In Scythe, each player represents a fallen leader attempting to restore their honor and lead
faction to power in Eastern Europa. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap
gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.
Each player begins the game with different resources (strength, victory points, movement
capabilities, and popularity), their choice of several faction-specific abilities, and a
goal. Starting positions are specially calibrated to contribute to each faction’s
asymmetrical nature of the game.
Scythe gives players almost complete control over their fate. Other than each player’s
hidden objective cards, the only elements of luck are encounter cards that players will
interact with the citizens of newly explored lands and combat cards that give you a
in combat. Combat is also driven by choices, not luck or randomness.
Scythe uses a streamlined action-selection mechanism (no rounds or phases) to keep gameplay
a brisk pace and reduce downtime between turns. While there is plenty of direct conflict,
no player elimination, nor can units be killed or destroyed.
Every part of Scythe has an aspect of engine-building to it. Players can upgrade actions to
more efficient, build structures that improve their position on the map, enlist new
enhance character abilities, deploy mechs to deter opponents from invading, and expand
to reap greater types and quantities of resources. These engine-building aspects create a
momentum and progress throughout the game. The order in which players improve their engine
the unique feel of each game, even when playing one faction multiple times.
Character: Anna & Wojtek
Anna was born into a long line of intellectuals and diplomats. After
her parents died in the war, she moved in with her grandfather, a former soldier and
avid hunter. He raised her and taught her how to shoot a gun. Over time, Anna became an
On a hunting excursion with her grandfather, Anna discovered a mother bear who had died
in a trap. Huddled next to the bear was a young bear cub. Taking pity on the animal,
Anna scooped him up in her arms and took him home, much to the dismay of her
Anna and Wojtek, as she named the bear, quickly became inseparable. They even developed
a form of communication using sign language.
When Anna grew up, she decided to use her marksmanship to aid her
joined her as she enlisted in the newly-formed reconnaissance troops in the Polania
army. Together they traveled across the countryside becoming living legends as they
distinguished themselves in battle and showed compassion for even the poorest farmer.
Character: Gunter von Duisburg with Nacht & Tag
Gunter grew up in a wealthy, aristocratic family known for the dire
wolves they bred and sold across the country. As a young boy he traveled with his
father across Africa, where he developed excellent hunting skills and an interest in
With a strong love of his country, Gunter enlisted in the Saxon army. He spent the
first few years of service training soldiers to work with dire wolves, where he formed
a kinship with two particular wolves: Nacht and Tag (Night and Day).
When the war began, Gunter and his wolves led elite mech squads across the forests and
mountains of Saxony and Europe. His name was both feared and respected, and his jacket
grew heavy with medals of honor.
After the war, the Saxon emperor sought an audience with Gunter, Nacht,
and Tag. He
asked them (well, he asked Gunter) to go on a special mission to the east, where he saw
an opportunity to expand to the unclaimed lands surrounding the Factory. Gunter was
never one to turn down an adventure, so off he went to the east.
Character: Zehra & Kar
Princess Zehra was the firstborn daughter of the Khan of the Crimean
Tatars. Despite her royal upbringing and against the will of her father, Zehra
preferred to practice bow shooting and horseback riding rather than meekly drink tea
with dignitaries. She found that she was able to see things before they happened, a
skill that greatly aided her archery skills, especially for moving targets.
When Zehra turned 16, her father gave her a great steppe eagle for her birthday. Much
to Zehra’s surprise, she found that she could see through the eagle’s eyes, and she had
the sense that the eagle could see through hers. Zehra named her Kar.
Zehra traveled the land with Kar, representing her family’s interests and serving the
people. Tales of her bravery were spread far and wide by Crimean caravans and traders.
Steeped in the tradition and culture of their people, Zehra’s father
was reluctant to
adapt the new mech technologies developed by the Factory. However, he realized that the
world was changing whether or not he liked it, and he didn’t want his country to fall
too far behind. So he asked Zehra and Kar to go on an expedition to the north for the
purpose of learning modern technology and ensuring peace for their people.
Character: Bjorn & Mox
Bjorn, the descendant of a renowned Viking family, grew up in a small
village in the north of the Nordic Kingdom. For centuries his tribe had bred and raised
the massive musk ox seen on many farms across the arctic. From an early age, Bjorn
found that he was able to tame and communicate with the huge animals.
When he was 15, Bjorn was caught in a terrible snowstorm while trying to find a young
musk ox that had wandered away from the herd. He found the musk ox, but there was no
hope of making their way back to the village. Much to Bjorn’s surprised, the musk ox
seemed to understand the dire situation, as it created a protective barrier to keep
Bjorn safe from the blizzard. After surviving the ordeal, Bjorn took the creature as
his mount and named him Mox.
