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Root is a board game designed by Cole Wehrle and first released by Leder Games in 2018. It is a fully Asymmetric Multiplayer strategy game simulating burgeoning tension and war that's about to take place in the forest.

Each player takes the role of one of the anthropomorphic animal factions and battle each other for the control of its resources or to spread their ideology.

Games and expansions include:

  • Root: The base game, which includes four factions (the exploitative Marquise de Cat, the stuck-up Eyrie Dynasties, the insidious Woodland Alliance and the independent Vagabond) and two maps.
  • Root: The Riverfolk Expansion: The first expansion, which adds two new factions (the radical Lizard Cult and the mercantile Riverfolk Company), a second Vagabond and an automated version of the Marquise de Cat.
  • Root: The Underworld Expansion: The second expansion, which adds two new factions (the invasive Underground Duchy and the secretive Corvid Conspiracy) and two new maps.
  • Root: The Marauder Expansion: The third expansion set which adds two new factions (the Keepers of Iron and the Lord of the Hundreds) and introduces hirelings.
  • Root: The Clockwork Expansion: Four bots based on the base game's factions with a second one based on the first four expansion factions. These are official retoolings of the fan-made Better Bot Project.
  • Root: The Exiles and Partisans Deck: An alternative shared deck of cards.
  • Root: Vagabond Pack: Personalized pawns for each possible Vagabond, including three new Vagabond characters.
  • Root: Hireling Pack: Adds more hirelings to the mix.
  • Root: Landmark Pack: Adds new pieces called Landmarks to the game with special abilities.

In August 2020, a digital version of the game was released on Steam.

Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game, where players take on the role of Vagabonds navigating the forest, was produced by Magpie Games. See also Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile, the next game by the same developers, with similar themes.


The base game of Root contains examples of:

  • After the End: For the Eyrie Dynasties at least. They were once the ruler of the forest before the Marquise de Cat came in and chased them out.
  • Aggressive Play Incentive: The combat mechanics encourages attacking other players over playing defensively by how combat is resolved: players roll two d12 dice with values from 0 to 3, and the attacker deals the damage equal to the higher roll, while the defender takes the lower (the only exception are the Woodland Alliance faction, who take the higher roll even if defending, because they are Famed In-Story as guerilla fighters).
  • The Alliance: The Woodland Alliance is trying to form a coalition among the normally-neutral foxes, mice and rabbits who inhabit the forest.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil:
    • The Despot leader of the Eyrie Dynasties. Under his reign, you are incentivized to destroy other players' buildings and tokens. And he's a freaking vulture!
    • While not cartoonishly evil, the Marquise de Cat is still an ambitious aristocrat who invaded the Forest to serve her own interests. She genuinely tries to modernize the conquered lands, improving the lives of her subjects, but it's out of pragmatism: She wants a prosperous domain with a loyal population.
  • Armies Are Evil: Once the inhabitants of a clearing are sympathetic to the cause of the Woodland Alliance, it will spark great outrage if any enemy army marches into their homes or if an enemy removes the sympathizers to prevent a potential revolt.
  • Army Scout: The Mice have a Scouting Party card which allow any faction to prevent Ambushes.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: The game is essentially a War Game, but the Marquise plays a Construction and Management wargame, the Eyrie plays a Programming wargame, the Alliance plays a Political Strategy wargame, and the Vagabond plays an Adventure Board Game with Equipment-Based Progression. Each additional faction plays some other method.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The basic combat rules are stacked in the favor of the attacker (Woodland Alliance being a special case), so being on the defensive is usually a worse strategy than attacking.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A new Eyrie player may look at their leaders and choose the most powerful looking ability to start with. However, without careful planning, this is a fast track to turmoil.
    • The Commander Leader of the Eyrie. They deal an extra hit in battle, potentially giving the Eyrie the strongest offensive capability in the game, but this is contingent on having a strong army in the first place, as well as a good hand of cards to create well-rounded and flexible decrees. Starting the game with a Commander is very likely way more firepower than you can conceivably need at that point in the game, and you are immediately mandated to begin battling possibly before you can even start recruiting warriors and building roosts, risking either slow momentum or turmoil.
    • To a lesser extent, the Charismatic Leader. They allow the Eyrie to amass a large army incredibly fast, and is a tempting choice to allow the player to very quickly build momentum and snowball out of control. However, the Charismatic Leader begins with Recruit and Battle viziers, which is risky for two reasons. One, the player must now insert a Move decree to even leave their starting roost. Two, depending on their starting hand, they may not be able to begin building roosts right away. This means that while the Charismatic Leader is a very strong choice in turn 1, it is highly dependent on the player's starting hand, as they require both immediate aggression and lack the ability to move or build roosts straight out the gate.
  • Back Story: The rules give an insight into each faction's reason for why they are where they are and why they must do what they do.
  • Badass Adorable: You wouldn't think that such adorable visuals and cute colorful meeples are actually waging a violent war.
  • Badass Army: The Woodland Alliance. After a Revolt, you'll find them extremely difficult to dislodge since they are experts in guerilla tactics.
  • Balance Buff: The third printing provided buffs to the Cats and Lizards.
    • Originally, the Cat could save one warrior from death by discarding a card matching the battle clearing's suit. After the update, the Cat player can now save all of their warriors from being killed by spending a single matching card.
    • The Lizard's Hated Outcast mechanic made them much more powerful if the Outcast (the most numerous suit in the discard pile) were the same twice in a row, meaning it seldom actually activated. In the update, the original Outcast can become Hated if it isn't outnumbered by a new suit.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The strongest "baseline" NPC in the RPG; with 5 boxes of injury and exhaustion, 4 morale, and an attack that inflicts 3 injury, is described simply as "A bear. Run."
  • BFS: The Mouse in the Mouse Ambush card.
  • Bird People: The Eyrie Dynasties.
  • Blind Obedience: Once your faction is allied with the Vagabond, he can move your troops, battle with them and assign damage however he wants without your consent at all.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: The Woodland Alliance's whole strategy is to spread Sympathy and create explosive revolts.
  • Boring, but Practical: Begining an Eyrie game with the Despot. Their only unique ability is earning an extra point from destroying tokens, which is harder to take advantage of. They begin with the Move and Build Viziers, which means they likely won't be seeing battle right away and might not even be able to begin recruiting warriors right out the gate. However, those same viziers make the Despot arguably the most practical starting leader. Instead of fighting or even being able to take advantage of their unique ability, the Despot guarantees the player the ability to build roosts as soon as possible, which is necessary to quickly draw more cards and earn more points every turn. Plus, having no Battle decree right out the gate can even be a boon, as it means the Despot has very little risk of entering turmoil early and has the luxury of choosing to play defensively until they have a larger, more spread out army with a good hand of cards to add decrees with.
  • Came Back Strong: After having been chased out of the forest, the Eyrie Dynasties are back in numbers.
  • Cat Folk: The Marquise de Cat.
  • Cat Stereotype: The Marquise is a Siamese, and while not mean to her own troops, is an Evil Colonialist and extremely ambitious to boot.
  • Civil War: The principle of the whole game is this.
  • Cute Is Evil: All the factions basically. They look like cute woodland creatures with even the Tinkerer of the Eyrie Dynasty being a woodpecker, but each one is a devious and dangerous foe who will turn on the weak at a good chance. Word of God (i.e. of Cole Wehrle) is that the designers have intentionally chosen the cute aesthetic to offset the negative emotions that cutthroat competitive gameplay evokes in most players. To paraphrase, a backstab does not feel as bad, when it is a cute cat, bird, or mouse doing the backstabbing.
  • Disc-One Nuke: If the Marquise player gets the a specific card in their first hand which nets the Marquise one Victory Point for every domain they control, and in the first version that is all but one, it nets the Marquise eleven victory points. If this is played in concert with most any Dominance card, it means the Marquise can win in their next round.
  • Death from Above: The Bird Ambush card depicts this.
  • Draw Extra Cards: Each faction has different criteria that allow them to draw extra cards at the end of their turn:
    • Marquise de Cat draws one extra card if there are 3+ recruiters on the board, or two if there are 5+
    • The Eyrie Dynasties draw an extra card for every three nests on the board
    • The Woodland Alliance draws an extra card for each base on the board.
    • The Vagabond draws an extra card for each coin stack in their inventory.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: The Vagabond grows in power by collecting items.
  • Escort Mission: Sort of. The Vagabond has an Escort quest where he has to exhaust two boots to escort a mouse.
  • Everyone Has a Special Move: The whole game is asymmetric so each player is essentially playing a different game than the others.
