Scythe is one of the most popular modern board games. It also has three major expansions. In this ranking, we tell you which we think is the best Scythe expansion and why.
The Rise of Fenris is by far the biggest and most elaborate Scythe expansion. It expands on the base game so much more that it’s our favorite Scythe expansion by a very wide margin.
Rise of Fenris is a campaign that lasts 8 sessions. Each session, new game elements are introduced. These introductions are similar to those in Pandemic Legacy, in the sense that you open up sealed boxes that contain game altering components. But, unlike in Legacy style games, no permanent changes are made to the game. So you can replay the same campaign multiple times.
In fact, the game elements that the campaign introduced also function as separate modules. Therefore, you can mix and match these modules to create your own scenario’s. Some modules give handicaps or boosts to certain players, other speed up the game or slow it down and some stimulate conflict between players. With 11 modules in total there are over 10.000 possible scenario’s to play.
One of the modules that we particularly like adds a cooperative mode to Scythe. This is just great value because as a coop, Scythe is basically a completely new game. The mode is very well done and it really goes to show how much love the designers put in this Scythe expansion.
With so much added value, we think The Rise of Fenris easily deserves to be crowned the best Scythe expansion.
The Wind Gambit introduces two new modules: Airships and Resolution. Although the game is branded around the airships, the new resolution rules are actually our favorite part of this expansion.
Normally, Scythe ends when a player earns their sixth star. But the Resolution module of this expansion contains 8 new resolution tiles that define alternate victory conditions. For example, with the Factory Explosion as win condition, players get only 2 more tuns after a player earns their fifth star. In these two turns they carefully have to plan around the fact that the factory is about to explode.
I want to stress that alternate victory conditions are among the most valuable things that an expansion can add. They’re an elegant way to shake up the game without adding a lot of fluff or random extra complexity, and they lead you to rediscover the game you already love. This is also the exact reason why we value Empires so high as a Dominion expansion.
Further, The Wind Gambit adds airships. Their main feature is that they can move over water, so players can start to interact earlier in the game. The air ships don’t shake up the game in a major way but they’re a nice addition.
The Wind Gambit is not quite as spectacular as the Rise of Fenris, but it’s still a good expansion. If you already own the Rise of Fenris, this is the next expansion to get.
Invaders from Afar is the Scythe expansion that introduces two new factions. In doing so it also ups the maximum player amount from 5 to 7.
The two new factions are fun to play with. Their special powers are to lay traps on the board, and to increase production of owned tiles. So both enable strong board control centered strategies.
Invaders from Afar is not the best Scythe expansion, because it doesn’t add enough novelty. You need it if you want to play with more than 5 players, and otherwise you’re probably better off with an expansion higher up in our ranking.
Scythe Encounters is a mini expansion that was made based on community input. It features 32 new encounter cards that were designed by fans.
The encounter cards in this expansion were designed by fans that seemingly wanted to create dramatic events. The cards are very exciting, but they’re not all equally balanced. So they’re fun, but can sometimes feel a little unfair when you end up with the short end of the stick.
Further, Encounters is by far the smallest Scythe expansion, so naturally it’s the least impactful. But, it’s still a fun edition for true fans of the series. It’s by Scythe fans, for Scythe fans.
There are also a number of Scythe extensions available. These are not full blown expansions but still enhance the Scythe experience in some way.
The modular Scythe board is like a Settlers of Catan board for Scythe. It makes sure the map is different each game.
There’s also a Scythe board extension that enlarges the map size. This creates more space on the map. This is especially nice in combination with the realistic resource tokens for Scythe, which are bigger than the normal tokens.
Finally there’s a Legendary Scythe Box to store Scythe with all three expansions. There’s also a Scythe organizer available that fits in this box, so you can store everything efficiently and speed up the set up time of Scythe.
Rounding Up - Did You Find Your Scythe Expansion?
We hope our ranking helps you to pick the best Scythe expansion for you.
If our ranking leaves any of your questions unanswered, please let us know through our contact form. We’re happy to incorporate your questions into future updates of this post, so we can help future readers find the best Scythe expansion for them even better.