Asmodee Digital told us at Gen Con that Scythe for our laptops would be coming out in Q3 and, well, they weren’t lying. Scythe has shed its Early Access shackles and moved onto full release today for both PC and Mac nearly 3 weeks before the third quarter of 2018 comes to an end. What are you waiting for? Details? Oh, okay, check after the jump.
Scythe is a pretty big deal in the board game universe, so a digital version carries a bit of weight. As such, I’ll let the publisher tell you all about the game so I don’t miss anything:
In an alternate reality in 1920s Europa, it’s been several years since the “Great War”, but the ashes of the conflict are still hot and the war is entering a new phase. The first conflict saw the emergence of some incredible engines of war known as Mechs. Built by “The Factory”, an independent city-state which has since become the object of everyone’s desire, these technological monstrosities roam the snowy landscapes of Europa.
Be the hero of one of the five factions – Saxony Empire, Crimean Khanate, Rusviet Union, Polania Republic or Nordic Kingdom – and become the richest and most powerful nation in all of Europa during these dark times! To assure the victory of your people, you will need to explore and conquer new territories, enlist new recruits and deploy your forces by building formidable and terrifying combat Mechs. Replay history in a fictional past full of mechanical engines and technology, where each choice you make will be critical. Choose your battles with care, because in Scythe, victory is achieved with and for the people!
- Asymmetry: every player starts the game with different resources (energy, coins, keen combat sense, popularity…), a different starting location and a secret objective. The starting positions are specifically set to contribute to the uniqueness of every faction and the asymmetrical nature of the game.
- Strategy: Scythe offers players almost complete control over their fate. The only elements of chance apart from each player’s individual secrete objective card are the Encounter cards, which players draw to interact with the citizens of newly explored lands. Combat is also handled by way of choice; no luck or chance is involved.
- Engine Building: Players can improve their construction abilities to become more efficient, build structures that improve their position on the map, enlist new recruits into their faction, activate mechs to dissuade opponents from invading and expand their borders to reap greater types and quantities of resources. This aspect creates a feeling of energy and progression over the course of the entire game. The order in which players get to develop their economy and technologies adds to the unique feel of every game, even when playing as the same faction several times.
- Official adaptation of the award-winning board game
- 4X strategy game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate)
- Customize the mat to sharpen your strategy
- Choose a specialty for unique games: Agriculturalist, Industrialist, Engineer, Patriot or Mechanic.
- Fight against two levels of AI and/or your friends in hotseat.
- Check out artistic genius Jakub Rozalski’s retro-futuristic illustrations!
If you’re looking at the screens and seeing a lovely hexmap and mechs you might be thinking Scythe is a standard “Dudes On a Map” game, but it isn’t. In fact, combat in Scythe is relatively rare and the game has more of a heavy-euro feel. Much of the game will be spent moving workers and collecting resources and building/upgrading your faction making it feel closer to Agricola than any conquest game you can think of. It’s a lot of fun, and now that it’s on Mac I’m excited to finally give it a go in the digital realm.
The digital version has AI for solo play as well as online multiplayer that, I’m almost positive, is asynchronous. Yell at me if it isn’t. This isn’t the end of development, either. The Knights of Unity have plans for the future:
- The end of the Early Access doesn’t mean the end of the free updates: we plan to keep adding new features in the coming weeks and months:
- Bribes (see page 26 of the rulebook)
- Spectator mode for online games
- Textured character models
- Drag & drop during Move action
- More local game stats
- Camera customization (rotation, animations)
- More improvements to Hard AI
What isn’t mentioned is a mobile version. I was told that they’re targeting the Steam version first and then moving onto mobile. I’m trying to determine if that’s still the case and will let you know as soon as I find out.