The Board Game Strategizes! Root: The Marquise de Cat!

With Root freshly in the eyes of gamers again with their new expansion funded on Kickstarter, I figured I would come back and talk about each of the factions, what works for me, and what might work for you.

I am in no way an expert, but I do love this game and want people to have the best experience they can.

With Root, in general, there are so many different ways it can play out, and you need to have a fluid strategy depending on the factions you’re playing against, but also WHO you’re playing against.

So I’m going to target this at newish players as you will develop your own strategy as you play and familiarize yourself with the other factions, but especially how to maximize your faction with the cards you start with.

Feel free to go back and have a read/listen at one of the first episodes I did, which explain ed in detail how to play and some strategy advice:

https://theboarddame.com/2018/09/08/episode-5-1-root-the-marquise-de-cat/

Now, what has changed rules wise? The Field Hospital! And what a HUGE change. With the previous rules, you had to spend a card for EACH defeated warrior to be sent back to your keep, rather than your pool of warriors. Now you only have to spend one card for any amount defeated during that battle.

Why does this really matter? I’ll get to that a little later, but for now, let’s talk some basic strategy. While much hasn’t changed in the way of strategy since my first episode, I’ll still run through what I feel is your best chance of winning from the jump.

Firstly, the Marquis start all over the board. Every clearing. This might seem good, but it’s not going to help you much when you get stomped because one warrior isn’t much of a presence after all.  During set up, you’ll have your keep in a corner clearing and three in either that clearing or adjacent clearings. I typically start in a corner with the most available spots to build. Why? This is your bread and butter. BUILD BUILD BUILD. So choosing a spot where you can maximize this without having to spread out as much is the most beneficial to you.

What you will focus on the first few turns is moving all your warriors out of the far away clearings by using you March action. Picking up warriors along the way, and reinforcing your line of defense around the 4-5 ish clearings around your keep.

Build a couple sawmills and recruiters to start. Get those troops out there in large numbers and get some wood flowing, you need it to build, and like I said, building is your bread and butter. The more warriors have, the more protected you are. Remember that each token gives an opponent one VP when they are removed from the board. So a plentiful sawmill is a juicy target.

After that, I would have a look at what cards you have that will generate some nice victory points for you for crafting, or for defense and go from there. Once you’ve maxed out on buildings in clearings, you have to turn your focus to crafting to keep victory points coming in or you’ll stall.

If there’s some good spots close by with tokens on them, it’s not a bad idea to march out there, fight them, and retreat. The reality is that this game is a whack a mole game, you have that largest forces and so that means you will have to fight to keep others in check as well. But fear not, with the new and improved field hospital, you’re just one card away from saving all your warriors in the event that you lose them in battle.

As mentioned earlier, this change to the Field Hospital is HUGE. For a number of reasons, but particularly because cards are such a precious commodity for any faction, to only have to spend one to save all warriors defeated in battle is big.

In my opinion, one of the bigger swings in victory conditions brought on because of the Field Hospital is the cats viability to win with Dominance. You have the largest army, so in my opinion, the most likely to win via Dominance, and even more so now when you’re losses suffered are easier to recover from.

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The reality is that there are only so many places to build. You need BIG armies to protect your buildings so that you can craft or you will stall in the game not to mention how juicy those spots become later game when they are full of wood and nowhere to spend the wood.

Now with an improved field Hospital, I would encourage someone playing the Marquis to try to win via Dominance. Especially when playing a 3 player game. At higher player counts, it’s a bit tougher as you’re subjected to the attack of every other player before it comes back around to you. But worth giving it a go because of the change in the field hospital.

Much of your game will start the same, building recruiters, getting your warriors out there and protecting your clearings. Once you have a solid crew, a couple cards crafted for defense, maybe an ambush card in hand, March into the clearings you need for dominance, preferably one matching your keep location and hunker down.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or message me! Also let me know what strategies have worked for you!

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