Learn to Play Root: Game Rules & Woodland Strategy

Root Board Game; all faction(group) characters

Root, crafted by Leder Games, stands out as more than a mere board game. It’s an excursion into a lively, enchanting forest where players battle for dominance over a sprawling wilderness. Central to Root is its asymmetric nature, meaning each player leads a distinct faction(group) with unique strategies and their own ways of winning. This game masterfully combines strategic depth with a rich narrative, challenging players to forge alliances, engage in battles, and navigate a complex web of power and intrigue.

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Table of Contents

    In Root, you enter a world of a big forest where different groups(factions) are trying to win control. Think of it like a game where animals in the forest are fighting for their home. There’s the Marquise de Cat, who wants to build things and control the forest. The Eyrie Dynasties are bird leaders who want to rule again with their strength. The Woodland Alliance are like secret rebels, planning to fight against the others. And the Vagabond is a lone adventurer who tries to make friends and influence things for their own benefit. Each group has its own way of trying to win in this forest adventure.

    Root Factions; Marquise de Cat, Eyrie Dynasties, Woodland Alliance, and Vagabond

    In “Root,” each faction(group) brings a unique style and set of challenges to the game, ensuring that every playthrough is distinct and engaging. Every group in the game has its own strengths and weaknesses, strategy, and ways to win, adding depth to the gameplay. The interactions between these factions create a dynamic and ever-evolving game environment, making each session of Root a new and exciting experience.

    Let’s take a look at each one of them.

    Marquise de Cat

    Marquise de Cat

    The Marquise de Cat has turned the forest into her own industrial domain. These ambitious cats are all about exploiting resources and enforcing a strict regime of productivity and control. They’re like a powerful corporation, constantly expanding their operations and fortifying their military to maintain their grip on the forest.

    • Resource Management: Excellent at gathering and utilizing resources, particularly wood, for building structures like workshops, sawmills, and recruiters.
    • Area Control: Skilled in spreading their control across the board by building and maintaining a strong presence in multiple clearings.
    • Spread Thin: While they excel at area control, they can become overextended and vulnerable to coordinated attacks or uprisings from other factions.
    • Resource Dependency: Heavily reliant on wood for building, they can struggle if their supply chains or wood production are disrupted.

    Guideline strategy for Marquise de Cat

    The Marquise de Cat offers a robust and strategic experience for players who enjoy managing resources, building an economy, and maintaining a strong military presence. Success with this faction comes from balancing aggressive expansion with careful defense and strategic planning.

    Woodland Alliance Bunny

    Woodland Alliance

    The Woodland Alliance is a diverse coalition of forest creatures who’ve had enough of oppression. They band together, using guerrilla tactics and the support of the common folk to undermine the ruling factions. They’re the underdogs, fighting not just for power, but for freedom and equality in the woodland.

    • Guerrilla Warfare: Specializes in surprise attacks and can be more effective in battle, especially when defending.
    • Gathering Support: Excellent at gaining sympathy among the woodland creatures, making them a growing threat as the game progresses.
    • Slow Start: They often have a slower start as they work to build sympathy and are susceptible to early aggression from other factions.
    • Vulnerability to Attrition: Their strength comes from building support, but they can be weakened significantly if their sympathy tokens are consistently removed.

    Guideline strategy for Woodland Alliance

    The Woodland Alliance offers a unique and challenging playstyle for those who enjoy using stealth, strategy, and sudden strikes to overcome their opponents. Success with this faction comes from carefully timing your revolts, spreading sympathy effectively, and making the most of your guerrilla tactics.

    Eyrie Dynasties aristocratic bird

    Eyrie Dynasties

    The Eyrie Dynasties are aristocratic birds with a rigid, hierarchical society. Once the rulers of the forest, they seek to reclaim their lost glory. They operate on a strict code, expanding their territory and rebuilding their roosts to restore their vision of order

    • Rapid Expansion: Capable of quickly expanding their territory by building roosts in new clearings each turn.
    • Militarily Strong: Possess a strong military presence, which allows them to reclaim and hold large areas of the board.
    • Rigid Planning: Their actions are dictated by a decree, which, if not followed, can lead to turmoil, causing a loss of points and disruption of plans.
    • Overcommitment to Battles: Their focus on military might can lead to neglecting other areas of the game, such as crafting or managing clearings efficiently.

    Guideline strategy for Eyrie Dynasties

    Playing as the Eyrie Dynasties in “Root” offers a challenging and strategic experience. Players must balance the rigidity of their Decree with the need for adaptability, all while expanding their influence and defending their territories. Success with the Eyrie requires foresight, careful planning, and the ability to recover and adapt from the inevitable turmoil.

    Vagabond Racoon


    The Vagabond is a solitary figure, a rogue adventurer without ties to any faction. This character thrives on cunning, stealth, and diplomacy, forming and breaking alliances as needed. The Vagabond’s journey is one of personal ambition, utilizing a mix of charm, deceit, and skill to navigate the complex political landscape of the forest.

    • Versatility: Highly versatile, able to adapt to various situations and change strategies based on interactions with other factions.
    • Alliances and Betrayals: Can forge and break alliances with other factions, influencing the game’s balance and gaining personal advantages.
    • Item Dependence: Heavily reliant on items for actions. If these items are damaged or if the Vagabond is unable to repair them, it can severely limit their effectiveness.
    • Balancing Relationships: While they can forge alliances, balancing these relationships without alienating other factions or becoming too predictable can be challenging.

