the best parts of the convention, however, was the Origins Awards. Though, we skipped the award ceremony to do more gaming, voting is open to Origins Game Fair attendees. Since we write a lot about gaming, we voted for some of our favorite games of the year, particularly the entries that were among the role-playing games that we reviewed throughout the previous year. We're happy to see that two of our favorites that we reviewed this past year ended up winning--Modiphius' Vampire: The Masquerade, and Wizards of the Coast's Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.
As well, Origins has a great floor for vendors and general gaming. It's not quite the size of one of the big conventions like Gen Con, but it's still quite sizeable, with a variety of tabletop genres represented, including wargaming, card games, board games, and of course role-playing. This convention tends to draw a somewhat different crowd from what you'll see at other conventions in the Midwest, and you're likely to see game vendors that don't attend Gen Con or Gamehole Con. We certainly had a different experience than we have at those other conventions and had an opportunity to try out games that we don't often get to play at other conventions. This convention was an amazing experience, and had the feel of a large gaming convention, but with a much smaller crowd than you would get at a convention like Gen Con or Essen. We'll definitely be back next year for the weekend.