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Preliminary rating. Played a couple of times with family. Not so hard to teach as it looks. Youngest played vagabond to avoid being attacked. Worked well.Feels great fun, not as long as I thought it would take. Will almost certainly increase rating over time. Want to play all four Factions first.Additions: We have noticed that the game starts slow, and speeds up dramatically during the mid-late game. Point scoring accelerates and a win can come from nowhere if you're not watchful. I think I've played everything except Vagabond so far (everyone wants to be the Vagabond.) Some seem harder to get the most out of, but they're all fun to play.Even my youngest (10) can play Vagabond and Marquise with some effectiveness.There's certainly an overhead to teaching this game, and it needs repeated play to get the most out of it. It reminds me of a GMT COIN game, with its asymmetric player abilities, area control and card-driven mechanisms.Cutesy artwork belies a cut-throat and brutal game that, once you have the hang of it, plays quickly and almost always ends leaving you wanting more.Not convinced about the solo-play out of the box. I need to try the enhanced solo factions from the Files section.
This is the gateway to asymmetrical games like Viticulture is to worker placements. Cole Wehrle and Co. have perfectly distilled the COIN-like/war gameplay and crammed it in an approachable package. Every turn presents grueling choices of furthering your own goals or going out of your way to hamper your opponents. The game can be a bear to teach, but with the fact that all factions share some base rules regarding movement, card crafting, and battling, plus the 2 turn walkthrough, you can get the game moving within 15-20 minutes.
What an amazing game. Truly asymmetric characters makes the game replay-ability a core feature. Had a great time playing the Vagabond and Marquise De Cat, and can't wait to play the other characters!
The only competitive game I've played with a quarterbacking problem. The second someone does well for playing their faction the way it should be played, one player screams "get em, boys!" and everyone piles on, knocking that player out of the running for the rest of the game. I appreciate the design, but in practice, I've hated it every time.
Want to get this to a more advanced group whenever I can. The theme and abstract gameplay are simply magnetic. It is incredible hard to teach to a group, but so rewarding once the rules are understood.
This is a pretty cutthroat game in a very charming package. Infinitely better than the execrable Vast, and preferable in all ways to the obtuse COIN games. The asymmetry is as massive as reported, but for the most part everyone knows how to mess with everyone else--a point where many asymmetric games accidentally become too difficult to play.
Fun asymmetric war game. The art and theme are just amazing. It's an interesting system to explore but the experimentation is the fun part. I definitely want to dig into this more, particularly with the expansion coming out soon(ish). My only qualm is that you need to play this with people who know what they're doing because the game's balance comes from the players, not the system.
Now that I've played Root in its finished form with all of the factions, I feel I can finally speak about it. The beauty of Root, above all else, is that it can get on the table. I love COIN games, Fire in the Lake is a masterpiece, but I haven't played it in *years* because I just can't get it on the table. I've played Root with casual gamers that would never play a COIN game, but happily played this. I think that is the game's biggest achivement, bringing asymmetric wargames to the masses. I look forward to exploring it more.
A masterpiece of game design - both due to the balanced asymmetry and how well each faction's theme matches with their mechanics. Not giving this a 10 because, while the asymmetry is brilliantly balanced and thematic, the gameplay felt a bit shallow at times. Still a really fun game.
More interesting than fun. I love playing it just to see it work, but I understand people who get frustrated by its inherent imbalance and proclivity for kingmaking. Doesn't stop me from constantly trying to play it just to marvel at the clockwork... Kyle Ferrin's art might very well save this game. If it was less beautiful I might find it less enjoyable to experience. Cats are too weak, Eyrie are more complicated than the board indicates, and Vagabond is too powerful due to its disconnected nature. Also doesn't play well at 2. 3-4 must. Riverfolk expansion is essential for any consistent play
yet so cutthroat.... Root is a polished game with a great tutorial helping you naturally learn the game ang get out there destroying your friends. but its ok! they are destroying you too!
