Episode 5.2: Root: The Eyrie Dynasties

Hey everyone, and welcome to The Board Dame, I’m your host, Jenna. This is the second part in a 6 part series on root, the asymmetrical battle game by Leder Games. In this episode, i’ll be discussion how The Eyrie Dynasties play, followed by some advice to maximize your chance at winning with this clan.

The Eyrie Dynasties wish to restore their once-dignified kind to their former glory in the Woodland by resettling the forest clearings. During their Evening, the Eyrie score victory points from their number of roosts on the map. The greater their presence, the greater their gains. However, the Eyrie are bound by their Decree, an ever-increasing set of mandated actions promised by their leader. Each turn, they must take all of the actions on their Decree, or else fall into turmoil

The eyrie dynasties have the following faction rules: They are Lords of the Forest. They rule a clearing even when tied for presence. However, their Disdain for Trade means they score less when crafting items. Infact, the most they can score from crafting is one victory point per item crafted.

The eerie dynasty gains most of their points by having a lot of their roosts out on the board. They gain little from crafting, and must complete each action in their decree or go into turmoil. Which will cost you victory points. Eyrie is unique in this sense as they are forced into doing actions each turn based on whatever cards are in their decree.

The decree has 4 different actions slots, Recruit, Move, Battle, and Build. At the start of the game, you will choose a leader from the 4 options available and you’ll place two 2 bird viziers in your decree based on the leader you’ve chosen. This leader will also have a special ability. Remember, you must complete an action for each card in your decree or go into turmoil. I’ll explain that a tad later.

Let’s get right into Birdson for the Eyrie Dynasty. You must draw a card if your hand is empty, then you must play one or two cards in your decree.

When playing a card in your decree, you will likely have many different clearing type cards other than bird cards, which are wild. This means if you place a bunny card in your recruit decree slot, you will have to recruit in a bunny clearing with a roost, if you add another card to that, lets say a fox card, you will have to then recruit in a bunny clearing and a fox clearing when resolving your decree.

If you  have no roosts on the map during birdsong, you will place a roost and 3 warriors in the clearing with the fewest total pieces.

During the second phase, Daylight, you can craft a card using roosts. Crafting requires that you have a roost, or two, or three or four in the matching clearings indicated on the card you wish to craft.

Now, the fun part. You must resolve the decree, in it’s entirety from left to right, or go into turmoil. Note that the cards in the different action slots of the decree can be played in any order, but the actions itself must always be Recruit, then move, then battle, then build. If you have no cards in that decree slot, you would simply skip that action.

This means that you will have two viziers that were placed when you selected your leader, and 1 to 2 cards placed during birdsong. So this means, you will need to complete 3-4 actions on your first turn to not go into turmoil. As you can imagine, each round this continues, this will become increasingly difficult to do. Not to mention, you will eventually be very card starved throughout the game.

Bird cards are definitly your friend as they are wild, however, if you cannot complete those actions, you go into turmoil and will lose a victory point for each bird card. This means, right off the bat, you will lost two victory points each time you go into turnmoil because of your viziers.

If you’ve successfully resolved your decree, move into the third face, the evening. In this phase, score VPS in the rightmost empy spae on the roost track. The more you build, the more victory points you will get each evening phase.

Now, if you weren’t able to complete your decree, which will happen at least once, you go into turmoil. You will lose a victory point for each bird card in your decree, including viziers, then discard your entire decree, except for viziers, then flip your leader face down and choose a new one. Your leader cards should all be in a stack face up so that you can easily tell which you’ve used as you won’t be able to select that leader again until you’ve used all of them. Hopefully you don’t go into turmoil 5 times, however, it could happen, but at that point, you’re likely not going to be winning. Then lastly, immediately end daylight, and goto evening.

So even if you go into turmoil, you still score victory points based on the rightmost empy space on the roost track.

The last thing you will do in the evening is draw a card, plus one card per draw card action space uncovered from building roosts.

And that’s how you play the Eyrie Dynasty. In terms of actions and complexity, The Eyrie is probably one of the easiest to play. It’s new player friendly, and can do really well based on the consistent Victory points gained in each evening phase. However, you do have to plan in advance, to make sure that you can complete your decree. The biggest problem with The Eyrie is that you are so dependant on cards that you pull, and sometimes, you just don’t get anything that can help you. So it’s the faction that has the least control over what they do in that sense.

As an example, my first game, playing as The Eyrie Dynasties, I didn’t get a bird card til at least half way through the game. But I decided because of that at the time, that I needed to take an aggressive approach and use the charismatic leader to start, his two decree starting spots are the recruit and battle spots. This allowed me to get a lot of warriors out on the board very quickly as you will place two warriors when you recruit. With the battle action early on, and the ability to recruit large numbers, I was able to control a larger number of the clearings near me by eliminating the Marquise de Cat, with only one of their warriors on each of the clearings, and me being able to break ties with my Eyrie ability, it seemed like the best way to be able to hold down the roosts.  Which you need for everything except building. Regardless of the cards you’ve drawn, I would still recommend starting with this leader. Those early double recruits and battles are HUGE.

With that being said, you do need to build to recruit, having control of 3 different types of clearings at least gives you the opportunity to be able to recruit and move in any of your clearings. Most of the time it’s more important to complete your decree than it is losing one of your warriors. So I have sent out a warrior to an enemy clearing to sacrifice them for the greater good, so that I could complete my battle actions. Battles aren’t hard to find, so that part of your decree is at least easy. Even if it does mean losing.

It’s also a good way to be able to knock off those woodland alliance tokens. Giving them a card is never fun, especially because you’re starved for cards, a lot of the time, I didn’t have cards at this point, so they woul draw from the draw pile, but if they revolt and remove one of the clearings in a specific type you need. You’ll likely go into turmoil as you won’t be able to recruit in those clearings.

In my opinion, the build action is the hardest to maintain, because if you build too quickly, you will run out of places to put your roosts, as you can only place one roost per clearing that you rule. So that means constantly trying to battle, and win, so that you can place your roosts. It’s much easier in my opinion to hunker down on 4 or so of them early on, then 3 mid games and just keep raking in the points.

It’s also worth noting, because you can only gain one Victory point per crafted item, unless you have the builder leader card in play, it’s not really worth crafting items, just for the vagaond to take them. So there’s a royal claim card in the game that you can craft that will give you a victory point for each clearing you control, but you must have control of 4 clearings, one of each type, fox, mouse and bunny and a fourth random clearing. This card is HUGE for anyone really, but being that it isn’t an item, this is even better for you.

Inevitably you will fall into turmoil, but thisi sn’t always the end of the world, as long as you can mitigate victory point loss. Remember that even though bird cards are wild and make your game easier, you’ll lose a lot more victory points when you go into turmoil.

All in all, the Eyrie dynasties are really a slave to the cards they draw, and as you progress, you have less and less cards at your disposal, so you have to prioritize your actions, mine seem to work best in this order. Move, then recruit are the two easiest to complete, then battle being a close third, then build being the most difficult to accomplish late game.

As always, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at The Board Dame! Next time we talk about The Woodland Alliance. Thanks again!

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