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Subject: Possible revelation (?): You don't ALWAYS have to beat down on the mouse rss

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Damian Haeusler
Australia
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Last night, when thinking about this game, i came to what I think was a revelation but I haven't seen it in practice so I want to run it by you fellow players.

In my games involving the mouse, the mouse usually uses all their supporters in the early turns to maximise the chance that one of their tokens won't get destroyed, often leaving 1 or even 0 cards in their supporters stack at the end of the turn. One or more other factions attack them, wiping their sympathy but giving them at least as many cards as the mouse spent so they come back just as strong next turn and score more points.

But if the mouse player behaves this way, if no one moves into their clearings and no one attacks their sympathy tokens, then next turn all they will be able to do is place hand cards into supporters, possibly craft, and draw another card. Since they will still only have 0-1 supporters and usually 3 sympathy, they can't afford either revolt or more sympathy so they score no further victory points and the other factions have had a full turn without having to deal with them.

Is this right or am I missing something? Because this seems to me like a good way to stop that mouse!
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Dom Rougier
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Bristol
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Fighting the WA is absolutely not about wiping them out, it's about containment (It's an insurgency...). Keeping them down to ~3 sympathy makes them gaining points through sympathy costly, and limits what they can craft.

Equally, sitting on one of their bases (and not attacking) with a 4-5 warriors forces them to expend resources to recruit, so that they can move. They have a tiny force pool, so if they have to have 5 or 6 of these on the board to move, they're forced into wasting actions.
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Geoff C
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I think the difference is cost of sympathy and card draw. As WA I am always very keen on getting the first base for extra card draw...it is critical.

Playing against the WA I am always aware that taking off sympathy in the 1/1 track is not great, as you point out you give up the card he needs to replace it (barring martial law). So I tend to advocate attacking sympathy only when he dips into the 2/1 part of the sympathy track, making the cost/return ratio tougher for him. And if necessary, try to kill the matching base for the sympathy clearings you remove so that he doesn't gain from those either.

So its a little more subtle than waiting (assuming?) for an early WA player to spend all his cards. You must evaluate the situation constantly.
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Matt R
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Keller
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Domfluff wrote:
Fighting the WA is absolutely not about wiping them out, it's about containment (It's an insurgency...). Keeping them down to ~3 sympathy makes them gaining points through sympathy costly, and limits what they can craft.

Equally, sitting on one of their bases (and not attacking) with a 4-5 warriors forces them to expend resources to recruit, so that they can move. They have a tiny force pool, so if they have to have 5 or 6 of these on the board to move, they're forced into wasting actions.


Yup! Plus, I'm actually sort of relieved when the WA finally place down their first base because (a) I don't have to worry about where they're going to put their first base and (b) I don't have to worry about my clearings of that same suit being destroyed.

It then becomes a bit easier, as you said, to contain them there. I've found that simple strategy can shutdown the WA fairly well, although you still have to stay somewhat on top of them.
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Ken Brown
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Everyone who is fairly new seems to think that both the WA and the Vagabond are overpowered, and the only way to stop them is to do a full board wipe each turn. That’s not true. Root is a balance between doing what you want to do and hindering your opponents as much as possible. When the WA gets cheeky and spreads sympathy into your territory, slap them, but otherwise try to force them into a corner - a WA base in a corner really limits their mobility.
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Viktor Karlsson Mantel
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Domfluff wrote:
Fighting the WA is absolutely not about wiping them out, it's about containment (It's an insurgency...). Keeping them down to ~3 sympathy makes them gaining points through sympathy costly, and limits what they can craft.

Equally, sitting on one of their bases (and not attacking) with a 4-5 warriors forces them to expend resources to recruit, so that they can move. They have a tiny force pool, so if they have to have 5 or 6 of these on the board to move, they're forced into wasting actions.
what do you mean with forcing them to expand resources when recruit?
 
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Ken Brown
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Tolchock wrote:
Domfluff wrote:
Fighting the WA is absolutely not about wiping them out, it's about containment (It's an insurgency...). Keeping them down to ~3 sympathy makes them gaining points through sympathy costly, and limits what they can craft.

