Postgame Breakdown - ROOT

Alright, the moment you have been waiting for. My thoughts on last night with #Root, the most often talked about game on this site! To give you context, we did assign roles and assigned some homework to do before hand, mostly just rules overviews but no strategy. 

I was the Eyrie, @Sliddell11 was the Cats, our friend Charlie was the Vagabond (he wins a lot of our games, so we gave him a hard faction), and another friend was the Woodland Alliance. 

Right out the gate, there is a lot of rules overhead, from set up to just a lot of specific situations that you do need to constantly need to be referring to the rule books...yes both of them lol. 

Our first game (we played two, back to back) was pretty rocky. A lot of learning, referring to the rules, some frustration because of the rules unfamiliarity and the game is very conflict heavy so there is some reason to get passionate about the game! I was able to jump out to a big lead with Eyrie, and I learned that was a rough go, big time target on my back and all three guys made it their mission to send me into turmoil, all the while Alexander (the Alliance) was just quietly and "innocently" built up an army and made it impossible to stop him from easily spreading sympathy even without cards. They ended up winning by just moving his warriors around and placing a sympathy with them. I came in second with about 25 points as the Eyrie and the cats and Vagabond were probably in the teens. We all agreed we needed to give the game another go. 

Second game...played much differently. We all were more aware of everything and kept each other in check. I am embarrased to say that I went into turmoil THREE times this game. Two of them were induced by other players, which is fine. But my first one was all me and I most likely lost the game because of that. I just could not recover. We all kept the Alliance in check...but the Vagabond man. Charlie really figured them out well and found a good system with the corssbows and being an aggressive fighter. Even when he is being attacked he was able to gain points which propelled him to a solid victory...with me again at about 25 points as the Eyrie, but it was MUCH closer and there was less time spent in the rule books...which probably caused us to miss some rules but that is ok. We will be better next time!

Here is my battery evaluation:

(+) The game is exceptional at creating conflict and forcing you to interact with other players. 

(+) The factions function all so differently so there is a lot to master and there is a lot to be aware of. Once you master one, you can switch up the roles and start all the learning over again!

(+) The game is BEAUTIFUL! Components are great (for the most part, I will get there). The art is amazing, the meeples feel really great, and the board is very compelling!

(+) It is definitely political, you have to play the people as well as the factions which to me is a big plus. We often play some Euro's in our game group with little interaction so this was a nice change. 

(-) Man there is a lot to digest. Being in the rule book as much as we were prior to the game, and as many videos we watched...we still had the rule books out almost every turn...plus we still missed rules. Having so many rules cause some frustration in the group, almost like we were really having to trudge through every action to make sure we were playing correctly. 

(-) The player boards warp like CRAZY! I actually had to punch the copy that we were able to borrow and as soon as we got the boards out of the shrink, they just had a life of their own! It is probably fixable with some heavy books and letting them get used to the humidity levels, but for such a beautiful game, it took just a little away from the production. 

(-) King-making is pretty hard. You can feel like you are doing well and at times you feel like you cannot properly defend yourself. It is part of the game to evaluate who is about to have a big turn, but it can be hard for a Euro gamer to have their "stuff" messed with lol!

All in all, we all had an excellent time! We all wanted to play a second game and we all are looking forward to another play through soon, with hopefully less rules blunders and some more tactics and strategies honed in! 

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Supporter9 months ago

Glad you guys had a great time! Sounds you have a really nice group for Root and that there will be possibilities of getting expansions in the future :)

For the next game, is the plan to keep all faction choices the same? or to mix things up a bit? (was there a faction that you wanted to try out after seeing it in action that night?)

Also, I had no idea about the player boards warping since I haven't experienced it before. 

9 months ago

We definitely do have a good group for it. A lot of fun bickering lol.

We have not decided yet, I am sure there will be some shuffling around to mix it up!

Yea, it was one of the things I had heard about and saw on some videos, but it was pretty bad. It can be fixed though with some heavy books and some time for them to get used to the atmosphere! My Quacks boards were warped a little initially too but have calmed down a lot!

Supporter9 months ago

So much fun bickering.  I love when I try to convince someone to do something and they are like, that doesn't even help me.  And I have to try convince them, it does.  And the person we are targeting trying to turn the tables back on me.

Edit:  I'll try out some books to get everything back into shape.

9 months ago

Oh I love a good bicker session lol. 

Supporter9 months ago

I'm glad someone here hasn't had that problem. I wonder if it a more of a climate thing, or a manufacturing thing? I also wonder if it is worse for a specific printing. 

Supporter9 months ago

Hope our copies of Root won't have that issue xD

Supporter9 months ago

I hope so 

9 months ago

Such a great time. Even though I did not play very well, I am itching to play more in order to refine the strategy. I think it would be fun to also play against the cats since I know how they operate now haha 

Supporter9 months ago

Also, saving some bird cards in your hand can help you make some clutch plays! My wife destroyed me in one of her turns by taking three additional actions as the Cats using her three bird cards :(

9 months ago

That makes sense, they do a lot of building and developing, then BAM they can make an aggressive play!

9 months ago

Dude the bird cards were the best! Since the cats are limited to only 3 actions, those helped a ton.

Supporter9 months ago

Does she like those big power plays? Or does she prefer building a engine? 

Supporter9 months ago

Hahaha yes, I'm sure you'll be able to exploit their weaknesses if you play against the Cats. I think some of the main lessons I learned from my first play with the Cats were (1) you don't need that many sawmills and workshops are actually higher in priority, and (2) the placement of your first three buildings during setup can be helpful for the cards you really want to craft (the ones with persisting effects).

9 months ago

I know I wish I would’ve done more workshops! I almost never had enough sawmills and too many people... I was all mixed up haha 

Supporter9 months ago

Yeah, Cats can be slow on crafting.  I can't wait to try the new deck that came with Root: The Underworld Expansion, I've heard it's amazing.

9 months ago

It looks so good! The moles look super interesting too!

Supporter9 months ago

I think a lot of people are hot on the Corvids.  But man, I really want to play the Moles.

9 months ago

Haha they just seem so cool! Them and the lizards are the ones I want to use..

Supporter9 months ago

Oh yeah, i want to play the Corvids some day.  In the first 6 factions I really liked the Lizards the most.  Maybe because they are the most difficult.

9 months ago

As in the most difficult to play?

Supporter9 months ago

They are the most difficult to win with.  At least that's my impression and I've seen that among reviewers as well.

9 months ago

Have you ever been able to win with them??

Supporter9 months ago

Once.  I was able to get a hated souls often.

9 months ago

I have no idea what that means lol, I will need to look more into how they play!

Supporter9 months ago

Ha.  The shortest way to say it is that you are limited to where you can take your main actions to specific clearing (either fox, mouse, or bunny) based on what others discard.  The first time a clearing because outcast it costs a large number of acolytes (Lizard Warriors) to do an action.  If you have a clearing type the same for successive turns it cost much less to do the actions.

9 months ago

It is a completely new deck??

Supporter9 months ago

Yes, it completely replaces the previous deck.  From what I've seen it has more powerful ongoing crafting abilities.  It also can give you access to small versions of the other factions abilities.  For instance one of them allows you to dig tunnels (like the Moles) with some restrictions.

Supporter9 months ago

Today does sound fun 

9 months ago

That sounds so neat! Hopefully I can find the expansion for cheap haha 

Supporter9 months ago

That would be nice.  I got lucky finding it at a FLGS that does 30% off retail.  I do know that they are eventually going to sell just the Exiles and Partisans deck as a separate expansion.  Unfortunately, I don't think the retail version of #Root: The Underworld Expansion will come with it automatically.