Back to basics

Last night at Fenrock, Justin,Chris, David, Liz and myself stepped back to an alternate 1920’s Europa, where mechs exist in my favourite game of all time, Scythe.

I was playing my favourite faction of the game, Rusviet. Tigers are cool. But cooler still is the Rusviet power of being able to abuse actions by continuously being able to repeat the same action over and over. Justin was Nordic, Chris was Crimea, David was Saxony and Liz played Polania.

For this gaming session we played with Justin’s copy of the game. Which was a brand new copy. So new in fact that he had not punched the tokens out, cards were still sealed. Yep not played. A virgin copy so to speak. If I had known when asked earlier by Justin whose copy we would use I would have said my pimped out copy. I don’t think until last night I had played a store copy of the game. All my plays have been with my Kickstarter, promo ladden, pimped out copy. This was going to be a weird experience!

David and Liz had not played Scythe before, and this was my first time meeting them also. So after setting up the game, I went through the rules, leaving out combat until we had some in the game. I also talked David and Liz through what they should be trying to do in their first couple of turns based on their factions and to enable them to get pass the river and start claiming territory for their faction.

David got the hang of taking a turn pretty quickly. While Liz took a little longer. But considering this was Liz’s first modern hobby game (probably) she picked up Scythe really quickly. You look at Scythe and think “OMG! this looks complicated”, and yes there is a lot of pieces to the game. Then you start explaining the game, and it seems so overwhelming. But once they start playing, and have taken a handful of turns, the simple action selection soon clicks.

Naturally I was the first to the factory. I think in all the games I played, this was the worst selection of factory cards to chose from. I didn’t really like any of them. But went for one that I paid two money, got to do an upgrade, and gained a popularity. Those cards were not really friendly to my factions ability. I wanted a card I could just sit on, abuse to pieces until it no longer was any use.

I gained my two combat victories early on. But that backed fired in the later half of the game when I was easy prey for Chris and Justin (who were either side of me) who were able to get revenge for my early aggression. Which basically kicked my back into my starting territories and a couple of crumbs tucked away in the corner of the board.

Some how David managed to not get much done, and only producing on one territory, which also had his commander and mechs on it. It was very very crowded.

The last third of the game Justin was claiming lots of territory. I felt it was my duty to point this out to the others, and try and get them to do what I didn’t have the resources to do, clip his wings and kick him out of some of his spots. Luckily David and Liz took the warning and attacked Justin.

I triggered the end game by getting out all my workers. I had no idea who was going to win. I was sure it wouldn’t be me. After the finally scoring, it seemed Chris and Liz may have tied. But after a double recount, Liz had won by a single point. Justin was third, and he might have got first if David and Liz hadn’t had heeded my warning. David and I were far far behind the others on the scoring.

Justin, the first thing you need to do with your copy of Scythe… get the metal coins.

But a fun evening playing my favourite game with some pretty cool people. Hope they invite me again.

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