So I have been able to play a prototype copy of Scythe by Stonemaier Games. I have to say this is one game I have been looking forward to since it was announced last year. So does it live up to they hype that has been surrounding it? Let’s take a look and find out.
Keeping in mind that this is all print and play cards and boards and prototype components. That being said the art is wonderful, Jakub Rozalski has done a great job here. I recommend you go check out his other works of art.
The sculpts for the player miniatures and their mechs looks great as well.
Bit and Pieces included
- Used by Everybody
- 80 Resource Tokens
- Multiplier Tokens
- Encounter Tokens
- Power Dials (for combat)
- Coins in 5 denominations
- 80 Resource Tokens
- For each faction
- Action Marker
- Popularity Token
- Power Token
- Stars to track Achievements
- Recruit Tokens
- Technology Cubes
This box is going to weigh a ton with everything that’s included.
Well let me start by explaining how to play. Each person gets two boards the first one is for their selected faction. There are five factions currently with two additional factions to be added in a future expansion.
Faction Mat for Rusviet Union
The second board is your player mat this is where you will take your specific actions. Each of these are unique and asymmetric just as the factions are. You will take a single action on this mat each turn. Each space has a different option such as produce resources, or move. Each action is also split into two options, a top option such as move, and a bottom option, like recruit (more on this later). You can do the top part, the bottom part, or both, however if you choose to do both you must take the top option first before the bottom option.
Player Mat 5
Sounds simple enough, but I have to say there is a lot of depth here. As you must think about what you’re going to do on this turn as well as the next several turns, since you are unable to use the same action for two consecutive turns.
What are we doing here:
The ultimate objective in this game is to amass the largest fortune. This is accomplished by eXploring, eXpanding, eXploiting, and eXterminating. You will try and control various places on the map, gain resources, and win combat against you opponents. On the map there is a space to mark your achievements (represented by stars) that you accomplish during the game. This space is called the Triumph Track, some of the achievements you can earn are, winning in combat, or building all of your mechs. The first player to place their 6th and final star causes the game to end immediately. You will then go into final scoring, which I will explain more about late.
At the beginning of the game you will be given a varying number of objective cards, if you complete one of these you are able to place on Triumph Track.
There are also spaces on the board that have encounter tokens. If your player piece ends its turn on one of these spaces you will take an encounter card. These cards will have an image at the top, and 3 options to choose from at the bottom. These choice you choose is the action your player takes based upon the scenario depicted in the image.
In the middle of the board is the Factory, it was used to supply all the factions with military equipment before the war ended. Now all the factions want to claim it for themselves to increase there power. If your player ends the turn on this space you get to choose a factory card. These cards add another option to your player mat, which give you further choices to consider.
On the game board there are 2 tracks in which you will increase and decrease through the course of the game. These are the Popularity Track and the Power Track, if you reach the top of either or both of these tracks you get to place one of your stars.
The Power Track is used for combat it is located bottom right corner of the board. The higher you are on this track the stronger you are able be in a conflict. When combat happens you are able to spend up to 7 of your total power and 1 combat card for each of your mechs and miniature you have on the location in which combat is occurring. Whether you win or lose the conflict the total power spent using the dial is decreased from the Power Track.
The Popularity Track is used for final scoring it is located along left side of board. Depending on how popular you are at the end of the game, you will score varying amounts of money for each scoring item. You will score for the following things, stars you have placed, territories you control, and every 2 resources remaining.
What does it look like:
The images below show a game setup for 2 player game, below that is the same game half way.
Here are the starting hands for each player, in addition to the board just after being setup.
Player 1’s Board
Player 2’s Board
Starting stage of the game board
Here is each players board about half way through, as well as the game board.
Player 1’s Board
Player 2’s Board
Game board during mid game
Possible Kickstarter upgrades:
They released images of metal coins in different denominations, each one represents a different faction. If the Viticulture/Tuscany metal coins are any representation these will be fantastic.
Alright, I have to say this game is a blast to play. With all the different option and variable setup due to the five factions, and 5 different player mats. They all play differently, but are interesting and have there own play style. I haven’t personally played a game that this is similar to, so I’m unable to compare it to anything. However other people have stated it reminds them somewhat of Kemet with the player movement. Agricola was also mentioned with the resource management, which can be very tight. Even though it has miniatures don’t think this is a typical miniature game, it is very euro in play style. The games that Stonemaier Games are releasing have been getting better and better. I’m not sure what else will be coming out next year, but I know that if it was released this year it would be within my top 10 without a doubt and quite possibly the top 5. I will be backing this as soon the Kickstarter as it goes live.
One person said that it reminded them of old school computer RTS games such as Red Alert, which has a similar theme.