How To Play: Scythe – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

In the world of board gaming, Scythe stands as a masterpiece that combines rich strategy, immersive storytelling, and stunning artwork. With its deep and captivating gameplay, the players are immersed in an alternate 1920s Europe, where resource management, optimal action selection, and diplomacy play pivotal roles in their quest for victory.

By carefully managing resources, players can expand their territory, construct powerful mechs, and upgrade their abilities to gain a strategic advantage. Choosing the right actions at the right time is essential in this game as it extends influence and outmaneuvers opponents.

Analyzing faction and player boards allows players to maximize their faction's unique abilities and tailor their strategies accordingly. Forming alliances and leveraging diplomatic encounters can prove crucial in tipping the balance of power and securing victory.

Ultimately, players must strategize efficient endgame approaches to earn valuable points based on achievements, territories, resources, and more. Scythe provides a unique blend of mechanics, immersion, and player interaction, ensuring that no two games are the same, and each playthrough takes players on an unforgettable journey towards triumph.

Dive into the gripping world of Scythe and unlock your inner strategist as you traverse this beautifully crafted game of conquest, alliances, and victory in an alternative history of Europe.

Mastering Scythe: A Strategic Guide to Victory

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to Scythe, where we delve into the intricacies of this immersive board game and provide valuable strategies to help you conquer your opponents with finesse. In this guide, we not only present a thorough outline of the game’s rules but also share expert tactics to maximize your chance of claiming victory in each session.


Scythe is a captivating game of strategy and diplomacy, set in an alternative 1920s Europe. As a player, you take on the role of a faction seeking control and dominance over this post-war world. Through careful resource management, tactical combat, and diplomatic negotiations, you aim to leave your mark on the game world and emerge as the ultimate victor.

This guide will provide you with invaluable insights on the most effective strategies to employ throughout the game. From resource management to optimal action selection, from faction evaluation to endgame techniques, and from forging alliances to mastering diplomacy – we leave no stone unturned in helping you achieve victory in Scythe.

Whether you’re a novice looking to improve your skills or an experienced player seeking new approaches, our guide will equip you with the knowledge and tactics needed to outmaneuver your opponents and emerge triumphant in this immersive and strategic board game.

What’s in the Box

  • Faction Mats (5)
  • Player Mats (5)
  • 25 Wooden Meeples (5 in each player color)
  • 5 Character Miniatures
  • 20 Wooden Structures
  • 40 Custom Wooden Coins
  • 6 Wooden Resource Tokens
  • 22 Action Tokens
  • 28 Encounter Tokens
  • 12 Objective Cards
  • 5 Player Reference Cards
  • 2 Power Dials
  • Reward Tiles
  • 6 Star Tokens
  • 8 Factory Cards
  • Turn Order Cards
  • Replacement Tokens
  • Rulebook

How To Play Scythe: Rules Summary

  1. Each player chooses a faction and takes the corresponding faction mat, player mat, and respective starting resources.
  2. Place the game board in the center of the table and set up encounters, objective cards, tokens, and other components as indicated by the setup instructions.
  3. Each player places their workers, meeples, and character miniature on their faction mat.
Game Rounds
  1. Players take turns, starting with the first player, and proceed clockwise.
  2. On their turn, a player chooses one available action from the action board.
  3. Actions include deploying mechs, upgrading abilities, constructing buildings, producing resources, and more.
  4. Actions can be paid with resources and require determining costs, positioning units, and resolving effects.
Encounters and Combat
  1. Diplomatic encounters may occur that offer choices with potential outcomes such as bonuses or penalties.
  2. Battles and combats can arise when engaging with opponents.
  3. Battles require deciding the number of combat cards, units involved, and the calculation of strength based on power and combat cards.
  4. Defeated units are sent to the defeated player’s home base.
Resource Management
  1. Resource production is essential and is based on controlled territories, workers, buildings, upgrade tokens, and encounters.
  2. Resources can be converted and used for various actions, upgrades, or trade with other players.
  3. Managing resources efficiently is crucial for strategic decision-making and progress in the game.
Achievements and Scoring
  1. Achievements can be earned by controlling areas and completing specific tasks.
  2. Points are awarded at the end of the game based on achievements, controlled territories, resources, buildings, upgrades, and coins.
  3. The player with the highest number of points wins the game.

