Note: This will be a Spoiler Free review of Scythe: Rise of Fenris
Here is a quick recap of my Scythe history:
- Kickstarted Scythe Collector’s Edition. It arrived and I loved it.
- Picked up Scythe: Invaders from Afar. It added two new factions to the game and two new player mats. While not revolutionary, I liked the variability this expansion added.
- Reviewed Scythe: The Wind Gambit. I also liked this expansion, especially the new Resolution Tiles.
Ok, now that my Scythe history is out of the way, let’s get to why you are here – to learn more about Scythe: The Rise of Fenris (simply Fenris going forward).
I was stoked (I loved Point Break!) to be given the opportunity to review Rise of Fenris. I was looking forward to experiencing the re-settable and replayable campaign that is the meat of Fenris. At the same time, I was saddened because explicitly stated on the box was “the conclusion of the Scythe expansion trilogy.” I truly love the Scythe universe, from the art to—most importantly—the gameplay. Is Rise of Fenris the swan song Scythe deserves or will it go out with a whimper?
Rise of Fenris is an 8 episode campaign that can also easily integrate the two previous expansions unless explicitly disallowed by the campaign set up instructions. There are also 11 new modules included, most of which are revealed through the campaign. As for new components, they include:
- 100+ cardboard tokens
- 62 wooden tokens
- 25 tiles
- 13 plastic miniatures
- An episode guidebook
Game Experience with the Expansion:
The game is legacy-ish. The first time through the campaign you will experience the fun and excitement of unlocks, surprises, carryover of gameplay elements across episodes, and new win conditions similar to other Legacy style games. There is one catch—nothing is torn up or thrown away during the campaign. You heard me right anti-component destruction gamers: NOTHING ends up in your recycling bin! You can start a new campaign after you finish the first one. Only this time you will be armed with the knowledge of what each episode contains, from its unique set up to how the end game will impact the next episode.
Some may look at this as boring or as a negative. I disagree with that mindset. I look at it as a positive. I get the feel of a Legacy game in my first run through. In follow up campaigns I can explore each episode, try new strategies, and know what impacts my decisions will have. No longer will you feel frustrated that a decision you made had a consequence you could not know. Rise of Fenris allows me to experience the highs of a legacy game without having to buy a new copy if I want to play it a second time.
As for the campaign, I had a blast playing through it and look forward to playing through it again. I liked the persistent elements that carryover and how they are tracked and impact not only each episode, but the end of the campaign. That’s all I am saying. I REALLY do not want to spoil anything related to the campaign.
I cannot complete discussing the campaign without mentioning the story. Fenris is a board game, not the next Brandon Sanderson epic. Some will call the story cliché, but I enjoyed it. It helped better explain why the world is the way it is, why it got there, and where it was going. This all tied the eight episodes together and provided a satisfactory conclusion to the campaign.
As previously stated, Fenris includes 11 new modules. To be honest, calling some of these a “module” is a stretch as they are very simple. However, several of them are game changing and will easily be included in my non-campaign Scythe sessions. Similar to The Wind Gambit, which had two modules, these modules are highly interchangeable and you can use one or several of them. I really appreciate the number of modules included and the flexibility they give in adjusting the Scythe experience to suit your gameplay style.
NOTE: I did not get an opportunity to play either the cooperative module (NOT a spoiler – it is on the back of the box!) or versus the Automa. The coop campaign required the use of a module that is unlocked later in the campaign and I wanted to focus on playing through the entire campaign for this review.
Ok. My wife and I own a lot of games; therefore, we rarely play the same game twice in the same month. We played through the Rise of Fenris campaign in less than a month. We had that much fun. We thoroughly enjoyed the Rise of Fenris expansion and HIGHLY recommend it for fans of Scythe!
As can be said with all expansions, unless you are a fence sitter and a campaign would sway your opinion, this expansion will not make you change your mind about Scythe. It is a new way to play Scythe, but at the end of the day you will still be playing Scythe.
• Gives you the Legacy game feel with no destruction!
• Increases the replay value of the base game.
• Can pick and choose to use modules in futures games
• More Scythe!
• While the box states there are 11 modules, calling a couple of them “modules” is a stretch.