Scythe is a relatively new engine-building board game that quickly increased its popularity. Since it was released, the developers decided to design a few more additions for it, which leads us to today’s topic. In this article, we are going to discuss the best Scythe expansions. Before we do, a quick introduction to the base game.
The story of Scythe takes place in an alternate history in the 1920s in Europe. It can be played by up to 5 players, where each is a part of one of the five factions. Each one is trying to earn a fortune and assert their stake around the Factory. The players’ goal is to enroll new recruits, build structures, gather resources, and use machines called mechs to conquer new territories. Each player has to play two actions per turn, and the game is played until one of the players has all six accomplishments.
With the introduction out of the way, we can proceed with today’s topic. Below we will discuss the expansions and accessories, as well as a few tips for those that are interested in purchasing them.
Table of Contents
Best Scythe Expansions of 2020
|Scythe: The Wind Gambit
|Scythe: Invaders from Afar
|Scythe: The Rise of Fenris
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and are subject to change
Scythe: The Wind Gambit
Scythe: The Wind Gambit is an expansion that adds two additional modules that can be played both together or individually. The maximum number of players is 7, and it can be played for 70 to 140 minutes. The two modules included in this expansion are airships and resolution tiles.
In the airships module, the airships have combined capabilities in which one is passive and the other one aggressive. The module adds 16 additional tiles to the original game.
The airship is an entirely new unit that is different from the characters, mech, and workers. The main difference is that airships can never control territories. The move action is the one that can handle the airships, which can move across all kinds of terrain, water, or land.
The resolution module includes 8 resolution tiles, and they determine the way the game of Scythe ends. It allows the players to modify the end instead of the base game’s standard end with the regular six accomplishments.
Why did we like it?
- Changeable characteristic that makes the airship unique
- Improvable strategy, adding a lot of diversity
- More exciting to play with
The Wind Gambit is an extraordinary and exciting expansion simply because you get fewer restrictions on your units’ movements. You don’t even have to build your airship; it is available at the beginning of the game, and you don’t have to pay for it. It means that you have more moves, and the game becomes more thrilling.
Scythe: Invaders from Afar Expansion
Scythe: Invaders from Afar is an expansion that has two new factions, Clan Albion and Togawa Shogunate, as an addition to the game. Both send envoys that are tasked to conquer the lands using their own unique technique.
Each faction has 5 miniatures, 31 wooden tokens, 4 cardboard tokens. That way, it offers a lot more diversity to the game. It also adds two new faction mats, which gives you tons of new combinations and raises the number of players to 7. The Invaders from Afar adds about 30 more minutes of gameplay, so you are looking at around 90 to 140 minutes of game time.
Why did we like it?
- More variety
- Longer time to play
- Lot more combinations
Invaders from Afar perfectly merges into the original game. The two new factions are just a perfect bonus, including the $50 coins and new automa cards. This expansion does not change the game’s fundamental course, and it’s easier to teach new players how to play it. The Riverwalk ability of these factions and their possibility to upgrade and move between tokens are a great addition that expands its uniqueness.
Scythe: The Rise of Fenris
Scythe: The Rise of Fenris is the last expansion of the trilogy, and it enables you to play with a different number of players. If you combine it with the original, you can play it with up to 5 players. On the other hand, combining it with the Invaders from Afar will enable you to play it with up to 7 players. This expansion provides you with a campaign and modular mode.
The campaign mode has 8 chapters hidden in 5 tuckboxes and each one is full of surprises. It has a lot of new unlocks and tenacious elements, which improves the game. It also enables you to play it over and over again without getting bored.
The modular mode has 11 modules that are compatible with all expansions that come with this board game. They can be used before or after the campaign mode in many combinations based on the players’ preferences. Also, these modules contain a collaborative module that is not part of the campaign mode.
As we mentioned before, many of the episodes and modules will be a mystery because most of them are in 5 tuckboxes and on 6 punchboards. This expansion also has an episodic guidebook, 13 plastic miniatures, 62 wooden tokens, 2 custom dice, 25 tiles, over 100 cardboard tokens, a campaign log, and an achievement sheet.
Why did we like it?
- Mysterious element to the game
- It never gets boring
- Modules that add to the complexity of the game
The Fenris expansion is entirely modular. Many of the features unlocked in the eight-game campaign include alternatives, either you speed up the gameplay or slow it down. Overall, it stimulates your enthusiasm for playing. It increases your euphoria without getting bored while playing. If you have the Scythe board game, you must spoil yourself with this expansion.
Scythe Expansion Buyer’s Guide
In this section, we will discuss a few things you should consider before buying the expansions. We will also include a few questions you may have. All of this will hopefully help you make a decision that you will be happy with long term.
Features to consider in Scythe Expansions
When it comes to getting an expansion for a specific game, the set of additional features you get are what you should be looking at. The same can be said about the Scythe expansions. Each one brings its own set of features to the table, and we’re going to mention a few for you to consider.
Number of Players
The base game can accommodate up to 5 players, while The Wind Gambit and Invaders from Afar can be played by up to 7. Perfect for a bigger company during game night. On the other hand, The Rise of Fenis doesn’t allow for additional players to enter the game.
