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Subject: Terraforming Mars or Scythe? rss

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Eric Sawler
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For this that have played both, what do prefer. Scythe seems like it has better production values, and is a bit heavier. Mars looks easier to teach and possibly more replay value out of the box. My gaming group plays a lot of different games, like Lords of Waterdeep, Agricola, Keyflower, Avalon, Race and Roll for the Galaxy, etc. so it's hard to say what will be a hit. Any reasons you prefer one over the other? Thanks in advance.
 
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John
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I haven't played TM but I wasn't all that impressed by Scythe. Nothing felt very innovative or exciting, and besides the excellent quality of the components nothing stood out as being particularly fun either. I've read TM is kind of like Race for the Galaxy with a board. I'd get that one.
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Derek Bradley
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Scythe is actually very easy to teach and a huge hit with my gaming group. Highly recommended.
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John McD
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You'll almost certainly get more votes for Scythe. More hype, bigger print run, fresh Kickstarter.

I think for this sort of recommendation you really need to read reviews and so on.
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N R
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I recommend both as I think they are excellent games. If I had to pick one over the other, I would pick Terraforming Mars by a hair. I really like Scythe but I greatly enjoy TM's engine building.
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Michael R

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I'll echo the reply above. I own and have played both. I really enjoy both (is Scythe overhyped? Yes, even without the hype goggles on, I really enjoy playing it).
Scythe is a great strategy/territory and resource control game that obviously looks beautiful.
But I would go 55/45 toward Terraforming Mars. You still get the resource management and territory control to some degree, but with almost infinite replayability from the different combination of cards you'll be drafting and playing. This one shot up my list instantly the first time I played it.
You won't go wrong with either, but TM has a little more staying power.
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Garrett Frick

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I haven't played scythe yet however I do want to. TM is easily my favorite game to date. It's really really great. It's also much cheaper than scythe is currently. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Dave K
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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Do you want a 4X-ish game where there is direct player conflict with some amount of aggressive interaction? Scythe is probably more what you want.

Do you want an engine-building game that also has some elements of tile-laying and lots of card play? Terraforming Mars is probably more what you want.
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Jason Long
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If you're anything like me, you'll just end up getting both at some point.

I haven't yet played TM, but Scythe was a huge hit with my group (and we like all the other games you listed). Hype, schmype. It's a great game.
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Daniel King
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Both games are just really, really good. The only factor I can think that might influence you is player count. Both a pretty fun solo, but I think TM would be weird with just two. TM and Scythe are both great with 3 or more. So I think you might consider Scythe is you see yourself playing with only two at times. Otherwise, both games are excellent and you will enjoy your choice.
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Enon Sci
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wkufan89 wrote:
Both games are just really, really good. The only factor I can think that might influence you is player count. Both a pretty fun solo, but I think TM would be weird with just two. TM and Scythe are both great with 3 or more. So I think you might consider Scythe is you see yourself playing with only two at times. Otherwise, both games are excellent and you will enjoy your choice.


Terraforming Mars (TM is Terra Mystica, after all ) not good with two?

This is the first I've seen of that. Is this an outlier opinion, or does the community agree? Seems TM (now you have me doing it!) would be better than Scythe for two, but I've played neither (but attempting to consider which should be my next purchase).
 
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Steve
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I like TM in spite of the components and luck of the draw. The engine building and theme are enjoyable. I don't like Scythe. It's a solitaire engine-building experience until near the end when you get some territory control and maybe a little combat interaction. I found both unsatisfying. Good-looking game though.
 
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Brent Gerig
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Seems TM (now you have me doing it!)

I initially read that as "Seems To Me..."
 
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Jesper Jørgensen
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I think that in the engine-building genre, the difference between these two games are in the games ability to control the build up and execution of the engine.

Scythe is the more controllable engine-builder, since the random parts are less influencial in the engine. The engine is layed out from the begining and you just have to execute according to the interaction happening during the game.

The engine in Terraforming Mars is less controllable, (particularly if you save time and ignore the drafting method) since the engine you build mainly depends upon the cards you draw each round. Players have the ability to select cards that can trow a wrench in the wheel for other players, but again depends upon the cards drawn.

My money would be on TM.
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Thanee
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webslinger9 wrote:
For this that have played both, what do prefer.


I have played both and think both are great games. So, either is a good choice from my perspective.

I wouldn't even say, that Scythe is heavier. It is not a heavy game. I would say, both are about the same in this regard.

With the games you listed, I would say that Terraforming Mars is a pretty safe bet. Two things I dislike about the game might be worth mentioning, though.

1) You really need to be careful with the cubes on your tableau, in order to keep them in place (in this regard the player tableaus from Scythe are a million times better with the double layer and holes for all wooden pieces). There are solutions for this available, like plastic overlays.

2) Drawing cards randomly has too much potential for being unbalanced. If you get cards that simply fit together very well is so much better than getting a random assortment of stuff. The drafting variant works better in this regard.

If this is something that annoys you or your group, you should keep that in mind.

