Folded Space Part V: Scythe The Rise of Fenris

Today I put together my fifth set from Folded Space, FS-SCY+, which purports to organize my box of Scythe: Rise of Fenris and also Scythe: The Wind Gambit. I was a bit skeptical but let’s see how it turned out.

First, I found two surprises inside the box: a Folded Space six-sided die, and two sheets of stickers, one for the Folded Space Part IV: Scythe that I just completed and one for this new Fenris organizer.

— the Folded Space d6

— the two sheets of stickers

The stickers appear to fit into the boxes something like this:

— a sticker inside one of the typical rectangular boxes

I got to work gluing the organizers together. Most were pretty standard, but there were two very unique pieces. Overall, it took a bit less than 90 minutes to glue the set together.

— some completed boxes. Check out those two weird ones at the top

Now, let’s be clear, my game box of Rise of Fenris wasn’t exactly in bad shape.

— my Rise of Fenris game box with the lid off. Clearly not a horror show.

— the bottom of my Rise of Fenris box. Note that because we have only completed Episodes 1 thru 4, there are still unrevealed boxes (Box D being the largest unrevealed box)

So, I started unpacking my box of Fenris and my Wind Gambit box. This was complicated by the fact that my gaming group has not yet opened all the “hidden” material. So, I could only file game components that were revealed already.

— filling the bins with game components

— and now we see what the strange bins were for–> the airships! How cool!

Once I filled all the bins, I started putting them into the game box. Note that the Wind Gambit box is completely discarded (just like the Invaders from Afar box in the last Scythe Folded Space project).

— the bottom layer in the box

— the box with the top layer set in.

Of course, I couldn’t put any unrevealed components into bins, so I have some leftover cardboard boxes that do not fit into the game box.

— my leftover unrevealed content. I will just set these aside for when we have to open them.

The Verdict

I really liked how the airships fit into this build. The bins that hold them are very sturdy and should hold up over time. The only drawback is that once again, the box lid doesn’t fully close.

— the box lid doesn’t completely close

It’s a small annoyance, and maybe once I punch out all the pieces on the cardboard sheets this might go away (although I doubt it). I am not sure why both the Scythe builds have this same problem, but it is a bit of a bummer.

Folded Space Part IV: Scythe

Yesterday I turned my attention to completing my Folded Space game box organizer for Scythe (FS-SCY available here) which I bought for about $30. My recent Folded Space projects [ Near and Far, 7 Wonders, and Eclipse] went well, so I hoped this project would too.

Now…if you have ever played Scythe, you know that the game contains a bunch of cards, resource tokens, coins, boards, player pieces, mechs, etc. Do knowledgeable fans want to guess what my Scythe box looks like on the inside?

— My box of Scythe when I take off the lid. Not so bad…

— but this is what it looks like after I remove all the faction/player boards! What a horror show!

I spent about two hours yesterday putting together my Folded Space game box insert. Here is what some of the components look like:

— putting together the organizers

Everything came together pretty well (except for when my kitten George jumped up on the table, I had to re-glue one piece). Then I started the task of dumping pieces out of plastic bags and putting them in the freshly made bins.

— filling in bins

It took more time to find all the pieces and get them out of the bags then it did putting them in the new bins.

— the bottom row. The faction boards are on the far right

— the top row. The player boards are below the dials. The combat dials kind of don’t fit right and sit above the rest of the organizer.

The Verdict

My box of Scythe is much better organized than before, but…

…the lid doesn’t close. The combat dials sit up too high in the box. Also, once I put the boards into the box, there is no way to completely put on the box lid. The lid sits up by a bit.

— the dials and the boards force the lid up so that it doesn’t completely sit on the box bottom.

So, this installation was not completely successful. It seems to me that the design fails to account for the 6th and 7th combat dials in the Scythe: Invaders from Afar expansion and/or the design fails to account for the depth of the two game boards. Either way, the organizer is much better than using plastic bags, but it falls a bit short for 27€/$30.

