Root has been a hit since its release in 2018. Since then, there have been 3 major expansions released that change the gameplay pretty drastically. Mostly, they add new factions and automation to some factions that give you the ability to play solo or in a co-op mode.
This adds some great variation to the strategies that you learn in the base game.
These were not easy to rank, there is a ton of stuff that each of these expansions has in common. So I would definitely recommend reading on before you decide to grab the top on the rankings.
Major Root Expansions
Here is the order that the main expansions for Root came out:
There are also a few minor expansions to the game. Although they don’t add as much as the main expansions, the minor expansions are pretty inexpensive. Let’s get into the details of each expansion.
#1: The Clockwork Expansion
This expansion is all about automated factions. If that’s not up you’re alley, go ahead and bypass this one. There are four new automated factions that are introduced which can be used to add a player count to a 2-3 person game or can be used as an opponent in co-op gameplay.
Here are the 4 automated factions:
- Mechanical Marquise 2.0
- Electric Eyrie
- Automated Alliance
As you can see, a few of those are slightly altered versions of previous factions. Don’t let that dissuade you though, these factions add a ton of gameplay.
The automation this adds to the game allows for a lot of options. Playing solo against 2 opponents or filling out a 2 person game is a huge step up from the automation that The Riverfolk Expansion provided. I suspect this was mostly due to the inclusion of Benjamin Shmauss.
However, this expansion isn’t without its flaws. In particular, the cooperative gameplay isn’t super solid and, before some official revision was released, the Electric Eyrie faction could get stuck in loops.
Overall, this expansion is the one to get if you’re into the automated factions. If you’re not into that, check out the next expansion on the list.
#2: The Riverfolk Expansion
This expansion was the first release for the base game and has arguably been the most well-received. The most notable aspect of this expansions is the way it changes how you play the game. In particular, this expansion changed the gameplay in three big ways:
- Allowed for up to 6 players
- Added solo gameplay
- Added a cooperative mode
Not much to dislike about adding the 6th player, the more the merrier. However, the solo variation of the game ruffled some feathers on release. It wasn’t implemented very well and most players found the automated faction to be disappointing.
Fortunately, a man named Benjamin Shmauss has put some time and effort into the Better Bot Project which fleshes out the solitaire mode.
It actually added so much to the solo gameplay that The Better Bot Project ultimately ended up in The Clockwork Expansion. It’s free to download and I would definitely advise doing that if you plan on playing solo with this expansion. Here’s the official thread on BGG.
Other than changing player count, this expansion adds quite a few other components:
- 2 New Core Factions
- An extra Vagabond
- A Custom Card Holder
- Three Vagabond Variants
The new factions play well with the base game and everything seems to mesh nicely here. Nothing really groundbreaking but also not a bad addition to the game. If you were super into Root, this is a solid addition.
#3: The Underworld Expansion
This is the latest from Leder Games and has been a hit since its release. This expansion is still very new, which inflates the BGG rating since only the Kickstarter backers are the ones to own it.
It does look like it is a solid expansion to the base game and doesn’t suffer from some of the flaws that the Riverfolk had upon release. The two big things that this expansion brings to the table:
- 2 New Maps
- 2 New Factions
Also, this is the only expansion that adds new maps. So if you’re bored with the base games layout, this is your best option for expansions.
The two new factions are automated and Benjamin Shmauss had his hand in helping with that, which is great news since he added so much to the past improvement in the automation.
Minor Root Expansions
Root has 2 minor expansions that add a little bit to the game. These expansions are mostly for people that want to have the complete Root collection but a lot of people seem to complete this game! It doesn’t hurt that they are pretty good expansions to the base game.
Root: The Exiles and Partisans Deck
This expansion adds an alternative deck of cards which replaces the old deck if you choose to use it. There are some new special powers that also have some vulnerabilities to them.
This is a good expansion to get once you’ve got all the main expansions and are looking to spice the game up some. It could also be a great one to get as a first expansion since it is so cheap!
Root: The Vagabond Pack
This is a small expansion that adds some custom Vagabond meeples. Along with the custom meeples, there are 3 new Vagabonds that can be used: Ronin, Adventurer, and Harrier. They each have their own special abilities and add a small amount of variety to the Vagabond.
On top of that, this is also a cheap expansion to get. It is usually on Amazon for around $10.