The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Talking about meatspace games

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-16-2019, 12:05 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default Redwall Civ: Let's Play Root!

Hey kids!



Let's play Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right!

Root is another asymmetric game by Leder Games, which you might remember as the fellas what did that game Vast: The Crystal Caverns. Root here is significantly less asymmetric than Vast, and the aesthetic is different too. Each of the players will be heading up a faction of Redwallesque critterpeople vying for control over the woods. In short, it's a tactics game where everyone plays the game slightly differently. While I appreciate the amazingly janky gameplay mess that is Vast, Root maintains a lot of common rules (with ample documentation) that help keep the game understandable even for relatively newer players, although it's still a strategy game.

WELCOME TO THE WOODLANDS

Let's hit the basics of the game.

First of all: victory points. They work like they do in most games, the first to 30 (from 0, of cours) wins. There's a lot of ways to get them, but everyone can do it by either crafting items or destroying tokens or buildings.

Next, warriors. Warriors are the currency of conflict. Every faction except the Vagabond needs warriors to attack with and maintain rule over certain clearings. (They are also relatively expendable, as defeating warriors doesn't award VP innately.) Let's look at a small subset of the board here.



We'll start with the clearing marked A. There are more Marquise de Cat warriors here than any other faction, which means they rule this clearing. Rule matters for a lot of things, many of them specific to each faction. In particular, placing buildings (like the sawmill there) usually requires you to rule the clearing. Buildings also contribute towards rule, but tokens (like the Woodland Alliance's circular support token in B) don't. Tokens also don't take up building slots, I just messed up with placing that token. In the event of a tie, nobody rules the clearing unless a unique rule says they do.

Rule also matters for if you want to move. When you move, you can take any number of your warriors from one clearing and send them all to another clearing via the road, but you have to rule either the origin or destination. So the Marquise de Cat could move their soldiers no problem, but the Eyrie Dynasties soldiers in A can't head out unless they rule the destination, which means they can only head to C.

Warriors also give you the capability to battle. Let's say the Woodland Alliance in B is worried about their base, and so wishes to attack the Marquise warriors there. When you battle, you first choose a clearing and someone in there to mess up. If they have an ambush card (more on those in a second) they can use that here. Let's assume they don't, though. The Woodland Alliance rolls both of the dice in the game (for those keeping score at home, the dice are equally weighted to produce a result of 0, 1, 2, or 3. In D&D terms, that's 1d4-1) and takes the higher roll for the hits they deal, while the defender takes the lower. Let's say we got a 3 and a 2. Both sides deal hits up to the number of warriors there, which means that both sides lose 2 warriors. This takes out the Marquise soldiers, but leaves the Alliance's base defenseless. Whenever you attack a faction with no warriors within a clearing, you can deal an extra hit, which means even if you roll snake eyes, attacking a defenseless token or structure always results in at least one hit (unless they ambush you). Extra hits like this are also not limited by the warriors you have, which means that if you rolled a 3 against a defenseless enemy, you could potentially deal 4 hits.



In addition to this, everyone draws cards from the same deck, and broadly uses them for the same things. First and most broadly important is the card's suit. As you might've seen, there are four suits (mouse, rabbit, fox, and bird), three of which correspond to the clearings indicated on the board. Many effects that target specific clearings ask for a card matching that clearing. Birds are wild, so you can use them for any clearing.

The top two cards represent cards that can be crafted. Each faction has a different piece they use for crafting, and these pieces have to match the clearings indicated in the upper right and lower left of the card. So in order to craft Bake Sale, you need two of your crafting pieces in rabbit clearings. There's two kinds of crafting cards. Items, like Bake Sale, let you claim an item from the supply (which matters mostly for the Vagabond but also prevents other people from crafting it) and get victory points. Enhancements, like Armorers, instead provide a passive boost that basically does what it says on the card. Some are discarded after they do their thing, while some just permanently give you an extra option. Just remember that you have to craft it first (in this case, with one piece in a fox clearing), you can't play Armorers right out of your hand.

The next two cards are a little fancier. Ambush cards let you spring traps on anyone trying to battle you. Play an ambush card matching the clearing, and you get two extra hits right out of the gate. If they only have the two warriors to attack with, then the combat ends before it begins! The attacker can also foil the ambush by playing a matching ambush card of their own, so it's not 100% surefire, but it's usually enough to seriously slow them down even if they have more than two warriors.

Finally, we have dominance cards. Normally, the win condition is obtaining 30 VP, which can be done by crafting items, smashing enemy buildings and tokens (worth 1 VP each) or doing whatever your faction does. However, you can permanently alter your win condition with a dominance card. Play it from your hand, no crafting required, and instead of points you win by ruling specific kinds of clearing at the start of your turn. It's not always going to win the game, but it can prove a serious thorn in the side of anyone coasting far ahead on VP. (Note that the Vagabond lacks ruling capability and thus cannot win via dominance, but instead can form a coalition. Long story short: they join up with the weakest player and win if they do.) It's important to note that discarded dominance cards can be claimed from the discard by spending a matching card from your hand, so even if you don't draw the one you want, just wait for it to be discarded.

