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I have played Root, and it is an amazing game

flashedarling

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Played a game last night and it was our groups first time playing. It was Alliance, Marquise, Vagabond, and Lizard Cult (me). With zero experience it took around 3 hours to complete a 4 person game, with the Alliance and Marquise taking the longest to start smoothly executing their turns. I am extremely intrigued by this game after the single play session and am thinking about backing the new kickstarter (which should go up tomorrow) to also pick up a copy of the base game.

My only concern is that this is clearly a game that shines with repeated play, once everyone has become experienced with one or more factions. Since my group already has a huge library of games I'm worried about getting that kind of repeat play out of it, and despite the art it is a really dense game that would be difficult to introduce to my more casual friends. But the artwork is so damn charming that it probably wouldn't look that bad sitting on the shelf.....


As for the Lizard Cult, I liked them a lot despite this being my first session and coming in dead last. As in, in the last round everyone else was at 25-28 points and I was at 7. Then I spent my entire hand in one turn, converted a bunch of buildings, and jumped to 21 points. Seems like that is the way you are supposed to play the faction, hang behind then suddenly gain 12+ points a turn in the last two turns. If bad luck in the outcast selection (each round the dominant suit in the discard pile becomes the outcast suit for the round) hadn't severely limited my ability to deploy and attack then I would have probably been even more respectable. It is strange that despite coming in far behind the other players I didn't quite get the sense that it was unbalanced or unfair. Simply that I had played it wrong and could probably do a lot better next time.

PS: Something my group last night couldn't agree on was what are some similar asymmetrical wargames. Are there any good examples out there to compare this to?
 

enoto

E, not O.
Validated User
PS: Something my group last night couldn't agree on was what are some similar asymmetrical wargames. Are there any good examples out there to compare this to?
The game I have the most personal experience with is Chaos in the Old World, but Root is loosely based on GMT's COIN (COunter INsurgency) series of games, which is all about asymmetrical warfare of the type found in Root.

I really dig this game - bought the core game and expansion at retail already, but definitely planning to back the Kickstarter. Only did one full game so far (which also took me about three hours), and then a bunch of cat vs bird games, which go very quickly.

Someone on BGG has gone nuts on creating bots for the game, starting with an improved Mechanical Marquise, and going from there to all the other factions. Haven't tried them yet but they look really good. The coolest thing is that the Root developers were impressed, and are going to include some of them as add-ons in the new campaign.
 

Crumbs

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Similar games to Root in my collection.

Forbidden Stars/Starcraft have variable player powers and are widely regarded as decent games with starcraft showing its age. Forbidden Stars is the better of the two though.

Rising Sun is wargameish and the factions are asymetrical at least I remember them that way I was the faction with different monsters.

Hereos of Land, Sea and Air. Combination of 4x and wargame. Asymetrical factions.

A lot of the asymetrical games are dudes on a map/area control which I guess root is as well.

After a couple plays Root is starting to grow in popularity. Definately a game that needs repeat plays by the same people to really get everything clicking.
 

Deflare

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Rising Sun is wargameish and the factions are asymetrical at least I remember them that way I was the faction with different monsters.
Rising Sun's different clans have different unique abilities, and two of them (the Chinese factions) get access to different monsters than the Japanese clans. It's definitely a lot less asymmetrical than Root, in that everyone feels like they're playing the same game, but I can see how it scratches some of the same itches.
 

Crumbs

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$65 for the expansion with extras and upgrade kit with shipping is not that bad and really hard to wait for a retail release.

I like that there is going to be new boards more excited about that than the new factions.
 

Mapache

Trickster God
Validated User
As for the Lizard Cult, I liked them a lot despite this being my first session and coming in dead last. As in, in the last round everyone else was at 25-28 points and I was at 7. Then I spent my entire hand in one turn, converted a bunch of buildings, and jumped to 21 points. Seems like that is the way you are supposed to play the faction, hang behind then suddenly gain 12+ points a turn in the last two turns. If bad luck in the outcast selection (each round the dominant suit in the discard pile becomes the outcast suit for the round) hadn't severely limited my ability to deploy and attack then I would have probably been even more respectable. It is strange that despite coming in far behind the other players I didn't quite get the sense that it was unbalanced or unfair. Simply that I had played it wrong and could probably do a lot better next time.
Were you playing with the rules updates? The Lizards as printed were woefully underpowered, and in particular could get stuck in some very unfun do-nothing states.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2091456/towards-faction-parity
 

flashedarling

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Were you playing with the rules updates? The Lizards as printed were woefully underpowered, and in particular could get stuck in some very unfun do-nothing states.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2091456/towards-faction-parity
Nope we were playing them as originally printed. It was also tough because the Woodland alliance was between the Lizards and the Marquise and the Alliance has a tendency of just blowing up your outposts without actually attacking them. Which meant my warriors would get destroyed and I wouldn't get reimbursed by turning them into acolytes. TO make matters worse using Crusade to attack outposts controlled by the Alliance always seemed to end terribly. If anything Alliance just seemed OP to me.
 

Catfish

Abominable Caftan
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PS: Something my group last night couldn't agree on was what are some similar asymmetrical wargames. Are there any good examples out there to compare this to?
Twilight Imperium: Rex is not as accessible as Root -in mechanics or flavor- but it remains the old grandee of asymmetric boardgames.
 
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