Removing a Mech from the Mat uncovers a special ability. Number of players: 1 to 5. 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. Add 15-20 minutes per player after that. 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). The Automa AI works in such a way that it tries to concentrate its units around the factory, and you can use this to your advantage. 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. Scythe is an engine-building game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. 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. 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 Automa uses a card called the Star Tracker and choosing one of these at the start of the game determines the difficulty. 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. The game raised about 1.8 million dollars in 23 days and was backed by … His face held that annoying half grin that had been there the entire game, that is until I pointed out that he’d just earned a star for that… his sixth star. 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. It floats all my boats, both competitively and solo. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. This currently allows me to either, move two different units to an adjacent territory, or to gain a coin. I found it clunky, I don't recommend it if you are going to be playing primarily solo. Gloomhaven Review - The Best Choice for Hardcore Gamers. This is more of a perception of imbalance than a reality, and it depends upon how the players develop the game. The number of cards are limited to the number of players plus one, and on controlling the Factory for the first time the player gets to one and adds it to the end of the Player Mat, thus reducing the options for the next player who arrives there. … The board is big, which it needs to be, and double sided – the reverse has enlarged hexes for use with the expansion board – ideal when playing with the increased player count that the Invaders From a Far expansion gives you – but its size means you have to be careful when unfolding it. This is for good reason. 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. Stars can also be placed for the following: When a Faction places their sixth star the game ends immediately, and end game scoring is carried out. However, since the Automa gains combat resources to complement their aggressive stance, they can put their money where their mouth is. Scythe is a game about efficiency, and your player board is essentially an efficiency puzzle with results that play out on the main board. These cards vary in value from 2 to 5. I then move my Character from its home base into the Farm. Instead of using the default game board for Scythe, you have one that changes up each time you play. Playing time: Solo games can be as quick as 20-minutes, and 2-player games often come in under an hour. The capitalistic city-state known simply as “The Factory,” which fuelled the war with heavily armoured mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries…. The Factory is a special territory located at the centre of the board. Video: Hadrian's … Here are a few of my thoughts about the experience: (+) - The overall feel of the experience was similar to playing against real opponents. 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. I was impressed by the variety of … Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. For the purposes of this review, I will not be judging the game based on Scythe … Scythe – a solo (Automa) review The year is… wait, that doesn’t matter. Pick a faction et ... Official adaptation of the award-winning board game. 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. But get your timing wrong, and mister smug over there, with only two stars but resources coming out of his ears and a whole pocket full of cash, will smile sweetly, as you crawl back into your hole! It is this variance of the bottom actions and their cost that forms the heart of Scythe’s strategy, and its utterly absorbing. Let’s start with some clarifications then. Since I was young I have been enamored with playing games and I haven’t stopped playing them since. 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 … Set in an alternate-history 1920’s, the provided backstory is short, allowing the pervading artwork to add embellishments. The artwork of Jakub Różalski is what caught Jamey Stegmaiers attention, and so did mine. Everyone is starting over, trying to forget the horrors that happened. The following turn I took the produce action again, gaining another worker and 1 Steel. Enlist enables me to remove one of the recruit markers from the Player Mat and place it on the Faction Mat, claiming one of the four one-time bonuses – 2 Power, 2 Coins, 2 Popularity, or 2 Combat cards. I would really like to deploy a Mech, but to do this I need 3 Steel, so I need to work towards that aim. Each involved player takes a Power Dial, on which they will secretly select the number of power points they wish to spend. High replay value. 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! I move one worker from the Village territory, into the one that produces Steel (Mountain). Artwork and Style: Before I dive into the game elements, I first have to tip my hat to the artwork. Picked up Scythe: Invaders from Afar.It added two new factions to the game and two new player mats. To take this I would need 3 Oil, so again, I’m currently unable to do this. In Scythe, each player represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europa who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction's stake in the land around the mysterious Factory. Level up your Marvel: Crisis Protocol game with more XP. I am sure Gunther will re-establish our faction as one of the world’s greatest. To this they can then add 1 Power cards per combat unit within the disputed territory. The Mats are set up by placing the mechs, stars, cubes, structures, and workers in their starting positions, like so…. SCYTHE. 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. It will certainly appeal to those who like to think and plan ahead, and, despite being easy to teach and learn, it definitely has a depth that takes some mastering. When I first opened the box of Scythe, one of the first things I saw was the Automa deck. 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. The Great War is over and we are rebuilding. Lots of conversions, Space Wolves, Chaos, Salamanders, Tyranids & More! 