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Ramped Up and Refined - Review of Raiders of Scythia

Raider of Scythia was released this year by Renegade Games Studio and Garphill Games and designed by Shem Phillips and Art by Sam Phillips and Shem Phillips.

Set in the Greeks' times, Persian and Assyrian Empires who control vast amounts of land and riches. This time the Raiders come on horseback and skilled with the sword, ax, and bow. They are evolved and have learned plans. They have well-crafted armor and trained eagles for hunting and war. They are more than an allegory- they are Raiders of Scythia.

Our Thoughts

We have been binging Raiders of the North Sea with expansions and found the theme and maneuvering creative without being weighty. We were over the moon after we got Raiders of Scythia on the table, on account of they took the best game mechanics of Raiders of the North Sea, added a large dose of strategy, and revamped the theme. The worker placement for deck building and resource management are still the mainstay; however, there are plenty of options to gain Victory Points in addition to raiding. The Quest cards give points with zero risks. The new procedure is a Quest Card is turned face up after a raid and is available to all players to purchase. We had a player snatch the majority of those because they are available After the raid, so the player who raided cannot purchase till the next turn. Thus, leaving the Quest open to all other players. There are multiple roads to the highest Victory Points for the win.


The board looks complicated, but it is set up in five sections and once played, it is evident to follow.

*If you have played Raiders of the North Sea, the set is the same, and the board is in reverse, with the market on the top.

The market is the "Place a worker, do the action and pick up a worker and do the action" in the Scythian Village.

There are eight places in the Village, though some of them will not be available at the start of the game as you will have to raid before you can get any Grey or Red Workers.

Working Action

Stables. Requires a Grey or Red Worker. Pay two Silver or one Equipment to draw a faceup Animal card. Animal cards are placed above or below Crew spaces, depending on whether you want the Eagle or the Horse. A new Animal card is drawn from the deck to replace the one just purchased. The boost abilities and or give Victory points at the end of the game.

Barracks. You can either purchase a Crew card from your hand, placing it onto your player board, or you can return 1 Kumis to the supply to cure two wounds from any of your Crew.

Silversmith. Place or pick up a Blue Worker to gain three Silver. Place or pick up a Grey or Red Worker to gain two Silver.

Farm. Place a Blue or Grey Worker to receive two Provisions or place a Red Worker to receive three Provisions or Wagon. (Both are requirements for raiding)

Chief's Tent. Return one Livestock to the supply to receive two Provisions and one Kumis or complete a quest. To complete a quest, you must turn in the requirements listed on the Quest tile. The Quest tile may be from a raided space or in the Village.

Town Centre. You can either use your Hero's unique ability, or you can use the ability printed on the bottom right of a Crew card.

Meeting Tent. Either draw two Crew cards or draw one Crew card and gain two Kumis.

Market. Discard one card to gain two Silver or discard two cards to gain either one Wagon or one Equipment.

Raiding Action

To raid a settlement, you must pay the required provisions and wagons, have the required worker, and a correct number of Crew members. Roll the amount of dice indicated in the section's iconology to add to your strength, give wounds, or sometimes nothing.

Strength is a total of Kumis spent, Dice total, Crew and Animal Strength, and any Crew abilities. Compare player strength to how many Victory Points gained if any. These points are scored immediately on the VP Tracker. The Raider gains the Plunder from the raid.

Wounds are placed on Crew cards. If they take the strength to zero, that Crew killed. The wounds leave the board with the fallen crew member. If the Crew member had a Horse or Eagle, they stay on the board, inactive till another Crew member is placed with them. Wounds can be healed as a Work Action at the Barracks.

Game End

Endgame is triggered when there are either only two Settlements left to raid or two Quests left on the board. When one of those conditions is met, every other player then gets one final turn.


Players will gain additional Victory Points from the following:

Some Crew, if indicated on their cards.

Some Animals, if indicated on their cards.

Quests cards.

The remaining Plunder and Gold accrue points.

The most Victory Points wins!

What Worked for Us

The road to victory has multiple paths in this game.

We found that initially building a good engine of Crew cards with capital bonuses to get crew on the player board and then combining Eagles and Horses to boost their actions. We gained ten extra Victory points on a winning raid with Eagle multiplier mechanics and Crew cards with bonuses for raiding in a particular region in one game.

All those raids completed in that region?

Kill the Crewmember and replace it with one that adds a bonus for the

next area.

Let opponents do the heavy lifting risking the raids and wounds.

Moreover, swoop in and purchase the Quest card that is available after the raid.

Wounds are not necessarily bad; some crew cards gain bonuses if they are killed in a raid. Bank all the wounds on that card to kill the Crew member.

Bits and Bobs

1 Main Board

4 Player Boards

1 Plunder Bag

8 Heroes cards

76 Crew cards

36 Animal cards

26 Quest cards

14 AI Scheme cards

2 AI Crew cards

32 Silver tokens

32 Kumis

32 Provisions

31 Workers

6 Dice

14 Gold

20 Equipment

32 Wounds

20 Wagons

26 Livestock

4 Score Markers

The Last Word

Raiders of Scythia has successfully boosted the predecessor game with refined mechanics and powers.

The addition of Horse and Eagle cards that boost the crew members' abilities heightens the strategy and extended replayability.

The wound dice cause systemic damage each raid, however, the paths to healing can be swift, dependent on the engine the player has built. For that matter, we did not heal before the next raid by utilizing the Kumis for strength.

We found that the art was intriguing and bolstered the story.

*We ordered the upgrade of the coins- worth it.

Nerdz Garage found Raiders of Scythia to be a plundering great time!

Raiders of Scythia (2020)

Raid and plunder your way through ancient empires on horseback.

Gameplay: 1–4 Players

Playing Time: 60–80 Min

Age: 12+

Designer: Shem Phillips

Artist: Sam Phillips, Shem Phillips

Publisher: Garphill Games and Renegade Games Studio


Let’s be honest; there is still a bit of drama when we play.

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