Scythe

Scythe is a role-playing strategy game set in an alternate, dieselpunk timeline where giant machines shake the battlefields of Europa and disenfranchised leaders must rely on their innate skills to gather the armies and expand their territories. Think of it as a cross between Risk and D&D.

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What makes this game so astonishing, however, isn’t the new, streamlined gaming system, the thoughtful blend of character-based abilities, or even the game’s constant action. Scythe sticks out of the crowd because there is some serious art behind its war.

The game’s art was created by Jakub Rozalski. He built carefully traditional settings using familiar artistic styles and then seamlessly incorporated the gigantic mechs that play a pivotal role in the actual game. At first glance, the machines are alarmingly incongruous with the historical, rural settings, but after a few moments’ study, they seem to belong as much as the wheat-gathering peasants they dwarf, inspire, and threaten.

Scythe Board

Without touching a single card, arranging the board, or going over the rules, you can sink into the game’s world through the windows Rozalski has created into the world of Scythe. The game takes immersion a step deeper with physical coins and more original artwork that developers incorporated into regular play.

The highest contributor level of the original Kickstarter featured an entire book of artwork as one of the key rewards. While it is still possible to get your hands on such a book if you were late to the party, you will have to wait until this autumn, when the game is released to everyone outside the Kickstarter campaign via regular gaming retailers. It will also cost you a very pretty penny, indeed. This game is a piece of art unto itself, and unfortunately the price tag will reflect that. It is still, however, worth every bit of the pain your wallet might suffer.

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Even if table top gaming is not your favorite pastime, you could just hang this thing on the wall. It really is just that gorgeous.


M. Leigh Hood is a rare beast of the Cincinnati wilderness typically preoccupied with writing, nerding, and filming The Spittoon List. For more articles and stories by M. Leigh Hood, look HERE.

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