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. Subscribe here to receive notifications whenever I post new content. I’m so far behind I haven’t even received the invite! 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. It arrived and I loved it. Once you’ve achieved this enlightenment, then you move on to refining your strategy and experimenting. I certainly haven’t covered everything in the above, but hopefully I’ve provided enough to give you a feel for the game. Players: 1-5 and plays well at all counts. The replayability is outstanding AND there are some fantastic expansions if the base game ever gets boring. I did have to refer to it a fair amount for the first game or two, but that wasn’t because things were difficult to grasp; there is quite bit to take in, and it didn’t help with me having the memory of a goldfish! The player’s final position on the Popularity track indicates a multiplier for working out the gain in coins within in each of three categories. If I could, thought, I would pay the cost and then take one cube from a top row action, thus increasing its capability, and place it in one of the available slots of the bottom row actions. First, ... in other words, this was a weaker aspects of the game. The Dice Tower is dedicated to getting folks to learn about the wide world of exciting new board games. 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. Maybe he hid in the mysterious Factory, right there in the center of what used to be Europe? It’s such a simple system, but it works really well, and certainly presents a challenge, especially at the highest levels. ( Log Out /  These are accumulated throughout the game and from end-game scoring. I found this an exciting part of the game, and one where you have to keep your wits about you. They also get to place 1 Star on the Triumph track if they haven’t already claimed 2 victories. As soon as a game ended, and scoring complete, I really wanted to crack-on and play again. 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). ( Log Out /  You can choose from five factions (there’s two more in the Invaders From Afar-expansion) – each comes with their own abilities. 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! Creating or placing resources in a vulnerable location is just asking for someone to pounce, especially if they can spend those resources on their move bottom row action. I remove 3 Steel from my territories, then take one of the Mechs from my Faction Mat and place it where I have at least 1 worker. Scythe (1-5 players, 115 minutes) is a board game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. As I mentioned, the artwork is superb, and every bit of it tells its own story. So there you have it, my first real review. About Scythe. We have new technology – these so-called ‘mechs’ – given to our leader Gunther by the great Nicola Tesla. And yet it rarely stutters due to analysis paralysis, as limiting the choice of actions works to keep the pace up, and being able to start your turn whilst the previous player carries out a bottom action also helps. 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. Add 15-20 minutes per player after that. There’s nothing difficult about it, it just takes some getting used to. Overall, to me, Scythe seems reasonably balanced, though some combinations of race + player board seem much stronger than others. All of this makes for game that has longevity; a game that will keep you coming back for more, time and time again. A race for stars? ( Log Out /  The Automa provides a rich and challenging experience that makes you feel like a war commander trying to outwit the aggressive opponent. 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. 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. Top 10 Games Where I Want to Play with Everything ... Scythe Review - with the Board Game Family. If you don’t own this game – get it. The big reveal – I had nothing to show on my dial, a big fat zero, and my power card was a lowly number two. For example: On the Patriotic Mat you may do a Trade top row action, and then pay to do a Build bottom row action, whilst on the Mechanical Mat, Upgrade is the bottom action. You farm goods, conquer regions and try to win over the people and gain popularity. 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. Hopefully, I’ve been able to give an idea of the game, and how, on first impression it may appear like your options are limited, when there is, in fact, a great depth to this game that I for one just loved. 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. 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. If you … Players also have a player mat, from which they select one of four actions to execute each turn. First, let me explain why this exists. I must pay a coin to gain any two resources, which I place on territories containing a worker (workers are not a resource and cannot be gained by taking the trade action). My current aim is to build a structure, which happens to be the bottom action of move. Painting, Modelling, Miniatures, 1:6, Games... Whatever else I find interesting. You tally up your stars, controlled territory and resources, and score money for each based on your popularity. Follow us! 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? Scythe - Solo Board Game. After randomly taking a Faction and a Player Mat, the player sets out his two workers on the territories next to his home base and places his character at home. They have mechs, fueled by technology from the legendary Nicola Tesla – who has disappeared. As I alluded to earlier, initially you may see the game as a race to get the six stars, after all, the more stars you have, the more coins you’ll gain from the multiplier, but, and this is the important bit, it also ends the game. I’d say my only criticism of the components, and it is a very minor one, is the colour of the encounter tokens. Scythe is a great game to play with friends, but Stonemaier Games put a lot of work into its lesser-known solo mode as well, and it shows. Solo Automa. 