Spotlight Series: Root

This week we wrapped a fantastic month of demos! Thanks to all the players that have joined us and continue to come back. Next month we have another great lineup, including Century: Golem Edition, Call to Adventure, and Aegis.  So be sure to pop into the store to check those games out. This week we finished March by playing Root, an adorable but fierce wargame! Funded through Kickstarter, Root became a popular and elusive game to find.

Root is a heavy strategy game that focuses on asymmetrical gameplay. Every faction in this game is unique, each with their own mechanics and narrative. The Marquise de Cat is the current ruler of the forest, and these feline warriors focus on engine-building and crafting to gain victory points. The former avian leaders have been confined to a corner in the forest, waiting to recapture control of the forest. However, these hawks are a very orderly species and are at risk of squabbling into turmoil. While these two factions are busy, the Vagabond slips through the forest, trading and crafting items to complete quests. Although he’s a loner, the Vagabond builds relationships with each of the factions, which creates interesting interactions . Lastly there is the Alliance, which is made of the small woodland creatures resisting against the Cats and Eyrie. The Alliance slowly spreads sympathy to recruit creatures to their movement and plan revolts in the forest.

Of course it wouldn’t be a wargame without combat. The combat in Root is fairly simple, as it is mostly decided by dice. Warriors in the same clearing have the ability to battle, if they have that action. The attacking player rolls two dice, and that determines the number of warriors lost. Battles can be enhanced by cards in players’ hands, as well as cards that have been crafted. Although the Alliance can combat when they have gained warriors, they also can remove warriors from a clearing by causing a revolt. The Vagabond can be difficult to fight, as they can slip into the forest to become unreachable.

Although Root is quite complex, inside the box are user-friendly guides through the first few turns in a game, as well as faction overview cards for each player. This is very helpful in strategy planning, so you can read what each other faction is trying to accomplish and plan accordingly. Player mats are also very detailed in describing exactly what your faction can do each turn. Expect your first few games to last longer, as there are a lot of rules and it may take a few games to get a good understanding of them. This game supports 2-4 players, but the expansion allows gameplay for 1-6 players. There is a second expansion releasing soon, so this game is still providing more content and updates.

Next week we will feature Century: Golem Edition. This light strategy card game features mechanics such as card drafting and hand-building. Play as merchants from a traveling Caravansary along a ‘famed’ Golem road to collect crystals and deliver them along the route to gain victory points.

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