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Subject: Scythe or Cry Havoc? Which one would you get? rss

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Adelin Dumitru
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2016 brought, or is about to bring, two seemingly wonderful games: Scythe, from Stonemaier Games, and Cry Havoc, from Portal Games.

Both are similar games: they both come with wonderful game boards, miniatures, other qualitative components. Cry Havoc has mechanics such as Area control, Deckbuilding, Hand Management, and provides lots of replayability due to its asymmetrical setting. Scythe has similar mechanics, and both of them have unique combat systems.

Both games have received very good reviews. Scythe has in a couple of weeks climbed up to 113 in the Boardgamegeek top and I would not be surprised if it will reach top 10 in another couple of weeks. Tom Vasel implied that Cry Havoc is his favorite game of the year.

If I go with Scythe, I will probably go with the retail edition, the one without the additional board and without the premium components. I guess both games are pretty expensive, and given that I will have to buy them from a local game, the prices will be above the MSRP.

I don't intend to play them with anyone else than my girlfriend, so scalability to 2 players is a very important element.

I don't know how many people have played Cry Havoc, and maybe it is too soon to put forward this question, but I'd love to hear which one you'd recommend. I will not buy either game for another couple of months, so I'll have time to make up my mind.

Thanks a lot!
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Kevin Garnica
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My best advice would be to do your research. Watch video reviews/tutorials, read all the reviews (and comment wars within), of EACH game. Especially if you have a few months before purchasing.

I haven't played Cry Havoc, but the biggest negative about Scythe comes down to people not managing their expectations properly. If you know what it is and what it isn't, you should know if Scythe is a game for you.

Good luck!
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J-F Audy
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You should watch the How to play videos for both games by Rodney Smith. He also started today a game play session of Cry Havoc with his son. It gives a good idea of how the game is played!
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Justin Strickland
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I haven't played either game so take my opinion as you will.

I was very skeptical of Scythe when it was first kickstarted. I felt like many people backed it simply for the art and the Stonemaier Games name without looking at the gameplay itself. What kept me from backing the game was that it didn't appear to do anything new or different. Even Jamey himself said mechanics were borrowed from Kemet and Terra Mystica. I'm sure it's a very smart, tight, balanced design, but it honestly just looks boring to me. None of the things it does look exciting. (I even think the art is just OK). I still want to play it in case my reservations are misplaced but I have yet to read/watch a review that has convinced me the game is as amazing as the masses are claiming.

On the other hand, I was skeptical about Cry Havoc too. There wasn't very much information about it, other than it was Portal's first game with miniatures, until very recently. And I have to say, all the mechanisms look very interesting. Cards can be used in a variety of ways. The combat system looks very intriguing. The game appears to scale very well from 2-3-4 players. There appears to be much more variety between factions than those in Scythe. Here they not only have unique powers, but unique card decks, and unique building upgrades.

I'm still unsure if I'll get Cry Havoc because I don't think it's nearly as good as Forbidden Stars or Blood Rage when it comes to combat games. But I'll tell you this, I'd most definitely buy it over Scythe considering what I know about both games.
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Marc Piquette
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JFAudy wrote:
You should watch the How to play videos for both games by Rodney Smith. He also started today a game play session of Cry Havoc with his son. It gives a good idea of how the game is played!


Exactly this. Seeing the rules should help you decide which is better for you.

Of the two, I would personally choose Scythe. I haven't played Cry Havoc, though, but what I've seen hasn't interested me too much.
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David B
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I recall someone elsewhere summed it up fairly accurately, I believe, already- Scythe favors resource management and Cry Havoc favors combat. I'm expecting some hard-nosed difficult decisions with Cry Havoc.
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James Lautermilch
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To be honest neither game interests me too much. I have watched every review, every video and still they just don't rev-me-up. If it were me I would take all the money you plane to spend if you were buying both games and get five or six solid fun games that you both can agree on.
 
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Kyle
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I've only played Scythe, but if you are looking a game to play with 2, I would not recommend it. Far too open on the map for 2 players (has potential to be fun with a full table, but I haven't gotten to do it). A pretty bog standard game, which is a mish mash of borrowed parts. Entertaining enough, but nothing to make it 'special'.
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corum irsei
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Having played neither, I can only guess based on the information available on BGG, but I wouldn't expect either game to work well with 2 players.

They also seem to be quite different games to me:
Scythe is a 4x game (or maybe 2.5x), and Cry Havoc is an area control game.

Imho, there's already plenty of very strong area control titles: Kemet, Cyclades, Blood Rage, Cthulhu Wars, Chaos in the Old World, etc.

