They arrived!! Very quickly I might add! 3-days from ordering to my door. Wow! Well done, Board Game Bliss and Canada Post!
Everdell was exactly what I had anticipated in terms of size, presentation etc... What I didn't expect (quite so much) was how fun the game was and how easy it is to jump into. Pretty straight forward worker placement (always good) with lots of options to choose from each turn in terms of what you do with your action. Speaking of actions, you have 3 options each turn:
-Place a worker
-Play a card
-Prepare for the next season
See? Simple. 😀
I did not play solo yet. I just went through a two handed game to get the idea of how to play.
The board itself is a very cool shape and everything has it's place. The big "jut out" at the bottom of the board is where the discarded cards go as you play.
Here's a closer look at the "Ever-Tree". It's the one (minor) negative for me. Yes, it looks cool and it is handy in a way. On top, you have your additional workers and their season bonus. Drop down a branch level and you have the event cards. And finally at the base of the Ever-Tree's great trunk is the draw deck. It looks great, is functional and thematic. However I'm not a fan of cardboard, 3D "stuff" in games. My experience with my Wingspan birdfeeder dice tower is the prime example; they don't last. No matter how hard you try. 😕 And I take care of my things. Although I will say, the "Ever-tree" feels reasonably solid for now.
The workers / "Ani-meeples" are just great! Yesterday I used the squirrels and hedgehogs! 😁 All the components from the workers to the resources (wood, resin, pebbles and berries) are all very well done.
Speaking of well done - Everdell's artwork is absolutely beautiful. I love it! The game is full of this entire world (Everdell) of woodland creatures, buildings etc... Fantastic! You can't help but smile when you have it all at the table. Just look at the little 'chip sweep' in the meadow here... 😊
I know Everdell will be enjoyed by my wife and girls without a doubt... whenever I can get them to play.
First of all, the "ani-meeples". They're just awesome but in a different way compared to Everdell's. I love them! From left to right the factions are: Marquise de Cat, Eyerie, Woodland Alliance and the Vagabond. Each faction playing completely different. Part of what makes Root so great.
My first shock came before the ani-meeples (I knew what they looked like already).... It was the size of the box! I was expecting bigger - at least Everdell size. But it's pretty compact. And it's a heavy little bugger too!!!
The board itself is a fair size. It folds down a few times to be smaller, however when I took it out it wouldn't sit completely flat because of this, so I'll have to keep an eye on that. To my delight though, the board was actually much more beautiful than expected. The colours are nice and bold and it looks really good on the table. 🤗 The opposite side is the winter map of the forest, which is suggested for more advanced play (and is a more randomized setup).
The next surprise was the size of the player boards....
Like when you fold the game board down to put back in the box, these boards JUST fit into the box. I think that would honestly be my only suggestion is to make the box 1/4-1/2" bigger to be able to get the board and player boards out a little easier. Like the "Ever-Tree", this is not a deal breaker for me whatsoever, just an observation.
The player boards are nice and big and quite nice to look at. They're double sided as well.
-On the back is how to setup your faction, all it's components etc...
-On the front (shown in the pic) is your actions in each phase of your turn, components trackers and all the info you need to play with your faction.
Root is definitely a heavy game (3.71/5 complexity on BGG). Yet the amount of information you get on how to play is the best I've seen from ANY game. In addition to all the help on your player boards, there are also cards (4 for each faction) that you can hand out to those playing the game. This gives ALL players the idea of how your opponents faction is going to be going about their game and trying to win. Cool! If that's not enough, you also have 3-manuals with the game!
-Walking through Root takes you through a sample of gameplay, allowing you to follow along and "learn by doing" to get the basics down.
-Learning to play is a rulebook with LOTS of illustrations and information on how to play the game
-The Law of Root goes more in depth into the terminology, rule breakdowns etc without the fancy illustrations and so on... This is the hardcore gamer-stuff here ladies and gentleman.
I plan to utilize the latter two of the three mentioned. Although with having it on the PC, I should be able to move to specific rules that I need to refresh on.
When I unboxed the Clockwork Expansion, I was quite surprised to see very little in the box (which is a similar size just about as the base game box, just a bit less height and weight). The "Bot-factions" each have their own player boards (same size and look as the base game boards). Each faction is a 'bot-version' of the original 4-factions and with different illustrations which are cool. Think animal-robot-war machines. 😉 Otherwise, the only other components in the box are priority tokens for the various clearings on the map (to help with the bots decisions at times), a few cards for the bot-factions and the bot-rulebook called "The Law of Rootbotics". That's it! Everything else would come from the base game and knowledge of the base game.
I didn't have time to play around with tabletop Root last night, so I can't wait to do that today!!! This for sure is a game that I want to play more at the table and understand deeper how each faction plays, before I even attempt to teach this. As was said on a podcast I listened to recently disussing Root;
"Don't let the cute looking animals and 'woodland creatures' premise fool you! This is a heavy game. But a great one!"