Having received ROOT for my birthday present, I anxiously anticipated the first occasion to play that very intriguing, asymmetric game. Is it really so innovative? Does each faction – as claimed in description – played differently? And what about replayability? Last weekend allowed me to gather initial experiences to start answer those questions.

Two-player game – a starter

Yes, first I managed to convince my wife to play ROOT as two-player game. That did not require too much convincing – she was also eager to verify that new product which entered our boardgames chronicle. She took the lead to Eyrie Dynasties while I was managing Marquise de Cat. Short AAR below:

So being the Birds, I started super-aggressive campaign – my initial leader was recruiting two units per action. Some forces went up, some to the right but still in the middle of the game it was like 22-10 for Cats. Then the new leader – after old one was overthrown due to turmoil – took steers in his hands (well, wings!) and almost managed to grab the victory, barely losing with Cats 27-30.
Magda managed to build most of her buildings and craft many items which in the end gave her victory
After the turmoil, second leader managed to catch up huge points differences – also placing 5 Roosts on board but he fall short 3 points behind The Cats
I really like the way ROOT look like – the graphics are extraordinary

The two-players game was fun – and pretty short indeed, only 35 minutes – but I had a feeling that the real beauty the game will show in full version.

Full four-player-game – the main course

Just when the weekend was nearly over, we traveled to Agnieszka and Kuba and spent a lovely evening familiarizing them with ROOT and then playing the game (after delicious spaghetti!). The set-up was as follows:

  • Aga took over Marquise de Cat
  • Magda was leading proud Eyrie Dynasties
  • Kuba was trying to undermine the existing order in the forest by managing the Woodland Alliance
  • And I was wandering through the clearings and forests with my Vagabond

Again, short Session report below:

So Magda attacked aggressively into the heart of the Cats (Aga), Alliance (Kuba) did a revolt in the upper-left corner and Vagabond (I) was travelling through forest allying with Cats, helping the Birds (Magda) and attacking the Alliance. Agnieszka won in last moment, as Magda had event which would give her victory. Definitely I need to learn more about Vagabond mechanics as I scored only 19 points. Kuba was doing pretty well, especially once he mastered complicated Alliance mechanics.
Kuba was planning many revolutions but in the end “only” two came to fruition. The above one was illegal and fortunately we managed to catch this in time. But the ferment was growing among most oppressed inhabitants of the Forest.
Quests are a cool way for Vagabond to score the points. In above picture I am “giving a speech” in Rabbit clearing!
The victory achieved by Cats came after that attack. The number of attackers was overwhelming – but what is more, they had a good roll and removed 3 pieces which allowed them to build 4-points building and win the game! Congrats Aga!

Did ROOT met my expectations? Definitely, it was fun and the game is completely different then the others I have. The only one which somehow resembles it is… (I know, long shot!) the COIN Falling Sky! I need more plays to check other aspects of game, other factions and the expansion. But for now, it looks really promising!