Root

 
4.5 (3)
 
4.5 (1)
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Root Board Game

Game Information

Game Name
Publisher
Designer
MSRP $
59.99
Year Published
Leder Games

Find adventure in a marvelous asymmetric game. Root provides limitless replay value as you and your friends explore the unique factions all wanting to rule a fantastic forest kingdom. Play as the: Marquise de Cat: Dominate the woods, extracting its riches and policing its inhabitants. Woodland Alliance: Gather supporters and coordinate revolts against the ruling regime. Eyrie Dynasties: Regain control of the woods while keeping your squabbling court at bay. Vagabond: Seek fame and fortune as you forge alliances and rivalries with the other players. Each faction has its own play style and paths to victory, providing an immersive game experience you will want to play again and again.


Editor reviews

3 reviews

Rating 
 
4.5
Rating 
 
4.5
Rating 
 
4.0
Root gives a great first impression and I think it's critical that most of the sides score differently but are still mainly concerned about board control. It makes the game readable for newer players. Still have not played it enough to give a final evaluation of end game play with experience players.
Rating 
 
5.0
MB
Top 10 Reviewer 69 reviews

User reviews

1 reviews

Rating 
 
4.5
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Rating 
 
4.5
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Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #281888 19 Sep 2018 09:07
I have only played one game of Root so far, as the Eyrie. It was an interesting experience, but not necessarily enjoyable. We had four players and just the base game. I liked that every faction had a very distinctive play style, but it felt like the Vagabond was sort of irrelevant and the Woodland Alliance was too powerful. The Eyrie was extremely powerful and yet I suffered two huge setbacks. Most of the cards seemed useless except to the cats. Maybe the game isn't intended to be balanced and players learn after a few plays which factions need to be teamed up against. I would be willing to play Root again, but I'm glad that I didn't buy it.
GorillaGrody's Avatar
GorillaGrody replied the topic: #281890 19 Sep 2018 09:33

Shellhead wrote: Maybe the game isn't intended to be balanced and players learn after a few plays which factions need to be teamed up against.


“Self-balancing” sometimes means Dune/Cosmic Encounter levels of intrigue and mechanic-based role play. More often, though, it seems to mean lazy design.

My impression is that Root is more the former, but I haven’t fully explored it, yet.
Count Orlok's Avatar
Count Orlok replied the topic: #281891 19 Sep 2018 09:34
I have to admit I'm superficially turned off by the game for its cutesy art style, but after watching a play through I'm pretty intrigued. I really like the concept of the asymmetry but do wonder about both balance and also balance of experience. The vagabond seems like it could be a bit dull to play, but I have only seen the one game played. I have read a little about the other expansion factions which seem like they would be a bit more interesting.

It seems like the kind of game that is really hard to judge without a lot of playthroughs. I do worry that the balance on the game is forced by each faction being held in check which seems really easy to throw off with inexperienced players. Unless I'm mistaken, the game seems like it would be best with a consistent group of experienced players, but may otherwise fall flat.

I'm curious to try it, although it's unlikely I'll get the chance any time soon.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #281892 19 Sep 2018 09:49
I've played 7 games spanning 2-5 players, and I'd definitely say it's the former. In my plays it's felt as though each faction can win and every game has been pretty close.

You'll see some things like the Woodland Alliance or perhaps the Vagabond winning in early plays as people don't quite understand their potential - particularly the WA who can explode for 10+ points at end game very easily. Once players are familiar and understand the pacing, everything falls into place.
GorillaGrody's Avatar
GorillaGrody replied the topic: #281893 19 Sep 2018 10:09
As a fan of stuff like Watership Down, The Wind in the Willows, Animal Farm, Warner Brother cartoons, etc. etc., I have a soft spot for anthropomorphized animals. As a medium of exchange for ideas, they often can't be beat. Though they can slide into essentialising categories (Maus always weirded me out in this way), when used well they often illustrate difference in a way that realism just can't. I think this aspect is done very well in Root, and my wife and I love the artwork.

Regarding "cuteness," however, after painting and selling off a whole batch of Arcadia Quest stuff, I realized I have an allergic reaction to Chibi, and I've finally realized why. The women look like sexualized 5 year olds. I just can't not see it, and I fucking hate it.
Colorcrayons's Avatar
Colorcrayons replied the topic: #281896 19 Sep 2018 10:40

GorillaGrody wrote: Regarding "cuteness," however, after painting and selling off a whole batch of Arcadia Quest stuff, I realized I have an allergic reaction to Chibi, and I've finally realized why. The women look like sexualized 5 year olds. I just can't not see it, and I fucking hate it.


There is a well known psychological basis for this.

As a fan of Warner Bros cartoons, I'm sure you may also be aware of it.

It's babies. Or rather, depicting the subject to emulate a baby.

Big eyes, fat cheeks, etc.
[Edit] we are biologically predisposed to like babies because of these features, or at the very least feel instinctive to protect them if maternal, or not want to harm them if paternal. This behavior can be seen in animals in regards to human babies too[/edit]

Look at Bugs Bunny. Animators had a heck of a time making Jimminy Cricket into a likeable character that wasn't a menacing insectoid. The solution was to make it look like a slightly warped, green skinned baby.