    • Each Vagabond has a different special move and a different set of starting items.
    • Each of the Eyrie Dynasties' Leaders have a different passive ability and their Loyal Viziers start in different positions.
  • Evil Colonialist: The Marquise de Cat. While the Marquise herself may not think so, she IS exploiting the forest for its wood while trying to maintain military control over as many clearings as possible.
  • Exact Words: Like many complex board games, the rules deliberately use similar but different terms that have different game play implications. As such, the rules must be read closely, as they rely on these differing terms and spend little time on pointing out the differences. For instance, most factions have "warriors" which can be killed and removed from the board, while the Vagabond's piece is a "pawn" which can fight like a warrior, but isn't removed from the board in the same way. "Buildings" take up an available spot in a clearing, but despite also representing a building, the Cats' Keep "token" doesn't take up space the same way.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Eyrie Dynasties are destined to enter Turmoil at some point simply because of the way the Decree snowballs with each turn. Eventually, your resources are simply going to be spread too thin to be able to fulfill the myriad requirements of a late-stage Decree. It then becomes a matter of how well you're able to tank the inevitable point penalty. Better hope you haven't been abusing bird cards, or that you can win before you reach your next Turmoil.
  • Fan Game: BGG is full of fan-made factions.
  • Fantastic Racism: The base game mainly pits the feline Marquise de Cat against the bird Eyrie Dynasties, with a brewing revolution planned by the Woodland Alliance (represented as mice meeples, but who are actually an alliance between the mice, the foxes and the rabbits).
    • The Marquise de Cat even has an action where sacrificing Bird cards gives them bonus actions.
    • The Eyrie Dynasties think birds are superior to other species. They also discriminate against corvids, which is actually the reason why the Corvid Conspiracy was formed.
  • Fantasy Americana: Despite the apparently Medieval European Fantasy trappings, the game really runs on this. For one, the setting: the Woodland folk include species native to North America such as raccoons and opossums - in fact, every member of the Eyrie Dynasties is a bird species found only in the Americas - and the power from an overcrowded French-themed faraway land is alien to the land. Small communities who can be taken as representing the American settlers and/or Native Americans rise up both to overthrow a corrupt monarchy and repel colonizing outsiders.
  • Flavor Text: Most factions have one on their boards and in the rules.
  • Folk Hero: What the Vagabond wants to become by accomplishing the various quests.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Tinker Vagabond is one of only two Vagabonds who can get three hammers and craft most of the cards.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Each faction's mechanics deliberately tie into its theme and backstory.
    • The game begins just after a successful incursion by the Marquise de Cat, which is why she starts the game with a warrior in every clearing. Her main path to victory, industrialization, depends on her securing supply lines and exerting military control over the board.
    • The Eyrie Dynasties were the original rulers of the forest, and after suffering a handy defeat by the Cats, only have one base left at the furthest point from the Cat's fortress. However, they have a better claim to legitimacy among the forest-dwellers, which is why they are able to control a clearing by matching other factions' numbers instead of outnumbering them. This is also reflected in the fact that the 30 victory point win condition is meant to represent a tipping point of legitimacy—and the Eyrie passively gains points each turn. Bird cards can also be played in any clearing, because the birds live in the treetops instead of alongside the commoner animals matching the clearing's suit. The Decree also represents the strain of leading a large government with multiple factions to please.
    • The Woodland Alliance represents a popular revolution, and any action against them by other factions only makes them more popular; opposing players must pay cards to the Alliance player that they can use as "supporters" to fuel their own actions. As guerilla fighters, the Alliance also always takes the higher die roll in battles. Finally, their actions mostly occur at night, as opposed to during the day like the other factions.
    • Crafting a card is meant to represent exploiting the animals of that card's suit. The Lizard Cult recruits these alienated commoners to their cause, which manifests as the Lizard player gaining advantages in clearings matching the most numerous suit in the discard pile.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Vagabond needs to collect as many items as possible. The more he has, the more things he can do.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: Few of the factions can really be described as "good", but according to the RPG book none is 100% "evil" either. Moreover, even when the leaders are corrupt, the book insists most of the rank and file are normal people following orders.
    • The Marquise is an Evil Colonialist, but also genuinely wants to modernize the lands she conquered and improve the lives of her subjects (if only to have a prosperous secure domain). It's even stated that the more time passes, the more the Cats become attached to the lands.
    • The Eyrie Dynasties are the legitimate rulers and maintained some sort of order during most of their rule, before their bloody civil war. However, they're also a retrograde and racist remnant led by a Feudal Overlord.
    • The Lizard Cult are a Cult that needs radicalised followers to fight for it, but also genuinely want to improve the lives of the commoners.
    • The Riverfolk Company are seeking to exploit the conflict for profit, but as pragmatic businessmen they don't revel in pointless villainy.
    • The Underground Duchy is The Empire, but offers a stable rule.
    • The Corvid Conspiracy are The Syndicate, but use their criminal activities to protect their people from Fantastic Racism.
    • Even the Woodland Alliance are divided at best as to ideology, and while they all have the same end goal to liberate the Forest, some accept civilian losses as an acceptable price.
  • Great Offscreen War: The events of the game take place in the aftermath of the invasion of the Forest by the army of the Marquise de Cat, an ambitious aristocrat from a foreign empire. Said invasion happens shortly after a bloody civil war put an end to the rule of the Eyrie dunasty, and left most clearings without a protector.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Mostly averted since the Vagabond has a carry limit. As to why he can still move "nimbly" with 12 objects stored in 3 bags while separately carrying 3 teapots and 3 stacks of coins, well...
  • Impoverished Patrician: The Eyrie Dynasties lost everything and start in a single clearing.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The Woodland Alliance is supposed to be an alliance between the foxes, the mice and the rabbits, and they were supposed to have a mix of fox, mouse and rabbit meeples as their warriors, but ultimately they are all represented as mouse meeples.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Favor of the Fox card depicts Foxes wielding a torch.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The Vagabond can never be removed from play, unlike nearly all other buildings and units. Of course this is because the Vagabond player only has the one unit.
  • Loads and Loads of Rules: Each faction has their own ruleset. Some of them are more complex than the other. On top of that, each faction from the expansions comes with even more complex rules, yet again faction-specific. Oh, and on top of that, Eyrie Dynasties play a Programming Game, which means even more rules that are incredibly specific to their current situation and programmed actions. When there are six or more players (as a result of expansion), just keeping track on what others are doing, why and how they gain points starts to become a burden.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The combat system is a simple roll of two dice numbered 0-3, with the aggressor taking the higher roll...unless you're fighting the Alliance, who always gets the higher number.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: Attacking means you will always get the better dice roll, meaning the worst result you can get is a tie. The Woodland Alliance's Guerrilla War ability always gives them the higher die roll in battle.