That about covers it for shared mechanics. Rule the clearings, destroy enemy buildings and tokens, craft valuable items, and either get to 30 VP or establish dominance to win!


If you want to play, you will NEED to read the above, and have to choose one of the factions below. I'll be including the two factions from the expansion, and listing them below in rough order of difficulty, but I'd like to point out that I will require at least one of the Marquise de Cat or the Eyrie Dynasties in play so as to avoid things getting too weird. We need a total of four players for this. (Okay, we don't NEED four, but let's get four if we can.)

OUR CAST FOR THIS GAME:
  1. Sprite as the Vagabond
  2. Patrick as Marquise de Cat
  3. JBear as Eyrie Dynasties
  4. Destil as the Riverfolk Company

FACTIONS OF ROOT



Marquise de Cat
  • Complexity: Low
  • Card Wealth: Moderate
  • Crafting Ability: Moderate
  • Aggression: Moderate
  • Faction Makeup: Lots and lots of cats
  • Favorite Game: Ticket to Ride
  • Horrible Political Ideology Made Manifest: Plutocracy

The Marquise de Cat is the most straightforward faction in the game. They basically want to control large swaths of the map by building up their structures and policing the other inhabitants. By far the most numerous faction, but they also struggle to keep up in actions with the others, especially if they lose control of too much of the woodlands.


Eyrie Dynasties
  • Complexity: Low
  • Card Wealth: Low
  • Crafting Ability: Moderate
  • Aggression: High
  • Faction Makeup: Disgraced bird royalty
  • Favorite Game: Robo Rally
  • Horrible Political Ideology Made Manifest: Imperialism

The Eyrie Dynasties lack the raw numbers of the cats, but more than make up for it with their rampup potential. They are bound to a decreed list of actions they must take in sequence, which lets them do a lot of potential stuff in one turn, but risk falling into turmoil should they fail to enact even a single part of it.


Vagabond
  • Complexity: Moderate
  • Card Wealth: Moderate
  • Crafting Ability: Low
  • Aggression: Moderate
  • Faction Makeup: Just the one adventurer
  • Favorite Game: Fallout: New Vegas
  • Horrible Political Ideology Made Manifest: Randian libertarianism

Unlike everyone else, the Vagabond represents a lone adventurer trying to find their place amidst the conflict in the woods. They manage a large supply of items and have to keep their relationships with the other factions in check, either aiding them for new gear or fighting them for an infamous reputation. Note that we can have two players using this faction in a game at once.


Woodland Alliance
  • Complexity: High
  • Card Wealth: Moderate
  • Crafting Ability: High
  • Aggression: Moderate
  • Faction Makeup: Lots of noncombat fox/mouse/rabbit supporters, a handful of elite guerilla warriors
  • Favorite Game: Riot: Civil Unrest
  • Horrible Political Ideology Made Manifest: Anarcho-communism

The Woodland Alliance aims to gain the support of the creatures of the forest through social revolution rather than outright military dominance. They take a long time to get going and lack the board presence of most other factions, but their warriors are nearly unstoppable and they'll always be in the way of the other factions.


The Lizard Cult
  • Complexity: High
  • Card Wealth: High
  • Crafting Ability: High
  • Aggression: Moderate
  • Faction Makeup: Primarily lizards with lots of recent celebrity endorsements
  • Favorite Game: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
  • Horrible Political Ideology Made Manifest: Bro they're literally a cult bro

The Lizard Cult lacks the active ability to control the map through military might, but more than makes up for it with their insidious ability to capitalize on discards and convert enemies to their cause. They tend to want to build a card hand to keep wielding rather than spending cards like everyone else.


The Riverfolk Company
  • Complexity: High
  • Card Wealth: High
  • Crafting Ability: Moderate
  • Aggression: Low
  • Faction Makeup: Otters (noncombatants) + hired mercenaries
  • Favorite Game: Recettear
  • Horrible Political Ideology Made Manifest: Capitalism: war profiteering edition

The Riverfolk Company is less about fighting everyone else and more about offering goods and services to everyone else. They have to be able to read the table and the value of specific actions really well, and are rewarded for doing so by incredible windfalls of points through crafting and raw money.


If you have any questions about the rules, they're right here and are very thorough and clear. Or you can ask me. And, of course, I will give a detailed runthrough of everyone's chosen factions after we've gotten people signed up.

Will you end up being the ruler of the woodlands?