    Guideline strategy for Vagabond

    Playing as the Vagabond in “Root” offers a distinct and dynamic experience. Players must leverage their wits, manage their items, and navigate relationships with other factions to carve out their path to victory. The Vagabond’s success depends on careful planning, adaptability, and knowing when to keep friends close and when to push for personal gain.

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    Root’s game unfolds on a board showing a forest with various clearings and paths. Here’s how it works:

    • Starting the Game: Players pick a faction, like the Marquise de Cat or the Eyrie Dynasties. Each faction has its own rules and ways to win, explained on the faction overview cards.
    • Playing the Game: The game goes in rounds, where players take turns. On your turn, you can move warriors, battle opponents, and craft items using cards.

    Key Actions in Root

    • Moving Warriors: Move your warriors from one clearing to another. This helps you control different parts of the board.
    • Battling: When you fight, roll dice. The higher roll decides how many enemy pieces you remove. Sometimes, you get an extra hit.
    • Crafting: Play cards that match items or symbols in your clearing. Crafting gets you resources and special effects that can change the game.

    Game Dynamics and Strategies

    Root is a game rich in strategic depth, requiring players to adapt their tactics according to the evolving game state and the actions of their opponents.

    Competitive and Cooperative Elements

    “Root” beautifully blends competitive and cooperative elements, creating a dynamic game environment that requires players to engage in both rivalry and alliance. Here’s how these elements come into play:

    Competitive Elements

    Territory Control:

    • Players compete to control key areas of the board. Controlling more territory often means more resources, better strategic positions, and more points. The drive to expand your realm creates direct competition as players vie for the same valuable spaces.


    • Combat is inherently competitive. You might attack to gain control of a clearing, diminish an opponent’s presence, or simply to thwart their plans. The outcome of battles can significantly impact a player’s ability to win, making them a focal point of competition.

    Scoring Points:

    • Ultimately, players are competing to score the most points or achieve a special victory condition first. Every action, whether it’s building, fighting, or crafting, is taken with the aim of moving closer to victory and preventing others from doing the same.

    Sabotage and Disruption:

    • Players can strategically interfere with each other’s plans. This might involve cutting off resource access, initiating battles to weaken an opponent, or playing cards that hinder another’s strategy. These actions create a competitive atmosphere where players must constantly watch their backs.

    Cooperative Elements

    Temporary Alliances:

    • Players may form alliances to achieve mutual goals or to stop a player who’s close to winning. These alliances are usually temporary and based on immediate needs, but they require cooperative strategy and negotiation.

    Shared Enemies:

    • Sometimes, one player might start dominating the game. When this happens, it’s in everyone else’s best interest to work together to curb that player’s power. This shared goal can lead to cooperative efforts, even among rivals.

    Trade and Negotiation:

    • Certain factions, like the Riverfolk Company, introduce formal mechanisms for trade and negotiation. Players can engage in cooperative economic transactions for mutual benefit. Even outside of these formal mechanisms, players might negotiate truces, coordinate moves, or make deals to further their individual strategies.

    Balancing Power:

    • There’s an unspoken element of cooperative balance in “Root.” If one player becomes too powerful, others will likely cooperate to bring them down a notch. This balance helps keep the game competitive for everyone and requires a level of cooperative policing of the game state.

    Balancing the Two

    The interplay between competitive and cooperative elements in “Root” is delicate and complex. Players must constantly assess whether it’s in their best interest to compete or cooperate and with whom. This assessment can change from turn to turn, creating a dynamic and unpredictable game environment.

    Strategic Adaptability:

    • Players must be adaptable, ready to switch from fierce competition to temporary cooperation as the game evolves. The most successful players are those who can navigate this shifting landscape with strategic foresight and flexibility.

    Social Dynamics:

    • “Root” is not just a game of board maneuvers and card plays; it’s also a game of social interaction. Players must communicate, read intentions, form and break alliances, and sometimes engage in a bit of deception. These social dynamics add a layer of depth that goes beyond the game board.

    In summary, “Root” is a game where competitive and cooperative elements are deeply intertwined. Players must engage in both, often simultaneously, to navigate the complex and shifting world of the woodland realm successfully. Balancing these elements is key to crafting a winning strategy and adapting to the evolving game state.

    Strategies for Victory

    Winning in Root requires more than just understanding your faction’s abilities; it involves adapting to the dynamic game environment and the strategies of other players.

    • Dominance Cards: These cards offer an alternate victory condition, shaking up the standard objectives and introducing new strategic considerations.
    • Faction Strengths: Each faction has unique strengths. For instance, the Eyrie score victory points by expanding their roosts, while the Marquise de Cat benefits from controlling more clearings with their buildings.
    • Adapting Strategies: Success in Root often comes down to how well players can adapt their strategies in response to the actions of their opponents and the changing state of the game board.

    Tips for First-Time Players

    For those new to Root, here are some helpful tips:

    • Start with the Marquise de Cat or Eyrie Dynasties: These factions have more straightforward mechanics, making them great for learning the game.
    • Read the Faction Overview Thoroughly: Each faction plays differently. Understanding your faction’s strengths and weaknesses is crucial.
    • Don’t Neglect the Rulebook: The walkthrough and rules reference are invaluable resources, especially for understanding complex interactions.
    • Balance Strategy and Adaptability: While having a plan is important, be ready to adapt as the game’s dynamics change.
    The Law Of Root
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    Embarking on a game of Root is an adventure filled with strategy and ever-changing dynamics. To help you navigate this journey, we’ve outlined key steps from choosing your faction to concluding the game. Whether you’re a first-time player or looking to refine your understanding, these steps will guide you through each phase of Root, ensuring a captivating and enjoyable experience.

