War board games often take place over sprawling maps of the Earth, forcing you to deploy troops and battleships in the reenactment of historic wars. Root combines your classic war board game with elements of fantasy, replacing the battlefield with a beautiful woodland forest beset by warring factions. Players will draw cards, maneuver their furry little woodland creature tokens, and fight for the right to call the forest theirs. Will you help decide the fate of the forest in your favor?
The Four Factions
Root takes place in a great and beautiful woodland, over which four separate factions are warring for control. The evil Marquise de Cat has seized the woodland in order to scour it for riches to line her pocketbook. Her efforts have thus created an Alliance of woodland creatures to secretly fight back and subvert her evil rule.
Meanwhile, the Eyrie at the edge of the region has just elected a new commander to lead their faction to victory, restoring their rule over the forest as is their birthright. Lastly, the mysterious raccoon Vagabond is playing all sides of the conflict for his own personal gain. While he can navigate the more dangerous woodland paths, his own mysterious quest is unknown to all except himself.
Exploring the Forest
This board game comes with many different rules regarding each faction, so you’ll need to understand what your opponents are up to if you want any chance of beating them. While the Cats are focused on building workshops, lumber mills, and barracks, the Alliance works in the shadows. Their goal is to recruit more forces to their cause and muster their resources for one final battle at the end of the game.
The Eyrie is trying to take back to Woods with their hawks, so they’ll try to capture as much territory as possible and populate it with their roosts. Lastly, the Vagabond will work with the other players in an effort to collect enough items to power their own actions. Players can also engage in combat with each other, using each battle to further their overarching strategy.
Players will interact with a common deck of cards in order to accomplish their tasks. Each card has its own action text and suit, such as the “Mouse-in-a-sack” which allows you to draw a card and then discard a card. One of the best parts of Root comes from exploring the vast game board, learning all of the different rules for each faction, and playing around with the cute little woodland creature tokens.
Root comes with several expansions that add new factions and cooperative scenarios.The Riverfolk expansion adds two new factions: the Riverfolk Company and the Lizard Cult. This allows Root to be played with up to six players instead of four. The Underworld expansion adds the Great Underground Duchy faction and the Corvid Conspiracy faction as well as two new maps for players to fight on.
The Clockwork expansion of Root allows you to add automated factions to the game, which can help supplement games when you don’t have enough players. This makes Root playable by only one player, giving you the ability to turn this group game into a solo game.
Stake Your Claim of the Forest with Root
Root is playable by 2-4 players, but you can make it anywhere from 1-6 by adding one of the expansions. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, although younger players may have a harder time keeping all of the rules straight in their heads. Playing time lasts between 60-90 minutes, so it’s perfect for a game night with family or friends.
Root is very fun to play, although it does take a while to learn all of the rules by heart. Luckily it comes with a comprehensive guidebook that you can reference to make sure that the evil Marquise de Cat isn’t about to break up your hidden little Alliance with her dastardly ways. Once you’ve played the game a few times through, Root will be sure to become one of your favorite board games.
Buy Root today and enjoy the strategic depth of this fantasy board game!