Scytheby Aethyna Mar 23, 2019 | 1 Votes | 1 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate Asmodee Digital has done an excellent job “porting” the beloved board game, Scythe, into its new digital format, without losing any of its charm and its fun gameplay. If you’ve always wanted to play Scythe but couldn’t find the players to play it with you, then you might want to check out this digital edition of the game! Play Now Similar Games Played
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Thanks to Asmodee Digital, Scythe, the beloved board game that’s set in an alternate history, specifically the 1920s period, is now available on Steam! They have done an excellent job “porting” the board game into its new digital format, without losing any of its charm (the art is still as incredible as ever) and its fun gameplay. If you’ve always wanted to play Scythe but couldn’t find the players to play it with you, then you might want to check out this digital edition of the game!
Scythe may be a bit complicated for new players to really dive into at first, but it has a really comprehensive tutorial to guide you through every aspect of the gameplay, giving you the skillset you’ll need to be able to at least beat the AIs on easy mode.
To put it simply, the game has several types of units – the workers, the character and the mechs. Each unit has its role to play in the game, for instance, the characters can pick up encounters, which usually can be beneficial to you, while the mechs not only is able to fight enemy units in battles (similar to the character unit but unlike the workers); it can serve as transport and ferry your workers from one place to another (especially across rivers to other landmasses).
There are several resources you’ll need to keep an eye on as well. They are wood (build structures), food (hire recruits), metal (construct mechs), oil (upgrade your moves), and to some extent, workers can be considered as a “resource” as well since you’ll need them to produce resources. After all, unlike Catan where resources are produced at the roll of a dice, in order to get resources in this game, you have to use your resource-producing move (we’ll explain this in a bit) and specifically choose the resource tiles (need to have at least 1 worker present) you want resources from.
Not to mention, resources in this game aren’t “stored” in your hand (again, unlike in Catan). Instead, it is placed on the tile it is produced in. So, this also means that if you happen to have that particular tile captured by a rival faction, then the other player will then “own” the resources you left behind in your retreat. Note that you can move your resources by asking a unit that’s about to be moved to “pack up” and transport the resources to the tile the unit is heading to. I really like this aspect of the gameplay because it does add a bit of realism and an additional layer of strategy.
Now, the game, like the board game, is turn-based. Every turn allows you to take, at most, two actions (The top- and bottom-row action in a section), and the groups of top- and bottom-row actions you can take follows a rather unique system. Firstly, as opposed to being able to choose individual actions, you’ll be choosing the set of actions you want to take, and there’s no mix-and-match of actions here. You can only perform actions that are available in your chosen section and, once used, you won’t be able to use the same section in your next turn.
Each action also has requirements. The red tiles indicate the “cost” of the action while the green tiles indicate the “gain”. So, if you don’t have enough resources, you may not be able to carry out a certain action. Each section can also be upgraded using the upgrade action provided that you have the oil cost it requires. Upgrades can either reduce the cost of an action or increase the gain of one.
You can even gain extra action sets (you can choose between a few of them) if you capture the factory tile in the center of the board with your character. The new action section gained is permanent so if you do lose control of the factory, you will still be able to use your new actions.
As mentioned before, in order to move your units, you’ll need to pick the move action during your turn. Movement is pretty straightforward – you can move your units to the adjacent tile unless it’s a river or a lake tile. However, there are special abilities which can be unlocked when you build mechs which will allow your units to move more than 1 tile, and also for certain units to traverse rivers or use lakes as “teleports” to move around the map. There are also tunnels on certain tiles that will allow you to move a unit to any other tile with a similar tunnel icon on it, as though those two tiles are actually adjacent to each other.
Of course, if you have a “mine” (a structure) built on a tile, that tile will automatically have access to all the tunnels around the map as well. Other structures that you can build in this game include the mill (produce 1 extra resource), monument (adds 1 popularity) and armory (adds 1 power).
The benefits of these structures will be activated every time you use the corresponding top-row action. Similarly, you can also enlist recruits and assign them to all 4 sets of bottom-row actions just so you can gain a little extra something every time any player uses the bottom-row action. Plus, as a bonus, when a tile is captured by the enemy, the structure on it won’t be destroyed or captured. Instead, the special benefit of the structure will be suppressed, at least until you recapture the tile.
Knowing how to pick your fights is pretty crucial in Scythe because it relies on only two “resource” in the game, both of which can be drained leaving you exposed to other players’ attacks or even counterattacks. The resources you’ll need are Power and Combat Cards, with the cards functioning as “bonus Power” that you can choose to tack onto a battle or not.
Battles in this game are really easily resolved - The victor is determined by power points. Now, although all of your power will be available to you during the battle, there’s a slider that you can use to decide how many power points you’ll want to invest in the battle.
Invested points will be naturally “used up” so you might want to not invest all of your power points into a single battle. In fact, if you don’t mind losing the tile you’re battling over and having your units reset back to base, then it might be best to just conserve your power points for more critical battles in the future by “conceding” (investing 0 power points). You can’t win every battle, but you can at least ensure that you’ll win the war!
You may be wondering… “How can I win in Scythe then?” Well, to win, you’ll need to gain as many points as you can. Aside from each territory you captured, each major milestone, whether it is building new structures, making a ton of trades, or having a ton of combat cards, will also earn you some more points or at least, in the case of having high popularity, multipliers.
For the game to end and the tallying of the score to begin, one player will need to obtain 6 stars (they are like achievements). You can get these stars based on specific goals listed in the game, like building every structure or enlisting all 4 recruits. You can also complete special objectives – you get 2 randomly assigned objectives at the start of every game to get a star. These goals are always the same though, unlike the objectives which change from game to game.
Scythe has plenty more nuances within its intricately-interconnected rules, such as the special abilities that different factions have, giving it a very strategic albeit somewhat complicated gameplay. It can be quite daunting for a new player to learn the game, even with the tutorial, but trust me when I say that once you get through the tutorial and learned all that you can, the game will seem straightforward enough!
Although Scythe can be played entirely in single player (vs AI), if you really want to go one step ahead and put your skills to the test, you might want to check out its multiplayer mode instead. Here, you can take on Scythe players from all over the world. However, since the game is quite “niche”, the pool of players you can find to play with you can be quite small. It might be best to grab a few dedicated friends to play the game instead.
Like the original board game, the digital edition of Scythe has some astounding artwork. Everything from the map to the scenario cards, to even the different player mats can also be customized to your liking. In terms of sound, the game features some tribal tunes that sound rather haunting. The music fits rather perfectly with the game’s alternate history theme.
All in all, the digital edition of Scythe is everything a fan of the original board game could have dreamed of in a digital remake. The game retains its charm, its incredibly-fun gameplay, and of course, in time, the “DLCs” too. But even if you have not played the game before, you’ll still want to give Scythe a try if you enjoy strategy board games. It may be a bit difficult to get into at first, but with a bit of patience and effort (during the tutorial), you’ll be up and playing in no time!