    Step 1: Choose Your Faction

    Factions from left to right; Marquise de Cat, Eyrie Dynasties, Woodland Alliance, Vagabond, Lizard Cult, Underground Duchy, Corvid Conspiracy, and Riverfolk Company.

    Explore Each Faction:

    • Begin by reading about each faction in the rulebook. Pay attention to their unique strategies, objectives, and play styles.
    • Consider how each faction interacts with others and the overall game mechanics.

    Select Your Faction:

    • For a more straightforward introduction to Root, start with a simpler faction. The Marquise de Cat, focusing on building and resource control, or the Eyrie Dynasties, with their regal expansion and bird leadership, are great choices for beginners.
    • Think about what type of play style you enjoy: strategic building, aggressive expansion, covert operations, etc., and choose a faction that aligns with your preferences.

    Prepare Your Faction:

    • Once you’ve chosen your faction, find the corresponding faction board and pieces.
    • Set up your faction’s pieces on the game board as instructed in the rulebook. This may include placing warriors, tokens, and buildings in specific starting locations.
    • Familiarize yourself with your faction’s specific abilities and starting resources, ensuring a solid understanding before the game begins.

    Step 2: Set Up the Game Board

    Lay Out the Board:

    • Find a suitable playing surface and place the Root game board in the center. Ensure that all players can easily reach and see the board.
    • Orient the board so that its layout is accessible and clear to all players.

    Arrange Faction’s Pieces:

    • Start with each player’s chosen faction. Using the rulebook as a guide, place each faction’s pieces in their designated starting locations on the board. This could include warriors, buildings, tokens, and any special pieces unique to that faction.
    • Ensure that the placement of pieces is correct according to the rules for each faction, as this will affect the initial phase of the game.

    Organize Components:

    • Separate and organize the game’s various components. This includes sorting the shared deck of cards, any special cards belonging to specific factions, and various tokens (like victory points, items, etc.).
    • Place these components in areas that are easily accessible to all players. If the game includes items like the Vagabond’s equipment or the Woodland Alliance’s sympathy tokens, arrange these in distinct piles.
    • Check that all necessary components are accounted for and that each player has what they need for the game start, such as any starting cards or resources.

    Step 3: Understand the Basic Rules

    Learn Turn Phases:

    • Birdsong: Begin by familiarizing yourself with the Birdsong phase, which typically involves preparatory or automatic actions like gaining resources or revealing new orders.
    • Daylight: Next, understand the Daylight phase, where most of your strategic actions such as moving warriors, initiating battles, and crafting items take place.
    • Evening: Finally, study the Evening phase, which often involves drawing cards, executing end-of-turn effects, and sometimes scoring points.

    Review Actions:

    • Moving: Learn how warriors are moved from one clearing to another and how control of clearings affects movement.
    • Battling: Understand the battle mechanics, including how to initiate a battle, determine outcomes, and apply damage to units and structures.
    • Crafting: Familiarize yourself with the crafting process, how to use the cards for crafting items or effects, and the benefits they bring.

    Know Your Faction:

    • Unique Rules: Each faction has its unique set of rules and gameplay mechanics. Take time to read through your faction’s specific section in the rulebook.
    • Victory Points: Pay special attention to how your faction scores victory points, as this is key to winning the game. Each faction has different pathways to accumulate these points.

    Step 4: Start the First Round

    Initiate Birdsong:

    • Begin your first turn by entering the Birdsong phase.
    • Perform any start-of-turn actions that your faction requires. This could include things like revealing a new hand of cards, placing warriors on the board, or other unique actions specific to your faction.
    • Ensure you understand and correctly follow these faction-specific actions as they set up your strategy for the round.

    Proceed with Daylight:

    • Move on to the Daylight phase, which is the main phase for executing actions.
    • Carry out actions such as moving your warriors across the board to different clearings, engaging in battles with other factions, and crafting items or cards. The specific actions available to you will depend on your faction and the current game situation.
    • Use this phase to start implementing your strategy, keeping in mind your faction’s strengths and objectives.

    Conclude with Evening:

    • End your turn with the Evening phase.
    • Complete any end-of-turn actions required by your faction. This often includes drawing a card from the shared deck, which can provide new strategic options for your next turn.
    • If your faction has specific end-of-turn requirements, such as discarding down to a hand limit or scoring points, make sure to complete these as well.
    • After completing your Evening actions, pass the turn to the next player in a clockwise direction.

    Step 5: Play Through the Game

    Follow Turn Order:

    • Play proceeds in a clockwise direction around the table.
    • Wait for your turn patiently and use the time to plan your next move based on the current state of the board and your opponents’ actions.

    Adapt and Strategize:

    • Stay flexible with your strategy, adapting to the changing circumstances of the game.
    • Consider how the actions of other players affect your plans and adjust accordingly. For example, if an opponent moves into a territory you were planning to control, you may need to find a new strategy.

    Keep Track of Points:

    • Regularly monitor the number of victory points you and your opponents have.
    • Be aware of how different actions, battles, and achievements contribute to your victory points.
    • Use this information to prioritize your actions and focus on achieving your faction’s victory conditions.

