The summer vacations finally allowed me to find enough time to seriously familiarize with the long expected ROOT expansion – or should I say, expansions and upgrades set. The time to deliver the product was definitely longer than expected – mainly due to the pandemic – but it was worth waiting!

What I got in a large, heavy box was:

  • [in The Underworld Expansion] The Great Underground Duchy: an imperial faction that mixes the flexibility of the Marquise with the escalating Eyrie Dynasties
  • [in The Underworld Expansion] The Corvid Conspiracy: a secretive faction that hatches plots directly into the hands of their opponents (fantastic to play with!)
  • [in The Underworld Expansion] Two new maps: a mountain one where you can dig tunnels and a lake one with a ferry.
  • [upgrade] The Resin Clearings Markers – from sturdy plastic, very nice and much better than the cardboard one’s
  • The ROOT Upgrade Kit – corrected players mats plus updated Rulebook
  • The new Exiles and Partisans Deck
  • The Vagabond Pack – beautiful, hand made figures of Vagabond
All the upgrade kits and expansions I got in July for ROOT

Tons of new stuff which will give me hours if not days of enjoyment. Below I would like to present just a fraction of what is included in that pack, and you might be sure that more stuff will be provided by me once I managed to play further!

Game 1 – Underground Duchy & Marquise de Cat

Set-up: Our first attempt was on a lake map. Magda planned to refresh her knowledge of ROOT by playing Marquise while I tested new faction – Duchy.
We did not used Ferry too much, so axis of our advance were pretty narrow. Thankfully, I had “dig” action with which I managed to surprise my wife once or twice. In the end that allowed my Duchy a victory over Cats!

Game 2 – Underground Duchy, Eyrie Dynasties & Mechanical Marquise 

Set-up: this time we play COMPETITIVE with both: I as Duchy, Magda leading Eyrie and Mechanical Marquise on top. Three most dominant and territorial factions in ROOT – oh, there will be fight!
Final situation: and so it was. My poor moles were completely contained to a few clearings while Marquise (Challenging level of Bot) and Eyrie (Magda) were roaming through the map. My wife played excellently and achieved a deserved win.

Game 3 – Underground Duchy & Mechanical Marquise 

Set-up: this time I planed to play solitaire. Me again (third time in a row) leading the Duchy while playing against Marquise as a bot. To spice-up the game I used the winter map.
The fight was fierce and I had to repeal constant attacks. Like the one above.
But I was able to perform also my own surprises. Like placing a Duchy tunnel behind enemy defenses, accompanied by 4 moles and two Attack Actions resulting in complete obliteration of the opponent.
Final situation: my tactics played well and Marquise – not without problems – was contained and crushed 30-14.
Duchy invested in many ministers which gave me so-much-needed additional actions.
Marquise, although being on Challenging Difficulty level, lost!

Game 4 – Corvid Conspiracy, Eyrie Dynasties & Mechanical Marquise

Set-up: last but not least, Corvid Conspiracy in action. Again, I had a pleasure to test them. Magda loves Birds so she was leading Eyrie while our well-known bot, Mechanical Marquise v2, was our common enemy (we played COOPERATIVE)
While Magda was taking the burden of front line fight, I was preparing nasty surprises…
…making sure enemy will not notice…
…until it was too late. The Corvid bomb is such a fun to play. It obliterates everything!
A densely populated Winter map at the end of our game. This time we were very successful in fighting the Marquise and in the meantime quickly earning the points to reach the 30 VPs (we both had to be at that level to win the scenario).
Last glance at victorious Birds led by Magda.

First Impressions

So after those four games some observations from me regarding the expansions – not enough material to do a full review yet:

  • The Underground Duchy was a much needed powerhouse to have finally somebody to be able to face – in sense of territory (reach) – Marquise de Cat and Eyrie Dynasties. It needs some time to develop but once in full swing, is almost unstoppable. And the ability to dig a tunnel and surprise your enemies with four warriors is great feature!
  • The Corvid Conspiracy on the other hand is a nimble, surprising and not-so-obvious faction. I love possibility to place the bomb. It is also very easy to place warriors although to score points you really need to plan ahead. A great addition and fresh approach to how get control of the forest!
  • The maps are simply breath-taking – so beautiful, so thematic. I still need a session with mountain one, but what I have seen already is very encouraging.
  • The new card deck is refreshing though not a ground-breaking. Nice to change from time to time from the previous set of cards.
  • It is also good to have updated Rulebook with the  reach table – simple indication which factions could be used to have enjoyable session with 2, 3, 4 and more players.

I am really glad that this expansion was developed and that I got it. I need to play it more – preferably using fully the Clockwork Expansion. But this is for another article! So far – highly recommended!