PLAYER BOARDS

Vagabond (Sprite):
  • VP: 26
  • Hand Size: 5/5
  • Completed Quests: 4 Rabbit, 1 Mouse, 1 Fox
  • Active Quests:

Marquise de Cat (Patrick):
  • Dominance Card: Fox
  • Hand Size: 5/5
  • Warriors in Supply: 15
  • Enhancements:

Eyrie Dynasties (JBear):
  • VP: 24
  • Hand Size: 3/5
  • Warriors in Supply: 2
  • Deposed Leaders: Charismatic
  • Royal Decree:
    • Recruit: None
    • Move: 1 Bird, 1 Fox
    • Battle: 1 Bird, 1 Fox
    • Build: None
  • Enhancements:

Riverfolk Company (Destil):
  • VP: 20
  • Warriors in Supply: 4
  • Hand:
  • Enhancements:

Last edited by Kalir; 03-03-2019 at 10:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-16-2019, 12:32 AM
Destil's Avatar
Destil Destil is online now
Naughty List
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Pronouns: he / him
Posts: 23,198
Default

Riverfolk Company.

Buy somethiní, will ya?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-16-2019, 05:19 AM
JBear's Avatar
JBear JBear is offline
Um Actually oil outlaw
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 13,686
Default

I enjoyed the one abortive game of this you ran us through on TTS that one time; I think I'd like another shot at BIRB.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-16-2019, 07:02 AM
Patrick's Avatar
Patrick Patrick is offline
of the Black Falcons
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Pronouns: he, him
Posts: 19,497
Default

Root is great! I donít have the expansion, but Iíve played the base game a few times, including one on the winter board. Iíd like to play as the cats.

Is this basically going to be play by post? How often should we be taking turns?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-16-2019, 07:51 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

Pretty much play by post, yeah. I'd like people to try to get their turn in within a day or so of the prior person, but if you're super busy or just need more time or clarification for your turn, that's cool.

I might also ask players for PMs regarding ambush card usage on defending turns to speed things along (i.e. do you want to play an ambush as soon as it's legal, or only to defend structures, etc.) but we'll see.

We'll still need one more player as either the Vagabond, Woodland Alliance, or Lizard Cult.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-16-2019, 08:05 AM
Patrick's Avatar
Patrick Patrick is offline
of the Black Falcons
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Pronouns: he, him
Posts: 19,497
Default

Sounds good!

Also, Iím happy to switch to the Woodland Alliance if someone is new to the game and wants to play the relatively straightforward cats.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-16-2019, 08:20 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

While we wait for that, let's look at the game board! (If it's too small to make out any details, I can get a biggified version.)



Most obviously, the 12 patches of brightly colored autumn foliage represent the clearings you'll be aiming for control. Each of them has an icon representing what suit they are, and they're also color coded. There's four each of fox, mouse, and rabbit clearings. Clearings are connected by roads, but not rivers (unless the Riverfolk Company says they are).

The square spaces in the clearings are spots where a faction can place one of their buildings. Every faction has their own restrictions on placing buildings, but you need one of those slots open. If it isn't, renovate the hell out of the place with your warriors until it is, or find a different area.

Note the spaces covered with what looks like a crumbling well. Those are ruins, and can't be built on. The only way to remove these is with the Vagabond, who can explore them for items. Once that's done, the ruins are gone and you can develop buildings where they were. If we don't have a Vagabond, no building there all game.

The assortment of little boxes at the top are items! These can be crafted, as detailed above, for points, and are held by factions that craft them. This does two things: it provides incentive for the Vagabond to aid them, and it prevents other players from crafting that item. If two players have already crafted, say, tea, then anyone else with a tea-crafting card is out of luck.

Finally, the bottom has our VP tracker. It says who is closest to winning. Wheeeee!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-16-2019, 12:21 PM
Gerad's Avatar
Gerad Gerad is offline
Holy Swine
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,258
Default

If you need a guy I'm in, but if everyone else has it covered that's OK too!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-16-2019, 02:55 PM
Sprite's Avatar
Sprite Sprite is offline
Crazy Old Bird
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Posts: 19,453
Default

Oh hey, Iíve been eyeing this game and wondering if I should buy it! Can I be Vagabond?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-16-2019, 03:42 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

You sure can!

And that fills our players out, with Destil as Riverfolk Company, JBear as Eyrie Dynasties, Patrick as Marquise de Cat, and Sprite as the Vagabond!

If any of them need to drop out, though, Gerad will be first on the list for subbing in.

Please excuse me for a moment while I prepare everyone's starting hands, and then we'll start setup with the Marquise de Cat.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-16-2019, 04:33 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

Hey, remember this post just up above where I showed the map?

Well, now it's time to populate that map with the assorted factions.

The first faction we set up is the Marquise de Cat. Let's take a look at their board and how they function!



We'll break it down piece by piece, starting with the table on the left. Every faction has three phases to their turn: Birdsong, then Daylight, then Evening.

