|Scythe and Hammer|
Scythe and Hammer
We had a great time playing Scythe. The game had been sitting on my shelf since, well, before the plague. Why such disuse? I had trouble finding players at that time, and then I forgot about it. Too bad, it is a great game.
So on Friday, we had decided to play Warcry. Unfortunately, Gary, who owns the game, was forced to cancel, because of post-booster fever. We were still three available for game night, I then remembered of Scythe.
Me: No Warcry since Gary cannot make it. I will bring Scythe.
Matt: This sounds ominous.
I hesitated making a Pelosi joke, but then it's Sickle and Hammer, not Scythe and Hammer...
Scythe time! How could I have forgotten it?
I started watching a how-to-play video while walking the dog and soon Matt chatted: "Eclipse meets Agricola ??", he had been watching two videos and was interested in playing. Time to cart the diesel cans towards the mechs...
Alternate history Eastern Europe, Malachi chose Scandinavia, I decided to draw randomly and Polonia was mine, Matt chose the Khanate of Crimea. We also made sure to leave one empty start base between each of our start bases.
What I love about Scythe:
- the separation between faction board and economic board, the next game your economic/action board might be different and the tuning will be different;
- the boards have clear "depressed" slots, everything has its place and its role and the runs to the documentation are scarce because everything thus makes sense;
- a player turn is rather short and divided in top row action and bottom row action; the hand turns quickly around the table;
- the mechs act as autobus for workers, in my imagination, I see the infantry squads sitting on top of BMPs in post-Soviet wars; as the game reached its end, I should have used that with a 2+1 move for a mech, to "sow" workers and thus control 3 more hexes in one turn;
Are there things I don't like? More like gotchas:
- the map is a bit rich in information, and the tunnel system allows for raids, beware;
- the economic growth tuning lulled me into strategic stagnation; my attention was tunnelled on my action board and I forgot to watch the others;
- the popularity of a faction matters a lot when the game ends and the coins stack; but that requires flair for when the game will end;
- the warfare looks very diesel-punk, but ends up being "raidish", or I was mistaken and kept wasting cpu time on planning razzia on adverse workers;
- there are two achievement stars dedicated to the first two victories of a faction, is that candy enough?
Matt won easily, but every one of us wanted to play again, that speaks a lot in favour of this board game.
Maybe we should have role-played it a bit more, each faction has a particular flavour. At only one point in the game did we use the game's license to barter: the Khanate purchased a bonus popularity point for 1 coin. Unfortunately, the Eastern Europe and the factions in Scythe are somehow present in our actuality.