'Root' Could Become the Next Big Tabletop Board Game

Tabletop game enthusiasts are drooling over Root, a soon-to-be released board game that pits four different factions with wildly different goals in a Redwall-esque forest setting.

The new board game, which will officially be released later this year by Leder Games, is an "asymmetric" board game made for 2-4 players. Each player will control one of four different factions, each of which have wildly different goals and abilities. Not only does this mean that players will have a unique experience every time they play the game, it also means they won't necessarily be able to rely on the same strategies depending on which factions their opponents choose.

At the core of Root's gameplay is a forest ruled over by Marquise de Cat, who is attempting to exploit the forest and its resources. Rising in direct opposition to the Marquise de Cat is the Woodland Alliance, a group of otherwise peaceful creatures trying to incite rebellion against their feline oppressor. There's also the Eyrie, a group of avian rivals to the Marquise that are trying to assert their own control over the forest, and the Vagabond, a solo adventurer looking for fame and fortune in the woods.

Each of the four factions are competing for victory points, which can be obtained in different ways, depending on the faction. For instance, the Marquise gains points by building lumber mills and collecting resources, while the Eyrie is trying to build roosts to assert their control over the forest. Each faction also has different abilities and turn lengths — for instance, the amount of actions the Eyrie takes gradually grows until its leader can no longer fulfill its promises, while the Marquise has a set amount of actions per turn but sees its influence over the board gradually decrease over time.

What makes Root unique is that it combines multiple styles of games. There's elements of board control, resource management, battles and even diplomacy all wrapped into one. There's also a level of strangely pleasing co-dependence in the game, as certain factions need each other in order to thrive.

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Root was successfully Kickstarted last year, and Leder Games has released the game to backers and at conventions. Root will be released at retail locations later this year, with an expansion (that adds two more factions and provides more gameplay options) planned for release in the winter. The game could become the next big tabletop game, especially among players who are looking for variety in gameplay and a different experience every time they open up the box.

Root will cost $39.99 and can be played by two to four players.