I managed to carve out some time this afternoon to play a quick single player game of Scythe versus the Automa. Here are a few of my thoughts about the experience:
(+) - The overall feel of the experience was similar to playing against real opponents. I was impressed by the variety of actions included in the automa deck. I really like the “scheme shift” that ramped up the difficulty about halfway through the game.
(+) - The automa was easy to run. Once you learn how to read the cards the game flowed very quickly. There are not a lot of finicky things to do each turn.
(+) - Scythe is a blast to play. You build up your player board but you never feel totally secure as you watch enemies march towards you. Your engine, although carefully constructed, can fall apart in an instant if your opponents take a hex.
(+) - Production values are simply off the charts. The wooden Meeples, the plastic minis, the card quality, the boards, and even the money bits are amazing.
(-) - The iconography can be a bit much at first. Most games have this learning curve, so Scythe is not alone in this, but it’s almost like you need to learn a new language with each game you play.
(-) Although the blending of many different mechanisms in Scythe is one of its greatest strengths, it can also be a weakness too. Sometimes I find myself yearning for more engine building options. Or more combat choices. If the game focused more on one of these areas would it lose some of its greatness? Again perhaps my forthcoming expansion plays will address this.
(-) - Combat is not the most rewarding endeavor. Even if you win you don’t really feel like you’ve won. I’ve heard that the expansion fixes this but I’ve yet to play it. This initial play was to prepare myself for the campaign.
Scythe is an amazing multiplayer experience and my first solo play was almost as amazing. The automa cards are easy to use and make for a decent opponent. I give this game a very solid 90%.