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How to Play – Scythe

How to Play Scythe

The Great War is over, but the consequences are still there, even during the 1920's. In Scythe, created by Stonemaier Games, it's up to you to lead your faction, earn resources, gain fame and fortune, establish a new empire, and become a new leader of the devastated Eastern Europa.

Board Set-Up

Before you can call yourself a leader, you’ll need to know the rules for Scythe (designed by Jamey Stegmaier). First of all, go ahead and get information about the game board. The map is divided into territories, and each one has its own resources and/or objects you can use if you have Mechs and/or Workers there.

You’ll notice a bunch of other things all over the map, and here are some basic instructions:

  • Encounter Tokens (Green compass) - There are 11 tokens, and each of them should be placed on the designated place in the map.
  • Resources and Coins - There are four different resources available (food, oil, wood, and metal), there are coins and multipliers tokens. Take all of them and place them near the board in a supply area.
  • Combat Cards (Yellow) - Shuffle these cards and put them on the board. Once you’re out of combat cards, reshuffle the deck and start over.
  • Factory Cards (Purple) - Shuffle these cards and place them face-down on the board. You should place one card more than there are players in the game (if there are three players, put down four cards). Put the rest of the cards back to the box.
  • Objective Cards (Beige) - Shuffle the deck and put it on the board.
  • Encounter Cards (Green) - Shuffle the deck an put it on the board.
  • Structure Bonus Tile: Randomly pick one of the structure bonus tiles and face it up below Popularity Track.

Faction Selection

Every player in Scythe will randomly receive a Faction mat and Player mat, and sit near their home base. These mats will indicate their starting cards and track positions on the far right of each mat.

Faction Mat

  • Power Token - Put your power token on the indicated level of the Power Track. You spend power during the combat.
  • Combat Cards - Draw the indicated number of combat cards. Their number is public information, but the content should be kept as a secret.

Player Mat

  • Objective Cards - Draw the indicated number of these cards and keep their content secret. Once everyone took their card, put the deck back in the box.
  • Popularity Token - Place this token on the indicated level of Popularity Track.
  • Coins - Gain the indicated number of coins and put them on your Faction Mat. These will be important at the end of the game, so keep earning them.

Continue the set-up by placing your Character on your faction’s home base, and two workers on the territories that are connected to your base by land. Workers can’t move across the river, only Mechs that are carrying them can.

You’ll notice there is more information on your Faction and Player mats, so go ahead and read the Quick-start Card, so you can finally begin your conquest.

How to Win?

Your goal in Scythe is to make your faction the wealthiest and most powerful in Eastern Europa. You’ll do this by exploring and conquering new territories, producing workers and resources, deploying Mechs and engaging in combats with other players.

Once you manage to accomplish an achievement, go ahead and place the star on the designated space. The game will end when a player places the sixth star on the Triumph Track. One star will be earned for any of the following:

  1. Have 16 power.
  2. Have 18 popularity.
  3. Win two different combats (earn start for each).
  4. Reveal one completed objective card.
  5. Engage all four recruits.
  6. Build all four structures.
  7. Deploy all four Mechs.
  8. Complete all six upgrades.

The main goal in Scythe is to generate the greatest wealth at the end of the game. Coins can be accumulated during the game, but the majority of them will be received once the game ends, during the end-game scoring.

There are three scoring categories:

  • For every star token placed.
  • For every territory controlled.
  • For every two resources controlled area.

Keep in mind that the number of coins will depend on your level on the Popularity Track, so try and be nice to your workers.

Closing Comments on Scythe

If you think that this is complex, wait until you open the box and start reading the rulebook. Luckily, it is well written and illustrated, so you’ll be playing Scythe in no time. This game is probably one of the best board games ever made, and you and your friends will enjoy it for a long time.