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Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right now on Steam Early Access

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Not sure how many people are interested in Root, but it's a lovely asymmetrical war game that's a tabletop darling.


It's out on Steam early access for $14.99. So far the implementation seems quite good, and has captured the spirit and vibe of the game art very well in its digital transition.


It's a war game, but not in the vein of Games Workshop or historical miniature based games; there's no hobby aspect. It's also not like Risk or War of the Ring, where there's a lot of plastic to move around a sprawling map. The board is intimate which drives conflict more or less immediately provided that you're playing with 4 players.


The Marquise de Cat have recently taken over the forest from its previous rulers, and score points predominantly through increasing their logistical network and chipping away at their opponents. Their field hospital helps them Efficiently bring back warriors lost in battle and they have the largest number of units to be placed.


The Eyrie Dynasty are the aforementioned previous rulers of the forest, and they score points mainly through building and protecting roosts, which generate points every turn based on how many are built. Each turn they add to their decree, a set of actions that must take place in specific clearings in the forest. If you manage this well, their action economy is unrivaled. Manage it poorly, and you'll go into turmoil and lose victory points.


The Woodland Alliance is a group of rebels opposed to any unified rule, Marquise or Eyrie. To that end they inspire sympathy in clearings where they can, using encroachment by those factions as justification for open revolt. Sympathy necessitates other factions giving them cards to enter spaces where it's present, and they score points predominantly through crafting items and spreading sympathy. They also always take the better dice result when rolling dice for battle, which makes it hard to wipe their warriors off the board, once placed.


The Vagabond is a profiteer, wandering the woods ad scouring through ruins to find items to help them in their grifting. They can ally with or get into conflict with the other factions, and score victory points through completing quests and forming alliances Or quarreling with the other factions.


Subsequent expansions to the board game aren't in this version yet, but they include factions like Mercenary Otters, Lizard Cultists, Conspirator Crows, and Aristocratic Moles.


Anyway if you're interested in tabletop games that involve asymmetric factions, there's enough in print and on video about the tabletop version of Root to help you make an informed decision. So far this digital version is a faithful adaptation.

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5 minutes ago, Emperor Diocletian II said:

The tabletop game routinely makes it on to "Must Have" and "Best of" lists.


It’s quite good! Like many similar games, players benefit from knowing what the cards are and how the factions play. The first couple matches can be swingy because of this, especially if you’re playing against someone who knows the game well. But if you can tolerate that, there’s a lot to like. It’s not overly long to play and it’s almost always interesting. A lot of games coming out now have solo modes, or are co op, or are Euros where the conflict is denial / passive. In Root you’re usually always scrapping, which is very fun,

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Root is one of those games that I've heard good things about and have been meaning to get, but for some reason I never do.  Time to move it back to the top of my list.

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