Scythe board game
Scythe gives players almost complete control over their fate. Other than each player's individual hidden objective card, the only elements of luck or variability are "Encounter" cards that players will draw as they interact with the citizens of newly explored lands. Each encounter card provides the player with several options, allowing them to mitigate the luck of the draw through their selection. 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 for players who seek it, there is no player elimination.

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.

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User Reviews

  • Great game. Great components!
  • It's pretty good, but not my #1 favorite Euro/Victory Point game. It's long and complex enough that if you don't play frequently, it's hard to manage all the options and strategies. Feels like multi-player solitaire for the whole first half, with only occasional combat/interaction after that (i.e. it's more Euro than combat).(I fully realize that more plays may solve all of that, but for the time involved, there are other VP games I'd rather play.)
  • Beautiful production quality. Enjoyable with two players, good complexity.
  • Ok... enjoyable. But don't leeeeerv it.
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I've found at least in the first third of peoples first game of #Root there can be a bit of combat aversion... I'm feeling like the next time through people will be more willing to combat.  The thing is, we do tend to see a decent amount of combat in #Scythe so I'm hoping that it won't take long to get into more combat in #Dune and Root the next time we play.

I made a post a few weeks back explaining my two criteria for ratings and I definitely favor the first criteria (does the game do/offer what it says it's going to) over my second (is this a game I'd prefer to play).

For me the one that stands out that I rank at a 9 or 10 (or 4.5-5 on BGA) is #My Little Scythe.  Now if I were to play this game as an adult only game, yeah it'd drop way down, but I don't.  If I want the #Scythe experience in an adult game night, well, I'll play Scythe.

But for introducing my young family to gaming, and further more to heavy gaming #My Little Scythe is in my opinion the perfect game to develop a deep appreciation for the hobby at their play level.  It offers a nice light version of Scythe with awesome art and a fun theme.  Right now it is too low (although now I'm going to go rate and review it to bring it up).

This could be way off but I'd guess#Root or#Scythe

I think I'll be getting it in as a 3P game tomorrow.  I've only played 3P once and that was a while ago and it was our first play so I don't remember it well.  But I think I would still play it if it was going to be 3P.  Some of it is my player personailty though too.  I love really big crowded boards.  For instance, I will play #Scythe at 3P and I'll enjoy it, but ideally it would be 5+ (really 6+) players for me.

I love #Root at both 4 and 5 (although I think some don't love 5 that much).

My copy of #Scythe came with one meeple from the Nordic faction coloured yellow. Stonemair replaced it very cheerfully and quickly.

I put down at least ten years. Though, I do think that there are game that have been here for less than five years, that I do believe will be proven to be classics by the time they reach the 10 year mark. For instance, I do believe that #Wingspan will still be alive and well by the time that it is ten years old. The same could be said, I think, for #Clans of Caledonia, or #Scythe, or any number of other games.

Played a three player game of #Tapestry with a friend who wanted to try it for the first time. I don't think the game has a ton of variability after playing a few times but I still really enjoy it. 

Played a quick two player game of #Res Arcana which I hadn't played in quite awhile, for how quick it is I really like the decision space. 


Played two player #Wingspan with #Wingspan: European Expansion which is always a solid game, another one that is easy to pull off in short time period. 


On Saturday played three player games of #Pendulum #Scythe with #Scythe: Invaders from Afar and #Brass: Birmingham all at the choice of a friend who had come over. It was my first time with Pendulum and I really really love what it's trying to do with simultaneous play. I haven't had the chance to play on the advanced side of the board but I do think the added asymmetry will make it a really good game. From the perspective of game design there's so much to think about in terms of choices that were made. I wonder if the simplicity of it will hurt the replayability eventually, but at the same time while you are making decisions and thinking about timing I found myself very thankful that the decision space was simple enough that I didn't have to think too much about what things did. Scythe is always a favorite and I played with Albion live for the first time which was a fun experience. Brass: Birmingham is a game I really love but I really worried that it would be hard to get people to enjoy it, that hasn't proven to be the case. 

Finally on Sunday my wife wanted to play another game of #Brass: Birmingham it definitely seems like it's quickly becoming a favorite of hers which I didn't expect. That and Maracaibo are definitely the recent games we've played she has liked the most. 

We just picked up #Paladins of the West Kingdom #Mariposas and #Alma Mater so those should be on the docket in the coming week or two. 

I agree with most of the commentary below about Wingspan. It's a game I enjoy and really admire it but when I personally think of highly thematic games I don't think it's as good as others. I think the most spot on point is that while some of the mechanics are thematic (predator birds, birds that migrate habitats) plenty are not and it always feels like an engine builder for points rather than running a bird sanctuary. With that said, I think it does a great job setting a fantastic mood for the type of game it is, and the eggs, the wooden dice, the dicetower, the unique bird cards, the art on the player boards etc do a fantastic job of that. I do think it's important to remember what a great place Wingspan exists in in terms of being an inviting gateway game and I believe that how thematic it is is going to depend greatly on what your experience in gaming is up to that point.


