If this worker uncovered a cost symbol on the Mat, then the next time I took this action I would have to pay the indicated additional cost (all accumulative) – Power, Popularity, Coins. So, I choose Produce, and gain 1 oil and 2 food. For the purposes of this review, I will not be judging the game based on Scythe … We are forging our great faction from the ashes of lost nation. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor. There’s a lot to weigh up here, the basics being: is the territory important to them, how badly will it hurt them to have the units returned to home, where are they on the power track, and how many combat cards are in their hand? ( Log Out /  And then, there’s combat. Which Mech ability should I uncover first? But you won’t need those – the art itself tells stories big and small. First, ... in other words, this was a weaker aspects of the game. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Newest Board Game Content. Follow us! Check out artistic genius Jakub Rozalski's retro-futuristic illustrations. We do video reviews, and an audio show, and more. Mechs have some useful abilities of their own. Since Scythe was a Kickstarter game with lots of stretch goals unlocked, you’d think additional content would be Kickstarter-exclusive – except it isn’t. Take up the role of leader by assuming command of one of 5 factions, and set out to conquer the coveted "Factory". The player mats are double depth, and the cubes fit the recesses nice and snug, so you haven’t got to be mindful of knocking the mat and sending things sliding out of position. ... Top 10 Solo Games (Featuring Liz Davidson) more . Playing the Crimean Faction, I see that my two workers are on territories that would produce food (Farm) and a worker (Village). The following turn I took the produce action again, gaining another worker and 1 Steel. The artwork of Jakub Różalski is what caught Jamey Stegmaiers attention, and so did mine. The Automa doesn’t move like regular units, instead it sort of teleports based on various factors (proximity to its own units, the Factory, and you). We have new technology – these so-called ‘mechs’ – given to our leader Gunther by the great Nicola Tesla. The rules in the adaptation are exactly the same as the base board game so don't expect anything different there. I could trade, which would give me 2 wood, but that would waste the upgrade bottom row ability, as I only have 2 oil. Play type: action selection, grid movement, worker placement. Glancing inside the box, at all those components, one could easily think it would be a nightmare to set up, but it isn’t, as each player is responsible for their own bits and pieces, and there’s really very little else to think about. I had finished a close second, someone had more money in the bank than I realised, but at least Mr Smug over there didn’t win! The winner is the player with the greatest number of coins. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Created by lead designer Jamey Stegmaier with the assistance of Morten Monrad Pedersen (solo variant) in the stark but beautiful world of artist Jakub Rozalski, Scythe successfully funded by Stonemaier Games via Kickstarter from October 13-November 5 (2015) and was released in August 2016. The rulebook is 31-pages of glossy loveliness. This is what you learnt when that penny dropped! Name: Scythe (2016) The Player Mats may all have the same top and bottom row actions, but they are paired up differently, and the bottom row costs will also vary. I am sure Gunther will find Tesla – who went missing – and together they will forge the remains of Europe into a single unity. level 1 It is all too easy to be holding it in the wrong place and have it flap open on you, which slowly degrades the folds, and over time you may need to give it a little TLC. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Once in a combat situation you better be prepared to put your poker face on, because it’s often a case of trying to second guess what your opponent is going to do. It’s such a simple system, but it works really well, and certainly presents a challenge, especially at the highest levels. If you’re familiar with how the game plays, then feel free to take the bottom action and upgrade yourself straight to, ‘So, what do I think?’, I think the best way to show how the game plays is through an example turn or two, so here goes…. The only time I found a slight niggle with the balance, was when two Factions were right next to each other, and another Faction was well out of the way. The winner gains control of the territory, along with any resources left behind by the loser. Again, I haven’t the current resources on the board to take the bottom row action, which in this case is Build. I had a wonderful time playing this: discussing those close-run games, relishing the momentous victories, and drowning my sorrows over disastrous defeats. The Great War is over and we are rebuilding. Scythe Review – Simply Superb Scythe is a very well known game. The miniatures, whilst not the most detailed in the world, are more than acceptable for a board game in which they are by no means the main focus. There are lots of different ways you can make things work, but trying to find the ideal path to victory is a challenge – it’s all