Best Setup for Scythe

Best Scythe Setup Strategy

Updated: 10th January 2024

Europe is recovering from the war; there’s still dust on the snow. The center of the chaos, “The Factory” – famous for churning out powerful mechs – has suddenly shut down, capturing the interest of surrounding nations.

The game Scythe situates players in a 1920s alternate-history, a mix of agriculture, war, and innovative spirit. You step into the shoes of a leader from one of five Eastern European factions, navigating a path to prosperity near the enigmatic Factory. Players lay claim to territories, recruit allies, harvest resources, gain villagers, erect buildings, and power up immense mechs.

Each player starts uniquely, with their own set of resources, starting point, and secret goals, highlighting each faction’s distinct role and the game’s asymmetrical setup. Scythe keeps things moving quickly with a streamlined action-selection system, minimizing wait times between turns.

While direct conflict exists, it never results in player elimination, leaving room for strategic planning over luck. The only chance elements are “encounter” cards that offer a variety of options to the player, allowing them to influence the outcome.

The beauty of Scythe is the near-complete control players have over their destiny. Whether it’s improving action efficiency, building valuable structures, enhancing character abilities with new recruits, defending territory with mechs, or expanding for more resources, every element of the game involves building your engine of progress—the core of the Scythe experience.

Each decision contributes to a unique gameplay experience. The sequence in which players develop their engine adds layers of personalization to each session, even when replaying the same faction.

The game demands not only strategic acumen but also a keen understanding of how to best assemble the components at your disposal. This setup includes choosing the right faction and mechs, leveraging unique abilities, and optimizing resource allocation from the get-go.

In this article

The section on Faction-Specific Strategies explains how each group in the game has its own strengths and weaknesses. By understanding these, players can create unique plans that surprise their opponents.

For a good game in Scythe, it’s important to consider Key Components for a Winning Setup. This covers where you place your workers first, how you control areas on the game board, and the best times to bring out your leader and robots. Combining these elements well can make you stronger in both economy and combat.

The Tips and Tricks for Effective Scythe Gameplay give players extra advice on the clever, but less obvious, parts of playing the game. This includes smart moves, playing with resources, and choosing the right time for actions to have the biggest effect. Getting good at these details can take a player’s skill from good to great, helping them to keep ahead in the game.

Tips and Tricks for Effective Scythe Gameplay
Image credit: Reddit jjack0310

In the Advanced Tactics for Scythe Board Game section, we dive into the deeper strategies needed after you’ve learned the basics. This part emphasizes that to keep doing well in the game, you have to continue making smart decisions. This means changing your plan as the game goes on, beating others in battles, and finding opportunities that can give you the edge.

All of these points add up to a full guide on how to be great at Scythe. From the very beginning to the last points count, knowing how each piece of the game setup helps prepares players for the many challenges they’ll face in this board game.

Faction-Specific Strategies: Laying the Groundwork for Scythe Supremacy and Beyond

Scythe is a game where every faction has its own special powers and starts in different places on the board. For example:

  • The Nordic Kingdoms can swim across rivers right away, which lets them spread out and grab valuable land quickly. They can focus on controlling parts of the board that are hard for others to reach fast.
  • The Crimean Khanate can use combat cards as resources, giving them a flexible way to use what they have. They can trick other players into fights to get resources, not just land. This shows how Scythe has deeper strategies than just setting up your game.
  • The Rusviet Union can do the same action many times in a row, which helps them build up resources or armies quickly. If they do this right, they can beat players who aren’t ready. Rusviet players try to use this to get ahead in the economy and strength.
  • The Polanian Republic has its own tricks, like moving through enemies without fighting and getting extra actions. This lets them move quickly and grab important spots and resources while avoiding fights. As they get better at the game, the Polanians might use this ability to mess up other players’ plans and get big advantages from special encounters that match their long-term goals.
  • Saxony Empire aims for end-game dominance through aggressive expansion and combat victories. Timing battles and objective achievements is key to end the game before rivals can execute their plans.

