Created By: Cole Wehrle
Art By: Kyle Ferrin
Published by: Leder Games
Player Count: 2-4
Time to Play: 60-90 Minutes
Root is an asymmetric board game for two to four players, where each player is in charge of a faction of woodland creatures set on taking over the forest they inhabit. Players can choose to play as one of the following adorable creatures:
1. Marquise de Cat - cat
2. The Eyrie - bird
3. The Alliance - woodland creatures
4. The Vagabond - raccoon
Root offers suggestions for which characters to use for 2 player, 3 player and 4 player games. It is also worth noting that Root does have expansions that allow solo play and games for up to six players. As we are currently still in quarantine, my significant other and I tested out the 2 player mode and played as Marquise de Cat and the Eyrie.
The goal of Root is to be the first person to get 30 victory points, however there are cards that you can play that allow for alternative ways to win which keeps things interesting. Alternative win condition cards can only be played after a player has at least 10 points already scored. At this time, that player no longer can score points and can only win by completing the objective on their win condition card.
On their turn players will take actions allowed by their faction during 3 phases, Birdsong, Daylight and Evening. Actions will allow them to battle for territories, recruit new members to their faction, play cards and build to score points. As each faction has it's own rules to abide by, players follow along with instructions on their player boards to take their turns.
The asymmetric way Root is designed allows for players to get a different experience with each character they choose increasing the replayability of the game. The factions are truly very different in how each is played and the strategy needed to be successful with that specific faction. Marquise de Cat is great for beginners, as it is very clear what options players have each turn. As the main part of their turn, the person playing Marquise de Cat is 3 actions from a list of available options and executing them.
For those that like a little more flexibility or strategy in their turns the Eyrie is a great choice. These birds live by a set of rules that you create for them. You have one bird leader and will continuously craft a decree that all the other birds must follow. Each turn you continue to build your decree, adding one or two new cards to it.
Then the decree is executed, if the player is unable to accomplish any part of the every-growing decree, they must select a new bird leader and start a new decree. This faction allows players to craft their own plans as they are adding cards to the section of their choice, allowing more flexibility than Marquise de Cat. Personally, I found Marquise de Cat easier to play, but enjoyed playing as the Eyrie more.
I will come back with an update on the other two factions once we are allowed to socialize with people again. Here is NYC we aren't allowed to yet, so I currently only have an update for you on these two classes.
Some other things to highlight about Root. This game looks great on the table, the board is large, everything is colorful and the art is very nice. The meeple pieces are shaped like the faction they represent and are screen printed with little faces. Cards have a nice linen finish and feel nice and sturdy. The dice are oversized which are great and everything fits into the boxes nice and snugly. Oh! And for those looking for more challenge, the board is double sided with an advanced Winter Board on the back!
Overall, Root is a great option for people looking for a war game without the usual war theme.