For the Marquise's Birdsong, they just place a wood token at each sawmill they have built. Wood is your currency for building stuff! That's it for their Birdsong.

Next is Daylight, where the bulk of their turn happens. First, you can craft cards from your hand, using your built workshops. After that, you get three actions here, and can choose any of the stuff listed below. After doing those three actions, you may spend bird cards from your hand to take additional actions, using your Hawks for Hire ability.
  • Battle: Choose a clearing with another faction and your warriors, and go teach them who's boss.
  • March: Takes two moves. Most factions only get one move per action, but you can do two in one shot! Doesn't even have to use the same pieces or clearings.
  • Recruit: Only available once per turn. Places a warrior from your supply at each of your recruiters. You have a supply of 25 warriors, so you can output a lot of cats this way!
  • Build: This lets you plonk down a building, provided you rule a clearing and can safely reach the wood necessary through a chain of ruled clearings. The costs for each building are listed above them, so the cost increases from left to right. This also gets you tasty tasty VP!
  • Overwork: Spend a card from your hand to place a wood at a sawmill. The sawmill in question needs to be in a clearing matching the spent card.
Kind of a lot to take in, but the basic idea is you want to make sure you can keep placing buildings, which means maintaining your rule over lots of clearings in a row from your sawmills to wherever you want to build. After that is your Evening phase, which is basic cleanup: draw cards, then discard until you have a hand of 5 or less.

The assorted building types are on the right. From top to bottom:
  • Sawmills: Generates wood, so they let you build more stuff.
  • Workshops: Your crafting pieces. These tend to award more points than other buildings for being built.
  • Recruiters: Lets you place more warriors and improves your card draw. Tends to award fewer points than other buildings.

To get set up, we just need you to do two things. First, you must place The Keep in a corner clearing. That's the imposing round token in the bottom right. The Keep is the heart of your faction's power, and it blocks other players from placing any pieces in that clearing (which primarily matters for the Riverfolk Company's trade posts and one specific Vagabond class in our game), but if the Keep is destroyed, it cannot be rebuilt, so protect it! It also serves as a respawn point for your Field Hospitals ability, which lets you spend a card to save any warriors that are removed.

Once you place The Keep, you need to place one of each building either in its clearing or adjacent clearings. I'll finish up by placing a single one of your warriors in literally every clearing except the diagonally opposite one on the board. That's reserved for birds.

So yeah, place the Keep, then your buildings.

Oh, and one last thing that might influence your choice here: the Riverfolk Company always has their hand For Sale, so that's public knowledge right out if you want to look at it in the spoilerpop. No pressure to factor it in, though.



BIRD-MADE GOODS AND SUPREMACY FOR SALE
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-17-2019, 03:17 PM
JBear's Avatar
JBear JBear is offline
Um Actually oil outlaw
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 13,686
Default

Not to rush anyone, but I just want to make sure that Patrick is aware that we're waiting on him to pick a starting location for his keep and buildings. I thought that perhaps, since he already knows how to play, he may not have read the caerht post.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-17-2019, 04:43 PM
Patrick's Avatar
Patrick Patrick is offline
of the Black Falcons
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Pronouns: he, him
Posts: 19,497
Default

Sorry for the delay! Iíve been meaning to post but Iíve had a super busy weekend and it slipped my mind. And thanks for bumping the thread, JBear.

Iíll place my keep in the bottom right, the sawmill in the same corner rabbit clearing, the workshop in the fox clearing to the north, and the recruiter on the central mouse clearing to the northwest.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-17-2019, 05:26 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

Gotcha. That means our board, so far, should look like... this!



But wait, who are those blue partycrashers opposite the Keep?



That'd be the Eyrie Dynasties, with their 6 initial warriors protecting their initial roost! As before, we'll cover the basics of the faction before we hit setup.

The first thing the Eyrie does for Birdsong is draw a card if their hand is empty. This matters because the next step is adding cards to their Royal Decree. The Decree is basically the list of actions the Eyrie Dynasties will attempt on their turn, and since you can add up to two cards to it each turn, your action economy gets going much more quickly than the Marquise's does. We'll get into that more in Daylight though.

(You also establish a new Roost if all of your existing roosts have exploded. Try not to let that happen.)

As with the Marquise, the bulk of their turn occurs in Daylight. First, they craft items using their roosts, although here it's important to note that their Disdain for Trade caps the VP they get for doing this at 1 per item crafted. After that, they resolve their decree in its entirety, in the following order.
  1. Recruit: Add a warrior from your supply to the indicated roost-bearing clearings. You've got a supply of 20 warriors, not as much as the Marquise but still pretty plentiful.
  2. Move: Move from the indicated clearings. The destination can be wherever.
  3. Battle: Fight someone in the indicated clearings. It's not necessary to win or even have warriors survive a potential ambush, so long as you at least initiate a fight.
  4. Build: Place roosts in the indicated clearings, provided you rule them and don't have a roost there already.
Thankfully, as Lords of the Forest you claim rule of clearings even if you tie on warriors/buildings, so you'll usually get to carry out a ton of your actions. But if you ever fail to complete even a single part of your decree for any reason whatsoever, you'll fall into Turmoil, which basically resets your entire chain of momentum by wiping your decree, forcing you to switch leaders (more on those in a bit), and ending your Daylight phase. You also lose a point for every bird card in your decree, which balances out them being far more flexible to work with.