Best Scythe Strategies

Making the Most of Resources for Victory

Resource management is a key aspect of achieving success in Scythe. Effectively utilizing your limited resources ensures that you can take critical actions and outmaneuver your opponents. Here are some strategies to optimize your resource management:

Plan Ahead and Prioritize
  1. Identify the crucial resources needed to accomplish your faction’s objectives.
  2. Allocate resources strategically to ensure flexibility and adaptability.
  3. Balance short-term goals with long-term investments.
Maximize Production Efficiency
  1. Identify and develop resource production structures early in the game.
  2. Upgrade your buildings to enhance resource production output.
  3. Efficiently convert resources to increase versatility.
Strategize Trading and Exchange
  1. Explore trade opportunities with neighboring factions for mutually beneficial deals.
  2. Take advantage of the Quick Trading action to secure necessary resources.
  3. Evaluate the market conditions to make profit from resource exchange.
Optimal Movement and Transport
  1. Plan your movement efficiently to minimize wasted actions and resources.
  2. Utilize your mechs and workers strategically for resource transportation.
  3. Consider the costs of transporting resources across the board.

Mastering resource management in Scythe can provide a significant advantage on your path to victory. By following these strategies and adapting them to your faction’s unique abilities, you can maximize your resource usage, gain a competitive edge, and drive your towards the ultimate goal of winning the game.

Selecting Actions for Victory

Optimal action selection is the cornerstone of a successful strategy in Scythe. Making smart and thoughtful choices with your limited actions is crucial for advancing your position and ultimately claiming victory. Here are some strategies to maximize your action selection:

Analyze the Action Space
  1. Evaluate the available actions on the action board before making a decision.
  2. Identify actions that align with your faction’s strengths and goals.
  3. Predict your opponents’ likely actions to plan your moves accordingly.
Prioritize High Impact Actions
  1. Focus on actions that offer significant short-term or long-term benefits.
  2. Consider actions that allow you to control territories or gain resources quickly.
  3. Strategize the use of upgrading actions to enhance your faction’s abilities.
Efficiently Manage Encounter Cards
  1. Create encounters that align with your current objectives or provide important bonuses.
  2. Employ encounter actions to disrupt opponents’ plans and hinder their progress.
  3. Strategically time encounters to gain the upper hand in wars or conflicts.
Leverage Special Abilities and Upgrades
  1. Capitalise on your faction and player board’s unique abilities to gain advantages.
  2. Upgrade your abilities to unlock more powerful and versatile actions.
  3. Plan combo actions that can maximize the impact of your faction’s unique traits.

Mastering optimal action selection is a vital component of achieving victory in Scythe. By analyzing the actions available, prioritizing impactful choices, harnessing the power of encounter cards, and leveraging your faction’s special abilities, you can effectively shape your path to success and outmaneuver your opponents.

Analyzing Faction and Player Boards for Victory

An in-depth analysis of your faction and player boards is crucial in Scythe to devise a winning strategy. Understanding the unique strengths and abilities of your faction and Board will give you a valuable edge over your opponents. Here are some strategies for effective faction and player board analysis:

Evaluate Starting Position
  1. Analyze your faction’s starting location and available resources
  2. Assess the proximity to encounter cards and advantageous territories
  3. Consider early expansion opportunities based on initial setups
Study Faction Abilities
  1. Comprehend your faction’s unique abilities and how they synergize
  2. Identify advantageous actions and strategies that align with your abilities
  3. Exploit faction’s strengths to control areas and dominate opponents
Utilize Player Board Upgrades Efficiently
  1. Understand the available upgrades on your player board
  2. Strategize upgrades based on your faction’s goals and gameplay style
  3. Favor upgrades that enhance production, mobility, or combat efficiency
Monitor Opponents’ Faction Boards
  1. Keep track of your opponents’ faction abilities and progress
  2. Identify potential threats or advantageous alliances with specific factions
  3. Adjust gameplay based on the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents

Thorough analysis of faction and player boards is a vital element in securing a triumphant victory in Scythe. By carefully examining starting positions, understanding perceptive faction abilities, utilizing player board upgrades effectively, and monitoring opponents’ progress, you can forge a masterful strategy and capitalize on the unique advantages of your faction.

