The Woodland, Video Reviews

Root: The Marauder Expansion

The Marauder Expansion is the newest Expansion for Root: A game of woodland might and right.

Designer(s): Patrick Leder, Nick Brachmann, Cole Wehrle, Joshua Yearsley

Artist(s): Kyle Ferrin

Publisher: Leder Games

It’s here! The newest expansion from Leder Games for Root! The Marauder Expansion! I have seen many people very hyped for this expansion ranging from videos to essays, to faction guides (Check out Luke’s Keepers in Iron guide here on the MCG site!). With the Kickstarter backers getting their games, and the retail version of the expansion soon to be hitting store shelves, I thought now would be a good time to throw my hat into the ring! So, I made a video getting into what’s in this new expansion box!

Check out the Game section of MCG for more written reviews or check out the MCG YouTube Channel for Videos and the Reading Rulebooks Podcast!

Faction Overview

The Lord of the Hundreds

The first faction from the Marauder Expansion is the Lord of the Hundreds. The Lord of the Hundreds is a very interesting faction. They can steal items from ruins and open those extra slots in clearings. The Vagabond has some competition!  The Warlord is a bit moody, and he will try to use his moods to his advantage. Although, he’s never in the same mood twice in a row. Y’all he’s really moody.

The main goal of the Lord of the Hundreds is their warriors want to be all by themselves. They want to rule clearings and be the only one there. And you know what that means? War. Lots and lots of war because the more clearly they totally control, the more points they’ll passively score at the end of the turn. 

The Keepers in Iron

The second faction included in the Marauder Expansion is the Keepers in Iron. The Keepers in Iron are a very forward complex faction. It’s difficult to learn but once you get over that curve, it’s smooth sailing. The Keepers in Iron work on two different axes; wanting to rule clearing surrounding a forest and wanting to rule clearing of one suit.

By using their planned retinue actions, the Keepers in Iron can delve for relics and bring them out of the forest. Then it’s just time to get the home safely. That should be easy…. Right? For a more in depth “How to Play” Guide, check out the Root Keepers in Iron Guide by Luke Bridwell. 

Advanced SetUp (Adset)

Advanced Setup is one of the things I am most excited about from the Marauder Expansion. This does away with the static set up as described on the back of the faction boards (i.e., (A) Cats set up first, (B) then Eyrie, etc.). Instead, there is now a dynamic set up where the player in the last position can choose and set up their faction first. Then the other players choose and set up in reverse turn order.

Not only is the order of setting up the more dynamic, but the limitation of where each faction can set up has totally changed. No more forced corer starts. Although, if you want to set up in the corner, you still totally can. The only limitations for AdSet are navigating around other players homelands. This means where you choose to set up can technically be counter play to a faction that isn’t yet in play!


The last part of the Marader Expansion is Hirelings. The Hirelings aren’t something I go into in the video because I honestly just don’t know that much about them. From my limited understanding, Hirelings are gained throughout the game and can help players with various abilities. The hirelings that are in the game correspond to factions that aren’t in the game. This shows that faction presence in the forest even if they aren’t in the direct conflict.

The Marauders Expansion comes with the hirelings corresponding to the factions from the original game (Marquise de Cat, Eyrie Dynasties, Woodland Alliance, and Vagabond). Hirelings representing other factions can be found in their own expansion boxes.

Who will Like it

The Marauders expansion is great for any table that doesn’t mind a bit of aggression. Because there will be aggression. Both factions in this box have a Battle action built into their economy that must be triggered to accomplish their goals. If aggression isn’t natural to you (and I know it isn’t for me), both factions can really encourage it out of a player as it’s such a core idea to their playstyles. I think this is a great expansion for anyone who loves Root.

My Take

The new content from the Marauders expansion takes the game and turns it up several notches. There new factions add tension to the game and push aggression more to the forefront of everyone’s minds. Advanced Setup brings a lot to the game in terms of difficult choices and finding the right fit whether that’s based on the faction in play, the cards available in your hand, or the map.



I really do love this expansion. It brings so much to the game and adds a lot of elements that I absolutely adore. Even after watching over two hundred and forty hours of Root, I still jump at the chance to play.

*See my rating scale Here

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