What are the basic rules and mechanics of Scythe?

"Scythe" is a complex strategy board game that combines elements of resource management, area control, engine-building, and combat. The game is set in an alternate history 1920s Europe, where players take on the roles of leaders representing unique factions competing to achieve dominance over the land of Europa. The game revolves around managing resources, controlling territories, and pursuing objectives to earn stars and ultimately secure victory.

Here are the basic rules and mechanics of "Scythe":

  1. Setup:
    • Place the game board in the center of the table, with the hexagonal territories representing the land of Europa.
    • Each player selects a faction mat, matching miniature, and character ability card. They place their home base on the designated starting space on the board.
    • Players receive starting resources, including coins, combat cards, and a set of hexagonal tiles representing mechs and structures.
    • Objective cards are drawn based on the number of players, and encounter cards are shuffled and placed face-down.
    • The popularity track, power track, and combat cards are set up according to the number of players.
  2. Gameplay Rounds:
    • The game unfolds over several rounds, each consisting of several turns. Players take turns in clockwise order.
  3. Actions and Movement:
    • On their turn, players can choose one of four actions: Move, Bolster, Produce, or Trade. Players may choose the same action in subsequent turns, but not in consecutive turns.
    • Players also have the option to spend power to perform additional actions or use combat cards.
  4. Resource Management:
    • Resources include coins, wood, metal, food, and oil. These resources are used to deploy mechs, build structures, upgrade abilities, and more.
  5. Territory Control:
    • Players move units (workers, mechs, and characters) to claim or control territories. Controlling territories allows players to gain resources and potentially achieve objectives.
  6. Deploying Mechs:
    • Players can spend resources to deploy mechs onto the board. Mechs provide special abilities, enhance combat strength, and contribute to achieving objectives.
  7. Building Structures:
    • Structures include buildings and monuments. Constructing buildings offers various benefits such as resource production and special abilities. Monuments contribute to achieving star objectives.
  8. Upgrading Abilities:
    • Players can spend resources to upgrade their character's abilities, improving their efficiency and strategic options.
  9. Combat:
    • Combat can occur when players move units into the same territory. Players reveal combat cards and add their combat strength to determine the outcome.
    • The winner of combat gains rewards such as coins, popularity, and territories.
  10. Achieving Objectives:
    • Objectives are based on stars in various categories, including popularity, combat strength, resources, structures, mechs, and objectives. Completing objectives earns players stars.
  11. Ending the Game:
    • The game ends when a player achieves their sixth star. Players tally their stars, coins, and resources, and the player with the highest total is the winner.

"Scythe" is known for its deep strategy, multiple paths to victory, and intricate interplay of mechanics. As players strive to achieve their star objectives while managing resources, controlling territories, and engaging in combat, the game provides a challenging and immersive experience. The combination of strategic planning, tactical decision-making, and interaction with opponents creates a rich and engaging gameplay that rewards careful planning and adaptability.