Evening is slightly more involved for the Eyrie than the Marquise, but not by much: you score VP based on the furthest uncovered space on your Roosts track (note that the current left space should be uncovered, that's on me), and then you draw cards as usual.

Now, on to leaders. The Eyrie Dynasties go through a rotation of four potential leaders, who each start with two Loyal Vizier bird cards in their decree to get their starting actions.



Look at this guy. He practically OOZES loyalty.

Each leader also brings a unique ability to the table. Your job, for setup, is simply to choose a leader. Here we go!



As the only leader to start with a Build, the Despot is generally considered the recommended starting leader, since they'll help you propagate your roosts all across the map with ease. Their bonus VP on destroying buildings and tokens is nice, but hard to actually pull off in practice unless you've already built up a big decree.



The Charismatic is another good starting choice, especially if you have a good card to move from your starting clearing with. You'll quickly be able to ramp up your forces to pose a threat to anyone near you. Just don't forget to establish roosts too, because unless there's stuff to actually break, you won't be getting many points.



A slightly trickier option for starting out, the Builder is mostly a good idea if you have good cards in your hand to craft and don't want to immediately be forced into attacking other people, but in a game with the Marquise they're not usually a good idea. You're really going to have a hard time with getting points unless you can absolutely nail those Builds.



The Commander is a pretty terrifying leader to open with, but they're really at their strongest with the backing of a larger supply of warriors. As such, they're usually considered a follow-up from the Charismatic rather than a standalone starting choice, but if you really want to go balls-to-the-wall right out of the gate I guess you can do that.

Choose a Leader and we'll move on to setup for the Vagabond!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-17-2019, 05:55 PM
JBear's Avatar
JBear JBear is offline
Um Actually oil outlaw
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 13,686
Default

Despot looks too grumpy. As everyone here knows, JBear is as ~Charismatic~ as all get out. Us Birbs just want to be friends with everyone! Don't mind us; we'll just be over here in the corner, breeding.

(@Kalir: I'm correct that my first turn still allows/requires me to add to my decree, yes? So I'll be starting with 3 actions?)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-17-2019, 06:23 PM
Torzelbaum's Avatar
Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
????? LV 13 HP 292/
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Central Illinois
Pronouns: he, him, his
Posts: 12,941
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Loyal Vizier
That sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Despot looks too grumpy. As everyone here knows, JBear is as ~Charismatic~ as all get out. Us Birbs
JBirb
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-17-2019, 07:35 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

Yup, that's right. JBear has appointed the Charismatic as their first leader, which brings us to the setup of the Vagabond!



Little bit more to unpack here, so we'll start with the most iconic part first. As a Lone Wanderer, the Vagabond has only a single pawn representing themselves. They are not a warrior and cannot gain access to warriors. As such, they cannot rule, and a lot of weird effects that are based around warriors tend to have bizarre specific edge cases for them. Thankfully, when you're as Nimble as they are, you don't care about rulership of a clearing when moving.

When we go to Birdsong, we can already see one other thing that sets the Vagabond apart: items! The Vagabond collects all the various items that the other factions craft, and each of them improves their capabilities. Some of these items, like tea, provide passive effects. Most other items go into your Satchel and do stuff when exhausted, which flips them from their colorful side to a greyed out side. They can also be damaged by taking hits. At Birdsong, you refresh two items per tea, then a few more. You can then Slip into a forest or an adjacent clearing. The Vagabond is the only one who can enter forests, although you want to try to avoid doing that, since forests are definitively not clearings, and therefore you can't do anything in them.

As the usual, Daylight is where you take most of your actions. As above, you do this by exhausting your items.
  • Move: Exhaust a boot to move. If you're moving into a Hostile clearing, you have to spend another boot. (More on that later.)
  • Battle: Exhaust a sword to fight a guy. You can determine your maximum hits and whether you're defenseless by how many undamaged swords you have, rather than your warriors, cuz yeah.
  • Explore: Exhaust a torch to explore ruins in your clearing. This frees that space up for other factions to build in, and gets you an item. (There is a sword, a satchel, a hammer, and a boot to be found out there!)
  • Special Action: Exhaust a torch to perform your character's unique ability. (Again, more on those later.)
  • Aid: Exhaust any item and give a card to another player matching your clearing to claim an item from them. This can also improve your relationship with them (once again, more on that later.)
  • Quest: Exhaust two items to complete a quest in your clearing. Quests each require two specific items to be exhausted, and either award you two cards, or VP for each quest of that suit you've completed, including the one you just did.
  • Strike: Exhaust a crossbow to remove another piece in your clearing. You have to target warriors first. What it lacks in power and flashiness compared to swords, it makes up for with reliability and safety, as you can't be ambushed this way, and can choose what to remove if no warriors are there.
  • Repair: Exhaust a hammer to repair one damaged item, returning it to the passive track if it has one or the Satchel otherwise.
  • Craft: Exhaust hammers to craft cards from your hand. Hammers always match the clearing you're currently in.