  • Made of Explodium: Sympathy tokens are, in effect, remote-controlled bombs that may go off any time, removing any non-Alliance pieces from the clearing in one go.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Woodland Alliance starts with no presence at all on the board. And then, revolts explode...
    • The Eyrie Dynasty is built around slowly building up their Decree, which dictates what actions they can take per-turn. Starting with just three or four actions, they have the potential to grow into possessing an unbeatable action economy... as long as you can manage the risk that failing to honor just one action within your Decree will send it crashing down and forcing you to start all over.
  • MegaCorp: Essentially what the Marquise de Cat wants to build.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Between the Marquise de Cat, the Eyrie Dynasties, and the Woodland Alliance, with the Vagabond acting more as a potential Spanner in the Works.
  • Nerf: The third printing nerfed the Woodland Alliance and Vagabond.
    • The Alliance's point track for spreading sympathy was slightly weakened, limiting their lategame power somewhat.
    • Under the original rules, the Vagabond becomes basically invincible in the lategame. They gain points from killing enemy warriors in battle, even including when the Vagabond was attacked. Since the they had pretty good odds of at least killing a few of their attackers anyone attacking the Vagabond to try and slow them down was likely to just be feeding them points instead. The new rule is that the Vagabond only gains points from attacking during their own turn.
  • Neutral No Longer: In four-player games, the Vagabond is allowed to form a binding coalition with the lowest-scoring faction and, if it does achieve victory, wins alongside it.
  • No-Sell: The Vagabond can move by ignoring who rules the clearings.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Nearly everything but the Vagabond is destroyed after taking just one damage.
  • One-Man Army: The Vagabond is a single-individual faction and still has the potential to take down armies.
  • Pit Trap: The Sappers card, although you have to craft it in advance for all to see in order to use it, so it also qualifies as a Schmuck Bait.
  • Planet of Hats: Each faction represents a different kind of political movement or group.
  • Police State: The Marquise de Cat. Ruling clearings is very important to her if she wants to build, which is her main way of gaining points.
  • Political Strategy Game: Downplayed. Unlike Leder Games' next release, Oath, Root is still firmly a War Game focusing on conflict over territory and resource, rather than over ideology and influence. However, like in political strategies, its players have different scoring criteria that reflect the underlying political ideology of their respective factions: the Marquise represents colonialism and capitalism, so she earns points by exploiting the environment and expanding her enterprises; Eyrie Dynasties, meanwhile, are a traditional militarist aristocracy, so they gain points by backing up their historical legitimacy claims with conquest; the Woodland Alliance is a populist reaction of the exploited working class, so they earn points by nurturing sympathy among the general populace for a popular uprising (the Alliance gameplay actually comes closest to that of typical political strategies, thanks to its influence and popular sympathy mechanics); finally, the Vagabond stands for opportunistic individualism and gains points by doing favors for the highest bidder, whether it's other players or the general populace (via quests). On that note, while the Vagabond also appears to stand for a dismissal of any sociopolitical agenda, the Coalition mechanic makes him the only faction who can join another's ideology and win together with them.
  • The Power of Friendship: If the Vagabond makes a coalition with another faction, they'll have to help them win the game.
  • The Power of Hate: The Vagabond earns more points when attacking hostile factions.
  • Programming Game: The Eyrie Dynasties' Decree. Each turn the Eyrie player must add one or two cards to the Decree under certain actions, and they must execute the entire set in order. If it isn't possible, their government temporarily falls apart.
  • Properly Paranoid: Other players should be wary of the Sympathy tokens. At any time, the Alliance player can set them off like a bomb and destroy any warriors or infrastructure in the clearing and place an Alliance base.
  • Quickly-Demoted Leader: Whenever the Eyrie Dynasties go into turmoil, the current Leader is immediately deposed.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The Winter map.
  • La Résistance: The Woodland Alliance is a group of rebels who wants to liberate the inhabitants of the Forest from any tyrannical rule - whether it's the old tyranny of Eyrie Dynasties or the new one by Marquise de Cat.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: The Marquise de Cat has to generate wood and guard supply lines in order to use it, while the Vagabond has various tools that have to be refreshed after use.
  • Rugged Scar: The Ranger Vagabond has one over his left blind eye.
  • Shamed by a Mob: When the Eyrie Dynasties go into turmoil, they are publicly humiliated and lose victory points, their current decree is torn apart and their current leader is sacked.
  • Shown Their Work: The designer posted a lot of Designer Diaries on BGG, giving insights into his thought process and motivations.
  • Slave Race: The forest folks can be freely exploited by any of the factions. Serves as a reason for revolution to the Woodland Alliance, while others may be pulled into the Lizard Cult.
  • Stone Wall: The Woodland Alliance's Guerrilla War makes their armies incredibly hard to fight against.
  • Take Me Instead: Armourers absorb damage by being discarded. This is thematic since all the cards you spend represent the forest folk working for you.
  • Take Over the World: The Eyrie Dynasties' goal.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Female characters have one to three eyelashes, but it's subtle enough that it might not be noticeable if they weren't on the Marquise, who is unambiguously female.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: The Woodland Alliance's revolt activates their Evening actions where they now become a militaristic faction.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Vagabond is not a benevolent third-party to help your faction. The "alliance" with him means he takes control of the faction's units and does whatever he pleases with them, without any input or consent of the player who's actually running said faction.
  • Variable Player Goals: The first player to get to 30 victory points wins, but the way in which each player gains those points varies vastly from one player to another and can be further achieved differently during the play.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Eyrie Dynasties used to rule the entire Forest. A bloody civil war, and then the invasion of the Marquise de Cat, made them lose most of their domains. They can become a Resurgent Empire under some circumstances.
  • We Have Reserves: Subtly encouraged by the Eyrie's playstyle, who has a finite number of warriors in their supply and can potentially turmoil at the start of their turn if their Recruit decrees exceed their reserves. Depending on the situation, it's actually a good thing to lose warriors in fights so that they can be Recruited again and stave off turmoil longer.
  • We Help the Helpless: The Vagabond's quests are these.
  • Wild Card: The Vagabond's starts off with no allegiances and can switch sides at any moment.
  • War Has Never Been So Much Fun: Root sure makes war look adorable.
  • Zerg Rush: The Eyrie Dynasties' Charismatic Leader makes this very easy. Be careful though.

