I have a confession to make: I like My Little Scythe better than Scythe. No, I’m not saying one is better than the other; I wouldn’t put that online. It’s simply been a better fit for me due to the quicker game time and the less-tedious-to-run Automa. I was eager to see what new expansions would add to the experience and make a great game even better. Would there be some additional way that the Kingdoms would differentiate themselves through power abilities? Would the next expansion set itself apart from its big brother? I was anxious to know.
My Little Scythe: Pie in the Sky expansion from Stonemaier Games. The base game plays 1-6 players and takes around 45 minutes.
If you’re reading this review, I’m assuming you have played or are already familiar with My Little Scythe, so I won’t get into its rules. If you want the full rundown, you can read Tahsin’s review here. Instead, I’ll focus on what this expansion provides for you and what changes it brings to the game. Regarding the components, Pie in the Sky introduces the two missing Kingdoms, Fox and Owl, as well as the Airship Kai. Also included are 4 new power-up tiles, 2 new quest cards, and more trophy tokens. And yes, everything will fit in the base game box, although I found the lid to raise just slightly.
With the addition of the Airship, the gameplay changes just slightly. Each player will be given an airship mat, which will be placed next to their base game mat. Each of these airship mats can be played by their indicated Kingdoms or chosen randomly. This provides some variability to how each play during the game. All players will still take all their actions as normal. However, the Seek action is changed from the base game, which integrates an airship die. This is where the airship will come into play, allowing players to move the airship around the board either six spaces or however many trophies they have remaining to place, depending on the die roll. Once it moves, the airship can either pick up and store a gem or apple in the space it stopped or enable their special ability.
I won’t go through all the abilities, but just to highlight a couple: one allows the player to increase their pies or friendship if they Make in the same region as the airship token they placed. Another replicates a token and gives it to you if the token is given to another Seeker. Airships really become helpful in gathering tokens fast and speed up an already quick game. This is likely why a 5th trophy was added in order to trigger the end game.
Game Experience with the Expansion:
Obviously, due to current circumstances, I couldn’t play this with as large of a group as I would have liked. However, I do have some observations that can help you decide if this expansion is for you.
As I said before, one of My Little Scythe’s selling points for me is the game length. The airships certainly can quicken the amount of time needed to earn trophies. During a solo game, the Automountie was able to earn their first trophy on normal within 2-3 turns. It’s good that the 5th trophy was added to the game for this reason. But then it makes me wonder, did the game really need the airship?
For a solo and 2 player game, I didn’t really feel like it added much. Sure, you have some variability but some of these might not make as much of an impact since the player interaction is usually lower with this player count. Certainly, it didn’t speed up the game. I think though the airship and their abilities will make more of a positive and interesting impact if your games are at a higher player count. If that’s you, then you might appreciate this expansion more. I think it’s also worth noting that this additional moving piece doesn’t add much complexity, although if you’re playing with a younger player, you might remind them what they can do with this new piece.
I was a little disappointed with this expansion though in terms of the direction it went in. I understand that My Little Scythe takes its inspiration from Scythe and that’s a fine starting point. But I wish something new and creative had been introduced in this game Right now, this more so feels like a dumbed-down continuation of its big brother’s expansions. I think there could have been a larger interest fostered for the game that could be coming into its own. I hope that if another expansion comes after this one, that direction might be considered. But I worry that it’ll take that next page from The Rise of Fenris.
My Little Scythe: Pie in the Sky brings you a few new pieces to add to your family-weight game without adding too much complexity or playtime. It manages to maintain the same ease of play as the base game, while adding in some variability. The content that’s added isn’t significant and, depending on the number of players you have, the impact of this addition might be minimal. The completionist will likely want this to fill in those missing Kingdoms and if players are looking for new content that sets this game apart from Scythe, I don’t think they’ll find it here.
Final Score: Optional – An expansion that brings new Kingdoms and an airship, but doesn’t branch into a new path from its Scythe-inspired seed
• Airships add in some player variability that was missing from the base game
• Probably more useful at higher player counts
• Expansion feels like a missed opportunity to set itself apart