Lots of potential actions here! Lots of extra stuff to learn, too. Let's start with your relationships. The Vagabond has a reputation to uphold with each of the three other factions in the game. You can improve this by performing the Aid action. Not only does this get you items, but if you do it enough times per turn (as indicated by the black block bordering the different levels) you can advance your relationship and gain VP. Do this enough, and you can eventually become Allied with that faction, letting you Move and Battle alongside their warriors, and gaining 2 VP for every single Aid action you perform!

You can also go aggressive, too. If you ever remove a piece from another faction by any means, you become Hostile to them, which is ALMOST irreversible. Any pieces you remove from that faction when attacking them award 1 VP each, but moving into clearings with Hostile warriors costs an extra boot. Relationships, whether Allied or Hostile, are great ways to gain lots of VP, provided you keep track of how your actions affect the woodlands as a whole.

As for your Evening phase, again, it's mostly cleanup. If you Slipped into a forest during Birdsong, you fix and refresh all of your busted gear. Then you draw cards based on your money, then discard cards and items in the Satchel down to the indicated limits.

Now, on to your actual setup choices. You first need to select a character to play as! They each start with a different item loadout and unique ability! I'll list them below.



The Thief is the recommended choice for newbies, having a nice array of items with which to perform quests, hold their own in fights, and help out people they like. Starting with tea lets them go longer without hiding back in the forest, and Steal is a nice generic way to improve your flexibility without messing with your relationship. (And with the Riverfolk Company in play, you can see what they have to offer first!)



The Tinker has some incredible potential. Day Labour is much more powerful than it appears at first glance, and starting with a hammer and satchel means they don't have to aid other factions when they can just make their own damn gear. However, they also are extremely easy to bully, as they have no swords or crossbows to defend themselves with at first.



On the other end of things, the Ranger's Hideout and loadout of weapons push them pretty hard towards infamy rather than playing nice. It's very hard to keep the Ranger down, but their pack starts out crowded, so they're very dependent on other factions to craft the things they need to really build up.



Similarly, the Arbiter has a pretty amazing amount of strength to work with, and with Protect being a choice for other factions to make rather than using your torch, you're much more free to delve into ruins and complete quests than other factions. You share the primary weakness of the Ranger in that you depend on other factions to produce the items you need to ramp up, and without the ability to go into a Hideout, anyone who does dare to fight you directly can put you out of commission for a turn or two.



The Scoundrel is one of those characters who doesn't really do a whole lot until they suddenly win the game. Two boots lets them move around even when dealing with Hostile factions, and the crossbow lets them take out targets of opportunity without a sword. Scorched Earth is INSANELY powerful, but using it locks you out of your torch for the rest of the game, so make sure to save it for when you need to kneecap at least one of the other factions.



Finally, the Vagrant has to depend more on their relationships than any other character in the game. The extra card draw lends them well to persistent Aid of other factions, and Instigate can prove a very lucrative source of infamy VP, but you have a really rocky start compared to pretty much every other character.

For now, you need to choose a character to play as, and a forest (i.e. the spaces between clearings, not a clearing itself) to start out in.

Last edited by Kalir; 02-18-2019 at 11:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-18-2019, 06:16 AM
Sprite's Avatar
Sprite Sprite is offline
Crazy Old Bird
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Posts: 19,453
Default

I'm still making my decision, but as the newb, I have questions!

About forests:
1 - Is there a key we can use when specifying clearings or forests? I have no idea how to tell you which one I want.
2 - Should I know what my starting hand is at this point, or do I have to choose a forest before I can draw it/look at it?
3 - Do rivers divide forests the same way paths do?

About relationships:
4 - How does Moving and Battling with allied pieces work? I exhaust a boot, I take whoever with me? I exhaust a sword, every allied warrior in that clearing can fight with me? If an allied warrior dies helping me, does that faction become Hostile? If so, can I choose to damage items before letting allies fall? Can allies move and battle with me on their turn?
5 - If an allied faction attacks me, do they become hostile? Or does that not count as me removing pieces since I'm defending?
6 - Does Instigate cause both factions to become hostile?
7 - Can I slip into a hostile clearing without penalty?

