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I love teaching this game, even though it is something a challenge because you have up to four players each playing, essentially, a unique set of rules overlaying a central design.
This is really interesting because that's essentially how another Leder Games title, Vast, works. I think I described it as something like every player having their own rules, and the game falling out of the parts where those rules intersect. It's quite the most innovative design I've played in years, although it's clunky and quite hard to teach and learn.
Yet although Root and Vast are from the same publisher, they've got different designers. I wonder what the story is here? An in-house development synergy, perhaps? Or maybe a case of the one game inspiring greater heights in the other.
Got a copy en-Root (see what I did there?) so hopefully I'll get the chance yo explore this myself.
Wehrle, the designer of Root, got a full time job with them and i think was already working on it as a more accesible COIN style thing, and yes, I think probably building on what Vast had done too.
I think that's the gist of it anyway. Pretty sure I've heard both him and the Vast guy interviewed together on some podcast.
And yes, Leder Games is all about asymmetry in their published games.
But how can we not address the most salacious aspect of Root? It's plagiarism! www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1944526/official-status-deep
The board game industry is still so small and messy.
hotseatgames wrote: So Michael (or anyone else)... does Root fire any games for you?
I'm familiar only with Fire in the Lake and Cuba Libre, of the COIN games. My gripe with them is that they are designed by the same sort of designers who cut their teeth on the "simplicity" of wargames featuring stuff like the Battle of the Bulge. When these designers sit down to design games around the liberatory struggles of the Viet Cong or of the the anti-capitalist forces of revolutionary Cuba, they treat them as orders of magnitude more complicated than a traditional wargame. This complication constitutes a critique, acknowledging the failure of liberatory movements over the course of history.
Imagine that we needed to play out the Battle of the Bulge with the full knowledge that, 70 years later, fascism would be ascendant around the world, because, you know, war is complicated. I find the level of abstraction found in Root totally refreshing, by comparison. And cute.
TLDR: COIN is complex to a fault. Root has l'il cutey-cute baby animals. Fired.
Gary Sax wrote:
stoic wrote: .
Usually yes? But I don't see how a 30 minute 3-4 player game automatically ends up a toad.
It's a 90 minute game typically (120 in my one five player game), with three player possibly being as quick as 70ish minutes. Two player is 45-60, and while not awful, I wouldn't go to this as a two player game regularly.
GorillaGrody wrote: When these designers sit down to design games around the liberatory struggles of the Viet Cong or of the the anti-capitalist forces of revolutionary Cuba, they treat them as orders of magnitude more complicated than a traditional wargame. This complication constitutes a critique, acknowledging the failure of liberatory movements over the course of history.
Hey GG, can you elaborate a bit more on this? I don't totally understand the connection you're making between complexity and critique.
In my (our?) limited COIN experience, they seem to be more of a sidewise step in complexity to their more traditional brethren, choosing to focus their mechanics on interplay between political entities than, say, the fire rates and effective distances of different automatic rifles. To me, this kind of complexity generates a more productive and critical engagement with historical conflict; it's why Fire in the Lake is a better Vietnam game than the ones that treat American forces and VC as equivalent shirts-and-skins chits on a map.
Of course, maybe you're not talking about mechanical complexity? Maybe it's in the framing of the conflict? Or maybe representing any of this in a simulationist way is inherently anti-revolutionary?
Will 100% agree with you that cute animals are always better, though.