Scythe: A first play review

I had a chance to play Scythe this weekend with some friends.  It is probably one of the most sought after games right now and after a single play through I see why.

Scythe is set in an alternate history of the 1920s during a time of unrest in Europa.  This worker placement / area control game has beautiful art on both the game board and the various cards, great miniatures, and a TON of pieces.  The setup was a bit intimidating; each player faction has a board that is a little bit different than the others, giving different costs and upgrades.  This means you might have to play a bit different strategy depending on what faction you play with.  Once we got setup, the rules were explained and while explained clearly it still felt like a lot to take in.  However, like a lot of good games after a few turns around the table I felt like I knew what I was doing.  Now it was just a matter of figuring out a good strategy to win (something I failed horribly at coming up with).

Each turn players get to pick one of the four actions on their player board to take, paying the cost and gaining the resources, gaining farmers, deploying mechs, and moving across the board.  If a mech or faction leader comes onto a hex with another opponent’s mech or faction leader combat takes place, which is a fast and simple system where each player secretly dedicates power and/or combat cards to the battle.  The player with the highest number wins and the loser’s figures are driven back to their starting spot.

The goal of the game is to compete 6 of the 10 objectives (deploy all mechs, win a combat, build all structures, etc…).  When one player has accomplished 6 the game ends and the player with the most coins wins.  During the end step bonus coins are awarded for the amount of hexes controlled, resources on the board, and objective competed, each of which gain a multiplier depending on your popularity at the end.

This game had so many things I really enjoyed- great art, cool minis, solid game play, huge replayability.  This game is going on my wish list.

Rating: 8.5/10

Chris Duffield
Chris has been working in the comic and gaming industry for more than ten years and is an owner of Heroes' Beacon. He enjoys reading comics, playing board games, painting and playing miniature war games.