I finally tried Root

So after years of eyeing it up and then listening to all of BGA rave about how good it is I finally played #Root!

A few of my board game group and I tried it a couple of times on TTS and it was a bunch of fun: The first game was just three of us (playing the base factions minus the vagabond), none of us having played it before it was certainly a learning game, plenty of mistakes made and it certainly took the chap playing them a few turns to figure out how to utilise the Woodland Alliance. The birds managed to snatch a victory on points after the Cats made a play for a dominance win. 

Second game we all switched faction and added a fourth, we had a nice time with everyone advising the player who was controlling the faction they last played on what pitfalls to avoid. That game ended after 4/5 turns with a pretty bold dominance play from the Cats (which handily triggered a Eeryie collapse so no one could retake any of the clearings).

So far I've had a great time with it, I enjoy how each faction feels like it's asymmetry doesn't prevent there being multiple ways to play that faction: With the Cats you can either try to just out recuit everyone and push for an early dominance win or you can hunker down and just build/craft your way to victory. The birds can likewise be played as careful but unstoppable boulder of feathers or you can leap off the starting line and net as many points as possible before eating your own tail. I haven't tried the other two but I get the feeling they have plenty of flexibility too. The art is obviously great (even in TTS) and there is just  whole lot of character to the game as each big manoeuvre feels dramatic. I feel like there is a lot of trying to avoid looking like you are winning as everyone keeps everyone else in check: it seems like it is worth sitting in 2nd place until someone slaps down the leader and then trying to sprint for victory.

Can't wait to try it again though and can't decide if I want to try a new faction again or stick with one of the two I've already played and try a different strategy: something I take to be a very good sign.

What have been some of your favourite memories of games of Root, those that have played it? Are there any unorthodox strategies that have worked out surprisingly well?

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Supporter23 days ago

I will add a more in depth comment later... but I'll start here

22 days ago

Premium User22 days ago

I have yet to play #Root as I don't think it would be my jam, but hearing about your great experience makes me want to at least give it a shot sometime!

22 days ago

We had a bunch of fun. I can definitely see how someone might bounce off of it though: so much of the game is the interacting and 'managing' the other factions to prevent them from snowballing and hoping no one come and crushes your plans. I can totally see someone not enjoying that dynamic.

That said it does a great job of making a story of of the game. You feel for the little forest meeples, and the actions are cinematic: hoards of birds storming through the forest, aristocratic cats crushing a protest only to further enrage their subjects into open rebellion etc. So it never felt personal when my clearings were attacked. Do give it a go: if we ever manage to organise a live game it could be a good one to try.

Premium User21 days ago

That's not a bad idea if we do eventually play a live game!

21 days ago

What game would be more your jam in general for four players?

Premium User20 days ago

Oooh this is an interesting question! I don't really play a whole lot of games with 4 players, even without pandemics to worry about lol. I think under normal circumstances, my go to would have to be my favorite game #Wingspan. That being said, I am picked up some games that either require 3 to play or that I think would be more fun with more players. #Calimala comes to mind, and #Cosmic Frog is one I am really excited to try out. Then of course there is always #Hansa Teutonica: Big Box which may prove to be too mean for us too.

20 days ago

I have only heard of #Hansa Teutonica: Big Box from that list (and only cause SU&SD did a review). #Cosmic Frog is an excellent name for a game, I look forward to hearing more about it when you get the chance to play it. Are you able to play games in person at the moment or are you in a lockdown of some kind?

Premium User20 days ago

I'll definitely be posting pictures of the painted frogs at the very least. One of my coworkers is doing that for me and is just about finished by now.

We're not in lockdown or anything like that, it's just the people we would normally play with are extra cautious. I don't think either Sarah or myself would have a problem with having a game night otherwise.

19 days ago

Nice, and I assume the cosmic aspect means these won't be your regular green frogs!

Ah right,  makes a lot of sense. Hopefully soon!

Owner20 days ago

I've played as Marquise against Trent's Eyrie a total of 3 times now (lost first two, won the third). And in our last play, I made an aggressive opening move swarming into his home base in turn 1 or 2 before he had a chance to grow his army and number of actions/tableau. Felt like a rather safe bet for me (since cats start with a bunch of warriors) and it really disrupted his pace where he constantly had to play reactively. Not sure how often I can play that way, but it was intersting :D

Glad your first play went so well! My favorite out of the base game is the Woodland Alliance. I got backed the Marauder Expansion and really looking forward to it becoming a solid 2p game against my wife.

19 days ago

That is an interesting tactic! Although it's interesting in the four player game that you don't really want to squash any one player too hard because you need them to help keep everyone else it check. 

I haven't tried the woodland alliance yet but they do look like a lot of fun, and they are always very scary being able to just explode all your troops any minute.

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