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Scythe» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Scythe: A Simple Review rss

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Alex B
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Wow. As far as I’m concerned, Scythe lived up to the hype. We’ve only played one game, but I can honestly say that I was never bored. That’s saying something, since it took us about 3 hours to complete the game. This is because I had to read instructions to everyone, but once everyone got the idea, turns moved pretty quickly. I never found myself looking at the clock.

Ease of Setup: 4/5. While Stonemaier Games took steps toward making setup quick and easy, it still took a while to set up. Yes, this is partially because it was our first game, but also, I don’t think that the way they suggest the box be arranged is the best way to do it for speedy setup. I would recommend putting the board into the box last, so that it’s on top. The board is quite large, even without the extension, and it’s a pain to get everything out of the box, then put the board on the table. Ultimately though, for the amount of bits this game has, setup is intuitive and quick.

Ease of Play: 4/5. Scythe has a fair number of rules, and even though I’d watched the, “Watch it Played,” video and read the rulebook, I had to refer back to the rules a few times. For my playgroup, it was a lot of learning as they went. Additionally, some rules are, in my opinion, unclear, such as that your character shares movement abilities with your mechs. I don’t recall reading that anywhere.

Ease of Teaching: 4/5. This game was not too hard to teach, which; when considering the complexity of the game, is a profound accomplishment. Ultimately, most of the complexity stems from the number of choices you have at a given time. The player mats are a great help in teaching, as once someone does something for the first time, they pretty much understand how to do it from then on. For example, when you upgrade, it makes sense that you take a cube from your top row, and place it onto something on your bottom row. Once a player has been taught that, there aren’t questions later on about how upgrading works, they simply know how to do it. Pretty much all the abilities are like that (I can’t think of any that aren’t).

Fun: 5/5. I really enjoyed this game, and as I mentioned, I found myself involved the entire time. While I did have to wait for my turn a few times, that was ok because there are so many choices and paths to pursue with this game, I needed the time to think! That being said, this game is not such a brain burner that you can’t socialize with your friends. I found that with Splendor, while it’s a simple game, it was also a very quiet game. Nobody talked when we played Splendor, everyone was watching what everyone else took, and had to adjust their plans accordingly. With this game, while it’s thinky, you can still chat and have a good time. Also, it’s really fun to watch your empire grow from almost nothing to having mechs roaming the board and great structures built. The gorgeous artwork is wonderful to look at, and the components are all top notch. I also like the humor added in the encounter cards.

That’s 17/20, or 85%! This game is definitely worth trying, especially if you can play it with a friend or acquaintance who has already played a game or two. Fantastically put together, both physically and mechanically. Excellent game!

Thanks for reading, and to see more about how I rate games, check out my profile.
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Kevin Garnica
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A good way to remember your character shares mech abilities is to notice the red lines on the faction mats that connect the abilities to who gets to do them. Or, you can just think that the "plastic" pieces are grouped together in that sense, while the "wooden" pieces are the lowly types that can't do fancy schmancy moves.
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Joeri Kreikamp
Netherlands
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Thanks for the review

While I like the way you put things in terms of setup, learning curve and complexity, I can't help but feel that the scope and difficulty compare to that of Agricola. If this is the case, me (or rather some people from my gaming group) would probably feel a bit different about how hard it is to teach (or be taught).

I especially worry about those that are a bit prone to Analysis Paralysis. Is this a comparison you can make, and if so, what is your sentiment about this? (Note that I have not had a chance to view the rules or a play yet myself, I'll get to that this weekend!)
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Alex B
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I've not played Agricola, but I can say that analysis paralysis (AP) can definitely be a problem in Scythe. With so many choices to make, it can be difficult to determine what you want to do. This is somewhat mitigated in that combat doesn't happen often, so your board state is less likely to change unexpectedly from one turn to the next. Even so, if you have players that are prone to AP, they may have some problems. Scythe addresses this in the rules though! There is a variant rule that states if a player is delaying the game by more than a minute, I think it is, they lose two popularity or power, I don't remember which one. So there is a way to hopefully cut down on that built into the rules.

I hope you enjoy your play through this weekend!
 
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Trevor Schadt
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admiral142 wrote:
There is a variant rule that states if a player is delaying the game by more than a minute, I think it is, they lose two popularity or power, I don't remember which one. So there is a way to hopefully cut down on that built into the rules.
That variant specifically refers to players who delay the game by attempting to compute each player's score (presumably to decide whether or not to end the game) but could be easily expanded to a generic "yer takin' too long!" (pending an agreement by all players as to what "too long" means, and presumably with some kind of "hey, hurry it up" warning before an immediate penalty).
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Adam P
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Quote:
The board is quite large, even without the extension, and it’s a pain to get everything out of the box, then put the board on the table. Ultimately though, for the amount of bits this game has, setup is intuitive and quick.

