What follows is a review of the components for the Stonemaier Games smash hit, Scythe (Collector's Edition), in addition to a look at exactly what you'll see when you rip off the shrink wrap! You can find my other “A Look In The Box” reviews here.
Stonemaier games has a reputation for fantastic component quality. This game features a whole lot of well thought out component quality and well as quantity. The box is plenty thick and can take the weight of all the components in the game. When you first open the box, the box is practically full of components. A+ for not wasting shelf space. And what better way to make use of a large box than covering it with a large piece of gorgeous artwork? In particular, I love the fact that there's a diagram of how to fit all the parts in the box right on the side. While there may be other ways to fit everything in, the diagram does a good job mitigating the different sizes of boards as well as leaving room for the plastic miniatures holder. Personally, I prefer when games have some sort of insert to allow the board to fit on top of the box, since you need to put the board on the table before you can set up the game. In this case, I can't fault Scythe, since there simply wouldn't be room in the box.
The miniatures are all housed in a nice plastic piece with a small piece of foam to keep them from jostling around. I found that it was not difficult to snap the pieces in and out of place, but also that the plastic piece keeps the miniatures secured on my shelf (and in transit to me).
Scythe comes with several decks of cards, all with easy to distinguish back art. There are also several different sizes of cards in order to not take up too much space with cards that don't carry a lot of information (such as just a number). Unfortunately this means that only some of the decks of cards have easy-open tabs. The cardstock is good, and the larger cards show off more of Jakob Rozalski's art.
The encounter tokens, cardboard coins, bonus scoring tiles, faction boards, and power wheels are all made from nice cardboard. The power wheels require assembly, which is quick and painless and results in easy spinning wheels.
Likewise, the double layer mats are well constructed and properly aligned. Some wood pieces are a bit of a squeeze to fit in (mostly the cubes) and others have plenty of wiggle room (the wooden buildings). The icons that are uncovered by the wooden workers aren't always perfect, but it's always clear what the added costs are. I believe that the different faction workers were at one point slightly different thicknesses, which is likely the reason for this extra wiggle room with some workers, since the player boards are not faction specific.
All the wooden pieces are sculpted and painted well. In true Stonemaier fashion, the sculpts are great and many are unique to Scythe. Wooden components include: cubes, buildings, cylinders, pawns, stars, power symbols, hearts, and workers for each faction, in addition to wooden resources (not shown) which also have unique sculpts. I had one wooden star that looks like it was chipped prior to being painted (the chip is covered in paint on all sides, as is the chipped star). Given the very large number of wooden components, I consider that very good quality control. Please note, (also in true Stonemaier fashion) that Jamey Stegmaier did offer to replace my star.
Optionally available for purchase, and included in the Collector's Edition, are metal coins to replace the cardboard coins, and realistic painted ceramic resources. Both of these component sets look fantastic, and are a pleasure to handle during the game. There are two things I want to bring up at this point. For both the cardboard and metal coins, the $5 and $10 coins are very similar in size and color. They are both well marked in order to distinguish them, and the $10 are slightly bigger, but they are close. Maybe a solution would have been to rearrange the color system, so that there was a bigger size gap between the two grey coins (i.e. flip the color of the $1 and $10) or cut a whole in the middle of one of the grey coins.
The second thing I'd like to bring up is a comment from Shut Up and Sit Down's website, where they stated that they were not excited about the array of tactile objects (wood, plastic, metal, ceramic, cardboard). I have played many games of Viticulture with metal coins, and in that case, I have never found the metal coins to be a problem, in fact, they feel great to play with! In Viticulture's case, however, there is no plastic and ceramic, but there are additionally glass pieces. Be aware that with metal coins and realistic resources, the look and feel of the pieces will be varied. I, for one, found that everything worked well together and it was not a concern for me.
This brings us to the plastic miniatures! There are 10 different sculpts, a mech and a figure/animal for each of the 5 factions. The mechs are all single colored plastic and are each very unique, reflecting the various mechs that can be found in the game artwork. The minis are not "floppy" plastic, nor are they brittle. The characters are made of grey plastic and come pre-attached to colored plastic bases. Given that each faction will always be the same color, this is a great solution to avoid using a rubber ring around the bottom of the piece.
The board is large and beautiful. While it is covered with art, it is still very functional. There are spots for all of the cards on the board, and the only non-player components that need to be kept off the board are the coins and resources. This board is HUGE! You might want to measure your table so you know if you'll need to buy a bigger one to get this gorgeous game on the table. With my home gaming table, I can only ever play a two player game, a third player would be playing on the floor!
The board is double-sided, so if you have a table fit for a giant, you can get an extension to go with the back side of the board to make an even bigger board to play on. Truly epic.
My one complaint about the board art is the fact that it's not super obvious when an encounter token has been picked up, since the art underneath the token features a picture of the token.
Scythe is big beautiful, and chalk-full of awesome components. The criticisms that I do have are minor, and won't stop you from enjoying the game and its components.
If you like what you see, pick up a copy of Scythe today!
Look for the red ring around the encounter token, it is not on the symbol printed on the board. And if you place the token next to the symbol rather than on top of it, it is easier to see.
I am thinking of picking up a small pack of red glass beads for marking encounters instead, especially on the deluxe side of the map.