We have spent the last 4 weeks playing Root once weekly & mixing up factions (5 players) & I appreciate the depth & thematic excellence of this game more & more. A different faction has won each week, & 3 out of the 5 of us have taken at least one win. We’ve also won with Domination cards and points on different games, so suffice to say the variety & replayability is off the charts.
[b] :STAR: COMPLETE RATING: [/b] [c] [b]SCORE CRITERIA WEIGHTING ------- STAR RATING SCALE -------[/b] (9.0) FUN (x15): BORING :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar: REALLY FUN (8.0) GAMEPLAY (x5): NO DEPTH :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: LOT OF DEPTH (FOR THE WEIGHT) (8.0) GAME FLOW (x5): FIDDLY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: SILKY SMOOTH (8.0) DOWNTIMES (x2): LOT OF :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: ZERO (8.0) RANDOMNESS (x2): PURE LUCK :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: PURE SKILLS (8.0) MECHANICS (x2): BORING :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: INTERESTING / INNOVATIVE (9.0) REPLAYABILITY (x5): ZERO :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar: INFINITE (7.0) SCALABILITY (x3): POOR :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: GREAT AT ALL PLAYER COUNTS (7.0) PORTABILITY (x1): BULKY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar: SUPER EASY TO PLAY ANYWHERE (8.0) THEME (x1): UNATTRACTIVE :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: ATTRACTIVE (8.0) AESTHETICS (x1): UGLY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: GORGEOUS (8.0) COMPONENTS (x1): LOW QUALITY :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: HIGH QUALITY (8.0) VALUE (x2): TOO EXPENSIVE :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: REALLY CHEAP(LOW COST FOR WHAT WE GET) (8.0) SETUP TIME (x2): LONG :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: ZERO (8.0) GAME LENGTH (x2): TOO SHORT/LONG :star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar: JUST PERFECT (6.0) RULES COMPLEXITY (x1): COMPLEX :star::star::star::star::star::star::nostar::nostar::nostar::nostar: SIMPLE [/c] [b]TOTAL = 415/50 =8.3[/b] :thumbsup: [b]POSITIVE POINTS:[/b] ++ Asymmetric factions makes the gameplay very interesting, and highly replayable. ++ The theme is interesting and the art is fantastic. The meeples are amazing. ++ Fairly quick and easy to get into for a psuedo-wargame. :thumbsdown: [b]NEGATIVE POINTS:[/b] -- Aysmmetry can make learning difficult. Teaching new players requires teaching all the factions in play. -- Kingmaking can be an issue. There is definitly a lot of "attack the leader" mentality required. -- Doesn't play well at lower player counts.
This is the first game I avoid playing because I don't wnat to deal with teaching it. Strange, too, because I'm willing to teach almost anything to willing participants. The rules overhead is extremely high for a game that is so (paradoxically) straightforward. Asymmetry is great during gameplay, but a pain in the neck to explain. Even one new player means you have to go through everything in detail so they can understand what the various factions are capable of. The fact that it's a 45-minute teach for a 60-90 minute game is really frustrating, and I suppose I would be more inclined to play if I knew everyone already knew the rules. If this were a 2-3 hour game, I think I might be a little more willing to invest in the game. Typical of Cole Wehrle's designs, Root really needs a regular group. Not to the degree that John Company or Pax Pamir require, but the high level of tactical interactivity means the game state is unwittingly (and violently) changed turn-to-turn by new players who don't know how to deal with managing three wildly different enemies. After 4-5 plays, things will start to take shape and the metagame (which Wehrle really excels at) can finally emerge. As the new hotness, people are clamoring to play this, but I find the juice is not worth the squeeze. Especially since the people who express interest in this don't really know what they're getting into. Eurogamers are not prepared for this type of tactical, euro-style war game, and are often turned off by it when they realize what the game actually is. So you're left with the GMT crowd who is often put-off by the cutesy theme, and would rather just play a COIN. If I'm going to go through the effort of teaching something with this level of detailed complexity, I'd much rather go with Pam Pamir or Pax Renaissance (both of which are better games), Lisboa (which is more likely to appeal to the people who say that want to play Root), or if they really want a high-wire act light war game experience, Maria or Friedrich.