We've managed to get Root to the table a few times in the past several weeks. I don't love it....but I really like it. So far it has the markings of a game that will stay in my collection for awhile, in that every game we've played so far, has been better than the last game.
It's hard to describe Root in a post that's meant to be a handful of paragraphs. There's so much to cover so I ultimately have to settle on doing a halfway job. At its core, Root is known for being an asymmetric experience, but not just variable powers rather a fully different experience for each faction. And it pulls this off incredibly well. The biggest downside of the game is the reliance on the players to provide balance and avoid runaway leaders....but if you view that as a flaw you're playing the wrong game. In Root...politics is the game. It's all about using your advantages to win...while also ensuring you're not stomped on when you most need to win. Being a world power isn't easy.
Ultimately what I like most about Root is that every game feels different. To me it feels like what 504 was supposed to be...a core set of rules followed by 504 different games around those rules. Root ends up giving me the same experience. Playing the exact same factions one game to the next is a different game...now that the Woodfolk Alliance won the last game, everyone's focusing on keeping them down, resulting in a vastly different gaming experience. Or changing the faction you play as....results in a totally different experience. Or playing against the Eyrie before vs after you've played as them....results in a totally different game. Or mixing up the factions you play with....results in a totally different experience. You see what I'm getting at here...every game of Root has the same rules, but with a totally different game each time. It's a game that grows with your group, rather than a game your group grows out of.
So far I've only played as The Eyrie and The Woodland Alliance. I can't wait to try the other factions, as well as adding the Lizardfolk to a game...plus of course The Underworld expansion when it comes out. Root is a solid game. Currently rated 58 on BGG and I'd say I have a similar feeling on it....it's enjoyable and gets better each time...but also isn't in my top 10.
Or at least not yet.