I sat down for a few hours at the table tonight. I had a couple pints throughout the games and enjoyed Root for the first time at the table.
The first game I played two-handed (as I often do), just to get the grasp of the non-digital Root play. I played the "Marquise de Cat" and "Eyrie Dynasty" factions so I could learn both without the help of the PC. And to be honest, it wasn't that bad at all!! Having the prior plays on the PC definitely helped, but also the player boards are foolproof in terms of the steps to take each turn. I was VERY impressed by that!
So... The Eyrie won. Only by 4 points though! 🤣
By that time it was 9pm. That's too late to start a movie with, Shawna. But not too late for another pint and my first try using the Root: Clockwork Expansion for my first OFFICIAL solo game of Root at the table.
Let me start by summing up my overall experience with Root at the table....
Seriously. I absolutely loved every minute of it. 😁
Like the base game player boards, the "Bot" player boards are just as straight forward. Everything to do in each turn is right there in front of you. If you still have a question, you dive into the "Rootbotics Laws" book and 9/10 times you have your answer. With my experience with the Scythe "Automa" now, I honestly found this even a bit easier (with some similar aspects at times). In Scythe, you learn the symbols AND the priorities of the Automa movement and preferences. In Root: Clockwork Expansion, it's all right there in words... on the bot's player board... in front of your face. 😀 I'm not saying I don't like the Automa system (many of you know how much I absolutely love it!!! I'm saying, this is on the same level - which says alot in my books).
The game started out reasonably well. Very quickly I realized, that the "Electric Eyrie" are agressive birds. They move quick, and they're ruthless. They know what they want, so you better be ready to defend AND do your best to slow them down!
... I did not after a while. 🤣
In Root, it's the first faction to hit 30 VPs who wins. The game was not short by any means, but I still feel like even if I had more time I wouldn't have beaten those blue birds! I lost 30-16. Ouch. But loved every FRIGGIN' minute! Here's a shot of the forest map at the end of the game. I just kept getting pushed back closer and closer to my keep.
The other thing I was really impressed with, with the solo factions (at least with the Electric Eyrie) is they have 3 different difficulty levels. But that's not all! There's also four (if I remember right) additional little abilities the Electric Eyrie can play with at any given level. In the "Rootbotics" manual it says to choose 0-4 of these ability cards. Naturally, I chose zero for my first attempt. Yet even at Easy I was slaughtered. Awesome!!
This is simple math regarding the solo Root experience with the Clockwork expansion:
3-difficulty levels for the bots
up to 4 different added abilities
A @#$% ton of plays that will never be same!!!
THAT is so important to me in a game. After many plays on the PC, and just 1 solo play at the table, this game has moved to one of my favs in my collection already. 😀