Equally, sitting on one of their bases (and not attacking) with a 4-5 warriors forces them to expend resources to recruit, so that they can move. They have a tiny force pool, so if they have to have 5 or 6 of these on the board to move, they're forced into wasting actions.
what do you mean with forcing them to expand resources when recruit?


I think he means ‘waste an entire turn recruiting just so the WA can move.’

It’s a good way to slow down the WA. The real value of their troops is to move into places without sympathy and explode them for cheap sympathy. If you have to spend any of your actions or warriors fighting, you’re not getting the most VP per warrior.
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Damian Haeusler
Australia
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In case Tolchock is unaware (this is a rule I still forget about), you can only move if you rule either the clearing you're moving from or moving to. When the WA gets their first base, they will rule that clearing and only that clearing. So they are free to move warriors out to surrounding clearings since they rule where they are moving from.
But if another faction moves enough warriors onto the WA base to rule that clearing, the WA no longer rule any clearing so they can't move their warriors at all. They will have to waste their limited military actions on recruiting enough warriors to rule again before they can use their warriors to spread sympathy.
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Matt R
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SepiaPenguin03 wrote:
Root is a balance between doing what you want to do and hindering your opponents as much as possible.


That's an excellent way of summarizing Root and very good advice to give to new players who might be used to more typical Euro's where players don't typically interfere with each other's plans that much and are just trying to build the most efficient point generation engine. If you play Root like it's an engine-building Euro then you stand a very good chance of losing.


Adiman wrote:
In case Tolchock is unaware (this is a rule I still forget about), you can only move if you rule either the clearing you're moving from or moving to. When the WA gets their first base, they will rule that clearing and only that clearing. So they are free to move warriors out to surrounding clearings since they rule where they are moving from.
But if another faction moves enough warriors onto the WA base to rule that clearing, the WA no longer rule any clearing so they can't move their warriors at all. They will have to waste their limited military actions on recruiting enough warriors to rule again before they can use their warriors to spread sympathy.


Exactly! Great way of putting it.
 
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Orion Harrison
United States
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Adiman wrote:
Last night, when thinking about this game, i came to what I think was a revelation but I haven't seen it in practice so I want to run it by you fellow players.

In my games involving the mouse, the mouse usually uses all their supporters in the early turns to maximise the chance that one of their tokens won't get destroyed, often leaving 1 or even 0 cards in their supporters stack at the end of the turn. One or more other factions attack them, wiping their sympathy but giving them at least as many cards as the mouse spent so they come back just as strong next turn and score more points.

But if the mouse player behaves this way, if no one moves into their clearings and no one attacks their sympathy tokens, then next turn all they will be able to do is place hand cards into supporters, possibly craft, and draw another card. Since they will still only have 0-1 supporters and usually 3 sympathy, they can't afford either revolt or more sympathy so they score no further victory points and the other factions have had a full turn without having to deal with them.

Is this right or am I missing something? Because this seems to me like a good way to stop that mouse!


You're missing the fact that adding additional supporters happens AFTER you spread sympathy. Turn one of Alliance looks like this:

1) spread 2-3 sympathy.
2) add 2-3 cards from hand into Supporters stack.

So turn 2, they'll still have 2-3 cards in their supporters stack, and they should constantly be adding AT LEAST two cards to that stack until they get a base down, because until they do, hand cards are not worth nearly as much as Supporter cards.
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Bartosz Szafarz
Poland
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Noonespecial wrote:
SepiaPenguin03 wrote:
Root is a balance between doing what you want to do and hindering your opponents as much as possible.


(...)If you play Root like it's an engine-building Euro then you stand a very good chance of losing.


The problem with Root is that the way people play directly affect balance. To simplify: some races thrive when others play sub-optimally, some races actually prefer at least some other players to play optimally. Or to put it yet another way: sometimes you need to cooperate with your opponent. When they don't, they doom you along with them.

I say "a problem", but truly it's a fascinating thing... IF it's your thing.
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