02 January 2018
Concludes story of mech-battling strategy hit with legacy-style campaign
The story of Scythe is coming to an end.
Jamey Stegmaier’s pretty incredible 2016 mech-battling strategy hit has had its third and final expansion announced, with its designer confirming that The Rise of Fenris will be the last such add-on release, completing a trilogy started by player-count-boosting Invaders from Afar and last year’s airship-filled The Wind Gambit.
The Rise of Fenris includes two different gameplay modes for either up to five or seven players, depending on whether you already own Invaders or just the core Scythe box. Both modes can be played in single-player, too.
It seems that Stegmaier has taken some influence from his recent legacy game, Charterstone, in adding to his earlier project, introducing an eight-episode campaign that includes unlockable aspects and surprises hidden in boxes alongside ‘persistent elements’ – although it’s important to note that the mode is said to be ‘fully resettable and replayable’, so it’s not quite fully a legacy experience from the sounds of it.
The story takes place as Scythe’s setting of Europa prepares to begin a new age of prosperity, but is interrupted by the arrival of mysterious soldiers in the countryside with glowing eyes who seem harmless – at least to begin with.
The other option is a modular mode made up of 11 different gameplay modules that can be mixed and matched together to create various different experiences. The modules work with original Scythe and both of its previous expansions, and can be used in place of the campaign mode or once the story’s been finished for more open-ended play.
The Rise of Fenris’ story is guided along by a book in the expansion’s box, which also includes 13 new miniatures, two custom dice, five tiles and a whole bunch of wooden and cardboard tokens – plus the secret pieces waiting to be discovered.
Stegmaier co-designed The Rise of Fenris alongside Ryan Lopez DeVinaspre, a fan who created the unofficial Lessons of the Past multiplayer campaign for Scythe, featuring multiple endings and a realistic portrayal of the war in the background of the game. It’s not the first time Stegmaier has worked with a fan, either – The Wind Gambit was similarly co-created with someone who had posted a fan-made expansion for Scythe on BoardGameGeek.
Scythe: The Rise of Fenris is planned for a release in Q3 2018, so it could be we’ll see a launch at this year’s Essen in late October.