Scythe: The Rise of Fenris – Episode 4: Fenris

After the big ending to Episode 3 where the Saxony player transformed into the Vesna Faction, we were intrigued as to what Episode 4 had in store for us. Inquiring minds what to know! So my intrepid readers, read on and find out!

Setup

Episode 4: Fenris begins with a narrative that the “strange soldiers with glowing eyes” had returned to Europa. And sure enough, the setup instructions say to Open Box B and place one new “Fenris Agent” on each tunnel and two agents on the Factory.

— Box B and the “Fenris Agents”. Note: these are the upgraded meeples available thru Stonemaier Games/Meeplesource

The Special Rules included the way to “combat” these Fenris Agents. In short, a player that encounters these agents must draw a combat card for each agent, total the combat strength on those cards, and then discard any combination of power, coins, and popularity equal to that amount to defeat the agents.

Another special rule was that the game could end normally (i.e. when a player places their sixth star) but it also would end immediately when the 8th and final Fenris Agent was defeated.

Getting Started

For the first time so far, the Wind Gambit was an allowed component of an Episode, so we decided to include the Airships.

— setting up the board with the Airships deployed!

And of course, Neal would now give up playing Saxony and have to play the Vesna Faction. This faction’s special power is to draw 3 random Factory Cards at the start of the game. The Vesna player can use each card once, discarding it after using it. Vesna also has a random draw of unique Mech Mods that can be used to customize the Vesna board every game.

— the Vesna components. Love the color!

The Vesna player ended up deploying a combination of previously purchased Mech Mods and random Mech Mods: Underpass, People’s Army, Comraderie, and Speed.

After passing out factions and random player boards, we had the following turn order:

Bob – Clan Albion

Stew – Rusviet

Lee – Crimean (switched at end of last episode from Togawa Shogunate)

Neal – Vesna

We shuffled and randomly chose the following Airship cards:

Aggressive: Bombard (use resources to reduce opponent’s power)

Passive: Boost (+1 Speed from home base or hex with the Airship)

Gameplay

With Boost, all players sprinted out toward encounters and the Tunnel spaces. It promised to be a mad rush to get to the Fenris Agents. We didn’t know what benefit would be procured by defeating them, but with Boost we were going to find out quickly.

On Turn 3 Vesna completed the first Objective, Machine over Muscle by having 1 Mech, a Factory Card, and less than 3 workers. That was a very lucky card draw indeed since Vesna starts with Factory cards.

But on Turn 4 Rusviet matched it by completing Stockpile for the Winter by having 9+ resources and 1 of each type.

Then we started quickly dropping the Fenris Agents! First Vesna got 1, then Crimea got 1, then Rusviet got 1 too!

Crimea got too close to the Vesna Airship which used Bombard to decimate the Crimean Power which allowed a Vesna Mech to rout a Crimean Mech. Vesna now had 2 stars.

The combination of Boost and the alternate ending caused the game to accelerate rapidly. Rusviet used its ability to move turn after turn to nab its 2nd Fenris Agent. Clan Albion then got 1. Rusviet moved again and got a 3rd. Crimea managed to build its 4th Mech and get a star.

But soon thereafter Rusviet decided to end the game by descending on the Factory and capturing the final 2 Fenris Agents which ended the game immediately.

— the end of the game with Rusviet units at the Factory

Final Scoring

Because the game length was unusually short, no player had more than 2 stars. Clan Albion, Crimea, and Vesna were at the second stage of popularity while Rusviet was at the bottom stage. Crimea occupied the most territory and Clan Albion had a stash of coins and resources. Because Rusviet had moved so many times and fought so many Fenris Agents, it had no coins and few territories. After counting, Crimea won quite handily:

Crimea 38

Clan Albion 29

Vesna 27

Rusviet 19

Episode Rewards

But there was a pay off to Rusviet! After final scoring, each player gained a Setup Bonus for each subdued Fenris Agent rounded up. So while every other faction got 1 bonus, Rusviet got 3!

Also, after Episode 4 the Infrastructure Mods became available to campaigns that in Episode 2 were at war (if your campaign was at peace in Episode 2, you now have access to the Mech Mods).