    Step 6: Concluding the Game

    Watch for Victory Conditions:

    • Pay close attention to the game and be alert for any player who might be close to meeting their factions’ victory conditions.
    • Each faction has unique conditions for winning, so understanding these for all players is key.
    • Once a player reaches the necessary victory points or achieves their faction’s specific victory condition, the game ends.
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    Expansions & Factions Table Of Content
    Expand and “Click” image.

    “Root” is a game that continuously evolves with each expansion, offering players fresh and exciting ways to explore its intricate woodland realm. The expansions introduce new factions. With additional maps, mechanics, and scenarios, these expansions not only increase the player count but also add depth and variety, ensuring that no two games are the same. “Root” promises a richer, more diverse experience with each addition. For both solo adventurers and groups of strategic minds, the expansions provide new stories to tell and challenges to overcome in the quest for woodland dominance. Let’s look at each one of them.

    The Riverfolk Expansion

    “The Riverfolk Expansion” for “Root” introduces new dimensions to the game, adding fresh factions, mechanics, and opportunities for interaction among players. Here’s an overview of what this expansion offers:

    New Factions

    1. The Riverfolk Company: A mercantile group of otters who offer services to other players, like mercenaries, transportation, and cards. They thrive on the economy of the game, setting prices for their services and seeking to profit from the ongoing conflict.
    2. The Lizard Cult: A mystical faction of lizards spreading their religious influence across the woodland. They convert other pieces to their cause, incite revolts, and build gardens to worship and craft.

    New Mechanics

    • Services and Trade: The Riverfolk Company introduces a new economic layer to the game. Players can purchase services from the Riverfolk using their warriors as currency, adding a new strategic element of trade and negotiation.
    • Religious Conversion and Revolt: The Lizard Cult brings a new focus on spreading influence and changing the board’s political landscape. Their ability to convert enemy warriors and incite revolts adds a layer of unpredictability and strategic depth.

    Enhanced Gameplay

    • Increased Player Interaction: The new factions encourage more bargaining, negotiation, and direct conflict among players, making the game even more dynamic and interactive.
    • Fresh Strategies: With the introduction of new factions and mechanics, players must develop new strategies and adapt to the evolving landscape of the woodland.

    Playing with the Expansion

    • Integrating New Factions: You can mix and match the new factions with the old, creating diverse and unpredictable game setups.
    • Adjusting to New Dynamics: The expansion’s new mechanics will change the flow of the game. Even veteran players will need to rethink their strategies and adapt to the new opportunities and threats.

    “The Riverfolk Expansion” significantly enhances the world of “Root” by introducing new ways to play and strategize. Whether you’re engaging in trade with the Riverfolk Company or spreading fervent faith with the Lizard Cult, this expansion offers a deeper and more nuanced experience for all players. It’s a must-have for fans looking to explore new aspects of the woodland realm and enjoy fresh and exciting gameplay.

    Learning To Play Riverfolk Expansion

    Closer look at the 2 new additional factions and their gameplay

    Riverfolk Company Otter

    Riverfolk Company

    The Riverfolk Company are shrewd traders and mercenaries. These entrepreneurial otters see opportunity in chaos, offering various services to other factions for a price. They’re not interested in conquest but in profit and influence, leveraging their unique position to become a commercial hub in the midst of war.

    • Economic Power: They excel at trading and dealing with other players, offering services like riverboats and mercenaries for a price.
    • Flexibility: Their ability to interact with and benefit from other factions’ actions gives them a unique position in the game’s economy and strategy.
    • Dependency on Trade: Their strength is heavily reliant on other players buying their services. If other players choose not to engage in trade, it can significantly hinder their progress.
    • Vulnerability to Isolation: If isolated or ignored, they may struggle to gain the necessary funds to execute their strategies effectively.
    Guideline strategy for Riverfolk Company

    Playing as the Riverfolk Company in “Root” offers a game experience focused on economic strategy, negotiation, and adaptability. Success with the Riverfolk requires a keen understanding of the game’s dynamics, the ability to predict and respond to other players’ needs, and a savvy approach to pricing and service provision

    Lizard Cult

    Lizard Cult

    The Lizard Cult is a mystical and enigmatic group of lizards who believe deeply in their ancient and divine right to rule the forest. They use their religious influence to convert the disenchanted and expand their sacred sites, known as Gardens. Their society is steeped in tradition and rituals, and they see the turmoil in the woodland as an opportunity to spread their faith and restore what they believe to be the true order.

    • Conversion: They can convert other factions’ warriors into their acolytes, gradually expanding their influence.
    • Resilience: Their ability to place warriors back on the board after battles and the spread of their gardens (bases) make them resilient to attacks.
    • Predictable Revolts: Their revolts are planned a turn in advance, making it easier for opponents to anticipate and counter their moves.
    • Complexity in Conversion: Managing the conversion of enemy pieces and balancing between crafting and spreading influence can be challenging.
    Guideline strategy for Lizard Cult

    Playing as the Lizard Cult in “Root” offers a game experience focused on covert expansion, strategic conversions, and opportunistic revolts. Success with the Lizard Cult requires a deep understanding of the game’s flow, the ability to adapt to the shifting Outcast, and a cunning use of conspiracies to disrupt and dominate the woodland.