Knowing these unique powers helps players set up their game in Scythe and move on to advanced tactics. They need to keep changing their plans to stay in control as the game world changes.

Mechs and Faction Strategies:

  • Each faction’s mechs provide unique abilities for tailored strategies.
  • As player expertise grows, complex strategies emerge involving opponent behavior, board setup, and strategic timing.

Clan Albion (from expansion pack):

  • Clan Albion focus on territorial control and placing flags for bonuses.
  • Use flags for area denial and resource control, creating economic strongholds for late-game scoring.

Togawa Shogunate (from expansion pack):

  • Togawa Shogunate’s traps make the game unpredictable; they can intimidate and control enemy movement.
  • Use traps strategically, as bluffs or for protecting resources and key positions.

Essential Elements of Victory: Key Components for a Winning Scythe Setup

Foundation in Scythe:

  • Starting with strong strategic placement of your initial workers is crucial.
  • The position of workers affects early resource access and future turns—like boosting food by placing on a farm.

Selection & Deployment:

  • Choosing and deploying mechs carefully is critical for mobility and combat.
  • Each mech, like Rusviet’s Riverwalk or Saxony’s Underpass, offers a unique ability—deploy strategically for tactical benefits.

Resource Management:

  • Controlling high-yield territories is key for a strong economic engine.
  • Utilize resources for building, upgrading, trading, timing the market, or as bait in advanced gameplay.

To win at Scythe Board Game, you need to focus on three main things: smartly placing your workers, carefully choosing where to put your mechs, and skillfully managing your resources. This powerful combo helps you smoothly move into higher-level tactics and increase your chances of winning by planning ahead and adjusting your strategies as the game progresses.

After you’ve gotten the hang of the basics, it’s important to understand how the buildings in the game can tip the scales in your favor. There are four types of buildings you can construct – minesarmoriesmonuments, and mills – and each comes with its own strategic advantages.

  • Mines: Building a mine allows you to move troops fast across the board, giving you better movement and the element of surprise for sudden growth or attacks – a key part of complex game strategies.
  • Armories: With an armory, you’re better equipped for fights which means you can play more aggressively or scare off your rivals from challenging you.

Monuments & Popularity: Monuments boost your standing on the popularity track, which new players might not pay much attention to but is crucial for increasing the points you get at the end of the game.

Mills & Resources: Mills help you gather more resources faster, which can give your economy a big push forward. Smart players will place their structures in spots that help themselves the most while also limiting their opponents’ choices.

Star Placement & Achievements: Placing stars on the board shows your achievements, like finishing upgrades or winning battles. When you put down stars can really change the game. It can speed up the game or end it when it benefits you the most after you’ve set yourself up for success.

Factory & Bonus Cards: Taking over the Factory, a key spot on the board, gives you access to special powerful cards. If you get there early and grab these cards, they can make your faction stronger or help fix its weak spots.

Combining Advanced Tactics: Top-level strategies in Scythe Board Game blend all these elements with adaptability. For example, you might work with other players for a bit using the encounter cards, but then surprise them by breaking the alliance when it’s most advantageous. Knowing when to switch from focusing on your economy to attacking others, or the other way around, takes a deep understanding of your own game plan and the ever-changing game board.

Surprise Moves: Using traps, flags, and being clever with where you place your mechs can take your rivals by surprise, giving you a chance to make game-changing plays.

Sharpening Your Edge: Tips and Tricks for Effective Scythe Gameplay

To transform a good Scythe player into a great one, it’s essential to glean various tips and tricks that can refine the effectiveness of gameplay. One such tip is to study the board’s layout each game actively. The position of resources, the Factory, and home bases can significantly influence your strategy. For example, if you’re playing as the Nordic Kingdoms and find yourself close to several lakes, exploiting your faction’s ability to swim could give you a surprising resource advantage.

Level Up Your Scythe Strategy

Kickstart Your Engine: When you start the game, think ahead about your first few moves to get your game engine running smoothly. Playing as the Crimean Khanate means you can use combat cards as resources, so grab those cards early to prepare for an aggressive yet economically savvy style of play.