Sorry if that's too many questions.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:29 AM
Lucas's Avatar
Lucas Lucas is offline
Metaphysical organ dealer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: I don't even know anymore
Pronouns: He/him
Posts: 9,802
Default

If you have two vagabonds in the game are they linked at all or completely separate?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:41 AM
Patrick's Avatar
Patrick Patrick is offline
of the Black Falcons
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Pronouns: he, him
Posts: 19,497
Default

1 You can designate clearings by central mouse, lower right rabbit, bottom fox, etc.

2 itís not a bad idea to aim for ruins early on when you donít have a strategy. E- and I think you should be able to see your hand at this point?

3 no, on the fall map that weíre using they all have bridges or branches that connect them.

Iíll have to look up details on the other ones because I donít want to give incorrect info.

Last edited by Patrick; 02-18-2019 at 07:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:51 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

No problem, let's go down the list.
  1. If you want, we can sort the clearings by column (so the leftmost column would have clearings 1, 2, and 3, then the next column would be 4, 5, and 6, and so on). You can also designate it by what the suit of the clearing is, combined with the compass direction, like Patrick did. As for forests, those are a little trickier, so I'd make use of pre-existing landmarks to tell which one you mean (such as the Marquise's buildings). If that doesn't work, we can try to work out another way to indicate forests.
  2. Yeah I think I PM'd it to you? Your Quests are only revealed after your choice of character and starting forest, though.
  3. Nah, you can cross over rivers within forests. If you look closely, you can see bridges, natural or otherwise, over the forest rivers.
  4. Allied warriors that move are still subject to the restrictions of rule, so you can't take them through clearings ruled by someone else, but beyond that, yeah, feel free to haul along whomever. Fighting alongside Allied warriors lets them add their warriors to your swords for the sake of maximum hits, and lets them take hits alongside you. As usual, you choose how hits you take are divvied up, but if the Allied warriors take more hits this way than you, that faction gets set to Hostile after the fact. All of this only applies on your turn, so your ally can't move you around with them, or use you to battle.
  5. It depends on if you actually remove pieces. If an "ally" beats the hell out of you while you're defenseless, then technically since you didn't remove any of their pieces, you're still Allied. But if you fight back and remove their warriors, even in self-defense, then they become Hostile.
  6. Again, it depends on you removing pieces, but unless you roll snake-eyes you're gonna end up removing at least one, so expect at least one faction to go Hostile. Make it count!
  7. You are permitted to Slip into hostile clearings without paying an extra boot, yes.
  8. Two Vagabonds in the same game are effectively treated as two separate factions. The ruins get an extra set of items, and any Vagabond exploring them gets their pick of which of the two items within, provided it doesn't give them a duplicate. They also share the same pool of quests.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-18-2019, 08:09 AM
JBear's Avatar
JBear JBear is offline
Um Actually oil outlaw
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 13,686
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Nah, you can cross over rivers within forests. If you look closely, you can see bridges, natural or otherwise, over the forest rivers.
I have follow-up questions to this one, since I'm trying to get a feel for the Vagabond's movement and I'm reasonably confused. Apologies if this is getting too into the weeds too early, but I want to understand what I'm dealing with here. When they Slip into a forest, are they then locked to that forest for the turn, or can they Move out of that forest into an adjacent clearing during Daylight? When they Slip, can they Slip into any forest, or only an adjacent one? When Slipping out of a forest on a later turn, must it be a clearing adjacent to that forest? And if so, do the bridged forests you just mentioned mean that they're adjacent to an extra clearing from those forests?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 02-18-2019, 08:13 AM
Sprite's Avatar
Sprite Sprite is offline
Crazy Old Bird
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Posts: 19,453
Default

Thanks so much, I really appreciate it.

Iíll go Thief and start in the center forest thatís surrounded by ruins.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-18-2019, 08:13 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

Since forests are, by definition, not clearings, the Vagabond cannot take most actions during their Daylight phase while in a forest. They can move out of them, but only into adjacent clearings. (In practice, this doesn't really let them get anywhere they couldn't already.) Slip can still only put them into adjacent forests or clearings. As for the rivers, effectively they should be treated as blank for the sake of Slip. This does mean that the northeast forest borders a whole five clearings.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-18-2019, 08:55 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

Say, I mentioned some Quests, didn't I? Let's take a look at those.



As mentioned, each quest requires you to exhaust two items in the matching clearing, and awards either 2 cards or some VP. The VP scales with each quest of that suit completed, so if you complete both rabbit quests here, the first could be worth 1 VP, and the second 2. And that Errand quest can be completed with your starting gear of your tea, torch, sword, and boot!



If that's your gameplan, we can expect the Thief to head to the northwest space to start out.

But enough about them, it's time for the Riverfolk Company to open for business!



