“Here. Review this,” said Tony, who pointed at a small box on his workbench without even so much as glancing up from his latest obsession: brewing moonshine in his basement.
I looked at the box. Scythe Encounters. What?
“I can’t take this. I was lied to.”
“By who?” asked Tony.
“By WHOM…. by Jamey Stegmaier. It was CLEARLY stated on the back of the Rise of Fenris box that Fenris was “the conclusion of the Scythe expansion trilogy.” This is obviously ANOTHER expansion.” I paused. “That man simply cannot be trusted….”.
“Shut up and review it.”
I grabbed the box and did as I was told. Besides, who was I kidding – more Scythe, more happy, at least for me.
Scythe Encounters adds 32 new encounter cards to the encounter deck. They can be used as the encounter deck, be shuffled in with the encounters from the base game, or you can pick and choose your favorite cards to use. For this review, I played both using all 32 new cards as the encounter deck and shuffled in with the original encounters.
Game Experience with the Expansion:
I own the Kickstarter version of Scythe. That version included 36 encounter cards. If you never read all 36 cards, one after the other, I will spoil something for you – besides the art and the flavor text, they are all the same. The first option is to gain something, the second is to pay money for something, and the third has you paying popularity for something. While the “somethings” are different, the format for the three choices remains true on every card. (Note: I do not own any of the promo cards, so I cannot speak to their options.)
Scythe Encounters changes the format. It adds new options. It adds more interaction. It adds a breath of fresh air to drawing an encounter card. You can no longer assume what you will be getting. For example, look at the card below. Not only does it provide an option to steal from an opponent, an option not included in the base game, but it also allows you the option to keep the card as a secret objective!
The remaining 31 cards provide other interesting options, such as:
- Pay an opponent $3 – they cannot attack you until after you have attacked them
- Skip your next turn to gain 5 popularity now
- Pay $5 to gain a factory card (only if you don’t have one), then burn the factory down, removing the remaining factory cards from play
I embrace these new options, especially because they are a nice change of pace from “gain 2 food and one popularity.”
The art, like the base game and expansions, continues to be fantastic. While the art was taken from other Scythe sources, this is the first time they are being printed on the encounter cards, so you will not have any duplicated art in your encounter card deck.
The only “issue” I could come up with is that the new options add a bit of randomness not currently included in the encounter deck. Some of these options can be situational. For example, any options related to the factory, if all players already have a factory card, would be useless. Of course, there are two other options on the card to choose from, so it is not a dead draw, just a card with one less option. This did not bother me in the least bit, but it might bother some readers, so I wanted to make sure I pointed this out.
If you love, enjoy, or even simply like Scythe, you should just go out/go online and buy Scythe Encounters. Like now. This small box expansion adds variability and a freshness to the encounter deck that, while not necessarily needed, made the game even more enjoyable for me.
• Adds variety and interactivity to the encounter deck
• More art
• More Scythe!
• If you liked the encounter decks with a standard format, these cards add new options that can be situational, increasing the randomness of the encounter deck
• Jamey lied to us… so is THIS the last expansion???