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Subject: 2-Player Strategy Advice for Woodland Alliance? rss

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Gordon J
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Eagan
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I was pleasantly surprised to find that playing Root is a great 2-player experience and surprisingly tense. But, I have now played two games as the Woodland Alliance against the Cat and the Birds, and lost both games. Though, I lost a close one to the Birds, the Cats handed me a sound defeat.

The Alliance seems to take awhile to get the ball rolling, and I was constantly playing catch up in both games. Is it better for the Alliance to hold back on placing most of their bases so they retain that threat for when they place Support in a space of their opponent, of turning that into a base and thus destroying all the pieces there. Or is it better to get all your bases down as fast as possible?

Can you, once you have all your bases on the board, place a base again somewhere else, remove the old base and place it in a new spot?

I especially don't know how you win against the Cats since they have a guy in almost every spot and can just kill your support quickly.

Anyone have a hint or two they can share?
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Zachary Olson
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I have not played with two players yet, but the learn to play book says this about two player alliance games:

Two-player Alliance games offer Alliance players a chance to hone
their skills in difficult situations. They will usually fare better
against the Eyrie, but well-timed revolts and rapid mobilization
can vex the Marquise as well.


It looks like that lines up with your experience pretty well.

Some factions are better against other factions (in a vacuum), which is why the rulebook suggests you play two player games twice, switching factions and adding up total scores at the end.

Unfortunately I can't give advice, since I haven't played with two players yet.
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John Rogers
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patton55 wrote:
I was pleasantly surprised to find that playing Root is a great 2-player experience and surprisingly tense. But, I have now played two games as the Woodland Alliance against the Cat and the Birds, and lost both games. Though, I lost a close one to the Birds, the Cats handed me a sound defeat.

The Alliance seems to take awhile to get the ball rolling, and I was constantly playing catch up in both games. Is it better for the Alliance to hold back on placing most of their bases so they retain that threat for when they place Support in a space of their opponent, of turning that into a base and thus destroying all the pieces there. Or is it better to get all your bases down as fast as possible?

Can you, once you have all your bases on the board, place a base again somewhere else, remove the old base and place it in a new spot?

I especially don't know how you win against the Cats since they have a guy in almost every spot and can just kill your support quickly.

Anyone have a hint or two they can share?


In regards to the cats simply attacking your support every turn, well eventually you can outpace them. You start with 3 supporters, so you should be able to place 3 Sympathy Tokens which scores you 3 VP (we'll assume lucky card draw for this scenario.) On the cats turn they can spend their entire turn attacking all your sympathy tokens. Sure they'll gain 3 VP, but you'll also gain 3 supporters, either from their hand or from the draw pile. Your next turn you will place 3 more sympathy, scoring 3 more points, and then if that's all the cats are going to do is attack your sympathy you should definitely be Mobilizing your hand into your supporters. If all the cats do is attack your support tokens, you will eventually be able to set up a round where you can place more than three sympathy tokens, have (possibly) two bird cards in supporters to Revolt in a clearing the cats were unable clear a token. They then have to spend at least one action either recruiting more warriors (to replace the one lost to Revolt) and/or moving warriors to the clearing to destroy the fort AND sympathy token (thus giving you at least 2 cards, one for moving a warrior into a sympathetic clearing and one for destroying the sympathy token.)

Yes, if the card draw goes against you (cats draw a lot of birds to perform extra actions) it could be a very difficult game to win, but the rule book even says as much. At least in a two player game you don't have to worry about Dominance cards (they are removed form the deck in a two player game.)

Hopefully this gives you some ideas on how to win. Good luck!
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Mike Burnett
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Do the Woodland Alliance lose the points when they lose the sympathy and cover up the points icons, or do they keep accumulating points for each instance of placing sympathy regardless of which token is placed? I can't find a rules reference that says the points are taken away, but it's not clear from the board design that they stay either.

If this is the case, are the birds the only faction that can lose points (during Turmoil)?

The key for our two-player games with the Woodland Alliance was making sure that the WA player was placing sympathy in places where they thought the enemy troops might be moving - getting a card for the movement and then another for the sympathy token is good early income for them.
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Chris W
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shamblercow wrote:
If this is the case, are the birds the only faction that can lose points (during Turmoil)?


yup.
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John Rogers
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shamblercow wrote:
Do the Woodland Alliance lose the points when they lose the sympathy and cover up the points icons, or do they keep accumulating points for each instance of placing sympathy regardless of which token is placed?