Hey, why are three of your 15 warriors on the board? Weird, let's go through Birdsong and see if that helps. First off, if the box with those warriors is empty, you place two of your own warriors from your supply in there. Then, you gain 1 VP for every two warriors in the Funds box below it. And finally, you move all of the warriors on your board to the Funds box.

Once we get to Daylight, we see your usual set of actions for the turn. These are done depending on your Funds available, which can either be committed to move them to the lower box, or spent to return to their owner's supply. The actions you can take are dictated by your available Funds, in other words.
  • Move: Commit a fund to move. Nothing fancy here.
  • Battle: Commit a fund to start a battle. Still within the realm of expectation.
  • Craft: Move funds to an uncovered trade post space (bottom right of your board) to craft items. If you want, you can ignore the listed effect of crafting the card to instead Export the card and place a warrior in the Payments box, which can be handy if, say, all of the other cards for that item have already been crafted.
  • Draw: Commit a fund to draw a card. Note that you don't draw cards in Evening!
  • Recruit: Spend a fund to place a warrior in any clearing with a river.
  • Establish Trade Post With Garrison: Spend two funds matching a clearing's ruler to place a trade post and a warrior in that clearing, provided it doesn't already have a trade post. This gets you points, much like building for the Marquise does.
The really wacky part is what we'll tackle during the Evening. You discard down to 5 as expected, but you also set your service costs! As the Riverfolk Company, you are able to sell a bunch of potential services to other players! At the start of each player's Birdsong, they may purchase one of the following services from you, plus another service for every trade post they have pieces by:
  • Hand Card: They take a card from your hand. Since that hand is For Sale, it's always public knowledge. This one can be purchased multiple times, provided the buyer has access to sufficient trade posts.
  • Riverboats: The Riverfolk are already natural Swimmers and thus can treat the river as a path joining clearings while ignoring rule. By purchasing this service, another faction can travel along rivers themselves, although they still have to respect rule.
  • Mercenaries: Your warriors can be hired to add to the buyer's forces for the sake of rule and battle, but not for any other purpose (i.e. they can't be moved, contribute toward Dominance, spent for extra effects). When fighting, the buyer has to divide hits evenly between their warriors and yours where possible, taking the odd hits themselves. The Vagabond cannot purchase this service.
In order to pay for these services, the player in question adds some of their warriors from their supply to your Payments box, effectively meaning they amplify your actions for subsequent turns, or contribute to your Birdsong coin-counting VP. The Vagabond instead exhausts items, and you place warriors from your own supply into the Payments box.

The fun part is that you can set these Service Costs yourself, both right now and during each of your Evening phases! Carefully managing your Service costs is critical: set your prices too low and the other factions will take everything they can from you and run for the hills, but set them too high and you won't be able to get anything done!

One last note: while it can be tempting to build up and sit on a giant pile of cash all game, you have to at least attempt to defend your trade posts, because if one of those is destroyed, you lose half your Funds! (The trade post also is removed from the game rather than returned to its track like most other pieces.) Make sure your services are readily available, but don't let them try to strongarm you.

So yeah, for setup, you need to place 4 more warriors on the board in any combination of river-connected clearings, and you need to set your initial Service Costs. As a refresher, here's your starting hand.


Last edited by Kalir; 02-18-2019 at 09:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-18-2019, 08:58 AM
JBear's Avatar
JBear JBear is offline
Um Actually oil outlaw
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 13,686
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
(In practice, this doesn't really let them get anywhere they couldn't already.)
Ah, okay, this is the piece I was missing. Make sense. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 02-18-2019, 09:12 AM
JBear's Avatar
JBear JBear is offline
Um Actually oil outlaw
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 13,686
Default

OMG, the Vagabond token is adorable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
[*]Riverboats: The Riverfolk are already natural Swimmers and thus can treat the river as a path joining clearings. By purchasing this service, another faction can gain this trait for themselves for the turn!
If we pay for this service, do we also gain the ability to ignore rule for that river move that the Riverfolk have inherently?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 02-18-2019, 09:23 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 7,084
Default

Good catch. No, Riverboats don't let you ignore rule for moving in the same way Swimmers does.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 02-18-2019, 10:31 AM
Patrick's Avatar
Patrick Patrick is offline
of the Black Falcons
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Pronouns: he, him
Posts: 19,497
Default

Slip is a free move, but the big advantage is that it lets you use the first part of the evening phase. So you can basically skip your turn and camp out in a forest to repair all of your items and avoid attacks.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 02-19-2019, 09:39 AM
Destil's Avatar
Destil Destil is online now
Naughty List
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Pronouns: he / him
Posts: 23,198
Default

Initial Setup:

2 Warriors in the Rabbit Clearing in the top center.
1 Warriors in the Rabbit Clearing in the lower left.
1 Warriors in the Mouse Clearing in the center right.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bad politics never dies , i am root , lets play , redwall , root , the bird is the word

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts ©you, 2007