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Fort Board Game Review

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Cole Wehrle on the design of Pax: Mouse Guard, Root

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22 Aug 2018 21:53 #280192 by DarthJoJo

dysjunct wrote:

Gary Sax wrote: Was reading the rules on this, the beaver war profiteers sound pretty fun.


Oh come on. Does this actually exist or are you just trying to get a response from Barney?


Shh. Don’t tell him about the Lizard Cult.
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23 Aug 2018 08:51 #280210 by charlest
I think he might of been talking about the Vagabond. Since they're trading and happily gobbling up the commerce of the nations at war.

Eyrie are still my favorite, although I do have a soft spot for the Vietcong-like Woodland Alliance.

This game is absolutely brilliant.
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23 Aug 2018 09:09 #280213 by Gary Sax
Naw, isn't light blue a bunch if beavers who get points for trading shit to combatants?

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23 Aug 2018 09:15 #280214 by charlest

Gary Sax wrote: Naw, isn't light blue a bunch if beavers who get points for trading shit to combatants?


Is that the Riverfolk? I haven't checked out the expansion yet (still waiting for it).

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23 Aug 2018 11:19 - 23 Aug 2018 11:19 #280228 by Gary Sax
Yeah, that's what I was thinking of. I didn't KS the game so I have to wait for November for the expansion.
Last edit: 23 Aug 2018 11:19 by Gary Sax.

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23 Aug 2018 12:11 #280234 by Not Sure
Yes, Riverfolk are the war profiteers. (I haven't opened my expansion yet, so I guess they're light blue.) . They open trade posts to sell cards and can be rented as mercenaries. They score each turn based on how much loot they've acquired.

Lizard Cult look really interesting as well, but I need to get some more games in before I worry about mixing things up.

I enjoy the rabbit guerrillas too, but I'm probably resigned to more cats-vs-birds with vagabond for a long time.
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23 Aug 2018 12:16 #280237 by Michael Barnes
This game is going to be what every designer tries to do for the next 3-4 years. There is going to be a flood of wildly assymetrical games like this. It is the mainstream flashpoint for the COIN concept.
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23 Aug 2018 12:25 #280239 by Gary Sax
I was glad this came out so that I could get into COIN without it taking 4-6 hours.
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23 Aug 2018 17:24 #280262 by Not Sure
It's very fun, but it's very quick. Most definitely not a 4-6 hour COIN, if you play quickly and don't try to run with 6 players, you can probably get 10 Root games in during that time frame.

Based on my limited plays, if anything it feels a little short. 30VP comes quickly for most factions, especially once you get rolling. It's very easy to score 5+ a turn, often with little anyone else can do to disrupt that. VPs are easy to acquire and very difficult to lose, so it's sort of a race.

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24 Aug 2018 03:49 #280278 by Ancient_of_MuMu
I love the idea of Root but own Cthulhu Wars and don't feel I get that to the table enough. Is there any advantage on owning both if one doesn't get enough play?

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24 Aug 2018 08:42 #280285 by stoic
I find it interesting that CiTOW and Cthulhu Wars kicked the door open for asymmetric board games. Iterations have followed, some worthy, some not. But, several factors seem to have allowed for the development of Root: First, FFG letting CiTOW go OOP and failing to reintroduce it in a more family friendly theme in something other than demonic Warhammer; and, Second, the fact that Petersen created a market vacuum by refusing to market a cheaper mainstream version of Cthulhu Wars with either cardboard chits or meeples (I think was a mistake!). These factors left the marketplace wide open for Root! And, we're not even discussing the fact that Root is genius in design and worthy on its own.
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24 Aug 2018 11:03 #280291 by Not Sure

Ancient_of_MuMu wrote: I love the idea of Root but own Cthulhu Wars and don't feel I get that to the table enough. Is there any advantage on owning both if one doesn't get enough play?


Depends on why you don't play CW. Some significant differences I can see are:
  • It's fast. Root is going to play in about half the time of CW. Think Nexus Ops for aggression levels.
  • It's not covered in Cthulhu tentacles and shit. It's happy little cats, birds, and rabbits. But they're stabbing each other and blowing up forest clearings. This affects who's interested in playing.

The other big difference in the base set is the Vagabond, who plays so differently from a regular struggle-game faction that it's almost a parallel game. Some people will really dig that (I live with one), and some people will hate that it even exists. You won't be able to swap the Vagabond out in a 4p game without the expansion, so plan accordingly.

If CW doesn't hit the table because of setup and playtime, Root is much faster at those, but that sure isn't going to help CW any.
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24 Aug 2018 11:41 #280292 by charlest
I don't agree with the playtime comment. They play in almost exactly the same time for my group at 3-4 player count. Cthulhu Wars is a very fast game generally. It also requires no setup as the board is virtually empty when starting out.
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24 Aug 2018 17:08 #280317 by Michael Barnes
I was going to say there is less racism in Root than in CW, but then the cats, birds, and so forth disagreed.

CW is a great game and I stand by my review (despite the racist content brought over from Lovecraft), but I think Root is the superior game.

Great points about the forerunners of the coming trend toward extreme assymetry.
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24 Aug 2018 17:49 #280321 by Ancient_of_MuMu

Not Sure wrote: If CW doesn't hit the table because of setup and playtime, Root is much faster at those, but that sure isn't going to help CW any.

It is a combination of play time and the fact that only I request the DoaMs in the group that prevents CW from seeing more table time. The fact that the shorter DoaMs like Nexus Ops and Small World don't see much table time either leads me to believe that it would be foolish to purchase Root, as much as I want to.

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