Root: The Riverfolk expansion contains examples of:

  • Arms Dealer: The Riverfolk Company are mercenaries and set prices for various goods and services that the other factions can buy.
  • Attack on One Is an Attack on All: The Lizard Cult gains Acolytes if they are attacked by the other factions. This in turn allows them to foment conspiracies, their strongest abilities.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: The Scoundrel Vagabond can drop their Torch and start a forest fire, rendering that clearing useless.
  • Brainwashed: Lizard Cult's Convert action allows them to convert any enemy warrior to their faith.
  • Clockwork Creature: The Mechanical Marquise.
  • Coop Multiplayer: There's a coop mode against the Mechanical Marquise.
  • Cult: The Lizard Cult.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Scoundrel Vagabond's Scorched Earth ability, in which it permanently expends a torch in order to burn its current clearing to the ground, not only instantly removing all enemy pieces located there, but removing that clearing from play for the rest of the game.
  • Lizard Folk: The Lizard Cult.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: The Lizard Cult gains new Acolytes after one of their kinds dies while defending in combat.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Lizard Cult have a deep hatred for birds, so Birds cannot act as jokers for their rituals and can never be chosen as outcasts.
  • Hired Guns: The Riverfolk Company's Mercenaries and the Arbiter Vagabond can all be hired for combat.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The Vagrant Vagabond can start a battle between two other factions.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Mechanical Marquise.
  • Mind Manipulation: Lizard Cult's Convert action is essentially this, converting a warrior to their faith.
  • No-Sell: The Lizard Cult's Gardens supplants the Eyrie Dynasties's rule.
  • Nuke 'em: The Scoundrel's Scorched Earth ability, which not only completely empties the Vagabond's current clearing of all enemies, but completely removes that clearing from play for the rest of the game.
  • One-Man Army: The Arbiter Vagabond is the only Vagabond who can get five swords, enabling him to fight up to five times with maximum damage.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The Scoundrel Vagabond.
  • Playing Both Sides: The Instigator Vagabond.
  • The Power of Hate: The Lizard Cult's Acolytes allow them to do conspiracies based on who are the outcast creatures. Those conspiracies get even better if the outcast is hated.
  • Resources Management Gameplay:
    • The Lizard Cult has to a draft a hand.
    • The Riverfolk Company has to cleverly manage their funds.
  • Slave Race: The forest folks again. The most used color of a round will determine the Outcast.
  • Warrior Monk: The Lizard Cult, especially after gaining some Acolytes.
  • Zerg Rush: The Lizard Cult can pop up almost everywhere.