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    The Underworld Expansion

    “The Underworld Expansion” for “Root” deepens the game’s narrative and strategic complexity by introducing new factions, a pair of challenging maps, and additional game elements. This expansion broadens the scope of the conflict and the ways players can interact with the woodland and each other. Here’s what you can expect:

    New Factions

    1. The Underground Duchy: A mole civilization that uses its tunneling ability to quickly move across the board. The Duchy focuses on building and defending strongholds and swaying ministers to use their special abilities.
    2. The Corvid Conspiracy: A mysterious and cunning faction of crows known for their guerrilla tactics. They place face-down plot tokens on the board, which can be traps, bombs, or other disruptive actions, causing confusion and chaos among other players.

    New Maps

    • The Mountain Map: Features a single pass, making it a critical and highly contested route. The map challenges players to control and navigate the limited pathways effectively.
    • The Lake Map: Introduces a ferry that moves around the lake, offering a unique method of transport and strategic mobility. Controlling the ferry becomes a key objective.

    Additional Mechanics

    • New Items and Effects: The expansion includes new items that can be crafted, offering more variety and strategic options.
    • Unique Faction Mechanics: Each new faction brings unique mechanics that change the game’s dynamics. The Underground Duchy’s ability to sway ministers and the Corvid Conspiracy’s secretive plots introduce fresh strategic considerations.

    Enhanced Gameplay

    • Increased Strategic Depth: With the addition of the new factions and maps, players will encounter a wider array of strategic choices and challenges. The expansion encourages adaptive thinking and innovative strategies.
    • Varied Player Interactions: The new factions encourage different types of player interactions, from subterfuge and deception with the Corvids to strategic mobility and area control with the Duchy.

    Playing with the Expansion

    1. Mixing Factions: You can mix the new factions with those from the base game and other expansions, creating a wide variety of potential matchups and strategies.
    2. Exploring New Terrain: The Mountain and Lake maps offer new challenges and require players to adapt their strategies to the unique features of these terrains.

    “The Underworld Expansion” significantly enriches the “Root” experience by introducing new layers of intrigue, conflict, and strategy. Whether you’re navigating the treacherous pathways of the Mountain map or engaging in secretive warfare with the Corvid Conspiracy, this expansion offers new narratives and challenges for both new and experienced players. It’s a compelling addition for anyone looking to explore deeper into the captivating world of “Root.”

    Learning To Play Underworld Expansion

    Closer look at the 2 new additional factions and their gameplay

    Underground Dutchy

    Underground Duchy

    The Underground Duchy is a disciplined society of moles emerging from beneath the earth. With a highly structured government and a drive to expand, they use their tunneling skills to surprise and outmaneuver their opponents. They’re strategists and defenders, aiming to establish a widespread and fortified presence above ground.

    • Strong Defense: Moles build strongholds that make their clearings difficult to attack, providing a solid defensive advantage.
    • Political Influence: They can sway the outcomes of battles and other actions through their formal and informal governance mechanisms, affecting the game’s broader strategy.
    • Susceptibility to Turmoil: Their complex political mechanics can backfire, leading to turmoil if not managed carefully, which can disrupt their game plan.
    • Mobility Limitations: While strong defensively, they can sometimes struggle with expanding and exerting influence rapidly across the board.
    Guideline strategy for Underground Duchy

    Playing as the Underground Duchy in “Root” offers a game experience focused on strategic expansion, military dominance, and careful management of unique abilities. Success with the Duchy requires effective use of their tunneling network, strategic sway of ministers, and a balanced approach to expansion and defense.

    Corvid Conspiracy Crow

    Corvid Conspiracy

    The Corvid Conspiracy is a mysterious and elusive group of crows, masters of deceit and disruption. They plant hidden traps and spread misinformation, thriving on the chaos they create. Their strategy is one of confusion and subterfuge, always keeping their enemies guessing and reacting to phantom threats.

    • Espionage and Trickery: They specialize in deception, using face-down plot tokens to keep opponents guessing and wary.
    • Disruption: Their ability to spread misinformation and traps allows them to disrupt the strategies of other factions effectively.
    • Exposure to Risk: Their plots, once revealed, can make them vulnerable to targeted attacks from other players.
    • Reliance on Deception: Their effectiveness diminishes as players become more familiar with their deceptive tactics, making it harder to surprise experienced opponents.
    Guideline strategy for Corvid Conspiracy

    Playing as the Corvid Conspiracy in “Root” offers a game experience focused on deception, strategic plotting, and psychological warfare. Success with the Corvids requires a keen understanding of your opponents, the ability to manage and protect your plots, and a flair for timing and bluffing. Their ability to disrupt and destabilize makes them a uniquely challenging and rewarding faction to master.

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    The Marauder Expansion

    “The Marauder Expansion” for “Root” introduces new factions, mechanics, and additional content that further enrich the game’s world and strategic possibilities. This expansion adds more variety and depth, offering players new ways to explore, fight, and strategize within the woodland. Here’s an overview of what “The Marauder Expansion” includes:

    New Factions

    1. The Lord of the Hundreds: A faction of militant rats who are all about rebellion and destruction. They focus on spreading quickly, inciting uprisings, and burning down enemy buildings to score points and disrupt the established order.
    2. The Keepers in Iron: A secretive order of badgers dedicated to protecting ancient relics with mysterious powers. They focus on uncovering these relics and using their abilities to control the board and influence the game’s outcome.

    New Mechanics

    • Revolution and Ruin: The Lord of the Hundreds introduces a playstyle focused on aggressive expansion and destruction. They can quickly mobilize forces and incite revolts, aiming to tear down the structures of other factions and create chaos.
    • Relic Control: The Keepers in Iron bring a new element of mystery and power to the game with their relics. Each relic has unique effects that can significantly impact the strategy and interactions of all players on the board.

