Leder Games, publisher of Root, recently announced the competitive woodland board game’s next expansion will be launching a Kickstarter campaign on February 23rd.
Root: The Marauder Expansion will be the fourth boxed expansion released by the US-based design team and marks a slight shift in how self-described “Root czar” Cole Wehrle and the rest of Leder Games add to the base experience.
“Instead of just building something that sounded cool, we wanted to make sure the game grew in a way that responded to how it was being played,” Wehrle said in a post to the BoardGameGeek forums. “Root was and is very much a living product, and we want to be sensitive to the community that has gathered around it.”
Wehrle had specifically been watching Root drafters and players modifying the rules to suit one-on-one play, noting how they “bolted on” fixes and amendments to the base rules to make their desired playstyle work, according to a February 2nd livestream with owner Patrick Leder. This became the initial design thrust for the Marauder Expansion and led to a boxed product Wehrle and Leder said reinforces and grows Root’s ecosystem of play more than any before it.
In the past, factions such as the Riverfolk Company’s otters and the Lizard Cult provided more options for experienced players, while the Clockwork bots simulated AI opponents for groups that don’t quite hit their desired size. The Marauder Box introduces two factions - the eponymous Rat Marauder and the Stone Seeker Badgers - that offer new choices that work at any player count, codifying rules for drafting and alternate setups that allow advanced players a more stable platform for experimentation and flesh out a dedicated two-player game mode.
Dicebreaker previously reported design details for both the new factions and rules to be introduced in the Warlord Expansion. During the livestream, Wehrle said things haven’t changed much as the box moves into the production phase. He and Leder spent the majority of the stream showcasing official minor factions, something players have been homebrewing almost since Root’s initial launch.
Four minor factions will ship in Marauder - though Wehrle hinted more could pop up during the Kickstarter campaign - and provide complexity to either a two-player game or a more complex setup for larger groups. Each faction is represented by a double-sided card with varying power, and player factions can spend influence to secure their aid using influence, a new resource that benefits the losing player. This counteracts runaway victories and gives the underdog a critical edge.
Each major faction will be represented with a colour-coded minor one, including the Vagabond. The Thief steals relics from the ruins in its low-power mode but flips to a roaming Bear that fights all who cross it but will trade items with those who forge a friendship. Another important minor faction, The Initiative and the Treaty, introduce an element of tempo control by allowing one faction in two-player games to take an extra turn or force two factions to cease hostilities in larger count games.
These minor factions, which come with their own custom meeples, differ from the Clockwork bots by design. Wehrle said bots were always meant to simulate another player sitting across the table, while factions change Root into more of a wargame.
The Kickstarter for Root: The Marauder Expansion will launch on February 23rd and run for three weeks. More details about what’s included and any stretch goals will be announced then.