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’. The same applies to the wooden worker meeples, each faction having their own unique pose. But, if the territory contains other Mechs or a Character, then combat is to be carried out. Whilst not a necessity for winning the game, combat can be used to gain a tactical advantage, especially stealing resources! ( Log Out /  The fact that you can’t take the same action on consecutive turns (unless you’re playing the Rusviet faction), means you’re limited to a choice of three top row actions, which doesn’t sound likely to require too much thought, but you’d be surprised…, Let me give you an example: here’s the Mechanical Player Mat. The quality of the game board, the pieces and instructions are better than any other game I've ever purchased (and I've bought a LOT over the years!). This expansion comes with a modular board that allows for unique setup for resources (4 hex tiles), home base tiles (7), and Structure Bonus tiles (8). Jamey made this game starting from the artwork and working towards a game that matches the art in every possible aspect. I placed my token on my Factory card, and as the top action wouldn’t benefit me, I just chose to make a move; one unit up to two times. The moves carried out below are not necessarily the best available, but are done to show how the game works. 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). 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. Featuring The Wolf Lord Project (making all twelve Wolf Lords). I had a wonderful time playing this: discussing those close-run games, relishing the momentous victories, and drowning my sorrows over disastrous defeats. It baffled me – this wasn’t what I saw in the videos! Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. … 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. I could trade, which would give me 2 wood, but that would waste the upgrade bottom row ability, as I only have 2 oil. Even then, each faction’s Mechs are different when they could easily have just made them differing colours. This review of Scythe has two parts. The Automa advances along that star track pretty quickly at the higher levels, so you have to be working at optimum to be able to outscore it at the end, and I thought it was a great way to learn various Faction/Player Mat combinations. We do video reviews, and an audio show, and more. They want to get to the Factory as soon as possible, and spend a lot of resources to get there and to keep it that way. Ages: If they can cope with the medium weight complexity, then there’s no reason for kids not to join in. 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! Anyone active in the hobby have had their expectations set one way or another before they got this to the table, and even this dedicated reviewer will have had his experience of the game put in the light of this expectation. The more obvious is a location with a tunnel, place some resources here and you’ll suddenly become the focus of certain players’ attention – those who could really use those barrels of oil you’ve just enticingly placed! It’s this attention to detail that makes the production stand out. Mechs have some useful abilities of their own. Publisher: Stonemaier Games Resources – Gain the indicated number of coins for every 2 resources your Faction controls. 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. The name basically says it all. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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. (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!). Set in an alternate history, the world is battling unrest and disarray in … The cards seem confusing at first but are actually quite clear when you get the hang of it. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I found the game somewhat addictive. A worthy opponent that feels like a real opponent, Very tense and tight game with a real challenge, If you buy more decks you can play against more Automa’s, The movement for Automa units doesn’t feel intuitive, You need to have multiplayer games under your belt to be able to understand the Automa better, This game is so good I’m having trouble thinking of negatives. By initially steering clear of Automa units, you can concentrate solely on your own strategy, and in particular getting that engine running as fast as you can. 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. I still haven’t the resources to take the Enlist bottom row action. It also tells the player when it gains the ability to cross rivers and lakes. Scythe includes five base factions in the game and two in the Invaders from Afar expansion, bringing the total up to seven. They list various things the Automa player gets, does, moves, or deploys. The frequency they crop up is just enough to bring the theme back to the surface without slowing the game, and again, it’s the brilliant artwork that must take the credit. In the Automa-game, the early game limitations and the engine building are still there, but the Cold War is absent. You draw a card from the Automa deck and follow the active scheme displayed, which is basically a set of instructions – a move action, gain stuff, recruit bonus – but there’s a certain amount of fiddliness involved. 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. And I’m not even talking about the expansions and the upcoming campaign expansion, The Rise of Fenris. ‘A picture paints a thousand words,’ and that’s certainly true here; more often than not I found myself telling a simple tale of what was happening within the scene, and I thought it was a good way to keep the theme alive. 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. They can pick up and put down workers/resources at any point during their move. 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? Here’s to us solo gamers! 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. How will this mats Structure abilities tie in with the uncovered Enlist bonuses? Of course, other things will have to be considered, such as board position, and proximity to the end of the game. The associated bottom row action is Enlist, but I haven’t enough resources to cover the cost. Type: 4X Strategy, Board game. Scythe Review - with Tom Vasel Tom Vasel takes a look at Scythe! His final, game ending star! The random selection of these is right where the game really begins. In Scythe, players have their leader miniature and two workers available at the start of the game. There’s a lot going on here, so I won’t be covering everything; this post is likely to be long enough as it is! Yes, the board, that reminds me. These cards add an extra section to the Player Mat, providing the player with an additional action they can take. He buried me. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 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. Power cards per combat unit within the disputed territory that said, once you pick it up looks as it... 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