    Additional Components

    • New Warriors and Pieces: Each new faction comes with its unique warriors and tokens, reflecting their distinct themes and strategies.
    • New Cards: The expansion include new cards to support the new factions’ abilities and strategies, adding more variety to the deck and the options available to players.

    Enhanced Gameplay

    • Diverse Strategies: With the introduction of the new factions, players must adapt to new threats and opportunities. The expansion encourages innovative thinking and new approaches to the game.
    • Increased Replayability: The additional factions and mechanics increase the game’s replayability, offering new combinations of factions and interactions in each playthrough.

    Playing with the Expansion

    • Combining Factions: The new factions can be mixed with those from the base game and other expansions, creating a wide array of potential matchups and strategies.
    • Adjusting to New Dynamics: The expansion’s new mechanics will change the flow of the game. Even experienced players will need to rethink their strategies and adapt to the new challenges and opportunities presented by The Lord of the Hundreds and The Keepers in Iron.

    “The Marauder Expansion” is a compelling addition to “Root,” bringing fresh narratives, strategic depth, and dynamic interactions to the woodland realm. Whether you’re leading a fiery rebellion with The Lord of the Hundreds or uncovering ancient powers with The Keepers in Iron, this expansion offers new adventures and challenges for all players looking to claim their place in the forest’s ever-evolving story.

    Learn To Play The Marauder Expansion

    Closer look at the 2 new additional factions and their gameplay

    The Lord Of Hundreds Rat holding a red flag

    The Lord Of Hundreds

    The Lord of the Hundreds leads a zealous army of rodents in a relentless crusade against the established powers. They are revolutionaries at heart, inciting uprisings and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Their approach is aggressive and uncompromising, seeking to dismantle the current order and replace it with their own.

    • Aggressive Expansion: They excel at quickly spreading their influence and disrupting the board with their rebellious nature.
    • Destruction for Points: Capable of burning down enemy buildings, they can rapidly accumulate points while weakening their opponents’ infrastructure.
    • Momentum Building: Success in their revolts and destructive acts can create a snowball effect, making them more formidable as the game progresses.
    • Dependence on Chaos: Their strategy relies heavily on successful rebellions and can falter if they are unable to sustain the momentum of destruction.
    • Vulnerability to Coordination: Organized opposition from multiple factions can stymie their expansion and limit their ability to score points through destruction.
    • Potential Overextension: In their rush to spread and destroy, they can overextend, leaving their own territories and forces vulnerable to counter-attacks.
    Guideline strategy for The Lord Of Hundreds

    Playing as The Lord of the Hundreds in “Root” offers a game experience focused on aggressive strategies, disruptive tactics, and maintaining relentless pressure on your opponents. Success with this faction requires a keen sense of timing, strategic foresight, and the ability to capitalize on the chaos you create. Their ability to incite fear and disorder makes them a formidable and thrilling faction to master.

    The Keepers in Iron Badger with a spear

    The Keepers In Iron

    The Keepers in Iron are a secretive order of badgers, guardians of ancient relics with mysterious powers. They move quietly across the forest, seeking these artifacts to prevent their misuse and to wield their power judiciously. They are the stewards of the old ways, hoping to restore balance and stability to the woodland through wisdom and restraint.

    • Control of Powerful Relics: Their ability to uncover and use ancient relics gives them unique powers and strategic options not available to other factions.
    • Defensive Prowess: With a focus on protection and strategic positioning, they can create strongholds that are difficult for enemies to breach.
    • Versatility: The variety of relics available offers multiple paths to victory, allowing them to adapt their strategy to the current game state.
    • Reliance on Relics: Their strength is closely tied to the relics they uncover. A lack of valuable finds or an inability to protect them can significantly weaken their position.
    • Slow Build-Up: Their strategy often requires a more deliberate pace to gather and utilize relics, which can be a disadvantage if other factions accelerate the game’s pace.
    • Complexity of Strategy: Balancing the protection of relics with the need to expand and score points requires careful planning and can be challenging, especially for newer players.
    Guideline strategy for Keepers In Iron:

    Playing as The Keepers in Iron in “Root” offers a game experience focused on strategic exploration, defense, and the unique utilization of ancient relics. Success with this faction requires careful planning, a strong defensive strategy, and the ability to adapt and leverage the unique powers provided by the relics. Their capacity to influence the game through these ancient artifacts makes them a deeply strategic and rewarding faction to master.

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    The Clockwork Expansions

    “The Clockwork Expansion” for “Root” introduces automated versions of various factions from the game, allowing for solo play or filling in for players in multiplayer games. These automated factions, known as “bot” factions, follow specific programmed rules and strategies to emulate human players. The expansion enhances the game by providing a robust set of automated opponents, adding depth and replayability, especially for those looking to play solo or with fewer players. Here’s what you can expect from “The Clockwork Expansion”:

    Automated Factions (Bots)

    1. Mechanical Marquise 2.0: An automated version of the Marquise de Cat, focusing on building and spreading its influence across the woodland while maintaining a defensive posture.
    2. Electric Eyrie: A bot that simulates the Eyrie Dynasties, using a programmed decree to expand and build roosts while trying to avoid turmoil.
    3. Automated Alliance: Represents the Woodland Alliance, spreading sympathy and revolting against the oppressors through a set of automated rules.
    4. Vagabot: An automated version of the Vagabond, moving around the map, completing quests, and interacting with other factions.

