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Scythe: The Rise of Fenris Review: Tactical, Complex and Captivating

Gameplay 1-5 Players |Playing Time 75-150 Min | Age: 12+ | Play Type- Engine Building, Territory Building, Civilization, Economic, Expansion for Base-Game

Designer Jamey Stegmaier and Ryan Lopez DeVinaspre | Art and Worldbuilding by Jakub Rozalski

Publisher: Stonemaier Games



Scythe: The Rise of Fenris is a legacy game with an eight-episode campaign revealing hidden modules at the start of each episode. Divergent of other legacy games, there is no physical change to the board or destroying components. Precipitating episodic play and unraveling the new objectives while simultaneously telling a compelling story with high replayability.



Scythe is set in an alternative history version of 1920s Europe, where players control factions. These factions produce resources, develop economic infrastructure, and use mechs to engage in combat and control territories. Engine-building, asymmetric play, and area control are the heart of the game.


The Rise of Fenris.

It is after The Great War, and Europa stands on the precipice of a new era. The economy is robust, and morale is high. However, strange whispers circulate of soldiers with glowing eyes. Players are compelled singularly and as a group to make choices regarding the pursuit of peace or war.


Each chapter in the rule book lays out the new details of the campaign. These add new components to the board. This is spoiler-free, so I leave it to you to discover. The rest of the games work just as a usual game of Scythe.

The campaign structure as a means of doling out content is satisfying. I was looking forward to the next little twist on the gameplay each time. The different objectives of the modules force changes in individuals' playstyles. 

The ringed rulebook is cleverly laid out. Each episode delves into the story and introduces a new objective. There are clear warnings to avoid spoilers before moving forward. The backstory is full of insight that advances the immersive experience. There is a clear description of how the episode ends if triggered. 

Upgraded Components'

Campaign Log Sheet.

In each episode, players log their progress on the campaign log sheet. There is a unique Wealth tracker. Your wealth accumulates over the eight episodes that can be spent on various upgrades. Players are encouraged to spend accumulated wealth throughout the game on Perks rather than saving it for the end. A single Perk may only be used for each episode. These are one-time use perks per campaign for $15 from your wealth. On the triumph log, you mark the stars you've earned in each game—if you complete rows or columns, it will be worth extra money for your final score.

Each player will control the same faction for the campaign. Player boards are drawn randomly for each episode.




Bits and Bobs

  • Campaign (8 games): The story of Scythe continues and concludes with an 8-episode campaign. While the campaign includes surprises, unlocks, and persistent elements, it is fully resettable and replayable.

  • Modular (11 modules): Instead of—or after—the campaign, the new modules in The Rise of Fenris can be used in various combinations to cater to player preferences. These modules are compatible with all Scythe expansions, and they include a fully cooperative module that isn’t part of the competitive campaign.

  • While the exact nature of the episodes and modules will remain a mystery (most of these components are in 5 secret tuckboxes and on 6 punchboards), the components in this expansion include a detailed episodic guidebook, 13 plastic miniatures, 62 wooden tokens, 2 custom dice, 25 tiles,  100+ cardboard tokens, a campaign log, and 1 achievement sheet.

Last Word.

The game offers immense information to draw from to develop strategy and or role play. There are various rules for players to discern and then figure out how to get all of them working together. The new modules test players' agility to pivot their usual strategy to a new gameplay plan. We found that the usual winner of Scythe was challenged and given a leveled playing field.

The game has an excellent pace. It starts slowly, with everyone trying to map out a good path to victory and gathering resources, and ends with a mad scrabble for territory and stars. There is also the potential for massive swings if you can plan a turn that yields multiple stars. There are multiple paths to victory thanks to asymmetric perks and powers.

Stonemaier Games consistently offers high-quality components and upgrades, which falls true for The Rise of Fenris.

Scythe The Rise of Fenris offers a legacy campaign feel with sizable replayability.

The artwork is captivating and well-suited for the game. 

The rules are pristinely clear, allowing swift learning of the game and oodles of time to plan tactical strategies. 

The gameplay is original and satisfying. 



Scythe: The Rise of Fenris is engaging, dicey, and riveting!

This expansion was provided by the publisher; however, my opinions are my own.


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

Sit Down and Join the Game

Suzanne Smith


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