Root Log for Mar. 14, 2021. First game.


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.

I wanted to try out this new Lizard Cult strategy. It worked and it didn’t.

First game with the Exiles and Partisans deck. It wasn’t as impactful as we thought it would be… in a good way.

Game Setup

Final State

General Thoughts

Terra killed it. I think she might “get” the moles in a way that Alex and I just don’t yet. Good for her! She did a good job balancing losing ministers (usually using higher-ranking ministers as a kind of shield for the ones below) against achieving what she wanted with regards to the map. She spread quickly, using tunnels to basically ignore the geometry of the map when she needed to. She got her action economy going at a great pace.

Alex did his usual great job with the birds. He did the “recruit first turn then go into turmoil” thing, so had a bunch of warriors on the board to play with. When I tried that it tended to make me focus on moving warriors around and attacking instead of building infrastructure. He didn’t spreading out and being a pain in the moles’ backsides pretty early. I’ll have to bug Alex about what he thinks went south for him in this game.

I was on the other half of the board from those two and stayed out of their way for the most part. I was super conservative with my garden construction, focusing on getting 4 warriors in the clearing per garden before the garden was built. No one attacked me. I didn’t craft anything. It was like I was playing the slow motion version of the game that was running on normal speed for the others.

I don’t think my clearings were attacked once.

The Exiles and Partisans deck was not the game-upending thing we thought it would be. If anything, it seemed incredibly balanced. I think this was the game where Terra and I got the Saboteurs out early in case there were any shenanigans. That might’ve been the second game, though.

The cards that I knew would really screw me didn’t come in to play: Coffin Makers (no Acolytes for you!) and Swap Meet (I really care about what’s in my hand).

Playing Lizards in a three person game is… interesting. I wonder if there’s not enough “action” from the other factions to get the Acolytes thing going, though I feel like I shouldn’t need that to win.

My Faction Performance

My strategy was the 2x2 strategy from Space Cats Peace Turtles #165: focus on getting into clearings with multiple building spaces and hole up, trying to get two gardens of two different suits as quickly as possible and start scoring. Focus on getting that card draw engine going.

The thing where the Lizards start opposite the Eyrie sucks. On the Autumn map Alex tends to take the clearing with two building spaces in it cuz he’s a punk. In this game, the opposite corner didn’t line up too well with my hand; no bunny cards in my hand (the suit of my starting clearing), two birds, and a fox. Ugh. I eventually started getting mouse and fox cards and building up in the bottom clearings, but too slowly.

I don’t know that I crafted a single item. This is a weakness of mine as a Root player no matter what faction I play. By the time my faction got going the game was over.

I didn’t expand enough, a mistake given that my half of the board was empty relatively speaking.

Next Time