They had me with the cardinal holding a bow

Root is a new cardboard Kickstarter that looks pretty great

Tabletop •

Over the past year I’ve become rather fond of a certain breed of game labeled as COIN games. As you most likely already know, these games deal with counter insurgency warfare where getting the locals on your side is just as, or more, important than putting the enemy in pine boxes. Root is an upcoming tabletop game that offers some light COIN mechanisms while also fulfilling my furry quota. In other words, it’s a win-win.

Root lets you play as furry little anthropomorphic critters with each faction doing their best to control the woodlands. Here’s the story, the evil Marquise de Cat [I’m so backing this game -ed.] has taken control of the Woodlands and is exploiting its riches for her own gain. The Woodland Alliance has formed to fight back against their feline masters, the birds have gathered together in the Eyrie, and there are also the Vagabonds who are out for their own gain.

Four factions, each with a different goal and playstyle, which would be a surprise if this game wasn’t from Leder Games. Their previous title was a dungeon-crawler called Vast, that introduced gameplay I hadn’t seen before. Each character in Vast played completely differently, with different goals. Seriously, switch to a new character and it was like playing a completely different game, but they all meshed together to make a compelling overall experience. Roots is offering the same kind of play, where each faction is completely unlike the others, with different goals for winning the game.

So, why back the Kickstarter when you’ll probably be able to pick it up at retail somewhere down the road? Stretch goals, my friends. So far the game has earned over $200K on a goal of only $24K, meaning they’ve unlocked all sorts of cool stretch goals that I’m unsure will be in the retail version. Wooden meeples, inserts, card holders, extra map, and more. I know publishers only do these to get us to drool over the game to get all this extra stuff, but I can’t help myself. I love a “deluxe” version of any game, so you can pretty much blame me for the rise of Kickstarter game publishing.

There’s even an expansion already planned that will allow for up to six players and will include bots for solo play. Solo play is another weakness of mine, so you can expect I’ll be getting a copy of this in my mailbox next summer. Check out the Kickstarter for more info and possibly pledging. You can expect a Cardboard Critique for Root next August (or whenever we get our KS copies).

Hat tip: Maj. OhBollox

 

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Notable Replies

  1. You have a furry quota?

    That explains so much...

  2. If anyone wants to know more about the game, have a look at Cole Wehrle's design diaries here which are erudite as a motherfucker. He brings up The Whig Interpretation of History, a book which exposes an assumption so commonplace most people don't even know they make it, and makes it clear that while there is asymmetry, it's carefully judged so the game is much easier to teach and learn than Vast.

    His thoughts are just enjoyable to read, and it bares the whys of the game's design clearly. The fact the KS now includes the expansion is really quite excellent.

  3. Kolbex says:

    It's gonna take a lot of willpower for me to not get this. Not sure I have that much, in all honesty.

  4. looks like Armello in cardboard :grin:

  5. Neep65 says:

    sounds like there is trouble in the forest

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