I think Wingspan exists in an area of strategy games where the components themselves do a great job keeping it from being a dry game and giving it a mood and then the more the mechanics match the more thematic it feels. I think of #Viticulture: Essential Edition and #Agricola (Revised Edition) as games that do a great job of this with both mechanisims and components. I think #Root #Everdell #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and #Teotihuacan: City of Gods all do a great job setting the scene with their art and then matching it in varying degrees with mechanics. 


I can think of countless "Ameritrash" games that are highly thematic but skill checks often ruin that dynamic for me personally. Even a game like #Forgotten Waters which drips with story and theme after awhile didn't feel like much of a game to me and lost its immersiveness. While still not in my wheelhouse I found #Gloomhaven and #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion to be much more immersive because the card play makes you feel like you are really dictating what happens and controlling your character. Conversely #Scythe was a game where the theme was almost non-existent to me until I played #Scythe: The Rise of Fenris and from then on the game was far more thematic in my mind than it had been previously. The most thematic game I've ever played would have to be #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and much like with Rise of Fenris, that experience has made other #Pandemic games feel more thematic just because I have seen how immersive it can be. 


A game that hasn't gotten any mentions yet that I've seen that's both a strategy game and highly thematic, in my opinion, is #Brass: Birmingham the historic accuracy that went into that game is remarkable and it really comes through in the most unique aspect to the game- the sudden switch from canals to rails. The included history of the characters in the rulebook is also a nice touch. I would contrast that with a game that I also love but don't find thematic which is #A Feast For Odin which, in true Uwe fashion, comes with what is essentially an entire book explaining the history that exists in the game but if you never read the book you would never really know and it's dry enough that you really don't need to and it becomes vikings playing tetris. 

These are interesting stories. I think for me the one I think of is #Scythe. I had never spent more than $45-50 on a game. And, Scythe was running about $65. I think I waited about 2 years before I finally pulled the trigger. I am so so happy that I did.

If I had the extra cash I'd definitely do in order

#Clans of Caledonia - Metal Coins, #Scythe Metal Coins, Viticulture - Metal Coins, Pax Pamir II (when I get it) - Metal Coins, Clans of Caledonia - Realistic Resources, Scythe - Realistic Resources

I don't think that I would have bought #Scythe if it didn't have a solo mode. I wasn't a solo gamer. I still lived in the US. But, I was thinking about moving down here, so, I specifically bought it as a game that I wanted to play multiplayer, but could play solo if I needed to.

I think mine was when I bought #Scythe. I think I paid $60-65 for it. At that point it was the most I had ever paid, or had dreamed of paying for a board game. I have since broken that record. But, that does signify the moment that I realized that this hobby could get more involved than I had any ability to forsee.

I don't know that I would say that I am into Kickstarters. But, I have backed a few this year, and that is something that I would have said, even a year ago, that I would never engage in something like that.

I think I like aspects of all of them. I love a good AI (i.e. #Rurik: Dawn of Kiev, #Scythe, etc.). And games like #Twice As Clever where I try to beat a score is also good. But, I don't always like beat your own score games. I think story, for me, might be my favorite. But a good AI is always a pleasure.

I was driven too it when I left those I gamed with. I think the first game I ever played solo was #Agricola (Revised Edition) though I played #Scythe at around the same time.

I have, however, since that time learned to love and admire solo gaming as a activity worthy in it's own right. I prefer my games to be pretty heavy, and my current favorite is #Star Trek: Frontiers.

I do very much want to play #Spirit Island and #Scythe, I've not come across #Star Trek: Frontiers before.

I really like this game. #Race for the Galaxy continues to be my favorite "pure" tableau builder.

One unsung tableau builder that I absolutely love is #Innovation. This is a wild, wooly, and very chaotic seeming tableau builder that take a few plays for it to start feeling manageable.

Another sort of tableau builder is where you start with a tableau and changing it as you play. I think of games like #Scythe and its player boards. These are tableaus that are, to a certain extant fixed, but you can really really improve them as you go on.

Yes, I do tend to love games with lot's of interconnected mechanics. Some examples include.


#Star Trek: Frontiers

#Spirit Island


I think they need to fit into the theme of the game to be enjoyable. And they need to have choices so you can decide how to deal with the problem or opportunity presented to you. 

As we've all discussed#Scythe does a great job with this. The encounter cards are usually a fairly major bonus, and you get to decide how to proceed.

I actually can't think of any other games that I own that include this mechanic. Unless I'm just forgetting something obvious. But perhaps I unintentionally have avoided it? I don't consciously dislike this mechanic in the surface. 

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