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Author Topic: Root  (Read 317 times)
Bunk
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on: October 15, 2018, 03:19:24 PM

Why not start a topic...

Root: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/237182/root

Tried this at SHUX (Shut up and sitdown's con) this weekend, since it was in the home town.
Interesting game to say the least. Play one of four clans battling for control of the forest: Cats, Mice, Birds, Raccoon.
Gain points by achieving goals, obtaining territory, that sort of thing. First to 30 points wins.

The catch: every clan plays 100% differently. The cats start covering the board and play like a standard territorial wargame. The birds do this bizarre Robo-Rally-esc preplanning of their turns, and their government collapses if you don't follow the plan. The Raccoon is a single figure that runs around the board "buying" from other players and getting points for doing so, while also gaining more actions as he does. He has to complete various quest cards for extra points it seems. Then finally the Woodland Alliance (mice) that I managed to win with. They get limited troops, but build up sympathy tokens around the board - other players removing them or sending troops through have to give you cards, which you then turn in to more sympathy.

Quite complex, interesting replayability built in because of how the clans play, really good cute art ascetic to the game.

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Goldenmean
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Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 03:43:17 PM

Yeah, it's a great game. If you pay much attention to board gaming, I'm sure you've already heard the buzz, but it's well deserved. Definitely one of my top games this year. Good luck finding a copy if you weren't a kickstarter backer though.

I'm really loving what Leder games is doing with highly asymmetric games. I liked their previous game, Vast, but it was almost entirely impenetrable. In Root the factions are all incredibly different, but at least they're playing within the same framework. They all move the same way, attack the same way, and interact with the same deck. In Vast, every faction was playing a completely different game. They just happened to be interacting on the same board. There was basically no way to know what was going on until you had played with every faction, and most people aren't willing to put up with that sort of learning curve.
eldaec
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Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 02:03:12 AM

Has anyone tried the co-op variant in the expansion?

I want to like this but suspect it looks more interesting to learn than to play at full tilt. I could imagine enjoying it more as a co-op puzzle to solve though.

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Goldenmean
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Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 10:50:18 AM

No, haven't tried the Mechanical Marquis in either of its modes. I can see using it as an AI player at some point, but I'm not itching to turn Root into a co-op game despite really enjoying co-op games. It *might* be interesting. I can see the fact that all human players need to meet their victory conditions for the team to win as a whole making for some interesting puzzle-ish behavior, but that doesn't really feel like what Root is about.

FWIW, I'm generally of the opinion that games are at their most interesting when I'm still learning to play them and tend to move on quickly, but Root definitely has some staying power even once you've learned a faction. I've played almost every faction at this point, a few multiple times, and it hasn't lost its luster yet. Like any conflict heavy multiplayer game with unfettered aggression, victory is probably more about table politics than anything else, but there's still lots of space for interesting play.
Samwise
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Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 11:21:26 AM

On the one hand, I own too many board games I already don't play.

On the other hand, this sounds really fucking cool.

(edit) I bought it.  Being under two hours long and not requiring more than two people gives pretty good odds that I'll actually be able to play it a few times.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 02:32:52 PM by Samwise »

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Goldenmean
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Reply #5 on: October 17, 2018, 03:29:46 PM

At 2 players, some matchups are going to be pretty weird. Cats. vs. birds is about the only 2 player matchup that feels really natural in my head. Can't imagine vagabond v. alliance working well at all. I imagine the other combos would work, but might be a bit unbalanced in one direction or another. You'll probably want to play sets of 2 games where you swap factions after the first game and add your scores from both games together.

If you end up liking it, I'd definitely recommend you pick up the expansion, just to get the Mechanical Marquis AI player option. Then you can play pseudo-3P games, and some of the matchups will feel a lot less bizarre.
Samwise
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Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 02:23:10 PM

Have played a couple of cat v bird games with the girlfriend.  I like the mechanics so far, but I have an unfair advantage in having grown up playing strategy games.  If the other matchups are less balanced that might actually be a good thing.  (The game manual suggests cat vs alliance, bird vs alliance, and bird vs vagabond as other 2-person matchups, but warns that things will be tough for the alliance/vagabond player.)

