Root Bots

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Hey everyone, I wanted to share with you the most updated PNP editions of the Root Bots.  I know I've mentioned them before.  Now they have rules that go along with them which I think will help run them

Root Bots (and more)



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Owner10 months ago

Awesome, thanks for this! I borrowed Trent's copy so that I can see how my wife likes it. I'm sure I'll try out the bot while I'm at it.

10 months ago

Sweet! Hopefully these bots help me get a solo game in soon. 

Supporter10 months ago

That's what I'm hoping, (once my baby starts sleeping through the transition of being unswaddled).  I ended up not adding the Bot to my KS pledge because I felt the PNP was sufficient enough for me to get what I was looking for and that way I could save a bit of money.  Obviously not as high quality but hopefully it'll be used rarely compared to the actual player boards.

10 months ago

Excellent! I am leaning more and more towards trying to get a copy of #Root...

Supporter10 months ago

You need to lean all the way into it.  It's by far my favorite game.

10 months ago

What makes it your favorite game? 

My concerns...well hold ups would be the teach. I know that it can be tough to teach. I have seen people say that it can feel like your moves are obvious, not too much decision space I guess? A better word might be like systematic?

Owner10 months ago

Thought I'd chip in as someone who's played Root 4-5 times in the past (the only thing that keeps it from being a solid #1 in my list is that it's hard to get to the table with the group that we have--limited time on weekday nights, typically with new gamers, group gets mixed up all the time, etc.)

I'd say that the mechanics are relatively simple to pick up on (depending on the factions) but it gives you a very deep decision space due to your interactions with the other players. It's a war game, and you can't simply carry on with your own strategies but have to be involved in a constant tug-of-war by keeping others in check. Power shifts happen all throughout the game and the board state changes with each engagement or non-engagement between players. It becomes a highly tactical game where even a single move like sending your troops into battle has to be done with an assessment of the risks. Should you move the majority of your troops into battle to ensure victory but leave your base more defenseless? Or send out a small number of soldiers but risk losing all of them without much of a result? There are also factions that start slow and ramp up in the mid/end point of the game, so how much attention should you give to them vs. addressing the more obvious threat at this moment? This was also long-winded but hope it gives things for you to think about lol

Supporter10 months ago

I love this.  It adds so much to how I feel about Root. Thanks for adding your point of view.

Owner10 months ago

Glad to, and it's fun to see everyone slowly joining the wagon xD

You sell the game well lol

10 months ago

Thanks @philryuh it definitely does! I appreciate the thoroughness in response. I can tell that you really do love this game! 

Owner10 months ago

Oh yes!! Haha

Supporter10 months ago

There are so many things that I like but I'll try to be brief.

First though I want to address the issue of teach.  Of course each player having their own set of rules it can take a bit to teach, but I don't think it's as hard as some have suggested.  Especially if the players know gaming.  Yes, it's a little harder than other games but that also one of the things that makes it so good.

I also disagree with the idea that it's too systematic.  Yes of course you are going to have certain strategies based on which faction you get/choose.  But how that is played out varies on a lot of factors.  What cards are being drawn into your hand, what cards are being given to you through various abilities in the game.  Can you move or not move where you want to based on the rules.  How do the dice rolls go.  

But... I would say the main thing that stops it from being systematic is which factions are being played and by whom.  I don't think the expansions are needed but I think they are awesome and make the game that much richer.  So if you have all 8 then you have many faction mix possibilities.  Keeping in mind that more than 4 is going to take a very long time.  I might play at 5.  But I've played with a lot of different faction combinations which adds to the game.

The way the factions are made is ingenious.  They play into their factions "characteristics".  A quick example is the Lizard Cult uses the other players discarded cards to drive their game.  This works something like this.  If you discard a lot of fox cards then the foxes feel "discarded".  As a result they are going to look to religion to give them hope.

For me the asymmetry is my favorite part of the game.  While you have your own rules you need to know what others are doing to try to work against them.  So the whole game you are basically making decisions that are best for you but also keeping in mind how you can stop others.  This also leads to a lot of table discussion as you try to convince others to work with you for a turn or two.  There are so many temporary alliances.  I also really enjoy direct player interaction and negative player interaction, which this has a lot of.  Finally, with 4 - 8 factions you can try each of them and each player will play them differently.  And the game will go differently each time depending on the break down.  Let's say the following was true

Game 1: I play the cats, friend 1 plays the birds, friend 2 plays the woodland alliance.

