Scythe

A recurring feature on Popular Mechanics for the past several years has been their 50 Best New Board Games.  Their board game appreciation has grown over the years and they have done well to keep pace with the hits in the board game industry.  The list is now updated 2-3 times a year to reflect new games and new discoveries.  Older board games still make the list like the Dice Tower Game of the Year award winners from the past several years Gloomhaven, Root, and Scythe.  Other top-rated games on Board Game Geek also populate the list.  So what’s new to the list?  Three new games from 2019 make the list: Res Arcana, Tiny Towns, and Jaws. Two games from 2018 get noticed: Chronicles of Crime, and Pipeline. Plus the first expansion, Game of Thrones: Mother of Dragons, makes the list.  Each entry on the list is accompanied by several short paragraphs about the game and what it offers game players, giving Popular Mechanics readers good insight to our board game hobby.

One might not be able to tell from the consistent popularity of Scythe that it was ever in need of anything new, but Stonemaier Games has made it a habit of offering new gameplay experiences to Scythe fans. First it was Invaders from Afar, which gave fans two new factions. Then it was The Wind Gambit, which gave fans Airships and the Resolution module. The Rise of Fenris brought fans an 8-game replayable campaign and 11 interchangeable modules.  The latest addition to the popular game is a Modular Board.  This is not the first time Stonemaier has offered a different gameboard experience.  The original gameboard is two sided, one side with the full game board map and the other side consisting of a portion of an enlarged gameboard that could be completed with a gameboard extension for a 70% larger gameboard. The enlarged gameboard did not change gameplay though.  The new modular board for Scythe, on the other hand, does.  The Scythe modular board adds a new level of variability to Scythe.  The map is different on both sides and has spaces for 4 big double-sided tiles that change the landscape each game.  Even the faction home base locations can change each game. No longer must the Nordic faction start in the north, or the Saxony faction start in the corner without easy access to the wheat fields that both neighboring factions have. Faction location and landscape can vary every game. No longer can faction strategy count on the consistent landscape around their home base.  Additionally, the modular board adds a drafting element to setup, along with a variant for a tighter map at low player counts.

The Scythe Modular Board comes with 1 double-sided board (624x818mm, same size as the standard Scythe board), 4 double-sided tiles (7 hexes per tile), 8 home base tiles, 8 structure bonus tiles, 1 rulebook (11 languages), and Automa rules for solo play.  Pre-orders from Stonemaier open on May 29, or look for the Scythe Modular Board at your friendly local game store late this summer.

Stonemaier Games has announced a limited edition set of metal mechs for their super popular (BGG ranking #7!) board game Scythe. The set comes with one mech from each faction, packaged in a felt lined insert in a numbered, foil embossed box. The print run of the new mechs will be limited to 4000, although a special numbered run of 40 will be released in a 2018 charity auction. The metal figures will be released world wide on November 2, 2018. For more information, check out the Stonemaier announcement on their web site.

 

Stonemaier Games and developer Jamey Stegmaier have announced a new small box expansion for their mega hit Scythe (currently rated number 7 on boardgamegeek). Scythe Encounters started in June 2018 as an invitation to fans to design encounter cards for the game, those random events players find while wandering the countryside. The response was overwhelming, and Encounters represents the best 32 entries. Scythe Encounters is due for release December 8, 2018, however Stonemeier went one step further and had one palette shipped over to the US, so the first 1900 pre-orders will receive their boxes significantly earlier. Check out the Stonemaier Games Newsletter for more information, and as always, a great chart on the progress of new additions from the company.

The award winning Scythe by Stonemaier Games has commanded a top 10 spot at BoardGamesGeek ever since it came out in 2016 and is #1 on the Dice Tower People’s Choice Top 100 Games of All Times.  Scythe’s third expansion, The Rise of Fenris, was just released this Summer.

Now, you can play Scythe on the PC.  In association with the Stonemaier Games and Asmodee Digital, The Knights of Unity have developed Scythe Digital Edition. Early access is available now on SteamScythe Digital Edition features the same great gameplay and art as the tabletop boardgame.  The accompanying soundtrack for each faction in the digital game is as unique as the factions and wonderfully consistent the 1920 alternative history beautifully illustrated by Jakub Rozalski.

While the game is in early access, users may provide feedback to the developer to improve gameplay and features of the game in Steam forums and reviews.  The game is expected to remain in early access for the next two to four months.  However, the game is fully functional with single-player and local multi-player modes.  The game also includes a tutorial and different visual themes. The game is supported in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Polish.

Currently, the Digital Edition features only the base game and does not include any of the expansions.  iOS, Android, and other formats planned for later.  Go to Steam to learn more about Scythe Digital Edition.

 

Scythe, designed by Jamey Stegmaier and published by Stonemaier Games, has been wildly successful since it’s 2016 release. It’s since been rated the #1 game by the people (Dice Tower’s 2017 Top 100 Games) and is currently ranked #8 on BoardGameGeek’s list.

Scythe is an engine-building competitive game set in an alternative history of the 1920’s. It currently has two expansions – Invaders from Afar and The Wind Gambit.

Well, Jamey has announced the upcoming, and final, third expansion called The Rise of Fenris.