The Mechanical Marquise option definitely sounds interesting -- so you can either have it as a 3rd player in a FFA mode, or you can have a co-op game against it?

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Goldenmean
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Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 03:47:08 PM

Yep, it works both as an AI player in the normal game or as a buffed up opponent turning the game into a cooperative. I haven't had any cause to try either of those modes, but it seems like it would work well enough having read through the rules for it.

It's worth noting that if you're thinking about the expansion and play almost exclusively 2 player, that one of the two new factions is only going to work if you're playing with a mechanical marquise. The riverfolk are capitalist war profiteers. They're all about selling things to both sides of a conflict and aren't viable in a head to head game. The lizards should work head to head against either the cats or birds pretty effortlessly, with other 2P combos working as well, albeit oddly.
Samwise
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Reply #8 on: November 05, 2018, 03:59:33 PM

The expansion adds a second vagabond -- does a vagabond vs vagabond deathmatch work?   DRILLING AND MANLINESS

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Goldenmean
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Reply #9 on: November 05, 2018, 04:33:53 PM

Vagabond on vagabond would be a weird game. Not having warriors or structures to kill or other factions to aid removes a lot of the moving parts of the vagabond. It would basically just come down to completing quests, occasionally crafting your own items, and beating down the other vagabond whenever they got close. My gut instinct is that it would feel pretty random and largely come down to who got more useful stuff out of ruins first, or good combos of quests, but I've never tried any player combo with two vagabonds in the mix, so who knows.

Vagabond vs. vagabond vs. mechanical marquise should work though.
Samwise
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Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 01:13:44 PM

Okay, you (and the "dev diary" I read on the AI player feature) convinced me.  It's out of stock but I put in a preorder for when they ship more next month.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
schild
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Reply #11 on: November 07, 2018, 02:09:43 PM

Okay, you (and the "dev diary" I read on the AI player feature) convinced me.  It's out of stock but I put in a preorder for when they ship more next month.
just wait for the new kickstarter?
Goldenmean
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Reply #12 on: November 07, 2018, 04:50:15 PM

just wait for the new kickstarter?

New kickstarter is going to be for a third printing. Stuff that should be showing up early in 2019 from preorders now will be second printing, and Leder Games don't tend to do exclusives of note or deep discounts with their kickstarters. There's really nothing to be gained by waiting.
Salamok
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Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 01:33:28 AM

just wait for the new kickstarter?

New kickstarter is going to be for a third printing. Stuff that should be showing up early in 2019 from preorders now will be second printing, and Leder Games don't tend to do exclusives of note or deep discounts with their kickstarters. There's really nothing to be gained by waiting.

Preordered on Amazon not long ago and they say it should be here in December.
Goldenmean
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Reply #14 on: November 09, 2018, 03:34:24 AM

Preordered on Amazon not long ago and they say it should be here in December.

Amazon is pretty clueless about board game release dates. I'd trust the publisher on this one. Looks like they haven't updated their Availability FAQ recently, but they're guesstimating January.

"Second Printing
The factory has started working on 30,000 Root games and 15,000 expansions.
WE ESTIMATE that it will be done printing in mid to late October and will take until early December to mid-January to get to depots. Go back and read that again. WE ESTIMATE. We will divide up the lot based on our distributor orders and ship it around the world. The majority of the second printing will go into distribution. Distribution will take time to get to retail stores. I would expect retail sales to start in January."
Samwise
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Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 10:45:59 AM

If you buy direct from their site, the estimate they give is mid-December, but that's because they're shipping it straight to you rather than waiting for stores to stock their shelves.  I'd guess that if you buy from Amazon it's the same deal.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Goldenmean
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Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 01:11:02 PM

Oh, is Leder Games directly on amazon? When I did a search it was just showing other retailers using amazon as their store front. If that's the case, then yeah, December seems plausible.
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