Forging Victorious Endgame Strategies

Planning your endgame strategy is crucial in Scythe as it determines whether victory slips through your fingers or is firmly grasped. To maximize your chances for success, consider the following strategies:

Pursue Multiple Scoring Opportunities
  1. Identify and focus on multiple pathways to earn points, rather than relying on a single approach.
  2. Exploit encounter cards, buildings, and territories to gain consistent points throughout the game.
  3. Strategically time upgraded actions at critical moments to gain valuable endgame triggers.
Secure Territorial Control
  1. Control and protect important territories to secure resources and achievements.
  2. Establish a strong presence in key regions and maintain a defensive position.
  3. Block opponent movements with mechs to restrict their territorial expansion.
Timing and Efficiency in Combat
  1. Avoid engaging in unnecessary battles that may deplete resources and divert focus.
  2. Be strategic and aim to initiate combats that result in significant territorial gains or resource disruption of opponents.
  3. Conserve combat strength until the endgame to surprise opponents and seize crucial territories.
Manage resources and popularity efficiently
  1. Maintain a balance between resource production and consumption for sustainability.
  2. Keep an eye on popularity to avoid penalties that hinder endgame progress.
  3. Strategize resource conversion and management based on potential endgame objectives.

By pursuing multiple scoring opportunities, securing territorial control, timing and managing battles efficiently, and smartly managing resources and popularity, you will be equipped to develop an effective endgame strategy that can lead to an exhilarating victory in Scythe.

Forging Alliances and Mastering Diplomacy

Alliances and diplomacy play a significant role in gaining an advantage and securing victory in Scythe. Mastering the art of forming alliances and leveraging diplomacy can be a game-changer. Consider the following strategies to excel in this area:

Assess the Landscape
  1. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents to identify potential ally candidates.
  2. Monitor the current game state to anticipate potential power shifts and emerging threats.
  3. Identify factions that can bring complementary abilities and resources to enhance your overall position.
Cultivate Trust through Incentives
  1. Offer mutually beneficial deals that entice potential allies to collaborate with you.
  2. Exchange resources or technological advancements to strengthen relationships.
  3. Use encounters and encounters together to forge bonds and enable mutually advantageous outcomes.
Exploit Diplomatic Encounters
  1. Deliberately steer diplomatic encounters towards outcomes that favor your objectives.
  2. Avoid confrontation with factions that are crucial to your alliance strategy.
  3. Seize opportunities presented by diplomatic encoutners to negotiate win-win situations or to disrupt opponents’ plans.
Managing Alliances and Pitfalls
  1. Maintain clear communication and regularly reassess the state of alliances.
  2. Work cooperatively to reinforce your common objectives and undermine those of your opponents.
  3. Be cautious of potential betrayal or broken trust by allies and have contingency plans in place.

By skillfully assessing the game landscape, cultivating trust through incentives, leveraging diplomatic encounters, and mastering the delicate management of alliances, you can shape the course of the game and create powerful alliances that pave the way to victory in Scythe.

The Path to Triumph: Concluding Thoughts

As we conclude this strategy guide for Scythe, we hope you now feel equipped with a wealth of knowledge and techniques to enhance your gameplay and increase your chances of victory. By mastering the elements of resource management, optimal action selection, faction and player board analysis, alliances and diplomacy, and endgame strategies, you can forge your path to triumph and leave your mark on the game world.

Remember, Scythe is not just a game of strategy and tactics—it is a world of immersive storytelling, breathtaking artwork, and unforgettable gaming experiences. It is an opportunity to outmaneuver your opponents while building your faction’s empire and leaving your mark on the history of an alternate world.

May our guide serve as a valuable tool on your journey, as you navigate the complexities of this captivating game. Whether you are a seasoned player seeking new strategies or a beginner stepping into this world for the first time, we wish you exhilarating moments, memorable encounters, and the sweet taste of victory as you play Scythe.

Now, gather your mechs, plan your moves, and embark on a truly remarkable adventure!

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.