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Subject: How can Cats compete with Lizardmen rss

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Mateusz M
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Hi, yesterday I have played my first game of Root. I liked it very much.
I played Cats, while my opponents played with Lizardmen, Birds and Riverfolk. Riverfolk ultimately won.


But during the game I had the most problems with Lizardmen and we competed for different areas. I had the problem because Lizardmen could easily convert my cats to lizardmen. If I tried to fight back then he just got more acolytes to convert more of my people. How could a Cat player fight with this?
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Michael Ptak
United States
Livermore
California
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Well, for starters he can only do that in outcast clearings- he can't do that anywhere he likes. It also takes two acolytes to do this. Moreover he can't place pieces in the clearing with your keep, so if nothing else that space is safe for you.

I might be wrong here, but I think technically you might be able to use field hospitals against the Cultist action. Whenever a warrior is removed from the table you can discard a card of a matching suite to put it back in the space with the keep.

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Cats are going to have a lot of problems in the early game. Because they own the entire board they have the most to lose as the other factions start ramping up.

The way I approach it, fortify the clearings surrounding the keep and fall back to these areas. Build as much as you can, and push into weakened surrounding clearings to get the spaces needed for building.

If any sympathy tokens or gardens spring up in these clearings, quash them immediately. Yeah, you're giving the WA a card, but it beats losing that clearing and everything in it. Let the other factions deal with the Woodland Alliance- you need to keep your territory productive for you as much as possible.

The way the cats win is by building. Even if they have something burned to the ground, recruit > move massed cats back into that clearing > build in the clearing you dominate and score the points from that structure. You really only need fighting to knock out enemy buildings to prevent them from scoring and clear spaces for your buildings.
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Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
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Start with a big recruitment drive. Define a defensive area (you can't hold the whole map), filled with pieces. Then progressively deny areas to the lizards (fill up slots before they can build a garden).

My son always plays lizards but considers the cats his kryptonite...
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Stephen M
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Sometimes you also need to make sure that people are trying to avoid giving the Lizards a Hated Outcast. If everyone's ignoring that mechanic and letting the Lizards get huge discounts all the time, the Lizards will be hard for anyone to beat.

The Marquise is in a weird position -- because she's so space-hungry, she'll always be the one who's bumping into the winning player and forced to play Forest Police. But the winner isn't just her problem. If she can get others to help her control them, she'll be much better off.
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Jordan Hall
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I recently played a three player game as Cats vs Lizards and a Vagabond.

Found that Lizardmen are very tough to deal with as Cats. Someone advocated for filling up buildings in areas before the Lizardmen can place a garden. However, it often is the case that you're spending 3 or 4 lumber just to give them a prime target to convert directly into a garden. They'll win the building cleansing game since you can rarely control the Outcast suit solely by your own actions. If you're the player directly before the Lizards, you will have more control, though.

Rushing to three Recruiters and then flooding the board with cat warriors did feel very effective, on the other hand. Sure, they can easily convert one, and then maybe Recruit another Lizard into any given clearing, but as long they don't have control, they can't build and they likely don't want to initiate battle.

I just don't know what to do in the endgame when they're able to start converting your lumber mills into gardens and then either crusading or recruiting some warriors in to protect it. Usually I just had to abandon any such clearing lest I give them the acolytes they need to simply repeat the process again by battling them.

Then of course Lizards are excellent denying Cat supply lines via their garden control.

So my advice ultimately would be to spam Recruit asap to stave off the Lizard early game, then try to use a third faction as a buffer, and finally use whatever diplomacy skills you have to get them tangling with someone else. Just might be particularly hard if the only other faction is the Vagabond...

Edit: Forgive the rambley nature of this post, trying to fit this in during break at the office!
 
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