Scythe (Board Game)

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(23 user ratings)
6 reviews received. View


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 is a Worker Placement/Economic Engine 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. 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. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.

Each player begins the game with different resources (power, coins, combat acumen, and popularity), a different starting location, and a hidden goal. Starting positions are specially calibrated to contribute to each faction’s uniqueness and the asymmetrical nature of the game (each faction always starts in the same place).

Scythe gives players almost complete control over their fate. Other than each player’s individual hidden objective card, the only elements of luck or variability are “encounter” cards that players will draw as they interact with the citizens of newly explored lands. Each encounter card provides the player with several options, allowing them to mitigate the luck of the draw through their selection. Combat is also driven by choices, not luck or randomness.

Scythe uses a streamlined action-selection mechanism (no rounds or phases) to keep gameplay moving at a brisk pace and reduce downtime between turns. While there is plenty of direct conflict for players who seek it, there is no player elimination.

Every part of Scythe has an aspect of engine-building to it. Players can upgrade actions to become more efficient, build structures that improve their position on the map, enlist new recruits to enhance character abilities, activate mechs to deter opponents from invading, and expand their borders to reap greater types and quantities of resources. These engine-building aspects create a sense of momentum and progress throughout the game. The order in which players improve their engine adds to the unique feel of each game, even when playing one faction multiple times.

Product Details

Boards & Dice
23 Dec 2016
Strategy Games
Game Mechanic
Year Published
# of Players
1 - 5
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 4 players, Recommended with 1 - 5 players
Suggested Ages
14 and up
Playing Time
90 - 115 minutes
Game Designer
Jamey Stegmaier
Game Artist
Jakub Rozalski
User Suggested Ages
Language Dependence
Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
Expansion Sets
  • Scythe: Invaders from Afar
  • Scythe: Lake Encounter Card
  • Scythe: Promo Encounter Card #37
  • Scythe: Promo Pack #1
  • Scythe: Promo Pack #2
  • Scythe: Promo Pack #3
Supply Source
South Africa

Customer Reviews

Super fast delivery!

Reviewed by on

Was a bit optimistic about the delivery times as they did not have in stock - but great service! Got it sooner than expected. Great game!

Terrific game

Reviewed by on

This game is great! The art is amazing, the lore is very interesting and the learning curve is much easier that it seems at first glance. Great gameplay with loads of replayability. One of my favourite games.

Fantastic game

Reviewed by on

A beautiful production and a game that is great fun to play! Really more of a euro than an all out war game. I recommend bundling the Invaders From Afar expansion with it for max faction selection options and then The Wind Gambit expansion for another layer of fun with the amazing airships.


Reviewed by on

This is an amazing area control, worker placement boardgame!! Can't recommend it enough to people who like strategic games or if you looking for a fun and engaging boardgame. The game mechanics and rules are actually quite easy to understand after one play through. The game design is amazing, from the artwork to the component quality and just love the mechs and hero characters, so cool. There is a reason it won the best boardgame of the year in 2016 and still consistently in the top 10 on boardgamegeeks.

Great game

Reviewed by on

A lot simpler than it seems, overall great gameplay with great story elements as well.

Cool game

Reviewed by on

This is a really good game for hardcore strategists. This game requires you to think many moves ahead, it starts out relatively slowly as everyone generally gathers resources and workers to get their economy going. The interesting thing about this game is the hero that each faction has. They are the only pieces allowed to use encounter cards which give you nice bonuses for landing on them. It's a bit difficult to learn but once you get the hang of it it's actually quite a simple game rules-wise.