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Root (a cute forest wargame)

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Holman
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Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by Holman »

We gave my kids Root and one of the expansions for Christmas, and we're now already on our third game. It's really fun!

If you don't know it, Root is a game where four factions battle for control of the forest: the industrialist Marquise de Cat (i.e. the Evil Empire), the aristocratic Eyrie Dynasties (a rival empire), the upstart Woodland Alliance (rodent Viet Cong), and the Vagabond (a solitary adventurer). The art style is almost too cute for words, but the systems and the conflict they produce are in deadly earnest. Other factions and other maps are available in a couple of major expansions.

The most interesting design element is the game is asymmetric in that each faction has very different rules for their resources and how they conduct actions and combat. In this the game is best described as a lighter, cuter version of the COIN series (Fire in the Lake, etc). The system really works here, and everything feels balanced and intricate without being too much for mid-level gamers to handle.

It's been a real success. My two teen boys and I are dedicated gamers, and my wife is willing to play with us under the right circumstances. (e.g. She enjoys Catan and Root and Scythe and few others, but nothing that takes more two or three hours to play.) But what's most cool is that my 80-year-old mother-in-law actually joined in the last game with us, and she really liked it. I don't think she has ever played a "modern" boardgame before this.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.
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AWS260
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by AWS260 »

Holman wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:33 pm But what's most cool is that my 80-year-old mother-in-law actually joined in the last game with us, and she really liked it. I don't think she has ever played a "modern" boardgame before this.
That's wonderful!

I've only played Root a couple of times, and really enjoyed it.
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Tao
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by Tao »

Just an FYI there is a video game version of this also available on Steam.
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wonderpug
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by wonderpug »

I’ve only played with a group once and solo a couple times, but I really like this one. The thief seems a bit broken though, at least with new players, since it’s a lot harder to spot how well he’s doing. I wish we hadn’t played with him in our first try as a group, but I still hope to get it to the table again.
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Zarathud
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by Zarathud »

Leder Games makes wonderfully asymmetrical games.
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by coopasonic »

I only got one play and then gave it away, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because I couldn't bear to teach it. The asymmetry is murder in that regard. I know they give you the starting walkthrough to get folks up to speed but it was just... I'm not sure. The game itself was interesting and I'd play it again as long as I didn't have to teach it, but that is not generally the case for me.
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Lordnine
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by Lordnine »

I like the idea of Root, but I agree it’s a hard one to teach and thus get to the table. The big problem I’ve faced is that the game also requires a cutthroat play style to really work and it will fall apart if people are not willing to utterly screw over their opponents and aggressive king making is just part of the game.

I’m surprised you made it work as multi-generational family friendly game for these reasons. I’m a little jealous.
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Holman
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by Holman »

Lordnine wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:22 pm I like the idea of Root, but I agree it’s a hard one to teach and thus get to the table. The big problem I’ve faced is that the game also requires a cutthroat play style to really work and it will fall apart if people are not willing to utterly screw over their opponents and aggressive king making is just part of the game.

I’m surprised you made it work as multi-generational family friendly game for these reasons. I’m a little jealous.
For us, Root has spawned a new family catch-phrase--"Crossbow to the FACE!!"--coined the first time the Vagabond turned suddenly and opportunistically against an ally. Now we all use it at every opportunity.

Take the last pancake? "Crossbow to the FACE!!"
Some else's turn to do dishes? "Crossbow to the FACE!!"
Slip into the bathroom just ahead of someone else? "Crossbow to the FACE!!"
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.
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Lordnine
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Re: Root (a cute forest wargame)

Post by Lordnine »

:D
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