Scythe - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2016
71 39 12

Scythe is a board game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor.

In Scythe, each player represents a fallen leader attempting to restore their honor and lead their faction to power in Eastern Europa. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.

Each player begins the game with different resources (strength, victory points, movement capabilities, and popularity), their choice of several faction-specific abilities, and a hidden goal. Starting positions are specially calibrated to contribute to each faction’s uniqueness and the asymmetrical nature of the game.

Scythe gives players almost complete control over their fate. Other than each player’s individual hidden objective card, the only elements of luck are encounter cards that players will draw as they interact with the citizens of newly explored lands and combat cards that give you a temporary boost in combat. Combat is also driven by choices, not luck or randomness.

Scythe uses a streamlined action-selection mechanism (no rounds or phases) to keep gameplay moving at a brisk pace and reduce downtime between turns. While there is plenty of direct conflict, there is no player elimination, nor can units be killed or destroyed.

Every part of Scythe has an aspect of engine-building to it. Players can upgrade actions to become more efficient, build structures that improve their position on the map, enlist new recruits to enhance character abilities, activate mechs to deter opponents from invading, and expand their borders to reap greater types and quantities of resources. These engine-building aspects create a sense of momentum and progress throughout the game. The order in which players improve their engine adds to the unique feel of each game, even when playing one faction multiple times.

User Reviews (2)

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Gamer - Level 1
6 of 6 gamers found this helpful
“Accessible, deep, and lots of fun. Worth every penny.”

At first glance Scythe appears daunting, with its relatively large board and components list (and let’s face it, large price tag)- but underneath the lid is a game which is worthy of the investment. You will sweat during your first setup and recheck the rule book half of the first game, but Scythe carries you along with relatively simple game mechanics, and you will quickly learn enough to appreciate the dizzying layers of strategy at every turn.

Largely a Cold War, players will find themselves initially trapped near their faction’s base, and then slowly expanding outwards into the world. Along the way they must gather resources, upgrade their war machines, and manage their encounters with encroaching opponents. A winner can balance victory in skirmishes with an ever-expanding territory and resource horde. And popularity.

In fact, the surprising lack of focus on combat made the game more enjoyable for players who normally prefer conflict-free games. With only 4-5 basic moves in the game, more time is spent stressing over how these actions domino into subsequent turns, and if achieving your fleeting plan will actually help you accrue the fortune necessary to win the game. The beautiful game cards and nice components also do their best to immerse you in Eastern Europa, though it can be a bit hard to tell the difference between some pieces in the retail game.

The Good Stuff
-The packaging of the box is great, with bags and containers galore included for components.
-Player boards do their best to help guide setup.
-The art. Just look at it. The Encounter cards are particularly breathtaking.

-Not all player boards are the same, and while this adds depth and replay value it is less welcoming to newcomers learning the rules fresh, as moves will have different costs for each player.
-There is an upcoming expansion to add 2 factions to the base game, which arguably should have been included originally as the spaces are already on the main board.


Player Avatar
Smirk and Dagger Games fan
10 of 12 gamers found this helpful
“Had a blast!”

This game is pretty awesome.
It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but it’s a fairly simple game.
The difficulty comes in the way of strategy against your opponents.
As the game moves forward, you’ll find yourself agonizing over the choices you make.
There are also many ways to score and win. So, even if you feel you are not doing well, there is still a chance to win.

Art is outstanding
Board is big; lots of room to play.
Not very difficult to learn.

The board art is a bit muddled. It’s important because there are certain abilities that can be used depending on terrain which is sometimes hard to determine.
It requires a lot of room to set up.
The miniatures are not very detailed. Not horrible, but maybe if you like painting miniatures then you will notice the lack of face detail.

I would recommend this game.

Like I said; this is a great game. I see the replay-ability potential as high.
It is a beautiful and fun game.


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