    New Mechanics

    • Automated Actions: Each bot faction has a specific set of rules and behaviors that dictate its actions. These are designed to mimic the strategies and priorities of human players, providing a challenging and somewhat predictable opponent.
    • Adaptive Difficulty: Many of the automated factions come with difficulty settings, allowing you to adjust the challenge level to suit your experience and desired game complexity.

    Enhanced Gameplay

    • Solo and Cooperative Play: The Clockwork Expansion makes it possible to play “Root” solo or with fewer players than required for a full game. You can face off against one or more bots or team up with friends to take them down.
    • Training and Practice: Playing against the bots is a great way to learn the game, try out new strategies, or get to know the ins and outs of different factions without the pressure of a competitive multiplayer environment.

    Playing with the Expansion

    • Flexible Game Setup: You can mix and match bot factions with human players, allowing for a wide variety of game setups and scenarios. Whether you’re missing a player for a four-player game or want to tackle a solo challenge, the bots provide flexibility.
    • Adjusting to Bot Behaviors: While the bots are designed to emulate human strategies, they also have predictable patterns once you understand their programming. Learning these can help you anticipate their moves and plan your strategy accordingly.
    The Law Of Rootbotics

    Facing the Clockwork: Strategies Against Root’s Bot Factions

    In “Root’s” Clockwork Expansion, players encounter automated bot factions, each with distinct strategies and behaviors. Understanding these bots’ mechanics is crucial for devising effective counter-strategies. The key to success lies in exploiting their predictable patterns while maintaining focus on your own faction’s objectives. Let’s explore the strategies to effectively play against each of these intriguing bot opponents.

    Mechanical Marquise 2.0
    Mechanical Marquise 2.0

    Playing against the Mechanical Marquise 2.0 in “Root” involves strategizing around a bot that simulates the Marquise de Cat faction. This automated opponent focuses on building a strong economic and military presence, much like its human counterpart. Here are strategies to effectively play against Mechanical Marquise 2.0:

    Understanding Mechanical Marquise 2.0’s Gameplay
    • Building Focus: The Mechanical Marquise 2.0 prioritizes building structures, particularly Sawmills, Workshops, and Recruiters, across the board. It systematically expands its reach and tries to maintain control over its buildings.
    • Recruitment and Expansion: The bot steadily recruits more warriors and seeks to control more clearings to support its building efforts.
    Strategies for Playing Against Mechanical Marquise 2.0
    Electric Eyrie
    Electric Eyrie

    Playing against the Electric Eyrie bot in “Root” requires understanding and exploiting its programmed behavior based on the Eyrie Dynasties’ playstyle. The Electric Eyrie follows a set decree, which dictates its actions and can lead to predictable patterns.

    Understanding Electric Eyries’ Gameplay
    • Programmed Decree: The Electric Eyrie bot follows a decree that determines its actions each turn, including where it moves, recruits, battles, and builds roosts.
    • Expansion and Building Roosts: The bot focuses on expanding its territory and building roosts to score points, much like the human-controlled Eyrie Dynasties.
    Strategies for Playing Against Electric Eyrie
    Automated Alliance Bunny
    Automated Alliance

    Playing against the Automated Alliance in “Root” requires a strategic approach tailored to countering a bot that simulates the tactics of the Woodland Alliance. This bot aims to spread sympathy, incite revolts, and leverage guerrilla warfare.

    Understanding Automated Alliance’s Gameplay
    • Spreading Sympathy: The Automated Alliance focuses on placing sympathy tokens on the board, which is key to its strategy for gaining supporters and setting up for revolts.
    • Revolt Mechanism: This bot will aim to gather enough supporters to incite revolts, removing enemy pieces from a clearing and establishing a base.
    • Guerrilla Warfare: When defending in battles, the Automated Alliance uses guerrilla tactics, ensuring it hits hard despite potentially being outnumbered.
    Strategies for Playing Against Automated Alliance

    Playing against the Vagabot in “Root” requires understanding and countering its unique, solitary play style that simulates the Vagabond character. The Vagabot operates differently from other factions, focusing on completing quests, interacting with other players, and using items to gain advantages. Here’s how to play effectively against the Vagabot:

    Understanding Vagabot’s Gameplay
    • Quest Completion: The Vagabot focuses on moving around the board to complete quests in various clearings, which is its primary method of scoring points.
    • Item Usage: The Vagabot collects and uses items to perform actions, similar to a human player controlling the Vagabond. These items are crucial for its mobility, combat effectiveness, and quest completion.
    • Interactions with Factions: The Vagabot may form alliances with other factions by aiding them, and it can also engage in combat, particularly when other factions become hostile towards it.
    Strategies for Playing Against Vagabot

    “The Clockwork Expansion” significantly enhances the “Root” experience by providing a robust and challenging set of automated opponents. Whether you’re looking to play solo, fill in for missing players, or just practice and explore the game, this expansion adds depth and replayability to the world of “Root.”

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    Clockwork Expansion 2

    Clockwork Expansion 2 adds an automated twist to Root with versions of the four factions from both the Riverfolk and Underworld expansions. Additionally, it introduces fresh trait cards that enhance the gameplay dynamics of the factions featured in the original Clockwork expansion. Let’s look at the automated factions…

    Riverfolk Robots

    Riverfolk Robots

    The Riverfolk Robots in the Clockwork Expansion 2 for “Root” bring the cunning and mercantile prowess of the Riverfolk Company to the automated world of bots.