“While the exact nature of the episodes and modules will remain a mystery (some of these components are in secret tuckboxes), the components in this expansion include a detailed episodic guidebook, 13 plastic miniatures, 62 wooden tokens, 2 custom dice, 5 tiles, and 100+ cardboard tokens.”

So it appears that this expansion will feature a “Legacy” aspect to it! For more details on the announcement, you can head over to Stonemaier Games.

The German Game Prizes, awarded to top games by Essen Spiel since the late 1970s, have been announced for 2017, and well deserved congratulations go to Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius. Runners up in order include: A Feast for Odin, Scythe, First Class, Kingdomino, Robber [Raiders] of the North Sea, Fabulous [Fabled Fruit], Captain Sonar, Magic Maze, and Competition [Quest] to El Dorado.

The winner of the German Children’s Prize is Ice Cool by Brian Gomez. Click here for the press release from Spiel.

The International Gamers Awards have been going on since the year 2000, celebrating and recognizing gaming a truly global scale by having a committee of judges from all around the world. Each year they vote for the best game within the General Strategy category, which is split into two sub-categories: Multiplayer and 2-Player. 2017’s finalists have been announced and it’s immediately noticeable that this year’s competition is fierce. So without further ado, the nominees are:

General Strategy Games – Multiplayer nominees

A Feast for Odin
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Feuerland Spiele

Century: Spice Road
Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi
Publisher: Plan B Games

First Class
Designers: Helmut Ohley
Publisher: Hans im Glück

Gloomhaven
Designer: Isaac Childress
Publisher: Cephalofair Games

Great Western Trail
Designer: Alexander Pfister
Publishers: eggertspiele

Key to the City: London
Designers: Sebastian Bleasdale and Richard Breese
Publisher: R&D Games

Lorenzo il Magnifico
Designers: Flaminia Brasini and Virginio Gigli and Simone Luciani
Publisher: Cranio Creations

Magic Maze
Designer: Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down!

Scythe
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Publisher: Stonemaier Games

Image from the English 2nd Printing

Terraforming Mars
Designer: Jacob Fryxelius
Publisher: Fryx Games / Stonemaier Games

The Colonists
Designer Tim Puls
Publisher: Lookout Games

Ulm
Designer: Günter Burkhardt
Publisher: HUCH!

Yokohama
Designer: Hisashi Hayashi
Publisher: OZAKU Brand

General Strategy Games – 2-Player nominees

 

Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Designers: Nate French and Matthew Newman
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

Caverna: Cave vs. Cave
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Lookout Games

 

Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft
Designer: Diego Ibanez
Publisher: Devir

Santorini
Designer: Gordon Hamilton
Publisher: Roxley

Star Wars: Destiny
Designers: Corey Konieczka and Lukas Litzsinger
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

If you’re anything like me, which since you’re here and most likely interested in board games that means you’re not far off the mark, you’re probably also interested in mobile and Steam versions of popular board games. Digital board games have been a growing market, apps flying out of their little digital shopping carts so-to-speak, and those licensed by publishers also tend to have extra polish and features which make them even more attractive. That’s why the word about several new releases coming from Asmodee Digital is particularly exciting. The list, announced at Gen Con and cited from their press release, is as follows:

Coming very soon:
Ticket to Ride: First Journey (Steam, Mac, iOS & Android)
Carcassonne (Android & Steam)
Smash Up (Steam, iOS & Android)

To be released before the end of 2017:
– Abalone (Steam)
– Milles Bornes (Steam, iOS, and Android)
-A new text adventure game set in the much-loved Catan universe, called Catan Stories (iOS & Android)

Slated for 2018:
Zombicide
Scythe
Terraforming Mars
Bananagrams
Gloom

Digital games are wonderful for their ease and convenience. I use them especially as tools to help learn and teach games very effectively, or to preview games before deciding on purchasing the physical version. I especially welcome digital versions of Scythe and Terraforming Mars which will allow a new audience of gamers to experience those games for themselves without having to invest too much into them up-front. If you’re interested in learning  about these and future app releases, be sure to visit Asmodee’s website and social media pages for more information.

Stonemaier Games sent out their latest update with the new games and releases on the horizon, as well as a new box.  First on the list is something that everyone has been clamoring for, and that is a way to reset the game of Charterstone after playing.  As a refresher, Charterstone is the latest in the line of legacy games, games where permanent changes are made during the campaign.  Playing through and having something unique at the end is a hallmark of those types of games, but what if you want to play through it again?  Enter the Recharge Pack.  This pack will include all the components that are permanently changed during the campaign so you can reset the game to the start, for a smaller price point than buying a new copy.  You can read more about it on the blog post here.

Next is that the rulebooks for the next Scythe expansion, Wind Gambit, have been released.  You will find the rules here, and they are in 14 different languages and also include a link to the Automa rules for solo play, in 14 languages as well.  This will tell you what new things will be coming in the expansion as well as how they will affect gameplay.

Next we have the box I mentioned, and that is the Scythe Legendary Box.  This is an extra large box meant to carry the base game of Scythe along with all the current and future expansions for the game.  Also included are tuck boxes for each faction to help keep things organized.  For more information on the box and where you can purchase them, you can check out this blog post.

Finally not so much a board game announcement as it is an upcoming siting of the Scythe game on a major television show.  So if you are a fan of Orphan Black and plan to watch the series finale, be sure to be on the lookout for a set up game of Scythe in the background.