about working the resources you have available to improve your ability to gain territories, popularity, and even more resources, all of which, combined with the coins in your hand, will win you the game. Everyone is starting over, trying to forget the horrors that happened. I hardly had any power, but I did have a power card, which I chose to play. As you can gather, working this out is going to mean fair amount of time staring at your Player Mat, and this can lead to people thinking that player interaction is quite limited, but that isn’t wholly true. It also provides a unique benefit to any Faction that visits it for the first time, in the form of a Factory card. When the game was out of the box, I didn’t want to put it away! Let’s start with some clarifications then. The Mechs would look great in a larger scale, obviously they’d require additional detailing as they’re pretty basic, but the just look at the card art and you can get a feel of how these things would look on the tabletop. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. They list various things the Automa player gets, does, moves, or deploys. I managed to carve out some time this afternoon to play a quick single player game of Scythe versus the Automa. He, on the other hand, had plenty of power, he also had a couple of resources to protect, and he added a power card to his dial. Build allows me to take one of the four structures – Monument, Mill, Mine, Armoury – from the Player Mat, and place it in one of my territories containing a worker. I have 2 food and 2 oil, but I haven’t currently got any wood, in fact I haven’t got any workers on a territory that produces wood, so I need to work out how to get some more. These are blended into a complex system that uses four different resources (wood, food, oil, and steel) and three different currencies (coins, power, and popularity). If Riverwalk is uncovered, then along with the Character they can cross rivers, and they can also carry workers and resources. Scythe comes with its own ‘Automa’ deck and rulebook that allows for solo play, and it works very well indeed… once you get the hang of it, that is! The solo game is an excellent way to refine your strategy, as is the 2-player game, whilst at the higher player count the game is tight and sees an increase in player conflict but rewards bold play. Top 10 Games Where I Want to Play with Everything ... Scythe Review - with the Board Game Family. It was easy for adjacent players to be perceived as a threat, and as they were puffing their chests out, the other Faction quietly got on with the business of winning the game! Then, though, you draw an encounter card, and suddenly, you’re thinking about how good it would be to share some of those coins you’ve been hoarding with those farmers over there! Artwork and Style: Before I dive into the game elements, I first have to tip my hat to the artwork. Be prepared, this is going to be lengthy! Many common board game mechanics are present in Scythe, including: worker placement, area control, resource management, and combat. Combat doesn’t happen as much as one may think, as conflict takes it out of both the involved parties, and this helps to avoid any one Faction being picked on, at least not too much! It has just enough player interaction to stop you feeling like you’re playing on your own, whilst not too much that it distracts you from the real meat of the game. Working your Player Mat to its best does require a certain amount of thought, and you need to be able to think a few moves ahead to get a feel on what you need to do now. I … Each Automa card contains the following information: There are special rules for moving and attacking. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make us smile the most: the inclusion of more than enough plastic Ziploc bags, complete with a thoughtful hole; The two plastic resource containers; storage trays for the minis; and the little storage diagram on the side of the box, which is a big help when trying to cram everything back in! Newsletter sign-up. Late to the party? Gloomhaven Review - The Best Choice for Hardcore Gamers. It is utterly impossible to review Scythe outside of the insane hype that exists around the game. On the very first turn, the player has the option of choosing any of the top row actions: Trade, Bolster, Move, Produce, and then may, if possible, choose to do the associated bottom row action too – Upgrade, Deploy, Build, or Enlist. The 2-player game definitely allows you to hone your skills, and in one way reminded me of chess – the best way to improve, is to play people who are good at the game, and learn from them. The great thing is that, even when you lose big, the game doesn’t make you feel stupid, as you can see why and where you went wrong, and know that you won’t make the same mistakes twice (hopefully!). It is this variance of the bottom actions and their cost that forms the heart of Scythe’s strategy, and its utterly absorbing. When playing solo, you’re in for a game that’s not exciting because you’re thinking whether or not opponents will block or attack you, but how and where they will – because they will. The random selection of these is right where the game really begins. In terms of balance, I have to say that, so far, I’ve found things