Chibi has the identical effect, by accident or by design.

Add to the fact that fantasy women are universally depicted sexualized (form fitting armor, when there is any at all) and you have the components of a Japanese Lolita ideal.
Ken B.'s Avatar
Ken B. replied the topic: #281900 19 Sep 2018 13:34
I have a pre-order of Root with CSI thanks to the hype Root has been getting here. However, I watched the teaching and play through videos for Pax Pamir 2nd edition and went and immediately Kickstarted it.

But now I wonder if I need Root. The art style, cards, and game flow of Pax Pamir seems much more my speed. I’ll probably keep my preorder but have been wondering about it the past few days.
Not Sure's Avatar
Not Sure replied the topic: #281909 19 Sep 2018 15:50
I backed this game (Backerkit after the KS closed), and I'm glad I did. I like it, it's right in my wheelhouse of game styles, and it's approachable enough to play it with my sons.

The hype is way the fuck out of control, though. It's a good game. That's about it. If you skipped playing it forever, you're not missing anything critical. It's a fun asymmetric light wargame, set in a forest. There's some decent depth to it, and it does a lot with not too much chrome in the rules.

I had to unsubscribe from the BGG topic when the first rule-questions started to overwhelm my feed (basically all useless shit answered in the book), so I've been unaware of just how crazy that site has gone for this new hotness. The TWBG Slack folks pointed me at a thread showing it's reached backlash stage, where people who didn't do any research played it and say "I didn't like it", and that causes fits. It's just stupid. So much yammering.

It's a cool little game. It's not the gaming event of a generation or anything. If you're wondering "do I need this?", the answer is "probably not". If you think "I like asymmetric war-type games, but COIN is too fat or too real or too long", this is a great game to fill that empty spot.

It's definitely not a game people can coast through without learning all the factions and how they operate. You can, but you'll be pretty underwhelmed at what's going on, and feel like none of it is really in your control. A table of folks all doing that, and it's going to fall pretty flat. It's also short, and the endgame comes at you quite quickly. Like Charlie said above, a faction like the Alliance can score 10 points or more in a round towards the end (if allowed to set up for it), which is 1/3rd of the total victory. That can be, um, offputting to some gamers as well.

If you know me, and know what I like and why, you'll see why I really enjoy this game. But it's not going to be universal. That's cool.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #281911 19 Sep 2018 15:57

Not Sure wrote: The hype is way the fuck out of control, though. It's a good game. That's about it. If you skipped playing it forever, you're not missing anything critical. It's a fun asymmetric light wargame, set in a forest. There's some decent depth to it, and it does a lot with not too much chrome in the rules.


Predicted timeline for Root at this site:

Now: This thread picks up steam and goes to five pages.

Early 2019: Barnes names Root as Game of the Year, 2018.

Summer 2019: Barnes put up Root for sale.

2020: Nobody here talks about Root anymore, even in the What BOARD GAME(s) Have You Been Playing? thread.

2028: Ubarose starts a Flashback thread about Root. Several people rave about how it was such a great game and they played it just last month.
GorillaGrody's Avatar
GorillaGrody replied the topic: #281912 19 Sep 2018 16:11
“I like asymmetric war-type games, but COIN is too fat or too real or too long” pretty much fits me to a tee.
Not Sure's Avatar
Not Sure replied the topic: #281913 19 Sep 2018 16:19

Shellhead wrote:

Not Sure wrote: The hype is way the fuck out of control, though. It's a good game. That's about it. If you skipped playing it forever, you're not missing anything critical. It's a fun asymmetric light wargame, set in a forest. There's some decent depth to it, and it does a lot with not too much chrome in the rules.


Predicted timeline for Root at this site:

Now: This thread picks up steam and goes to five pages.

Early 2019: Barnes names Root as Game of the Year, 2018.

Summer 2019: Barnes put up Root for sale.

2020: Nobody here talks about Root anymore, even in the What BOARD GAME(s) Have You Been Playing? thread.

2028: Ubarose starts a Flashback thread about Root. Several people rave about how it was such a great game and they played it just last month.


I think you should cut each "time until" in half. Otherwise I think you're 100% accurate.
Not Sure's Avatar
Not Sure replied the topic: #281914 19 Sep 2018 16:50
Here's the old thread about this from pre-Kickstarter up through the KS copies arriving and the first few session reports.

Previous TWBG Root thread
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #281923 19 Sep 2018 19:59
My copy is on the way. I've got Not Sure pinned down on a pbem. Someone else can let us know if they want in. I can be unreliable at PBEM but it generally doesn't come out in short games like Root. Not Sure is like the most reliable PBEM player I've ever seen.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #281924 19 Sep 2018 20:10
Ha! I saw Not Sure’s post after I put my review up.

Not Sure: It’s not like the game of a generation or anything.

Barnes: It is the game of a generation.
Not Sure's Avatar
Not Sure replied the topic: #281926 19 Sep 2018 20:41

Michael Barnes wrote: Ha! I saw Not Sure’s post after I put my review up.