    Understanding Riverfolk Robots’ Gameplay
    • Economic Influence: The Riverfolk Robots focus on economic growth by providing services to other players and gaining benefits from these transactions.
    • Warrior Placement: They place warriors strategically along the river and at trade posts to maximize their influence and control.
    Strategies for Playing Against Riverfolk Robots

    Here are strategies to effectively play against the Riverfolk Robots:

    1. Engage with the Market Carefully: Interacting with their market can be a double-edged sword. While you can gain benefits, it also strengthens them. Be strategic about when and what services to purchase.
    2. Control River Clearings: Since they place warriors on river clearings, controlling these areas can limit their spread and influence.
    3. Disrupt Their Economic Engine: Aim to disrupt their economic plans by strategically removing trade posts or contesting clearings important for their trade.
    4. Utilize Their Services Wisely: Their services can be beneficial, so use them to your advantage but be cautious not to overly strengthen the Riverfolk Robots in the process.
    5. Adapt to Their Protectionism Mechanic: Be aware of their Protectionism conditions and how it influences their actions. This knowledge can help you predict and counter their moves more effectively.

    Playing against the Riverfolk Robots requires a balance of strategic engagement with their market and disrupting their economic mechanisms. Controlling key clearings and being judicious about when to use their services are crucial to countering their strategy effectively.

    Logical L

    Logical Lizards

    The Logical Lizards in Clockwork Expansion 2 for “Root” are an automated version of the Lizard Cult, designed to replicate their conversion and revolt mechanics.

    Understanding Logical Lizards’ Gameplay
    • Conversion Tactics: The Logical Lizards focus on converting enemy warriors into their own and replacing enemy buildings with gardens.
    • Influence of the Lost Souls: Their actions are heavily influenced by the Lost Souls pile, dictating their conversion targets and expansion strategy
    Strategies for Playing Against Logical Lizards
    Drilbit D

    Drillbit Duchy

    The Drillbit Duchy in the Clockwork Expansion 2 for “Root” represents the Underground Duchy faction, focusing on emerging from tunnels and securing a foothold in the Woodland. This bot faction uses its ministers to enhance its capabilities on the board.

    Understanding Drillbit Duchy’s Gameplay
    • Tunnel Emergence: The Drillbit Duchy bot focuses on surfacing from tunnels to expand its presence in the Woodland, securing territories and growing its influence.
    • Minister Mechanic: As the Drillbit Duchy secures its position, its ministers grow bolder, adding to the faction’s capabilities and making it a more formidable opponent​
    Strategies for Playing Against Drillbit Duchy
    Corvid C

    Cogwheel Corvids

    The Cogwheel Corvids in Clockwork Expansion 2 for “Root” replicate the guileful and disruptive gameplay of the Corvid Conspiracy. This bot faction specializes in secretive plot placements and cunning strategies, making it a unique challenge to play against.

    Understanding Cogwheel Corvids’ Gameplay
    • Strategic Plot Placement: The Cogwheel Corvids are adept at placing and revealing plot tokens across the board, which can be bombs, snares, raids, or extortion plots, each with its distinct effects.
    • Nimble and Unpredictable: They can move freely without the constraint of ruling clearings, allowing them to spread their influence and plots effectively across the board
    Strategies for Playing Against Cogwheel Corvids
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    Hirelings in “Root” are special cards that represent additional, smaller factions or characters that players can recruit and use during the game. They each come with their own abilities and rules, offering players new tactical options. Hirelings can help in battles, provide resources, or assist with movement across the board, and they are designed to integrate with both the base game and expansions, enriching the gameplay with more strategic depth and narrative elements.

    Hireling Rulebook

    Riverfolk Hirelings

    The Riverfolk Hirelings Pack introduce additional characters. These characters, such as the Riverfolk Flotilla and Otter Divers, bring unique abilities and tactical options to the game. They are designed to enhance gameplay by providing services like transportation or combat support, enriching the strategic choices available to players.

    Underworld Hirelings

    The Underworld Hirelings Pack introduces new characters, each with distinct abilities that enhance gameplay. This pack features the Sunward Expedition and Mole Artisans, offering tactical advantages like striking from underground or protecting crafts. It also includes the Furious Protector and Stoic Protector for aggressive or defensive strategies, and the Corvid Spies and Raven Sentinels for gathering intel or defending assets.

    Marauders Hirelings

    The Marauder Hirelings Pack introduces unique characters, features hirelings like the Flame Bearers and Rat Smugglers, each offering different strategic options, such as aggressive actions or covert operations. It also includes the Street Band and Popular Band for influencing the Woodland’s areas, and the Vault Keepers and Badger Bodyguards, providing options for either safeguarding valuable resources or protecting your own pieces on the board.

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    Root RULEBOOKS (pdf downloads)

    The Law Of Root Rulebook

    The Law Of Root

    Learning To Play Riverfolk Expansion

    Riverfolk Expansion Rulebook

    Learning To Play Underworld Expansion

    Underworlds Expansion Rulebook

    Learn To Play The Marauder Expansion

    The Marauder Expansion Rulebook

    The Law Of Rootbotics


    Hireling Rulebook

    Hireling Rulebook

    As a player of Root, I can say it’s a game where every strategy tells a story and each game play is always a new tale, always unique. May this guide jumpstart your journey at Root’s rich and wonderful realm. Again, Big thanks to Leder Games for creating a truly awesome and unique game. Let your Root adventure begin!

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