Game 2: I play the cats, friend 2 plays the bird, friend 1 plays the vagabond.  This is already a starkly different game even though I'm playing the cats twice.

Sorry, that was long winded but I hope it helps.

10 months ago

No this is great! I think you explained yourself well and I am definitely intrigued. I think I might be overblowing the teach part of it, think I would be talking directly to just one person on how to play their faction. That may be true, but everyone will need to listen in still to understand how their enemies play and how they can mess them up/team up with them. Thanks for the taking the time on this, it has helped me see more clearly some of my own biases!

Supporter10 months ago

I think what helped me was really being excited about the game.  This helped me to watch a lot of videos and made me feel like an expert before I went to my first teach.  Once the teacher knows what they are doing its smooth sailing.

Also, the other players only need to know the gist of what the other factions can do and how they score.  They don't need to understand the reasoning behind the other players strategy.  For instance, you don't need to know why the Eyrie player is playing certain cards, you just have to know what cards they are playing and where it triggers so you can try to undermine their plans.

10 months ago

Do you have any videos you recommend? My excitement is ramping up so I would like to make an informed assessment before they have a 4th print run!

10 months ago

Very good, thanks!

Supporter10 months ago

Of course.  Also I thought NPI did a really good and fun review.  SDSU hated Root but that's fine.  They also hated Scythe and that's another game I love.  Sometimes what reviewers don't like can help me determine if I do like something.  Whenver Rahdo says he thinks a game has too much negative interaction or is "mean" it jumps to the top of my wishlist. 🤷🏼‍♂️😂

10 months ago

I did see the SUSD review a while back and thought their points were valid, but this was earlier on in my gaming life so I have learned to take their opinions with a grain of salt. they often like games I hate and hate games I like, and that is ok!

Supporter10 months ago

That's been my experience too.  I don't remember exactly what they didn't like about it, but I do remember not agreeing with them.  One of the things I really like about Root is the post game discussion.  It really lends itself to looking back and thinking about what went well and what went wrong and talking through the History of your game as a group.  It lives on well after the game has been played.

It's one of the reasons I'd love some kind of campaign within Root for the next/final expansion.  But given Cole's design diaries with Oath I don't think that'd ever be on the table.

10 months ago

I think the biggest complaint they had was that once the "gimmick" of learning all of the different factions and how to play wore off they just did not like the game. I honestly see them as reviewers who look at a game and evaluate it after just 2-4 plays rather than looking at it as something that can grow and morph the more you play and experience. 

Supporter10 months ago

Ok, I see that.  I vehemently disagree with the idea that it is just a gimmick.  And I think sometimes this is why I like to see real people post reviews instead of professional reviewers.  I think because I don't own 300 games, I'll never own 300 games, and I doubt I'll even come close to playing 300 different games but opinion and review will be vastly (pun intended #Vast) and less harsh.  As someone who is just happy to have time to game and be in community I think I'm probably less picky overall.

Having said all that I can't state enough how much I disagree with SUSD review of Root and that it is an awesome awesome awesome game.

10 months ago

Oh absolutely, I am the same way with movie reviewers. I just dont have as much to reference back to! 

I totally understand, I view the game as something you need to dig your teeth into. Play two games in a row as the same faction, play different factions to see how they all work together or against. It is a deep game not only mechanically but also thematically and strategically. 

Supporter10 months ago

Have you played them?

Supporter10 months ago

I played against a previous edition of the Cats and Woodland Alliance (separate times).  I'm sure I messed things up, but I was basing all choices just on the faction boards with no rule book.  I'm really excited to use these and have a rulebook to refer to.

Supporter10 months ago

So how long did a solo game take you? 

I'm really hoping I can run 2 or 3 boots and clock in at 90ish minutes. If course, even shorter wouldn't hurt. 

I do expect that the first several games will be significantly longer, but it looks like the bots could be pretty easy to run. 

Supporter10 months ago

I think I ran one bot and from set up to tear down it was probably around 60 - 75 minutes.  But I think once I know how the Bots work and I don't have to think to much 1 Bot would probably take about 30 - 45 and 2 bots 45 - 60.

Supporter10 months ago

Oh.... Wow.... I'm even more excited. 

Supporter10 months ago

I'm excited to try them. 


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