Scythe: A Review for Newbies
I'm going to try to keep my review as short as possible, but "short" and "Scythe" don't really go together.
What first drew me to this game was the fact that there's a single player aspect. I rarely came across games at the time that were single player, and at the time of purchase (January 2018), I didn't really have a gaming group that regularly met. This gave me something to do when I got bored.
I got the game delivered to me, opened it up, started reading the rules, and my eyes glazed over. Everything went back in the box and on the shelf. Six months later, tried to repeat. Got to page 3, and sent it back to the shelf. Every time I tried to get friends to play it, we looked at the suggested time frame, said "no thanks", and played something else, though that only happened twice last year.
Finally, I came into a group that plays all sorts of games, so I've been trying to get them to play it. Generally, we haven't had a chance to play very "heady" games, which Scythe most definitely is, due to timing.
So at one point, I decided to say "screw it" and play it by myself, but not use the Autonoma -- I basically played 2 different factions, since there's really only 2 secret items in the game. Basically, here's what I discovered in this little adventure:
First and foremost, if you're having the same issue I was with this game and making it more difficult than it actually is, IT'S NOT THAT DIFFICULT OF A CONCEPT. Honestly. Put your pawn on a spot, do one/both/none of the actions, go to the next person. Repeat until someone has 6 stars. Count up the cash. Winner has the most cash. It's that simple. Kind of.
Everything is enjoyable. Movement (once you get your mech unlocked). Farming. Interactions with other factions (or seclusion. Your choice). Building. Battle. All of it. There are a few things that slow the game down -- set up is the big one I can think of.
Once I got back to reading the rules, I did see the very handy "here's a suggested 10 turns to take". You don't have to follow it to a T -- and some factions can't possibly do it, due to resources -- but it absolutely helps.
In conclusion, this game is fantastic. Just make sure you play your first game with someone who's played before or it will take you forever and a day to complete.
Source: Board Game Geek