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Board Game Spotlight: Scythe


In our latest board game spotlight we take a look at one of the best selling games of 2016 - Scythe! This game sold out on its original launch and its second print is now due out before the end of the year - along with a brand new expansion known as Invader's From Afar.

This is arguably the most wanted game of the year but for those of you who may not know much about the game, here's everything you need to know about Scythe.

The Game

Scythe's Kickstarter project started in October 2015, with 17,739 backers coming together and raising an astonishing $1,810,294! The game had over 750 blind play-tests to ensure that it was ready and perfect for launch.

The game itself is set in alternate-history 1920's Europa - where there is plenty of unrest! The publishers describe the game's setting as "a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor."

In the game each player represents a fall leader, who is desperately trying to restore their honour by leading their faction to power. You must conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures and activate the dangerous mechs!

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, there is no player elimination, nor can units be killed or destroyed.

The game features stunning artwork by Jakub Rozalski - which really helps you to imagine what this setting would be like if you lived there yourselves.

The Publisher

Stonemaier Games was created by board game designer Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone. The company pride themselves on creating exciting, fun board games through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

The company engage with supporters on Kickstarter and also provides hints and tips to other users who are looking to create board games of their own. They aim to teach you how to create the perfect board game kickstarter project through strategy and guidance.

On their own guiding principles they state that they will:

  • Offer a money-back guarantee on Kickstarter - If you don't think the game is great you return your game for a free refund within a month
  • Treat backers as people, not numbers
  • Make every Kickstarter campaign a unique, fun and engaging experience - which doesn't end when the campaign does
  • Make every game a unique, fun and engaging social experience
  • Complete intensive play-testing programmes

Other games from the company include Euphoria, Viticulture and Tuscany - all of which came through the Kickstarter system.

The Designer

Scythe was designed by Jamey Stegmaier, along with Morten Monrad Pedersen and artist Jakub Rozalski. Stegmaier was also the designer of Viticulture, Euphora and Tuscany and helps to run the Stonemaier Games business.

He is also very active on the companies' website and social media outlets - by running the blog and chatting with fans of the game. Alongside his loves of board games, Stegmaier has a passion for the crowdfunding scheme - which is clearly visible through the companies' presence on Kickstarter.

Stegmaier released a book entitled A Crowdfunder's Strategy Guide, which takes a look into "crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, putting customers’ needs before your own as you form a community."

Jamey took time out of his busy schedule to speak with myself a few weeks ago and you can read what he had to say about the game right here.