Not Sure: It’s not like the game of a generation or anything.

Barnes: It is the game of a generation.


That's pretty classic stuff there. Your review wasn't up yet when I was writing that.

I almost put something in my response to Shellhead's timeline that a few weeks ago you were totally fawning over it in the other thread, and we hadn't heard a word since GW dropped that Rogue Trader box on your doorstep. I figured you'd given it up to paint space suits and huff fumes.

I think it's a good game, but the rest is just mass hysteria. I'll be surprised if it's forever-shelf material for you. It's certainly not a game for everyone, since it's quite direct about what it does. If the zeitgeist says "asymmetric conflict is the new worker placement!" I'm gonna be a pretty happy guy, but lets just say I have my doubts on that.





(for PBEM, I'm still in, but I can't commit to a game until early October. Going to Kauai for a week on the 29th, and I hope to not even see the Internet while I'm there...)
SaMoKo's Avatar
SaMoKo replied the topic: #281927 19 Sep 2018 20:45
I like the assymetry in the game, I dislike the limited strategic scope of each faction. Maybe that lessens with more plays, and maybe it varies with each faction (with the Blue Jays, I felt a little underwhelmed by how straightforward the game felt).

I’m not gonna knock the game on fragility with inexperienced players - many of my favorites are like that. But for this type of game, I’ll stick by Chaos in the Old World or Cosmic Encounter. I enjoyed Root, I’ll gladly play it again, but it’s not something I must have on my shelf.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #295840 18 Jan 2019 09:17
Find adventure in a marvelous asymmetric game. Root provides limitless...

Find adventure in a marvelous asymmetric game. Root provides limitless replay value as you and your friends explore the unique factions all wanting to rule a fantastic forest kingdom. Play as the: Marquise de Cat: Dominate the woods, extracting its riches and policing its inhabitants. Woodland Alliance: Gather supporters and coordinate revolts against the ruling regime. Eyrie Dynasties: Regain control of the woods while keeping your squabbling court at bay. Vagabond: Seek fame and fortune as you forge alliances and rivalries with the other players. Each faction has its own play style and paths to victory, providing an immersive game experience you will want to play again and again.

Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #294334 23 Mar 2019 15:28
I wouldn't mind playing Root a second time at some point, but only one of my friends owns it. His huge win with the Woodland Alliance didn't leave anybody else with enthusiasm for a second play.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #294339 23 Mar 2019 16:47
I get that. Doesn't bother me, but losses in this game especially in the first 2-3 games just feel like out of nowhere surprises and can be discouraging. The Pax games also have this.
hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #294340 23 Mar 2019 17:35
Tonight is the debut of Root to my group. If everyone shows, the first game will have 4 and the second will have 5.

I realize the 5 player game is not ideal for people new to Root and I have no idea how that one is going to go. But I am going to be very clear to all of the players about the following points. Feel free to add some other wisdom I can drop on them. I *think* this game will go over big with them, but if we end up with a crushing defeat / runaway leader, who knows....

1. If you only worry about yourself, you will lose.
2. If you never do something that benefits someone else, you will lose.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #294344 23 Mar 2019 18:18
I would mention that the game is on a timer (30VPs) that is much shorter than you think. Most people put in on a normal 2-3 hour DoaM timer and I think it is much shorter and more clipped than that.
Not Sure's Avatar
Not Sure replied the topic: #294347 23 Mar 2019 18:31
Point gain for many factions is not linear, and Sax is right, 30VP is short.

You can scrabble for the first few points and think the game is going to take forever, but it's not that unusual for a faction like the Vagabond or Alliance to throw down 10VP in a turn. Out of 30, that's pretty crazy.

The game isn't a really a rollercoaster, it's a drop ride. Start slow, kick your feet, then bam it's over. Watch out once the engines get going. For the Vagabond, keep a very close eye since the "engine" is kept in tokens on his player mat, not out on the board where everyone else is looking. Don't let that sneaky bastard fly under the radar.
Erik Twice's Avatar
Erik Twice replied the topic: #294348 23 Mar 2019 18:32
I would recommend people to wack the Vagabond regularly and remind them that they should crush the Woodland Alliance early because it's difficult to get rid of them once they have a stronghold.

I heartly recommend using the balance notes if you can find them. Give your Marquise a fair chance.
RolandHemisphere's Avatar
RolandHemisphere replied the topic: #294369 24 Mar 2019 13:45
My copy came in the mail this week and I'm fairly stoked.

A couple questions? I know some balancing has occurred, but have these changes been made prior to the current kickstarter? Do these changes matter when getting started with the base game? and what are the necessary files?

Anything besides "read the rules, play the game?"

Thanks y'all!
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #294370 24 Mar 2019 14:07

RolandHemisphere wrote: My copy came in the mail this week and I'm fairly stoked.

A couple questions? I know some balancing has occurred, but have these changes been made prior to the current kickstarter? Do these changes matter when getting started with the base game? and what are the necessary files?

Anything besides "read the rules, play the game?"

Thanks y'all!


Check Here Look under files for 3rd printing update kit. Also, there are Print and Play files for the new KS factions.