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Root & Raspberry Daquiris

Pairing Food and Drink with Games by @saggyhead

It is still lockdown here, and as such I have made the executive decision that giving up anything for lent is an uncalled for additional restriction during this time. To build on my previous blog article about pairing games and food, I have now gone for the food and drinks option and I’ll be bringing some mini game reviews along with some suggestions for food and drink pairings.

If this past 12 months has taught me anything, it is that life is too short for boring food and run-of-the-mill drinks. Whereas previously in the PC (pre-Covid) times, I would have balked at the idea of making at-home cocktails, deeming them too much faff. However with the long-term closure of bars etc, I have done a 180 on this opinion. So, there will be top-tier drinks and food options in this blog paired with games. The links between the game and food and drink will be tenuous of course, but all will promise lots of fun.

Rooting for Some Berries

Raspberry daiquiri is one of the kings of the cocktail world. It’s decadence and sweetness belies the copious amounts of alcohol in it. It reminds me of summer days in outdoor bars on holiday, and reminds me of fun times. So I picked the drink first and paired a game with it, this is one of them.

I picked my game of the moment, which is a woodland themed battle royale. Where cute little animals declare all out war upon other creatures and spring from the shadows to attack to the death. To pair with it, I see the daiquiri as more of a dessert drink, so I am going to go full woodland and suggest some mushroom soup and big hunks of crusty bread to go with it. I would always use dried porcini and chestnut mushrooms in my mushroom soup. Always roasted red onion instead of white onions as well to boost flavour further. My soup trick is to add a tin of new potatoes to bulk out the soup and get that thicker consistency so it sits well on your bread too.

The artwork for Root is cutesy and beautiful. The components have such a high quality and sleek design that you’ll find yourself lining the animeeples up whilst you plan your next dastardly move. And yet behind all this cuteness and beauty lies a war game. An actual war game. I normally hate war games. But Root is such a brain burning asymmetric strategic puzzle that I just cannot leave it alone, regardless of the number of vivid woodland dreams I have.

In Root you play as one of the asymmetric factions, each is able to move around the board, battle and build strongholds to try and take over the woodland. Each of the factions plays in a totally different way, although each follows the same basic three parts to their turn; Birdsong, Daylight and Evening. The winning condition is the same for everyone, you want to be the first to thirty VP. Thirty sounds like a low number, at the start it feels like it is taking ages to get anywhere, but the game builds and it's a frantic dash to the finish line by the end.

In the current times, we have learned the game initially as the Marquise de Cats and the Eyrie Bird factions. As the cats, you start by dominating the board, and you have to cement this domination by building workshops, sawmills and recruit posts to gain victory points. This is the faction that starts by hitting the ground running, and you must try to keep control and keep the other factions down in order to get across the line first.

The Eyrie faction is a programming faction where you must add cards to your decree each turn, these allow you to recruit, move, battle and build roosts. Trouble is, if you can’t fulfill the actions required by your decree then it all goes to pot and you go into turmoil. This may not actually be a bad thing, although breaking your decree and losing some VP and starting again does smart a little regardless.

The other two factions I feel like I’m not particularly adept at yet, we are very much still in training wheels on the Woodland Alliance and the Vagabond! I recently got the app of the game from Direwolf and it actually is a great implementation that is helping me to learn the base game better. It also helps that you can play the challenges solo. Although I best get my skates on because every day this weekend MJ has played the Root app before I’ve woken up!!

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