In anticipation for ROOT Marauder Expansion – I really hope it will arrive soon! – we had a chance to play with two of my boardgames friends, Lukasz and Kuba, another couple of very interesting games. We were using mainly the latest addon to that great title – Underworld Expansion – which proves to be a fantastic improvement to already decent game.

Other articles regarding ROOT game:
How to introduce ROOT to new players?
ROOT – playing more with base game
Playing solitaire ROOT using Mechanical Marquise
ROOT  – yet once again playing with 1st expansion
Winter ROOT during winter season

Let me briefly remind what this newest expansion brought:

  • new faction – The Great Underground Duchy: an imperial faction that mixes the flexibility of the Marquise with the escalating Eyrie Dynasties; finally another area-control animal, which greatly enriches number of possible set-ups in low-player-count games.
  • new faction – The Corvid Conspiracy: a secretive faction that hatches plots directly into the hands of their opponents; a unique and very distinct race, where you really need to plan and sometimes bluff in order to gain VPs!
  • Two new maps: a mountain one where you can dig tunnels & contest the central tower and a lake one with a ferry.

Thanks to another 2 factions (making it 8 altogether), two new maps (making it 4 in total) and a new deck of cards, the number of possible combinations grew exponentially. Let us see some of them in action!

Game 1 – Underground Duchy, Marquize de Cat & Corvid Conspiracy

In our first attempt we decided to go with one of the standard maps – the Winter One – where you put the clearings colors in random way. The factions were much more non-standard (with the obvious one, which we needed to have proper reach):

  • Michał – Corvid Conspiracy
  • Kuba – Underground Duchy
  • Łukasz – Marquize De Cat
All ready for the game. Marquise and Duchy are immediately set-up in a very confrontational way. I am just a simple, nimble inhabitant of the forest.
And so it comes – Duchy can be very dangerous, when suddenly appearing out of nowhere thanks to tunnels. Just like above, when Marquise was attacked in a pretty sneaky way.
But sudden, unexpected attacks can be executed also by other factions. My Corvids – using this time plots – blow up the whole cat clearing 🙂
Situation mid-game, a slight lead by Corvids, but the results are pretty close. What can be problematic is that most of cats warriors are annihilated.
Yes, it seems that Corvids have to change the focus and start attacking Duchy. Boom, boom! Another clearing blown up!
All in vain! Thanks to couple of Ministry cards Duchy can really expand its actions capacity and do couple of moves / attacks in turn. One of them managed to get into the Keep clearing and obliterate it!
The final situation on map – Moles everywhere while Marquise was displaced! Well deserved victory for Kuba!

That was great fun to play – Duchy was slowly developing, Corvids with their plots were bluffing their way forward while Marquise was fighting for survival. The expansion factions takes a moment to grasp, but then are really great to lead.

Game 2 – Marquise de Cat, Eyrie Empires & Marquize De Cat

Not long after the first game (actually, two days later) we decided to continue with ROOT games. This time the idea was to mix the standard factions with the new map. So we had:

  • Michał – Eyrie Empires
  • Kuba – Riverfolk Company
  • Łukasz – Marquize De Cat

Couple of words about the map because it definitely requires explanation. The mountain map has two very distinctive characteristics:

  • first, there are tunnels there which can be dug, opening new connections, and VPs scored
  • there is special tower in the center – whoever controls it at the end of the turn, also gets a VP

Let us jump into session report without further delays!

Our second game set-up – the factions – Eyrie and Marquise – looks pretty familiar but the area of this struggle is completely new. The Riverfolk could become a critical allay to one or the other side, potentially tipping the final score of the game.
And so the game begun – of course, by contesting the central, tower clearing. Riverfolk quickly established there the trade post and started spreading its influence, Marquise was too weak to counter it…
…but very soon scores of Birds arrived! I invested into the Recruiter Leader, which allowed me to get all my potential troops. Of course, the Eyrie kingdom went into turmoil at some moment in time, but the masses were already on the map and started to roll through everything.
Of course, when Birds started to get ahead, the Riverfolk decided to support cats and attack Eyrie. But it was too late – the enormous war machine of proud Birds decisively prevailed!

That second game was also fun to play – completely different than the previous one – due to other factions used but also thanks to a very specific map. That once again proved how versatile and interesting game ROOT can be. more to come definitely!