As for Scythe, I have the feeling, that it is not hugely replayable. While it sure offers a good amount of replayability, the variability (different factions, player boards, encounters, ways to score points) while there is not exactly huge.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Gerry Daigle
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I have both and much more appreciate Mars. They both scale well but I feel there's more control to what I want to do in Mars. Quality and art is scythe hands down, but overall enjoyment I prefer mars and having the control of what I'm doing with a few take that cards where as in scythe I feel there's always so much potential for conflict which slows the game down. I'm not huge in to conflict
 
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shumyum
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I prefer TM. My game group likes both.

As others of said, there are no shortage of good reviews for both so a little research will probably go a long way to match your tastes.

I will say that if a reviewer has not tried the drafting aspect of TM, they have not tried the game at its best.
 
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Matt Brown
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wkufan89 wrote:
Both games are just really, really good. The only factor I can think that might influence you is player count. Both a pretty fun solo, but I think TM would be weird with just two. TM and Scythe are both great with 3 or more. So I think you might consider Scythe is you see yourself playing with only two at times. Otherwise, both games are excellent and you will enjoy your choice.


Terraforming Mars is listed at 23.8% for being best at 2. Scythe is listed at 6.5% being best at two. I don't know what changes with 2 players in Scythe, but if the map is fully open, then I think that would be an issue with two players. You could have a situation where one faction, the black one, is based around being conflict driven on an open map with only one other player to interact with.
 
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Daniel King
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matthean wrote:
Terraforming Mars is listed at 23.8% for being best at 2. Scythe is listed at 6.5% being best at two. I don't know what changes with 2 players in Scythe, but if the map is fully open, then I think that would be an issue with two players. You could have a situation where one faction, the black one, is based around being conflict driven on an open map with only one other player to interact with.


Yes, when I initially made that post in October I did think that TM would be weird with 2, specifically because I don't like drafting with low numbers and the competition for milestones and awards seems pretty open. I haven't played TM yet with two players, but will sometime soon with my wife.

As for Scythe, my wife and I don't like the conflict as much and enjoy the engine-building aspect, thus enjoying scythe with 2 players.
 
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Enon Sci
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Which game allows players to sit down and "try something different" with their engine, without changing factions? *edit: I mean in different sessions, not a mid-game pivot.

In short, one criticism of Scythe I've read is that any session with a particular faction will play out relatively the same, and the variety comes from changing associations instead of merely changing strategic approach.
 
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Mr. Frothingslosh
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I think Terraforming will ultimately give you more replayability.

I would agree with the comments that you would be looking at a similar idea to RFTG which has great replay value.

On the other hand, aesthetically, Scythe is pretty hard to beat - and blows Terraforming away in this regard. Play is pretty solid, but you'll find yourself using similar strategies every game after a while.
 
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jay
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I think terraforming mars is slightly better. I love 4x games and while scythe checks off all the x's, it isn't as fulfilling and most others.

I'd say if you want less luck engine building 4x that plays each faction kinda the same, get scythe.

If you want an evolving strategy engine builder with multible strategies, I'd say Terraforming Mars.
 
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Thanee
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Which game allows players to sit down and "try something different" with their engine, without changing factions?


In TM your actions are ultimately driven by the cards you get (and your faction to a degree). If you cannot utilize them well, you won't get far in the game. Of course, since you always have some choice about which cards you get, you have some control there.

In Scythe, your strategy, at least in parts, will usually be driven by the player board (NOT faction board) you get (they are two independent boards) in combination with what resources you can easily get. Every player board is slightly different and has advantages in other areas. Using the best actions as much as possible is a good idea, obviously. It does not feel like you have entirely free choice there, when it comes to strategy. At least not for the early game.

Quote:
In short, one criticism of Scythe I've read is that any session with a particular faction will play out relatively the same, and the variety comes from changing associations instead of merely changing strategic approach.


I don't think that is true. A huge part of Scythe is the threat of combat looming over the game pretty much all the time, once players have gotten off their homelands (i.e. into the central area of the board). It is not a conflict-heavy game, you do not fight a lot, but the threat is always there and has quite some influence over your strategic and tactical decisions.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Enon Sci
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Thanee wrote:

I don't think that is true. A huge part of Scythe is the threat of combat looming over the game pretty much all the time, once players have gotten off their homelands (i.e. into the central area of the board). It is not a conflict-heavy game, you do not fight a lot, but the threat is always there and has quite some influence over your strategic and tactical decisions.

Bye
Thanee


True, but do you think this holds for the two player game as strongly as it does for the 3+? I'm neutral on the conflict in Scythe (and Mars) -- the main allure is the logistical puzzle and resource generation / engine aspects of these titles. In such, I'd probably enjoy Scythe with two.. unless the conflict was almost a necessary component of breathing life into the formula.

Humm...
 
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Vince Leamons
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I own both, and I'd recommend Terraforming Mars over Scythe as a game, but the other way round as an experience. Our TM games are fun, have a fair amount of strategy, this is clearly a very solid game. Scythe, OTOH, is pretty good, but the gameplay is a bit on rails, IMHO. However, our group generally has a better time with Scythe, as I think that game has a lot more flavor, better components, etc. It probably helps that the group includes two Russians we can mock as peasants, but there is more banter, more laughing, dare I say it, more fun in Scythe than Terraforming Mars. I wouldn't want to play it every day, or even twice in a row, necessarily - something I do with Terraforming Mars all the time.
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