So, I'd probably only pick up Cry Havoc if your game collection doesn't include any of these titles. Otherwise, Cry Havoc's combat system (which does sound rather interesting) must be really exceptionally great to consider it.

I cannot think of many really great 4x games, though. So, I'd be inclined to favor Scythe.
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Mike Jarvin
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Scythe was a great disappointment for us. It had some neat mechanics, but tried to be too many things. Our entire group had the same reaction.
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Ryan Bull
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justrick wrote:
(I even think the art is just OK).


I stopped listening to you at this point.
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chris thatcher
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Cry Havoc looks like a better fit for my group. We like hitting each other..a lot
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Thanee
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
I don't intend to play them with anyone else than my girlfriend, so scalability to 2 players is a very important element.


I know next to nothing about Cry Havoc.

As for Scythe, I backed it and played a first game last evening, three players.

I am very happy that I backed this game (plus, the components of the CE are spectacular). It's great. The mechanics work extremely well in conjunction and it seems to have quite good replayability. However, I don't think it will be that good with just two players (three is probably the minimum for it to work well; and I should note that it is one of those games that really do work with three... probably because it is not a fighting game; combat is there, but it is not the main focus).

Bye
Thanee
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Ian Kissell
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I have played both, and I like Cry Havoc better. I think Scythe is a fun game, and it has excellent replayability. CH though just has such a clever combat system, and I like the action selection mechanism.

The difference for me is one of feel. Scythe has a very slow build up, and I'm constantly stressed that someone is going to mess up my plan for my next five actions (much like the end of a Catan game). CH is so fast paced, it has more of an action movie feel to it.

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Garbage Person
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jhaelen wrote:
Having played neither, I can only guess based on the information available on BGG, but I wouldn't expect either game to work well with 2 players.

They also seem to be quite different games to me:
Scythe is a 4x game (or maybe 2.5x), and Cry Havoc is an area control game.

Imho, there's already plenty of very strong area control titles: Kemet, Cyclades, Blood Rage, Cthulhu Wars, Chaos in the Old World, etc.

So, I'd probably only pick up Cry Havoc if your game collection doesn't include any of these titles. Otherwise, Cry Havoc's combat system (which does sound rather interesting) must be really exceptionally great to consider it.

I cannot think of many really great 4x games, though. So, I'd be inclined to favor Scythe.


The first Watch It Played video of Cry Havoc convinced me pretty thoroughly that the 2 player version works very well.

Then again, I've thought other area control games worked well or even better with two (for example, the much lighter Small World), and I don't think the majority always agreed with me.

For what it is worth, Joel Eddy reviewed the 2-player version of Cry Havoc favorably.
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Buffy Leigh
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I haven't played Cry Havoc, but I think Scythe scales very well to 2 players. My husband and I have played 4 games now, just the two of us, and it's the only game we want to play. We both think it would be a lot more difficult/stressful with more players, and it's quite tense as it is.
 
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corum irsei
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nate_lockhart wrote:
The first Watch It Played video of Cry Havoc convinced me pretty thoroughly that the 2 player version works very well.
I agree that CH may play better with two players than Scythe, mostly due to CH featuring a special two-player board.

I still feel it's usually better, when looking for games to play with two players, to check the titles that have been designed for two-players exclusively, e.g. Polis: Fight for the Hegemony or War of the Ring (second edition) to pick two examples that might be relevant for the OP.

[Personally, I'm partial to Scythe because I feel it has a lot more going on than your typical 'dudes on a map' game, and: it supports solo play! But neither feature is probably relevant to the OP.]
 
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Mark Valentine
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I like the look of both, but would probably go for Cry Havoc if I had to make a choice

Tariff wrote:
Cry Havoc looks like a better fit for my group. We like hitting each other..a lot


What some might view as like, others might say is actively defending oneself against vicious victimisation!
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Matt Brown
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GameplayerOfTitan wrote:
justrick wrote:
(I even think the art is just OK).


I stopped listening to you at this point.


The art is top notch. The graphic design is fairly standard. I know Tom thought highly of Scythe, but he was practically foaming at the mouth for Cry Havoc. Of course, Tom is going to prefer the more combat based system. Joel also had Cry Havoc higher on his GenCon 2016 list and he would lean more on the Euro side.
 
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Austin Andersen
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They both look appealing. Scythe will probably be better suited as it looks like it is less confrontational. I think you should probably hold off on either and wait for something better suited, as you didn't pull the trigger on either, there is something holding you back. Play what you got for the time being.
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Adelin Dumitru
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I think it will boil down to which game has more interaction. From what I've seen, Cry Havoc is all about PvP interaction, whereas Scythe, as Austin mentions, is less confrontational, but still leaves room for conflict.
 
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