While this isn't a full session report, I figured I'd highlight a moment that stood out for me and why I like how combat functions in conjunction with the other game systems.
I was playing as the Crimean Khanate in a five-player game so I figured I'd probably need to be prepared for combat at some point.
I'd made sure I had the Scout mech ability (steal combat cards) and built up a great deal of power through the enlist bonus, encounters and bolstering. I even had vain hopes of reaching the top of the power track at one point...
Maybe these were some poor strategic choices given my faction, but I had a chance to get to the Factory early and wanted a chance of holding it at the end.
I'd messed up and stalled my engine a bit thanks to not paying proper attention to one objective card (I was busy teaching/helping the others). Basically, I'd completely missed the key term "at least" and read it as a very harsh "exactly".
Oh, well, I had another objective to control the Factory and have the most power at the end of my turn (ties acceptable) and saw a chance to sneak on there second or see off the Nords if I had to. At that point, I'd built up a great deal of power (almost enough for the star) and was just about ready to make a move.
...then Rusviet attacked me. He even admitted it was a sort of "see what happens" move. The fool! I sent him packing thanks to his own combat card and a bit of power. I possibly could've just lost by spending only 1 power and subsequently have had two combat cards in-hand (useful for Crimea, obviously) but at the time I felt like I had power to spare and since Polania had been making big strides towards a third star, placing my first star was too tempting an opportunity to let pass.
Then onto my turn and I reached the Factory to confront Bjorn & Mox with their measly 5 power.
"I will take your solitary combat card, please," I added, trying to show off that I'd done my "research" and to convey some sort of confidence in the outcome of this battle.
"I'll spend 1 power to reduce yours by 2," he retorted with his Artillery ability.
"Oh, crap!" I said inside my head, having looked at the puny 2 power combat card I'd just received. Thanks to that manoeuvre I was only 1 power above the next closest player (Saxony... who was avoiding combat at all costs). If I wanted to complete my objective right away I couldn't spend more than 1 power and the combat card for a total of 3.
All he had to do was spend all of his remaining power to really upset this. I couldn't be sure he wouldn't do that just to be spiteful...
A few tense seconds of looking at and adjusting dials followed and then we revealed...
I showed my 1 power + 2 power combat card.
He showed just 1 power.
"Phew!" I sighed in relief, placing my second and third stars, "But also, damn, I could've saved a card!"
"Wait, so if I'd spent all 4, I would've won?!" he realised, annoyed.
And on the game went...
- Last edited Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:00 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:47 pm
My feelings exactly. I've read so many reports of disappointment with the combat in Scythe. But we have found it to be tense, and the threat of combat to lie like a heavy cloud on the world of Scythe. Everyone moved warily about because of the threat - made sure they were prepared for war, and when it came, felt the tension of the unknown - what will he play? Why did he attack? We normally keep our Combat cards secret, so others don't really know what you might have. Obviously, you can figure the max he would have, but that doesn't tell you how much he will use.
So - we find the threat and the actual battles to be very interesting parts of Scythe. I've always felt the tension of 'how much should I spend' when I go into combat. I don't want to overspend, but I certainly don't want to underspend. Only a few times has our combat occurred when we knew who would win before it began.
Great recap. This is a good rebuttal to the "combat is boring" threads. It can indeed be quite tense and interesting, as your story shows.
Yes, perfect example! I have yet to play Scythe, but the combat system reminds me of Dune which is my favorite system in any of the games I've played. I can't wait to dive into this game