Update on Root: The Marauder Expansion - Badger Faction

Today, Cole Wehrle, Patrick Leder, and Joshua Yearsley of Leder Games went live on Twitch to reveal the Badger faction! I've summarized the details below and included some of my thoughts. If you notice any discrepancies, let me know and I'll update the article. (Edit: The article title has been revised to show the official title as revealed by Cole Wehrle)

Here's what you'll find:

  • Badger Faction Concept and Details
  • Commentary and First Impressions
  • Miscellaneous Info and Updates

Badger Faction Concept and Details

Patrick was placed in charge of coming up with the designs for two militant factions (the Warlord faction was covered in a previous article). In order to fit right in with the spirit of Root, the new additions had to introduce a whole new dynamic into the Woodland. There needed to be friction in motives and playstyles that makes all others adapt around the new factions. 

And this is where the Badgers come in. With working title of "Stone Seekers," they're relic seekers traveling in caravans to return these objects to their rightful homes. Unfortunately, getting home won't be so easy amidst of all the political unrest.

Badger Faction Player Board

Here are the player board details (wordings are not final):

Traits

  • Armoured - In battle with any Badger warriors, you ignore the first hit you take (even from an ambush)
  • Cumbersome - When moving, you can only move one warrior unless you choose to move a caravan along with your warriors

Mission

  • Recruiting - Place two warriors here
  • Supplying - Craft with two pieces matching this route
  • Rescuing - Take the full Rescue action
  • Exhibiting - Score 1 VP

Birdsong

Recruit - Place one warrior in any recovery clearing. If you're Recruiting, also place warriors equal to waystations as evenly as possible between recovery clearings.

Daylight

1st: Craft using waystations. If you’re Supplying, also use caravans

2nd: Take up to 4 actions

  • Move - You may move from waystation to waystation, as described in Relics, with no relic
  • Build - Spend a card to place a caravan or waystation in a matching clearing you rule
  • Rescue - Draw one card. If you’re Rescuing, you also draw the top card in the discard pile if you rule a matching clearing
  • Battle

Evening

1st: Choose your mission

2nd: Discard down to 5 cards

Relics

Anytime on their own turn, if they or the Badgers rule their clearing, a player may:

  • Move - Take any number of moves from a waystation to another waystation, if they are moving at least one warrior or pawn with a relic. They treat Badger pieces as their own for rule
  • Scout - Spend a card matching their clearing to move a relic from an adjacent forest into their clearing, then put a warrior or pawn on it that does not already have a relic
  • Recover - Remove the relic from your warrior or pawn in its recovery clearing, score 2VP, and get the mission bonus. The Badgers score 1VP (Badgers score 3VP if they recover)

Relic Setup

The setup for the Badger faction is still getting worked out, but here's the rough idea with the picture below as a guide

  1. Put down the recovery clearings. 1 in an edge clearing that a different faction hasn't chosen, and 1 at least 4 clearings away (the token design is in progress but they're indicated by the large black and white tokens below)
  2. Take relics of opposite color and put two each in forests adjacent to the recovery clearing
  3. Place 3 starting warriors, a caravan, and a waystation in a clearing that’s not adjacent to a forest containing a relic

Commentary and First Impressions

Mixup of highly immobile and mobile - With a reach value of around 7 or 8, Badgers typically move one unit at a time and can't sprawl out across the board as easily as others (e.g. the Cats). But if you manage to effectively use your caravans and waystations, you could zoom past the forests in an instant (note that you can have up to 3 caravans on the board at a time). 

Capture the flag vibe - Badgers need to leave their safe space and dive head first into a sea of enemies. The warrior unit that picks up the relic immediately gets a big target on its back. Other factions can (1) come to your aid in delivering the relics to reap its benefits, (2) pretend to help out but only take advantage of using your waystations, or (3) steal them away and setup of a blockade. There's big potential for interactivity and I'm sure there are many more ways in which the Badgers will change up the playing field.

