Episode 5.3: Root: The Woodland Alliance

Hey everyone, and welcome to The Board Dame, I’m your host, Jenna. This is the third part in a 6 part series on root, the asymmetrical battle game by Leder games. In this episode, i’ll be discussion how The Woodland Alliance play, followed by some advice to maximize your chance at winning with this clan. Not that this one seems to need much help.

The Woodland Alliance works to gain the sympathy of the various oppressed creatures of the Woodland. Each time the Alliance places a sympathy token, they score victory points. The more sympathy on the map, the more victory points they score. Gaining the sympathy of the people requires supporters, cards on the Alliance’s faction board. These supporters can also be put towards violent ends, inciting outright revolt. A revolt establishes a new base, allowing the Alliance to train officers that increase their military flexibility.

A clearing with a sympathy token is called a sympathetic clearing. These clearings are critical to you. First, placing sympathy is the main way you score victory points.

The Woodland Alliance has the following faction abilities: When defending in battle, the Alliance uses the higher roll and the attacker uses the lower roll. So regardless of when they attack or defend, they will always take the highest roll in battle.

They also generate supporters from enemy factions moving into a sympathetic cleaning that matches that clearing type.

Enemy factions must also give The Woodland Alliance a card matching the clearing type went they remove a sympathy token.

So this means if an enemy faction moves into a sympathetic clearing, and then attacks The Woodland Alliance, they’re having to give them two cards matching that clearing. Making it that much easier for them to play supporters to just place those tokens right back.

If the enemy doesn’t have a card of the matching clearning type, they ust give the woodland alliance a bird card. If the enemy doesn’t have a bird card, then they show their hand to The Woodland Alliance and The Woodland Alliance player can then draw either one or two cards from the draw pile to add to their supporter stack.

Keep in mind, your supporter stack isn’t part of your hand, you can only spend supporters for suit, you could never craft a supporter, or play an ambush supporter to deal hits.

As I mentioned earlier, placing sympathy tokens is going to be your primary action for much of the start of the game until you’ve placed enough sympathy tokens that it’s worth revolting.

Both of your actions during Birdsong can be done as many times as you wish. Now, the first thing you can do during Birdsong is revolt. Spend two supporters matching a sympathetic clearing, then remove all enemy pieces there. Including round tokens if there are any. Place your base matching that clearing type, then place warrriors there equal to the total number of sympathetic clearings matching the nation of the revolted clearing. Include the revolted clearing itself when counting these clearings.

This means you’re going to want to have several sympathy tokens in a specific clearing type before you revolt. For instance, if you had a sympathy token in 3 mouse clearings, and revolted, you’d place 3 warriors in that revolted clearing.

Remember to gain victory points for any square tokens removed from that clearing.

Next, you can place sympathy tokens in a clearing. Discard either 1, 2, or 3 cards matching that clearing type depending where that token is on your sympathy track, you’ll find the card requirement above the sympathy tokens on your player board.

The only caveat to this is that you have to spend an extra card if there are 3 or more of a single enemy faction in the clearing you wish to place a sympathy token there.

During phase 2, daylight, you can craft cards based on clearings that are sympathetic. So if you want to craft a card with a fox requirement, you must first have a sympathy token in a fox clearing, and so on.

Next you can mobilize by adding a card from your hand to add it to your supporter deck. You can only do this once per turn.

Lastly, you can train, spend a card from your hand, matching the type of base you have built, so fox, mouse or bunny, and place a warrior into the officers box. This warrior is now an officer, which will allow you to do differerent millitary actions during the Evening phase.

During the evening phase, you can take millitary actions up to the amount of officers you have. The actions are as follows, you can either move, following normal move restrictions, you can battle, following normal battle rules, you can recruit, which is placing a warrior in a clearing with a base, or you can organize.

To organize, you remove one of your warriors from an umsympathetic clearing to place a sympathy token there. This is a great way to get out those sympathy tokens later in the game without having to spend supporters. As this will get more and more expensive, especially if there are many enemy troops there. Then score the revealed victory points.

After you’ve finishing military operations, the last thing you will do is draw one card, plus any uncovered draw bonuses, then if you have moe than 5 cards, discard down to 5. Remember that your supporters do not count towards this hand limit.

If you happen to have one of your bases destroyed, you have to remove all supporters matching that type of base. So again, mouse, fox or bunny and also any bird cards. Then you must remove half of your officers rounded up. If you have no bases left on the board, you must discard down to 5 supporters. This hurts a lot!

And that’s how you play The Woodland Alliance.

In poling done on social media sites, The Woodland Alliance seem to be the faction that wins most often. The fact that they are constantly gaining 2 supporters when an enemy moves in to attack them, then also always getting the highest of the rolls, it’s really really really difficult to get them off the board once they’ve build a base and have warriors out. Typically, you’ll want to try to get rid of those sympathy tokens whenever they pop up.

Because they have no warriors, it doesn’t matter that they get the highest roll, you always roll a plus one against an undefended circle or square token. It really sucks having to give them cards, but if you can build up your troops, forcing them to have to spend more and more cards for their sympathy tokens, you’ll have a good chance.

As for winning with them, you’re going to want to spread sympathy early on, once you’ve gotten sympathy in a few matching clearings, you’re going to want to revolt, then train to get officers so that you can perform military actions by moving your warriors out to then organize. This is key when it comes to gaining lots of victory points without having to spend any supporters.

If you can do this in a Marquise de Cat clearing in particular where they have a lot of wood and buildings, you’re going to gain a lot of victory points for revolting there, as you will gain a victory point for each token removed.

As always please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at The Board Dame. Please leave me a comment or any feedback and let me know if you have a game you’d like me to talk about. Thanks again!

5 thoughts on “Episode 5.3: Root: The Woodland Alliance

Add yours

    1. When you place a sympathy token, you must spend supporters matching the suit of the chosen clearing. “”The number of supporters that must be spent is listed above the sympathy token.””

      You must spend another matching supporter if the target clearing has at least three warriors belonging to another player.


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