The Verdict

This was a very fun game! The absolute speed of the Airship Boost ability combined with the special objective of subduing Fenris Agents turned the game into a mad dash! Most games of Scythe can be a bit plodding…but this Episode was completely different. It was a very pleasant break from the usual.

Scythe: The Rise of Fenris — Episode 3: A Plea from Vesna

Coming off of Episode 2A, we were wondering where the campaign was going to go. As we started to set up Episode 3, we quickly found out.

Set-up

We decided on our Mech mods (purchased at the end of Episode 2A). Saxony added Camaraderie (no popularity loss from running off workers), Togawa took Stealth (move through enemy hexes without stopping) and Rusviet took Armor (enemy attackers lose a combat card and give Rusviet Power). Albion chose not to deploy any mod.

Then the rules told us to find Box A, flip it over and grab the Vesna card taped to the bottom!

— The Vesna card

The rules said to shuffle the Vesna card, plus 4 more Factory cards, into the Factory cards selected for the game. The goal of the Episode became to find Vesna (although victory would still be determined normally).

We each then selected and paid for perks and continued the set-up as normal. Based on random board draw, the turn order would be:

Saxony – Neal

Albion – Bob

Rusviet – Stew

Togawa – Lee

Game Play

Rusviet started lively by quickly deploying a Mech with Speed, jumping his character around to look for good Encounter cards. We had shuffled in the new encounter cards, and they looked to be game-changing in terms of their effects.

Case in point: Saxony found an encounter card that allowed his character to jump straight to the Factory! The Episode had a special Factory rule: 1) take an Influence token each time you enter the Factory, 2) draw Factory cards equal to your Influence tokens, and 3) if you find Vesna you have to take that card or if you don’t you may take a Factory card (or not if you don’t like what you got).

Saxony didn’t like its first draw. Already having Speed, Saxony left and returned…and found Vesna. As Saxony was looking for a good Factory card, they returned a third time. Rusviet took advantage of Saxony’s character being in the Factory alone and successfully attacked and won.

Rusviet completed an Objective and was quickly putting stars on the Triumph Track. Togawa eventually got to the Factory too while Albion spread out, gaining territory.

— the position late in the game with Togawa on the Factory

Rusviet got 5 stars on the Triumph Track and was trying to find a way to get its final star. But then Saxony struck, completing the last upgrade and fulfilling two objectives in one turn to place his last 3 stars to end the game.

— Saxony at the end of the game

Scoring

Scores were tallied and Rusviet beat Saxony 72 to 68! It was the second Episode in a row where Saxony lost despite placing all 6 stars. The difference was that Rusviet was the only faction to reach the top tier on the Popularity Track.

Episode Rewards

Each player could now select a Setup Bonus for each 2 Influence tokens (rounded up). Saxony got 2 bonuses and every other faction got 1.

The rules now stipulated that Saxony would now become the Vesna faction! The Saxony player would keep everything on their Campaign Log but would now play the Vesna faction using pieces from the Rise of Fenris expansion (from a punchboard and Box A).

— Vesna faction

— Box A – Vesna pieces inside

— the Vesna pieces inside Box A

But there was another twist: players could now also change factions! Starting with the faction with the least Wealth, a player could grab any unused faction. Albion decided not to change, Togawa switched to Crimean, and Rusviet chose not to change.

We finished by purchasing more Mech Mods.

The Verdict

Episode 3 was much more fun than Episode 2A. Also, the Mech Mods gave faction’s the ability to break the stalemate that we saw in the last Episode. The new Encounter cards (sold separately from Rise of a Fenris) also helped enliven the game

New Year’s Day 2019 Lineup

Here is the lineup of games for New Year’s Day 2019 tomorrow:

7 Wonders with Armada expansion

Scythe: Rise of Fenris–Episode 3 plus the new Encounter cards

Maximum Apocalypse with the Gothic Horrors expansion

It’s going to be a good time, I bet you wish you were invited!

Peace out and Happy New Year!