Root: The Underworld expansion contains examples of:

  • Everyone Has a Special Move: Each of the Duchy Ministers give you a different ability, with the power of each ability increasing with rank.
  • Made of Explodium: Some of the Plot tokens may be bombs.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Trying to Expose the Plots.
  • No-Sell: Much like the Vagabond, the Corvid Conspiracy can freely move to any adjacent clearing regardless of who rules which clearing.
  • Properly Paranoid: Because you don't know what the Conspiracy's Plots are until you've either guessed it correctly or it's been removed from play, and they can be activated at the start of the Conspiracy's turn as long as the clearing has a Corvid warrior in it, players should be wary of moving into clearings with face-down Plots.
  • Schmuck Bait: In regards to the Not the Intended Use strategy above, wily Conspiracy players can trick opponents into needlessly giving up cards by placing other Plots into empty clearings, then goading other players into making an incorrect exposure guess.
  • Shamed by a Mob: The Price of Failure, which forces you to deactivate your highest-ranking Minister and remove their crown from the game permanently, effectively reducing the number of ministers you can activate for the rest of the game.
  • Shell Game: The Corvid Conspiracy can swap Plot tokens to confuse the other players.
  • Trap Master: The Corvid Conspiracy and their Plot tokens.
  • Zerg Rush: The core strategy of the Duchy is to recruit new soldiers en masse, then use your tunnels to effectively teleport them to virtually any location on the map, overwhelming your opponents with sudden, unexpected swarms of mole people. This strategy is best suited to victory by Dominance, which is further reinforced by how difficult it is to earn VP with the Duchy compared to the other factions.