Use Combat Wisely: In Scythe, battles aren’t the main focus, but fighting smart can change the game. Pool your strength for big attacks to keep control and scare off your opponents. Pretending to be weak can trap enemies, and aligning your fights with objectives can give you the upper hand.

Gain Popularity Early: Raising your popularity early on is key as it multiplies your points later. Striking a balance between aggressive play and actions that make you more popular is a subtle skill that needs careful thought and social strategy.

Stay Agile with Your Plans: Having a strict game plan is good, but you need to stay flexible. Be ready to change your strategy in reaction to what others are doing to keep an advantage.

Combine Actions for Efficiency: Do more with each turn, like moving to an encounter token and then taking the encounter action. This smart play saves time and can have a big impact.

Manage the Game’s Pace: Knowing when to speed up or slow down changes how the game feels and can catch less experienced players unprepared for the endgame.

Play to Your Mat’s Strengths: Your player mat is your engine—use it wisely. The Agricultural mat helps you get power and recruits fast, while the Engineering mat is great for fast upgrades that make actions cheaper.

Make Encounters Count: Don’t underestimate encounter cards. They can give you a big advantage by providing resources, popularity, or new units. Use these encounters while pushing other strategies for multi-tasking efficiency.

Upgrade and Deploy Strategically: The timing of your upgrades and mech deployments can make or break your game. Don’t rush to upgrade without the resources to support it, and don’t delay your mechs so much that you become a target. Find the right timing to grow your infrastructure and then expand your territory.

Bringing these tips into your game will turn a good play into a great one, steering you toward advanced gameplay and victory in the Scythe arena.

Mastering the Mech-Powered Strategy

From Initial Setup To Endgame

When beginning in the game Scythe, take your first few moves seriously to kick off your strategy. For instance, players representing the Crimean Khanate can use combat cards as resources, opening up an aggressive yet resourceful style of play.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Use combat strategically. Scythe isn’t just about war, but the right battle at the right time can be a turning point. Rather than scattering your forces, focus them for decisive strikes that secure territories and intimidate rivals. Be cunning: pretend to be weak to trap foes or initiate fights when they align with combat-related goals.
  • Aim for early popularity. It boosts your score later on. Mix aggression with actions that make you more popular, a balance needing clever planning and social skills.
  • Stay flexible. Have a game plan, but be ready to shift as needed. Reacting to others’ moves keeps you in control.
  • Combine actions whenever you can. For example, move to an encounter token and then resolve the encounter, making the most out of your turn.
  • Controlling the game’s pace is key. Know when to speed up your star placements or when to gather more resources, dictating the game’s rhythm.
Best Scythe Setup

Remember, each player mat influences your tactics:

  • Agricultural mat users may bolster and enlist more due to lower costs, focusing on gaining bonuses through power and recruits.
  • Those with the Engineering mat might prioritize upgrades to lessen action costs.

Encounter cards shouldn’t be overlooked; they can provide significant advantages, from resources and popularity to new units. Experienced players may strategize around encounters, optimizing each turn.

Finally, finding a balance for upgrades and deployments is an art. Upgrading too rapidly without the resources can halt your progress, while slow mech deployment can leave you exposed. Advanced tactics involve judging the right moment to switch focus from building your base to expanding your reach, balancing both economic and military growth.

Keep these insights in mind to improve your Scythe strategies and become a competitive player.


  1. Stegmaier, J. (2016). Scythe: Rulebook. Stonemaier Games.
  2. Scythe Strategy Articles & Guides – Stonemaier Games Official Blog. Available at:
  3. The Meeple Street. (2018). “Advanced Scythe Strategy Tips.” Available at:
  4. Scythe Fan Community – Reddit (r/scythe). Available at:
  5. BoardGameGeek Scythe Forums. Available at:

Related Content:

From official rulebooks to community discussions, these resources offer a wealth of knowledge for players seeking to delve into the world of advanced Scythe tactics.

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