Miscellaneous Info and Updates

  • The new kits for the Badgers will be available on Tabletop Simulator today, so you can test out the gameplay yourself! You can find them on Leder Games' Woodland Warriors discord. Even if you're not interested in the TTS mod, you should join in on the fun if you're a passionate Root fan
  • Minor faction info will be revealed in the upcoming stream
  • Cole is still hoping to stream a solo playthrough of Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile in 1 to 2 weeks
  • Official title for the new Root expansion will be revealed soon. Anyone have a guess?

So, what do you think about the Badgers? Are you more interested in them or the Warlord?

 

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10 months ago

Just wanted to say that I really appreciate your weekly posts that sum up very well their Twitch streamings!!

10 months ago

Yep, me too.

This is a real service for those of us who avoid social media. Thank you!

Owner10 months ago

I appreciate that, thank you! It's been fun doing these, and I've been meaning to look up other popular publishers who might do something similar to update their fans. I know that Jamey does weekly streams for Stonemaier Games, so I might go for that, although it won't be as focused on a single topic. Would love to get suggestions from everyone though :)

10 months ago

I thought the Badger faction looked awesome. I'm still super curious to see how it fully interacts with the other factions though. They made a quick mention that the Vagabond specifically right now has some rules issues with the relics. I love Josh's work on the rulebook so I'm excited to see how this gets sorted out. I'm probably still more interested in first trying the Rat faction but the Badger look like a solid addition and the reach value is great news. I'll be a Day 1 backer for sure!

Owner10 months ago

Yup, it sounded like the Vagabond tends to be a the problem child they have to deal with after everything else gets sorted out haha. I tend to like aggressive plays so I'm more attractive to the Warlord so far, but the Badgers' minigame sounds fun. I could see some fun scenarios that play out from either you trying to retrieve the relics yourself, or from when you let the enemy do all the work and take it away from them. Sounds like an exciting challenge either way

10 months ago

Agreed, I think the Badgers would lend themselves well to making quick natural allies with one of the other larger reach factions. I almost want to watch a livestream of a game with one or both of them included though. 

Partner10 months ago

Very excited to start burning down the forest!

Supporter10 months ago

One thing I don't love is the name of the Faction itself...

I had a few ideas, what do you think .  Do you have any name ideas?

The Knights of the Quarry

The Order of Stone

The Order of the Quarry

10 months ago

This may be the first faction I've thought ... 'meh' about.   I don't really want to add a pick up and deliver mini-game to my root game.  Looking forward to the Warlord Faction much more.  Also can't wait to see minor factions and how they change up the game.

Supporter10 months ago

I'm still not sure how I feel about it.  I think I need to see it played, or play it.  The more I read over it though the more I think I may like it.  I think picking the mission will be an interesting choice since you have to wait till your next turn to play it out.  There will need to be some strong planning involved, with the addage of needing to adapt the mission you pick to the board state when it reaches your turn again.

9 months ago

They've now altered it so its less "pick up and deliver" and more in line with the other factions.   Area control matters more and its more streamlined.  More intrigued by them now.

Supporter9 months ago

Yeah I'm sure a lot will be tweaked leading up to and even during the KS campaign.  I've not been dissapointed in any factions yet (even though there are some I prefer to play).

Supporter10 months ago

I am intrigued to see how this Faction plays.  I can't really get my head around the rules just by reading the info you've laid out from the video (thanks for doing that as always!).

They seem really interesting and seem like they will be a challenge which I always enjoy.  It'll take a lot of planning to figure out which Mission to select for the next round.

I'm really really excited about both factions so far.  Can't wait to see the KS go live!

The Rescue action seems like it could be really cool, also seems like it would have a good or bad impact on the Lizard Cult.

Supporter10 months ago

First, I will make a bigger comment later about everything.

Second, I'm racking my brain trying to think of a name that sounds cool.  At the moment the only name I've come up with is 

Root: The Quarry Expansion

Seems like the name is usually focused on one of the new major factions.

Owner10 months ago

Were you able to catch the stream ? If you haven't, here's a summary!

What do you think about the Badger faction? :)

Linked Games
Root: The Marauder Expansion
Root: The Riverfolk Expansion
Root
Root: The Underworld Expansion
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