Friday, July 22, 2016

Current thoughts on Scythe

I've gotten in three games now, and think I might be getting a handle on this game. Yes, I know that somebody that hates Euros got six plays in five days. I'm dealing with time constraints at my local game store, as I currently don't have a group that meets privately(there's both good and bad to this).
But, I thought that I might at least get some thoughts out on this game.

For the uninitiated, here's a synopsis from the game page:
      It is a time of unrest in 1920s Europa. The ashes from the first great war still darken the snow.      The capitalistic city-state known simply as “The Factory,” which fueled the war with heavily armored mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries.
Scythe (1-5 players, 115 minutes) is a board game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor.

Now, let me tell you one thing Stonemaier Games doesn't do: they don't bring out revolutionary mechanics. No, they take established mechanics and tie them to the theme of the game from the start. Viticulture drips with theme(especially with Tuscany), Euphoria has distopian control of placement possibilities, and Between Two Cities give a great combination of drafting and cooperation/competition.

What does Scythe do? There's a world to explore through encounter cards; buildings, recruits,  and upgrades to make your actions more efficient; and mechs to wage war and control the world. Resources stay on hexes(can be moved by mechs), so area control is important.What's actually new here? Nothing.

But everything ties together, and the game is always moving toward an endpoint. The play is about 2 hours, and scales up to five players currently. There will be an expansion with pieces for two more players by the end of the year.

Factions and player action boards are both dealt randomly, so you might end up with a combination that seemingly doesn't work together. As there's an achievement sheet, you might try to win the game with no mech, or no additional workers.

Is the game perfect? No game is, we're all flawed. But so far, I have to say wow.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

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