Update on Root: The Marauder Expansion - The Warlord Faction

Cole Wehrle and Patrick Leder was live on Twitch today to give a progress update on the upcoming Root: The Marauder expansion. Here are some of the details I gathered and summarized for you. Let me know if you see any discrepancies and I'll update the article.

The main topics of this video were the following:

  • Introducing the Warlord Faction
  • New Setup Rules

Introducing the Warlord Faction

Here's the Heckin' Warlord faction in all its glory (no official name yet). As you can see from their frowns and bloody red color, they're angry, gunning for chaos, and perfect for the aggressive players in your group.

This is the breakdown of their characteristics and abilities. The text is difficult to see so I've typed it up below the screenshot (and included commentary in a couple of spots):


  • Warlord - The warlord is a pawn that can be removed
  • Looters - As attacker in battle, take one item from the defender’s Crafted Items box for each building you remove


  1. Wake - You must replace your mood card
  2. Scorch - For each flame, remove all ruins and enemy buildings and tokens in its clearing, take revealed items, then role to move the flame, not along rivers (using a die)
  3. Recruit - Place warriors equal to Prowess in the clearing with your warlord. Place one warrior in each clearing with a stronghold
  4. Anoint - If the warlord is off the map, place it in the clearing with the fewest pieces


  1. Take Logistics Actions up to your Logistics (in a clearing you rule by spending a matching card)
    • Move
    • Battle
    • Build
  2. Advance a number of times up to your Prowess. You may move the warlord with any warriors, then you may battle in the clearing with the warlord


  1. Craft using strongholds
  2. Ignite any number of times. Choose a clearing with your warlord or warriors. Spend a matching card to place a flame token there.
  3. Oppress - Score based on how many clearings you rule with no enemy pieces
  4. Draw 1 card. Discard down to 5 cards

Commentary and Additional Information:

  • Cole and Patrick have mentioned that the warlord is relatively straightforward to teach. The Badger (introduced later) will be more complex
  • Setup - The warlord will start out with 3 warriors, 1 stronghold, and the warlord in their "homeland" (will explain later). The faction has 1 warlord and 20 warriors total
  • Mood cards - This seems similar to the idea of the Eyrie faction where you choose a Leader and that dictates your focus/benefit for a period of time. There are 7 mood cards total and they are titled Stubborn, Egotistical, Reckless, Furious, Indignant, Rowdy, and Wrathful. No final illustrations yet but each card will show the warlord expressing each of those moods. The replaced mood card is removed from the game

  • Scarcity of cards - Unlike some of the other factions, the warlord doesn't have a way of getting bonus cards, except through one of the mood cards' benefit. Given the scarcity of the cards, it seems like crafting won't be a big priority, and will be mostly spent on taking Logistics Actions (Move, Battle, Build) and Igniting enemy clearings
  • The basic approach of the warlord seems to be drawing power from a continuous aggressive takeover of clearings targeting enemies who are focused on crafting. You enter a foreign land, set it on fire, loot their items, gain more actions, and the flame will quickly spread out to the neighboring regions if not dealt with. Combined with the new setup rules, I think the warlord will be interested in starting in a clearing close to crafting factions
  • The style of play reminds me of both Woodland Alliance and the Vagabond. Vagabond, obviously since their moveset is dependent on the number of its looted items, but Woodland Alliance because they feel like a thorn on the side with their flame tokens

New Setup Rules

The new setup rules will allow experiences closer to Root's competitive scene. It'll focus on drafting for the factions (see faction cards above) and having a great deal of freedom in where to start on the map. Here are some examples of the faction cards and their setup instructions:

The cards with red headers indicate factions with higher "reach". The Warlord and Badgers fall under this category. For those unfamiliar with Root, reach values indicate a faction's degree of influence and mobility around the map. Here's the basic idea of the faction drafting phase:

  1. Start with the stack of faction cards
  2. Take a random red card and set it aside (in the example below, it's the Warlord faction. Sorry that the screen capture is so hard to see!)
  3. Take all the remaining cards and shuffle them all
  4. Deal them out according to the number of players. The setup shown below is for 4 players. If the 5th card drawn is a white card, it's tucked behind the 1st red card you had set aside. That faction cannot be chosen until the red card above it has been chosen by a player
  5. Each time a player chooses a faction card, he/she must execute the setup instructions before the next player picks a faction

Lastly, the expansion will introduce a bonus content for a modular board. It'll be a platter of "boards" you can add to the main board:

Commentary and Additional Information:

  • As you can see from some of the faction setup cards, there's a new concept of "homelands". Two players cannot have the same homeland
  • The new setup rules don't go by the corner system where some of the factions have had to start out their base in one of the corners of the map
  • The goal of this new system is to generate the widest possible number of scenarios that can unfold in a typical game of Root
  • Allows the typical corner factions to be a lot closer than usual
  • Will make 5-6 player gameplay more accessible


  • This will likely be the 2nd to last Root expansion 
  • The upcoming Kickstarter will include Clockwork 2.0 for other faction bots
  • Possibly new balance adjustments for Vagabond
  • Later videos will cover the Badger faction and details on the "minor faction" that will enhance 2 player gameplay
  • Leder Games will be phasing in print and play materials until the Kickstarter launch. So you'll have some of the content available before the campaign

So, what do you think about this upcoming expansion? Which addition/change are you excited about the most?

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Owner23 months ago

Here's a concept art of the warlord that Kyle Ferrin recently shared. What do you all think? :D

Supporter22 months ago

I just saw this comment.  But I think this is really cool.

Owner22 months ago

I know this isn't the final design, but I'd like to see a chunky warlord! Somewhat like the sheriff of nottingham from Disney's robinhood

Supporter22 months ago

I do like this idea.  Although I also think the Warlords being from the clearning factions makes sense thematically.  Since they are so influenced by the rest of the board (especially with the WA and Lizard Cult), that within their ranks Warlords would rise up since they are mostly disorganized members of the Woodland.

22 months ago

Ah man,  I'm pumped,  but also a little disappointed that the new factions are similar in appearance (mice of the alliance and now rats). And badger! Who is already a vagabond! 

I'd have loved to see Boars (could see stone really really cool illustrations for that!) And they would be great as the warlords!  So full of rage and ferocity. 

And bears! Bears are such a great forest animal! 

I was a bit stumped when I heard turtles were going to be a thing, but i guess you get them more in America. Still, I definitely would have chosen many other things before I got down to turtles! 


Anyhow,  the game is great,  you guys are brill, and we are sorely addicted in this household.  


Boars n bears forever!

Owner22 months ago

Come to think of it, there hasn't been any big mammals huh? I wonder if there's a reason behind it haha

And I agree, it would have been awesome to see something like a bear or a boar. Maybe they're saving the big ones for the final expansion? Some sort of "boss" factions? :D

Partner22 months ago

super interested in how this goes...the digital version has really upped my enjoyment of this...here is hoping all these expansions come there as well

Moderator Level 122 months ago

Very nice! I think they should keep the name as is haha

I like that they're aggressive. I love all types, but there's something aboutan aggressive faction that gives you an excuse to be so haha

Supporter23 months ago

Also, with their low hand quality it seems like they'd be big buyers with the Otters.  Seems like a nice fit thematically.  The war profiteers really benefitting from the Warlords.

Owner23 months ago

That makes sense, now how do the Otters work? I've yet to play with them so I only have a vague idea. Do you need to be present in the same clearing to be able to initiate some kind of dealings? I'm just wondering if the Warlord would be interested in choosing their homeland to be closer to the Otters' in the new setup phase.

Supporter22 months ago

I can't remember right now.  I do think you can one buy service anytime but if you are also in a location with a trading post you can buy from them multiple times.

Supporter23 months ago

You know I'm hyped about a WARLORD faction!!!!

Owner23 months ago

Right??? I gave myself a budget of around $300 for the year. Depending on what the minor faction will do for 2p gameplay, I might end up spending a good chunk of that getting this new expansion and Underworld.

Warlord suits you so well lol

Supporter23 months ago

I'm really feeling that backing this expansion will be my one expasnsion purchase of the year and I wouldn't be surprised if backing John Company is my one purchase.

23 months ago

This rat faction is everything I've ever wanted from a faction. So incredibly hyped for this!

Owner23 months ago

Will keep on reporting back every time they give an update! It was fun to write this one up :)

23 months ago

Just take all my money Leder Games!!!!

Supporter23 months ago

Me, literally anytime I hear about anything related to #Root or with Cole's name attached to it.

Owner23 months ago

It's so amazing how big this game got. Love all this attention and focus that Leder games has been putting into making #Root better and better!

Owner23 months ago

I know right? They really struck a chord with the woodland war of animals theme. With how little components the game involves and because of its aesthetic, I think it opened a lot of people to a genre they would've overlooked otherwise.

If the minor faction is great (and I'm sure it will be), it's going to become one of my most versatile games covering solo, 2p, and multiplayer!

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