Root: The Marauder expansion contains examples of:

  • Church Militant: The Keepers in Iron.
  • Base on Wheels: Instead of creating buildings as bases, the Keepers in Iron put down Waystations instead, which can be moved again afterward.
  • Foil: The two factions introduced are nearly opposite in every way. The rats follow a bloodthirsty warlord who washes over the woodlands ravaging everything standing in their way. The badgers are knights returning from exile, living with the land and doing battles only to reclaim lost holy relics. The rats favour amassing a large army to overwhelm the other factions through sheer numbers and aggression alone. The badgers are discouraged from having too large an army but instead are much more powerful while their warriors are defending a relic. The Lord of the Hundreds is moody, with eight different abilities depending on their current whim, and is also the only faction leader who is also a warrior token. The Keepers in Iron appear to be perpetually stoic, and is seemingly without a leader.
  • Frontline General: The Lord of the Hundreds is a Warlord who gets his own warrior piece and is encouraged to be in the thick of things.
  • MacGuffin: The Keepers' goal. They collect lost relics to bring back to their Waystations to earn points and win.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: The expansion in a nutshell. The Lord of the Hundreds is able to amass the largest army of any faction alarmingly fast. The Keepers in Iron on the other hand is heavily discouraged from having too great a number in one place, living off the land self-sufficiently (losing one warrior per turn for every stack with more than three warriors), with the upside being that with the help of relics and their own playstyle, their warriors are much more durable and can rack up more actions per turn.
  • Red Is Violent: The colour of the rats, and their playstyle is the most aggressive by far. The game does not even mince word about how the titular lord is a violent and despotic menace.
  • Swarm of Rats: Since the faction's playstyle kind of boils down to amassing lots and lots of warriors and destroying everything nearby, sooner or later, they will turn into a gigantic swarm of red warriors, rolling over everything unfortunate enough to be in their path.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Relics for the Keepers in Iron. Their Devout Knights ability makes the badgers incredibly powerful. While they are fighting with a relic, they freely ignore a single damage every battle, which means if used offensively, they can very well walk away from many fights they start with little to no loss to their own numbers. However, doing so means they hold off on turning in their relics for score, necessary to actually win the game, and the relics paint a giant target for every other player to try to snatch, because destroying it not only deny points from the Keepers, it nets the other player twice the number of points they normally get from destroying tokens.
  • Zerg Rush: Lord of the Hundreds. It's in the name.

Root: The Clockwork expansion contains examples of:

  • Coop Multiplayer: There's a coop mode against the different bots.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The whole bots.
  • Tabletop Game A.I.: Root received two expansions adding automated players to it, with the first being the Mechanical Marquise from The Riverfolk Expansion, which automated one of the asymmetrical factions of the game (Marquise de Cat). The original Mechanical Marquise was, however, widely considered unplayable, so a fan-driven Better Bot Project produced a complete overhaul of it, as well as automating the other three OG factions. All four of these were then made official by Leder Games in The Clockwork Expansion, containing Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Electric Eyrie, Automated Alliance, and the Vagabot (while the BBP has since also automated all expansion factions).

Root: The Exiles and Partisans Deck contains examples of:

  • Brainwashed: The Propaganda Bureau card emulates the Lizard Cult's Convert conspiracy.
  • No-Sell: Several of the craftable cards allow the players to bend the rules, e.g. Boat Builders, Corvid Planners

Root: Vagabond Pack contains examples of:


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