As an adult, Bjorn had a yearning to see the world beyond his tiny village, so he and
Mox embarked on a series of adventures across the land. They served as ambassadors to
other tribes, went on war missions, and sought to find new oil reserves.
Stories of their courage and heroism eventually reached the king, who
asked Bjorn and
Mox to participate in a special mission to venture into the south. They seek to add new
villages and farms to their kingdom by diplomacy or by force, as well as to explore the
Factory to give them a technological advantage in future wars.
Character: Olga Romanova & Changa
Olga comes from an old aristocratic family that lost their money and
position a long time ago. So she was raised on humble means and in harsh climates,
surrounded by simple people and nature. From childhood Olga was taught to have great
respect for the Siberian tigers that prowled the Rusviet tundra.
At 15, Olga was already turning into a beautiful woman of strong ambition and
intelligence. She caught the eye of Viktor, the young commander of a squadron of mechs
traveling through her village on the way to war, and they began to correspond via
Viktor surprised her by showing up on Olga’s 16th birthday to present her with a
Siberian tiger cub named Changa he had discovered on patrol. The three of them spent
the next week together, and they talked of marrying.
Unfortunately, the great war began, and Viktor was called away to
continued to write, but one day Olga received word that Viktor had gone missing in
enemy territory. She vowed to find him, so she joined the Rusviet military
service with Changa at her side. With her intelligence and ambition, she quickly
climbed the ranks, and she finally got the chance to search the western lands for
beloved Viktor with the full strength of the Rusviet military at her back!
Character: Connor & Max
Connor is a highlander, a native of the southern area of
the island controlled by Clan Albion. He comes from a
long line of military legends, a tradition he perpetuated
by entrenching himself far behind enemy lines
during the Great War. He owes his life to his faithful
companion, a wild boar named Max, who saved him
from a pack of dire wolves in the foothills of Saxony.
Clan Albion fears that the Factory could fall under
permanent control of one of the more powerful factions,
which might then encroach on the Albion homeland.
With Max by his side, Connor is entrusted with the
command of a special taskforce to build a strong line
of defense against the other factions and destroy the
Factory before it’s too late.
Character: Akiko & Jiro
From an early age, Akiko, the niece of the shogun, read
stories of warriors and adventurers in faraway lands.
She was especially fascinated by the beauty and art of
sword fighting. When she turned 16, Akiko begged
her uncle to let her train at the most elite samurai war
academy, and he agreed. She was a model student,
practicing constantly until she excelled at fighting,
shooting, strategy, and tactics. Bursting with pride, the
shogun gave Akiko a special trained monkey named Jiro.
As Akiko was entering her second year of training, her
brother, a prominent engineer, went missing during a
mission to the mysterious Factory in Eastern Europa.
The shogun’s advisors suspected that he had been
captured by agents of the Rusviet Union. Trusting in his
niece’s skills as a samurai, the shogun has empowered
Akiko to lead a large military expedition to subvert the
Rusviets, recover the Togawa engineers, and discover
the truth of the Factory.
Each player in Scythe can deploy up 4 mechs to assert force over the uncharted lands
surrounding the Factory and to protect their workers and territories. Each mech is linked
to a special ability, most of which are unique to each faction. When a player deploys a
mech, that player’s mechs and character all gain the ability.
Republic of Polania (white):
The Polanian mech is inspired by the streamlined look of
airplanes and submarines. It has the ability to submerge into a lake and–by using the
underground river system–surface on any other lake. It’s also people-friendly, as the
Polanian player can use the mech to gently push opponent’s workers off of territories
without losing popularity.
Saxony Empire (black):
The Saxon mech is built for tunneling through narrow passages in the
mountains of Saxony and beyond. You don’t want to face a Saxon mech in combat in the dark
depths of a tunnel.
Crimean Khanate (yellow):
The Crimean mech is pieced together from the scrapyard, as the
Crimeans rejected the idea mech technology until it was too late. It specializes in
traveling long distances and can allow a player to scout and steal an opponent’s combat
card before combat begins.
Nordic Kingdoms (blue):
The Nordic mech is inspired by Viking longships. It has the ability
to both walk on land and sail on lakes, and it comes with long-range artillery to damage
the opponent before combat even begins.
Rusviet Union (red):
The Rusviet mech, with its war scythes, is a formidable figure on the
battlefield. It has access to a secret network leading from villages to the Factory. It
also becomes more powerful in combat when accompanied by workers.
Clan Albion (green):
The Albion mech, inspired by Scottish bagpipes, has a
rotating array of
weapons that can be used for attack or defense. It also has the ability to use tunnel
territories as a guide to cross rivers, and they can quickly cross great expanses to rally
to help endangered workers.
Togawa Shogunate (purple):
The Togawa mechs are built to sustain even the
particularly water. They’re built for solo combat and adventures, not pack hunting. And
they include several devious contraptions that allow them to rearm traps laid by Akiko and