to be pretty even, no matter what combination of Faction and Player Mat I started with. To gauge other vulnerable locations, you have to be aware of the other Factions’ abilities, such as the Nordic ability to cross lakes, which can take you by surprise. The game felt a lot tighter as we went up the player count. The cards seem confusing at first but are actually quite clear when you get the hang of it. It does not produce any resources, but it does count as 3 controlled territories for final scoring. Scythe is a medium to medium-light Euro-style game, which does see some player conflict, though that certainly isn’t what the game centres around. I then move my Character from its home base into the Farm. Yes, the board, that reminds me. The indicated game time isn’t far off, and in most instances, it played a fair bit quicker – about an hour for 2-players and an extra 15-20 minutes per player from there. As you might know already, Scythe is one of my favorite games ever (if not the favorite game) and the game that was a new catalyst for this hobby. It always feels like you were almost there – that all you needed was another turn or two – and when it does all come together, and your engine purrs along, the feeling you get is so satisfying, and a little bit addictive! The name basically says it all. The artwork contains various easter eggs which are great to discover. The game raised about 1.8 million dollars in 23 days and was backed by … In an alternate history 1920’s, players are in control of nations rebuilding after the World War. Combat is incredibly rewarding, while not essential to the game. The end was nigh, and I had spread myself in anticipation, but even so, there was no way I could end the game on my turn… or was there! On my next turn it helps to have been thinking ahead, and what I wish to achieve. Next time round I take the Trade action. When those invisible borders open, the game turns into some sort of engine builder with a Cold War-touch to it. Expansion became more difficult as other players were all vying for the same territories, and the instances of combat increased, though only slightly. The Great War is over and we are rebuilding. Featuring The Wolf Lord Project (making all twelve Wolf Lords). Scythe is a well-timed, evenly paced game that rewards thoughtful examination of the board state and consistently timely action selection. The box art is good enough to frame and hang on your wall – there’s a depth to the image, and the artist cleverly draws your eye from the peasant farmers in the foreground to the battling ground forces in the rear, complete with menacing, giant mechs. Change ). To this they can then add 1 Power cards per combat unit within the disputed territory. Whilst not a necessity for winning the game, combat can be used to gain a tactical advantage, especially stealing resources! Packing away takes a little longer, but the handy diagram on the side of the box helps tremendously in fitting it all back in, nice and neat. If the Faction and Player Mats are where it all begins, it’s most certainly the placing of that sixth star where it all ends, but it isn’t the aim of the game. These give the beginner an idea about what to try and achieve with their first few moves, which helps prevent a new player feeling overwhelmed at the beginning. Top 10 Solo Games (Featuring Liz Davidson) Dice Tower 631 - Introductory Games. Review: Scythe:: The Solo Meeple Reviews – Scythe – Indie Game News, Review: Scythe:: The Solo Meeple Reviews – Scythe – Indie Games Only, TSM Geek – Mar/Apr 2020 – The Solo Meeple, Unboxing – Victory at Sea: Battle for the Pacific, Forbidden Island – Legendary Level Solo Play-through, 2 Rulebooks (Main rulebook and Automa rulebook), 80 Wooden resource tokens (20 each of food, metal, oil, and wood), 155 wooden player tokens (action, popularity, power, star, structure, recruit, worker, and technology tokens). As you have probably already made out, I really, really enjoy this game. After owning the game for a few years now, I though it about time I put pen to paper… or at least fingers to keyboard! It had to be him, sitting there all smug, knowing that next turn he would spread his units far and wide, place his last structure, and with that star, end the game – he had winner written all over his face. How to use the Faction abilities? The cards, player and Faction mats, and the power dials, all have a lovely linen finish, with stunning artwork cropping up everywhere. Each of these actions is called a ‘top row action’, since there are also four ‘bottom row actions’. You can guarantee that, every time I pack the game away, I end up leaving one or two on the board, as they just don’t stand out – as I say, very, very minor! Type: 4X Strategy, Board game. I thoroughly enjoyed grinding my brain, trying to work out how to get my engine running in a direction suitable to my starting location, which often meant adapting on the fly as I made mistakes. My current aim is to build a structure, which happens to be the bottom action of move. The winner of the game is the one with the most coins, so this is where your focus needs to be; what gets you coins? Created in 2016 by Jamey Stegmaier, it’s still a relatively new game that offers up to two hours of play and is suitable for up to five