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Games for 2 players (possibly 3) SCYTHE?

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My wife and I are looking for a decent boardgame for the both of us with the option of my step son joining in (22). I come from a tabletop background playing 40k, Bloodbowl, AD&D, WHFRP, WFB etc  when I was around 15-18 and my wife and step son played some Risk with me a while back and really enjoyed it.


I've always had a bit of a thing for Scythe and I'm thinking of getting it for the family. As I understand it you can play single player as well as 2-4 and it takes around an hour and a half to run. Is it a bit of a massivo (concept) to get our heads around, or is it fairly easy to pick up? 


I noticed Scythe is on Steam as part of a Humble Bundle deal at the moment - is it a good idea to get this first, to help with learning the game? or is it very much different to the tabletop original and could put us off playing?


A lot of variables I know :) 


Cheers in advance.

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Scythe Digital Edition is very, very similar to the board game. In fact it was how I learned how to play the tabletop edition initially. I ended up down a bit of a rabbit hole when I first got into the tabletop version of Scythe and now have all but the final expansion (Rise of Fenris - I'm saving getting this for when lockdown is over and I can get my regular Scythe group together), realistic coins to replace the cardboard ones, realistic-looking resource tokens to replace the basic wooden ones and the legendary box to put it all in. I dread to think how much I've spent on that damn game.


I personally think it works pretty well as a two-player game, but the more is definitely the merrier with Scythe. I did once managed to get a 7-player game setup with a group of friends and that was excellent fun. But 2-player games are fine and fairly snappy. Once you're comfortable with the rules, games should last around 90 -120 mins.


Another good one you might want to consider is Star Wars Rebellion. Admittedly it helps that both myself and my girlfriend are into Star Wars, but it's a great little war game that actually works best with just two players. We've tried it with 3 players before and it became a bit of a chore to play, but it's amazing with just two. Games can go on a while though. The shortest we've had was just over an hour, but that was unusually brief (my girlfriend, playing as the Galactic Empire, got lucky and found my Rebel base within 3 turns - then she won the battle and it was all over.) We've had games go on as long as 6 hours - but admittedly that was whilst we were getting our head around the rules. Most games are in the region of around 3 hours long I'd say.

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Depending on your tolerance for the abstract, I'd recommend Tash-Kalar, which is an arena based token placement game, combined with matching patterns.


The players take turns making two actions - but the game basically boils down to you having a handful of cards representing various "beings" you can summon, and the effect those beings will have on the board state. You then have to try and put down your tokens in a way that'll match the pattern on the card and then you can use an action to do your thing. Your opponent will of course not want you to do this and will be working to disrupt your patterns with his own tokens, or through his "being" effects.


You can play two ways - the slightly boring deathmatch where you score points for blatting your opponents tokens, or the might more interesting Arena game where your draw what the crowd wants to see from a random deck, and there are three in play at once. These demands might be anything from "Kill something standing on a green space" down to "make an unbroken chain of pieces across the board.


Sounds awful, doesn't it? It's not.


Shut Up and Sit Down review


... the downside is that much of it hinges on your ability to recognise the patterns, which means the game starts to get better the more you play. There are four factions in the box, but two of them are mirrored, which makes it a bit easier to start with.

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@Zio Had my first attempt at Scythe Digital last night, having went through all the tutorials I felt like I'd just watched that Adam & Joe quiz show... think I need to give it another play through. Felt like a riot idiot in my first game. I'm sure there are errors in the tutorial when its showing how things are calculated as its saying X=Y = Blah but the numbers don't add up. Anyway I'll give it another go tonight. 


Cheers for the recommendation of Star Wars Rebellion too.


On 13/05/2020 at 14:52, Lying Cat said:

Sounds awful, doesn't it? It's not.


It does sound a bit meh, but I'll give the review a watch, thanks @Lying Cat


To both of you were is the best place to buy games? IS https://www.board-game.co.uk/ a decent store? A lot of the Amazon listings seem to be misleading and have read so many comments of being supplied with wrong version or language variants. Thanks again to both of you.

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I buy my games from a variety of sources. When we are out of lockdown Travelling Man in Newcastle has some good periodic sales. I regularly browse Boardgameguru, Chaos Cards, Firestorm Cards, Zatu, Pevans and some of the boardgame groups on Facebook. Boardgamegeek.com has a bargains forum which is worth keeping an eye on. I also get involved in some of the math trades on bgg.  

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