Average Play Time
The standard game lasts anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes, but the expansions add more. On average, each expansion can add about 10 to 30 minutes of extra gameplay.
Just like you can add an expansion to Scythe base game, you also have the option to add multiple expansions. Keep in mind that you will be increasing the set of features each expansion offers and slightly increasing the gameplay. Using two or more expansions will not increase the number of players.
Scythe is not a simple game to play. While it is not the most complicated one, there is still a learning curve. When you decide to pair it with one or more expansions, you should consider that the complexity will increase slightly. The game doesn’t turn into a rocket science lesson, but the additional rules and items mean that you will have a few things to learn.
Recommended Age for Playing
On the topic of gameplay complexity, we should mention the age which is rated for. Looking at a game that is meant for ages 14 and up may raise some red flags, but they are unnecessary in a lot of cases. While the game is not meant to be played by a 5-year-old, experienced kids a few years younger than 14 may be able to play it.
With that said, on a scale of 1 to 10, we’d rate the difficulty level at around 5 or 6. There are plenty of rules you’ll need to learn, so the first few matches may not go as smoothly. As soon as you get the hang of it, you’ll have absolutely no problem with it. Beginners should not have too big of a problem with it.
Can you play Scythe with 2 players?
The base game of Scythe can only be played with 1 to 5 players, but with any of the expansions you can play with up to 7 players. The game is fun with 2 players or even one, but it’s recommended to have at least 4 to 5 players for the best experience. The reason for that is when you play a duel, things get slightly more complicated, and you will need to be more committed to optimize the game engine.
Don’t let this scare you. 2 players will be perfectly fine with Scythe and its expansions; you get all the excitement, but with a bit more to learn and consider.
Is it possible for players to join after the game started?
Scythe is set up to get the full experience if you play it from the beginning. While we’re on the subject, you cannot switch sides mid-game.
Are these the only expansions available for Scythe?
Yes. When it comes to Scythe expansions, the 3 we reviewed are the only options available for the Scythe board game. If you still want to spice up your game, there are additions and accessories that you can purchase. We’ve outlined several of those at the end of this article.
Are the expansions worth buying?
Most people are happy with the base game. They find it exciting and fun enough without the need to add something else. If you are in that category, you probably won’t justify the extra cost for any expansion.
On the other hand, if you are the type of person who wants something new or is already bored with the base game of Scythe, you should get the expansions. You’ll be able to widen the gameplay, use them to play with more players and add more excitement and surprises that you may not find in the regular game.
Are the accessories worth buying?
Again, this also depends on you and what you want and need. There are multiple accessories you can buy that you may or may not need. Fanatics will probably go for every expansion and accessory available, while some may not find the need for all. You can get metal mech figures or coins, additional automa decks (aimed for single players mostly), a new playmat, modular board, and much more. If you ask us, all of them are worth it, but you may think differently. Check out what each accessory offers and decide if it’s worth it for you.
Is Scythe available in other languages?
Over the years, Stonemaier games partnered up with multiple game developers to have the game release in various languages. Apart from the English version, you can find the game in Spanish, Italian, Polish, Korean, Brazilian, Russian, Czech, Hungarian, French, German, and Japanese.
Do you need the base game for the expansions?
Yes. To be able to play the Scythe expansions, you will need the base game. The expansion packs only include additional items, but not the base ones.
Tips for Playing Scythe
First, mentally prepare for a fun and thrilling game night. Then, take out all your game components and place your cards on the reserved areas. Place the encounter tokens on the spots that are intended for them.
Separate the coins and resources and put them in small cups. Place the meeples next to the factions. It would be best if you did the same with the faction player mats. Keep the player mats that have a lot of options in a stack so you can randomly pick.
Other Scythe Expansions and Accessories to consider:
Scythe: Legendary Box
- More room for storage
- 3 additional tuckboxes
Scythe legendary box is a giant box that is double the height of the original Scythe box. It means that you have a lot more room to hold the Scythe core game and all of the expansions, accessories, promos, and custom inserts. It has a dual-layered bottom half, and it includes 3 large tuckboxes for storing tokens, cards, and other pieces.
- Fan-made cards
- Can be shuffled with the base deck
Scythe Encountersare 32 new encounter promo cards that are designed by the fans of the Scythe boardgame and Jamey Stegmaier. It is recommended to play with them on their own before mixing them with the card from the base game. That way, you can experience the new possibilities before you shuffle them with the original deck.
Scythe Modular Board
- 1 double-sided board
- 4 double-sided tiles
- 8 structure bonus tiles
- 1 rulebook (11 languages)
- Automa rules for solo play
The Scythe modular boardexpansion brings you the possibility to change the landscape of Eastern Europa every time you play the game. This modular board is designed for the tiles, which are made only for this new board. The modularity of this pack can be seen by the double-sided board tiles.
Scythe Metal Mechs
- More durable than the plastic piece
Scythe Metal Mechs are metal machines coated with ink washed zinc to bring out their brilliant details. They are a great addition to the game if you want to replace the plastic ones.