players and is recommended for players aged 14 and over. Set in an alternate-history 1920’s, the provided backstory is short, allowing the pervading artwork to add embellishments. But, once you get into your third or fourth turn, you will inevitably have forgotten all about the theme, and be busy concentrating on just what it is you want to be doing three turns ahead! By now I’ve bought realistic resources – resin woodblocks, food sacks, oil drums, and metal iron ingots –, metal coins, extra cards, sleeves, and an insert. Picked up Scythe: Invaders from Afar.It added two new factions to the game and two new player mats. Whilst the Automa works very well, I did feel that the games I played changed somewhat and became a concentrated effort of efficiency. There was too much set up and clean up time to make it worth the time to solo for me. A girl travelling around the world on a motorcycle. Those cost resources; you can execute them if you have the required resource. It is actually quite easy to teach and learn, so you can get into it pretty quickly, but there is a depth in strategy that does take some mastering and learning to play the game well takes time. High replay value. It’s in Scythe’s ability to weave together highly complex strategy mechanics with a world of beautiful inspiration – without resulting in a board game that feels bogged down, overladen and drawn-out – that Jamey Stegmaier’s perfected design shines. Life, Golf, Miniatures, & Other Distractions. Set in an alternative-universe Eastern Europe in the 1920s with mechs roaming the countryside. Leveling system. It really is well written and presented, with pictured examples and easy to understand explanations. So, it’s about time I review one of my favourite games of the year. You must consider your basic Faction’s strengths and weaknesses, based upon their abilities, and then work out an initial strategy based upon your Player Mat. Very much enjoyed this post Justin! It sounds quite complicated to start off, but I’m assuming it’s not bad once you pick it up. If I had, then I would remove four food from my territories (they don’t all have to be on the same one) and carry out the action. As I see the flames trembling, sending out waves of warmth, it seems just the right time for yet another board game review. The bottom row action for Trade is Upgrade (the bottom actions may be under different top row ones on the various Player Mats, and their costs may vary). ( Log Out /  It also looks as though it’s well suited to solo play, giving you the time to ponder your strategy and actions. In Scythe, each player represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europe who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction's stake in the land around the mysterious … Also, unless you’re playing the Saxony Empire, you can only place two stars maximum from combat. First, let me explain why this exists. The players then reveal their totals simultaneously, with the highest declared the winner. Writing, gaming, miniature painting, physical culture, and other dark procrastinations. It arrived and I loved it. The Player with the greatest number of coins wins. I found I had to be more cautious, and ensure I didn’t leave any valuable resources unprotected, but I really enjoyed the game when playing at the higher player counts, and I preferred the added pressure it put on me not to make any mistakes. This feeds nicely into scaling. So there you have it, my first real review. Of the included Factions, one of these is always Riverwalk, which enables your Character and Mech to cross rivers, though only to the specified territory types, and another is Speed, which increases the movement range of your Character and Mechs by an extra hex. When playing solo, you play against an opponent whose actions are defined by one card drawn each turn from a deck. How will this mats Structure abilities tie in with the uncovered Enlist bonuses? Robinson Crusoe – a solo review – Stidjen Plays Solo, 2018 gift guide for solo gamers – Stidjen Plays Solo, 4 reasons why… a solo gamer is never alone – Stidjen Plays Solo, The Rise of Fenris – a solo review (non-spoiler) – Stidjen Plays Solo, The Top 10 Best Solo Board Games (for Coronavirus Quarantine), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This stems from the way you select a unit to move, and where it will move to, which involves working out a unit’s ‘neighbourhood’. Scythe is a game about efficiency, and your player board is essentially an efficiency puzzle with results that play out on the main board. As you can see, you want to maximise each turn, not wasting a bottom row action if you can help it. I move one worker from the Village territory, into the one that produces Steel (Mountain). I also discovered videogames in the meantime, but there’s something about the tactile feel of cardboard and cards! The graphic design is also excellent throughout; everything is easy to read and the symbology obvious. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I found the game somewhat addictive. Add 15-20 minutes per player after that. DLC: "Invaders from Afar" - Include 2 new factions: Clan Albion and The Togawa Shogunate. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Once you’ve achieved this enlightenment, then you move on to refining your strategy and experimenting. The solo game is an excellent way to refine your strategy, as is the 2-player game, whilst at the higher player count the game is tight and sees an increase in player conflict but rewards bold play. If you own it and haven’t played, solo – do it. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. This is for good reason. Stars placed – Gain the indicated number of coins for each star your Faction placed. Number of players: 1 to 5. Automatically reshuffles and flips from Scheme I to Scheme II. … and the player draws his starting money, places his popularity marker, and draws objective cards, as indicated on the Player Mat, as well as placing his Power Marker and drawing an amount of Combat cards as shown on the Faction Mat. Thanks, John. You pick up a Faction mat, and just by looking at the character and their surrounding environment enables you get a feel for just who they and what they represent. I can’t take the same action twice, and so I place my token in the Move section. Either way, it stood up extremely well to repeat play, and, as I could rattle a few games off in quick succession, it made the setup and put away time worthwhile. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Once placed, I will gain the buildings benefit: Monument gains me 1 popularity when I take the Bolster action; Mill works as an extra territory when I take the produce action, producing one of whatever resource that territory provides; Mine acts as a tunnel that only my Faction can use; Armoury gains me 1 Power whenever I take the trade action. Use the buttons to draw turn cards, combat cards or discard and advance the star tracker, or optionally double tap to draw and dismiss cards. I don’t recall ever having to take to the Internet to clarify a rule, which is always a refreshing feeling these days! Publisher: Stonemaier Games You farm goods, conquer regions and try to win over the people and gain popularity. I was impressed by the variety of … Lots of conversions, Space Wolves, Chaos, Salamanders, Tyranids & More! If a Character or Mech moves into a territory with another Factions unit in, then Combat may ensue. You have to keep an eye on the progress of the other players at all times, at least if you don’t want to be caught napping (more of this a little later), and it’s good to get involved when characters have encounters, but there are also opportunities to form alliances, or even bribe others with coin to do your bidding, and there’s also the Enlist action – pay attention to the players either side of you, and what you’re doing that may benefit them, equally, can you turn their strategy into your good fortune? They must have the available Power to spend on the Power Track, with the maximum being 7. (Just to clarify… the above is a fictitious account, and the characters bare no resemblance to anyone I have ever played Scythe with, in the past, present, and hopefully, the future!). Instead of using the default game board for Scythe, you have one that changes up each time you play. There is also a paragraph dedicated to each character, which provides a little of their background, and a section giving a thematic reason why each Faction has the ability they have. These cards vary in value from 2 to 5. You can upgrade to metal Mechs, but I imagine they are the same scale. It does take up a lot of table space, though, but it looks good whilst doing it! Players also have a player mat, from which they select one of four actions to execute each turn. The designer notes give an interesting insight into why certain things are as they are, and what the thinking was behind some of the rulings. Whenever either I, or the player to the immediate left and right, take that bottom row action in the future, then the player gains the indicated bonus. Other than that, the board is excellent. Removing a Mech from the Mat uncovers a special ability. Let’s start at the beginning with the Faction and Player Mats. The multiple combinations of Faction and Player Mat means that, for the first half-dozen or so games, you’ll still be figuring out the best way to go about things. Change ). It baffled me – this wasn’t what I saw in the videos! ( Log Out /  Every game I played felt different to the last, as the combination of Faction and Player Mats varied, and there was always something new to try. It also tells the player when it gains the ability to cross rivers and lakes. Overall, to me, Scythe seems reasonably balanced, though some combinations of race + player board seem much stronger than others. It’s this attention to detail that makes the production stand out. The game was originally released by a crowd-funding platform (Kickstarter) where it raised $1.8 million before becoming mainstream. Finally, I get to place my Mech. When someone places that sixth star, you want to be in the best position possible to rake those coins in: lots of territories, lots of resources, have those structures in the right place, and, of course, have as much cash in the bank as possible. I certainly haven’t covered everything in the above, but hopefully I’ve provided enough to give you a feel for the game. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Google account.
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