Root Log for March 3, 2021.

Overview

I am trying to document our Root games in a more regular, nerdy fashion so I can tighten up my thinking around the game itself and fine-tune my own strategies in general. We try to play at least once a week.

Root is my favorite board game in the world at the moment. It is hideously complex, and I've played more incorrect games than I have correct games, but we're getting there.

Game Setup

  • Factions
    • Me: Lizard Cult
    • Terra: Eyrie Cult
    • Alex: Riverfolk Company
    • Gabe: Corvid Conspiracy
    • Lauren: Marquise de Cat
  • Map: Starter
  • Deck: Normal

Final State

  • Riverfolk won with 30 VP.
  • Eyrie went into turmoil twice.

General Thoughts

My heart wasn't quite in it tonight! I had a lot of fun socializing, but wasn't being careful in what I did and what targets I went after. This is the last time I try the "put myself under the Eyrie's foot and get stepped on for acolytes" strategy; it doesn't generate enough action economy vs. the resource loss of missing warriors to defend those gardens that I can stand up with my newfound acolytes.

Alex loved the Otters, as we knew he would. Savvy play, an early funds lead before the table cut him off, and some good protectionism late game ("awful nice clearing you have here") got him the win.

Terra had a great bird round as well. She wasn't getting lucky on card draws but was the other force to be reckoned with at the table.

Gabe continued to threaten with the Corvids, lots of good plot placement and scoring -- I think he and Terra would have been contending for the lead if Alex hadn't pulled off a couple of monster turns midgame (7 points in turn 5!).

Lauren was playing the Cats for the first time and did pretty well, especially against people who've played the game more and had more experience with their factions.

I came in last. 🥉 But I had a good time proving to myself that I love the Cult and can't sustainably play the RNG too much against people who know what they're doing.

My Faction Performance

I was never a real threat to anyone during the game. I insisted on mostly generating acolytes through battle loss instead of maintaining a warrior presence on the board to see how far I could push it. Turns out: not that far.

I didn't score enough, holding on to those cards for "just one more recruit"... except the recruits weren't building toward any larger goal and thus weren't doing a lot of good versus, y'know, actually getting points in the game.

I never built a solid defensive presence in my corner of the board nor established a strong offensive foothold with my gardens -- planning on making gardens only through acolytes is Bad Business.

But I had fun seeing my friends and watching the play between the factions.

BAD ROOT PLAY ALERT

Lizards can have more than one garden in a clearing. Don't know why I thought they couldn't (except for the Eyrie's Roosts, and the Corvid's plot tokens, and and and). That changes things so much for my future strategies. Jesus.

Conclusions

The Lizard cult continues to be one of my favorites, despite everything. I don't feel like I've fully cracked them. Their RNG-ness is enticing and enforces one of the moral lessons of Root: "don't focus on any one thing too much".

I'm working on a data explorer for our games here. I kept per-turn scores this game but haven't updated the DB behind that site with the data yet. Soon, though.

Next Time

More Lizards. Moles still on the horizon.