You're being generous on ease of setup. The large board was difficult for us to make room for on the table, and shuffling 3 different decks is quick but still needs setup time. For me it's average.
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Kevin Garnica
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adamredwoods wrote:
Quote:
The board is quite large, even without the extension, and it’s a pain to get everything out of the box, then put the board on the table. Ultimately though, for the amount of bits this game has, setup is intuitive and quick.

You're being generous on ease of setup. The large board was difficult for us to make room for on the table, and shuffling 3 different decks is quick but still needs setup time. For me it's average.


Here's what I do to cut down on setup time:

1) Take everything out and set it to one side of the table, then fold out the board.

2) assign one player to separate the coins and place them in the other halves of the resource container boxes (I like to do 1's/3's/5's/and 10's & 20's in the last box). Place them in two rows next to the board or within access.

3) while he/she is doing that, have the other players put their wooden tokens & mechs on their boards.

4) meanwhile, I am shuffling the decks and laying them out and giving players their objectives. Also grab a structure bonus tile. Encounter tokens take a second.

5) And that's it. Everybody contributes and it goes pretty quickly. I use the start of the rules explanation to clue everyone in about how much they start with popularity, power, combat cards, etc. because it's all different, and by that point they should be paying attention anyway.
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Adam P
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Right. It's average, as you could do this for any game. There is no advantage this game holds over any other "loads-o-bits" game.
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Alex B
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I give them a bump because they added those things that are meant to speed setup. Also, they got a bump because of the player board setup being intuitive; that is, putting the tech cubes in their slots and the buildings in their slots, etc. The indented slots make it much more intuitive to figure out what goes where. You're right, I am being generous, and those are my reasons.
 
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admiral142 wrote:
Scythe addresses this in the rules though! There is a variant rule that states if a player is delaying the game by more than a minute, I think it is, they lose two popularity or power, I don't remember which one.
Uh, oh, bad news for our local AP player
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Christian Nierensieb
Germany
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jhaelen wrote:
admiral142 wrote:
Scythe addresses this in the rules though! There is a variant rule that states if a player is delaying the game by more than a minute, I think it is, they lose two popularity or power, I don't remember which one.
Uh, oh, bad news for our local AP player


We are talking in-game terminology here? Because there is hardly any real-world popularity left on this guy
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Michael Frost

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Too funny. A "review" based on one play. That isn't a review. That is a first impression.
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Kevin Garnica
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
Too funny. A "review" based on one play. That isn't a review. That is a first impression.


Until we have a separate forum for something called "first impressions", then...
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Clyde W
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pacman88k wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
Too funny. A "review" based on one play. That isn't a review. That is a first impression.


Until we have a separate forum for something called "first impressions", then...
"Sessions" seems appropriate. That's where I go when I want to write about a game after one play at least.
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Kevin Garnica
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clydeiii wrote:
pacman88k wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
Too funny. A "review" based on one play. That isn't a review. That is a first impression.


Until we have a separate forum for something called "first impressions", then...
"Sessions" seems appropriate. That's where I go when I want to write about a game after one play at least.


Maybe. But they often don't deal with the rules overview, they just ramble on about a particular gaming experience and presume the reader knows the how the game is played. I suppose the fine line is "first impressions" regarding the way the game is played.
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Alex B
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I appreciate the input Michael. I'm taking queues from Dice Tower; I'm under the impression that they review a game after one play. That may be incorrect, but I know they get so many games, it seems like it would be hard to play a game more than once in order to formulate a review.

At any rate, my reviews are based on comparisons to other games, or, in other words, my gaming experience as a whole. I talk about this some on my profile page.

Again, thanks for the input!
 
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Ryan Bull
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clydeiii wrote:
pacman88k wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
Too funny. A "review" based on one play. That isn't a review. That is a first impression.


Until we have a separate forum for something called "first impressions", then...
"Sessions" seems appropriate. That's where I go when I want to write about a game after one play at least.


How many times do film reviews have to see a film before they are qualified to review it? Answer: as long as it takes to adequately absorb the material.
 
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MPMelanchthon wrote:
Too funny. A "review" based on one play. That isn't a review. That is a first impression.
As long as the reviewer mentions that the review's based on a single play, I think that's perfectly fine. Sometimes a single play is all that it takes to write a proper review.

I also find it interesting what people think after their first play, even if it's not representative of what they may think after several more plays.
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Christoph Weber
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jhaelen wrote:
MPMelanchthon wrote:
Too funny. A "review" based on one play. That isn't a review. That is a first impression.
As long as the reviewer mentions that the review's based on a single play, I think that's perfectly fine. Sometimes a single play is all that it takes to write a proper review.

I also find it interesting what people think after their first play, even if it's not representative of what they may think after several more plays.


I think Michael has a point, but since half of all reviews of Scythe are based on one play, including most of the "negative" ones, the OP is in good company. And you're right, if you admit your review is based on one play, that helps people classify your thoughts.
 
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