Root is a game of adventure and war in which 2 to 4 (6 with the 'Riverfolk' expansion) players battle for control of a vast wilderness.
The nefarious Marquise de Cat has seized the great woodland, intent on harvesting its riches. Under her iron rule, the many creatures of the forest have banded together.
This Woodland Alliance will seek to strengthen their presence by building hideouts and launching missions to subvert the rule of the cats. In this effort, the Alliance may enlist the help of the Vagabonds, who are able to move through the more dangerous woodland paths. Though some may sympathize with the Alliance’s hopes and dreams, these wanderers are old enough to remember the great birds of prey who once controlled the woods.
Meanwhile, at the edge of the region, the proud, squabbling Eyrie have found a new commander whom they hope will lead their faction to reclaim their ancient birthright. The stage is set for a contest that will decide the fate of the great woodland. It is up to the players to decide which group will ultimately take root.
In Root, each player takes on a Faction that has very unique capabilities and win-conditions. You win by scoring 30 points on the track, and you can get points by destroying tokens and buildings, crafting an item, as well as each faction's unique ways of scoring. The game employs multi-use cards which strongly drives this asymmetrical design. Faction and Win Conditions:
- Cats: The Marquise directs her cats to build up her frontier economy while attempting to police the vast wilderness. By collecting and guarding her wood supplies, the Marquise must build workshops, lumber mills, and recruiters while crafting valuable infrastructure improvements.
- Eyrie: The Eyrie muster their hawks to take back the woods. They must build roosts and capture as much territory as possible before they collapse back into squabbling and turmoil, choosing a new commander to guide them.
- Alliance: The Alliance hide in the shadows, recruiting forces and hatching conspiracies. They begin slowly and build toward a dramatic late-game presence—but only if they can manage to keep the other players in check.
- Vagabond: The Vagabond plays all sides of the conflict for his own gain. He aids or fights other factions to earn their trust or ire, while picking through forest ruins in search of new equipment, all in service of his hidden, mysterious quest.