Jarek's Pick- ROOT!

By: The Adventure Begins | Published 07/22/2021



Delve into the chaos of woodland warfare as four differing factions battle for ultimate critter supremacy. Play as the industrious Marquise de Cats, the rigid Eyrie Dynasties of the Birds, the devious Woodland Alliance or the questing lone wolf Vagabond in this modern take on an old classic. This is the state of the world as you know it in…


ROOT is one of those games that has become something of a modern classic in board games. Taking many elements from the original classic, RISK, ROOT expands several gameplay elements all while keeping many classic elements that you’d be familiar with if you cracked open the original game of world conquest and supremacy. Where ROOT differs from its spiritual predecessor is the use of asymmetric mechanics; each faction within the games plays and acts differently from each other. This is the key learning curve behind ROOT and probably the biggest source of confusion amongst players early on in their addiction to the game.


The base game of ROOT comes with four different factions that have unique play styles from one another. Each faction follows the general flow of the game, transitioning from Birdsong into Daybreak and ending in Nightfall (the three “phases” of a turn), but the type and amount of actions -- as well as when those actions may happen -- can change depending on what you’re currently playing. The Marquise de Cats for instance does a majority of its gameplay during the Daybreak phase: they have three actions to complete but may discard blue-suited cards to earn more actions. Meanwhile the Eyrie Dynasties have to follow a rigid Decree that the player adds to each turn. Should they fail, the Dynasties go into turmoil which sets them back for a time.

Each faction has their own learning curves to overcome, but the base game does come with a helpful learning tool: a cleverly named beginner’s guide called “Walking through ROOT”. It’s highly HIGHLY recommended that you follow this guidebook for your first time playing, or if you’re teaching new players the game. This guide walks you through the crucial first couple rounds of the game, but then allows you to go on your own after about three rounds of hand-holding.


One of the biggest factors of whether or not I’m willing to purchase a new game is the quality of the art and components. Leder Games continues to shine in this regard, and ROOT is without a doubt one of the most visually stunning games I’ve purchased. Each faction has tokens that stand out amongst one another, and said tokens large enough to not be missed should they take a tumble off your gaming table. The Artwork for ROOT stands proudly in its cartoony-yet-impressive style that permeates the entire game. Leder Games has not skimped on the general quality of ROOT, which may in turn be part of the reason ROOT continues to be a sought after even past the initial release in 2018



ROOT is sure to be a game that you’re going to fall in love with. What I lovingly refer to as “Risk on meth” has become a staple game for several groups that I’ve recommended it for. With several expansions, game mats and additional add-ons, ROOT offers avenues for expansion once you feel comfortable with the core mechanics of the game. With the completion of the Marauders expansion on Kickstarter, ROOT is poised to once again be at the forefront of the gaming community. You’re not going to want to miss this awesome addition to your collection. Until then, always remember that your adventure begins here! Until then…


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