Nope, as above, Eryie Dynasties are the only faction that lose VP, and only during turmoil. Putting the Sympathy Tokens back on your board have no negative effects (other than them not being on the board.) So yes, you score the VP again for placing it back on the board. Every time you place Sympathy on the board, you earn the VP under the token.

shamblercow wrote:
I can't find a rules reference that says the points are taken away, but it's not clear from the board design that they stay either.


The only thing the Law of Root says about VP is in 8.1 "Each time the Alliance places a sympathy token, they score victory points." Since there is nothing that says they lose VP, they do not lose VP.
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Zack Garber
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I just played a few games, Alliance Vs Marquis De Cat. I was playing the alliance.

The first game I was utterly trounced. I couldn't spread anywhere important, and I kept trying to put my sympathy someplace where it wouldn't be attacked, and I think that was the wrong way to go about it. I couldn't keep up when he got several recruiters up, and any time I managed to get a base, he had too many units and was able to move them and destroy it within a turn or two.

The second game I won quite handily. I purposely put my sympathy in places where it HAD to be attacked, places with Marquis buildings that would be under threat of revolt. This put the Marquis player in a position where he had to trade with me. I would get 1vp for putting my sympathy down, and he'd get 1vp for removing it, but he had to spend an action to do so, and I'd get a supporter card from it being removed. It seemed like it was action economy in my favor, especially since it bled the marquis player of his draws as well.

The Marquis player kept knocking down my Sympathy, but it didn't leave him as much economy to build up his buildings, so every time he spent turns dedicated to that, I'd spread along the center of the map, and I ended up cutting the map in half with sympathy and a base. From there, I prevented the marquis player from getting access to clearings with building points, and targeted his recruiters.

But even having him on the back leg it wasn't until I was pretty solidified that I was able to push more than 4-5 victory points ahead, and ended up crafting some high value cards to zip ahead 30-16
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David Fenton
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thebluefox wrote:
The second game I won quite handily. I purposely put my sympathy in places where it HAD to be attacked, places with Marquis buildings that would be under threat of revolt. This put the Marquis player in a position where he had to trade with me. I would get 1vp for putting my sympathy down, and he'd get 1vp for removing it, but he had to spend an action to do so, and I'd get a supporter card from it being removed. It seemed like it was action economy in my favor, especially since it bled the marquis player of his draws as well.

I'm surprised they didn't just let you revolt and be done with it (and build somewhere else for VPs). Once you've placed a base (after the first revolt), you can't revolt in that suit of clearings any more. He could then just attempt to keep you contained.

The Marquise should expect to occasionally loose buildings (removed building can be purchased cheaper and still deliver VPs). Wasting an action every turn to preserve one seems wasteful.
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Monte Watson

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Still learning, but have been in a few games with dominating Marquis...

The cat will need saw mills to win. At first, I would target those clearings with his mills to try to hurt him (via revolt). But, it is much more damaging to look at the map and figure out where you can cut off his supply line of wood for building. You have to take this strategy fairly early. If he is already at the point where every building he places is worth 4+ VPs, he is likely to win.
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Zack Garber
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dsdhornet wrote:
I'm surprised they didn't just let you revolt and be done with it (and build somewhere else for VPs). Once you've placed a base (after the first revolt), you can't revolt in that suit of clearings any more. He could then just attempt to keep you contained.

The Marquise should expect to occasionally loose buildings (removed building can be purchased cheaper and still deliver VPs). Wasting an action every turn to preserve one seems wasteful.


I think the issue was WHERE I was building. I was cutting the map in half, if he let me put up a base I'd get 2-3 units from it and I'd start making more. With 3 officers there's a decent combination of Recruit > Move > Organize.

Because I didn't let him get alot of units out, if I got a base with 2-3 warriors and the Alliance defensive advantage, it would have been hard for him to remove them, but if he did, I'd lose a good bit of momentum, officers, and supporters.

Not to say my strategy was perfect, we were probably both pretty inexperienced.
 
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SuperBrian
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Just played WA in two games. First was WA vs Marquise. Second was WA vs Cult vs Mech Marquise. Both games the Marquise destroyed.

What I learned from this thread is I need to read the rules better. First game I forgot to pull out the dominance cards. Whoops. Both games I forgot a few other rules which would have given me a bit more advantage. Still, neither game lasted long enough for me to get more than a minor hold on the board. Need more practice I think.
 
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Joshua F

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Just tried 2-player with my son for kicks. I was WA, he was Eyrie. Our main goal was just to spend time getting familiar with the mechanics of each clan and the game as whole. Wound up playing through the entire game without a single battle, he won pretty handily as I took far too long to get enough sympathy up and running.
 
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