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    Scythe Rulebook

    Setup

    Shuffle the yellow Combat cards and place them on their space on the board. If the deck runs out, shuffle the discards to form a new deck; no cards are drawn if both deck and discard pile are empty.

    Shuffle the purple Factory cards , randomly draw a number of cards equal to the number of players +1, and place these facedown on their space on the board. Return the rest of the cards to the box without looking at them.

    Shuffle the green Encounter cards and place them facedown on their space on the board. Shuffle the beige Objective cards and place them facedown on their space on the board.

    Place 1 Encounter token on each territory on the board marked with an encounter symbol.

    Randomly select one of the structure bonus tiles and place it faceup at the bottom of the Popularity track.

    Place the resource tokens (wood, oil, food, and metal), coins , and multiplier tokens in a supply area near the board.

    Each player randomly draws 1 faction mat and 1 player mat and sits near their faction’s home base. The clockwise seating order should be Nordic, Rusviet, Crimea, Saxony, Polania.

    Your faction mat indicates:

    • Where you place your Power token on the Power track;

    • How many Combat cards you draw at the start of the game.

    Put your 6 star tokens at the upper left of your faction mat near the faction emblem; and your 4 mech miniatures on the 4 mech/ character abilities.

    Your player mat indicates:

    • Where you place your Popularity token on the board’s Popularity track;

    • How many Objective cards to draw at the start of the game;

    • How many coins you place on your faction mat. You never have to reveal your total coin value to other players.

    Place your action token next to your player mat. Put your 6 technology cubes on the green boxes with a black square in the bottom right hand corner; your 4 structure tokens on their corresponding boxes; your 4 recruit tokens (cylinders) on the circular spaces on the bottom row; and 6 of your workers (meeples) on the rectangles above the Produce action.

    Each player takes a Riverwalk card.

    Place your character miniature on your faction’s home base.

    Place 1 worker on each of the territories connected to your home base by land. Your home base is not a territory.

    The player with the lowest number in the label on their player mat goes first; play proceeds clockwise.

    Gameplay

    On your turn, do the following in order:

    1. Place your action token on a different section of your player mat than where it was on your previous turn.

    2. Take the top-row action on that section (optional).

    3. Take the bottom-row action on that section (optional).

    So you may take a single action, both actions (from top to bottom), or neither action (still move your action token).

    You may use resources gained from the top-row action to pay for the bottom-row action.

    You may also complete an Objective card any time on your turn.

    The costs (red boxes) and benefits (green boxes) on your player mat are shown by the number of empty spaces before the action is taken. When taking an action, first pay the cost, then gain the benefit (or only part of the benefit, if you wish). You must be able to pay the full cost to take the action. You may only spend resources from territories you currently control.

    After you’ve completed your turn, the next person in clockwise order takes their turn.

    Top-Row Actions

    Move

    Do one of the following:

    • Move: Move 1 different unit per move symbol (character, worker, or mech) from one territory to an adjacent territory.

    • Gain Coin: Gain $1 per coin.

    Units may pick up and drop off any number of resource tokens during a Move action.

    Mechs can transport any number of resource tokens and workers (not your character); this does not count as movement for the workers.

    Units may not move across river or onto lakes unless they have a special ability that allows them to do so. All territories with the tunnel icon are considered adjacent to each other.

    If your character and/or mech move into a territory controlled by an opponent’s workers (and no other units), its movement ends (even if a mech ability allows it to move further). Each of the opponent’s workers on that territory then immediately retreats to their faction’s home base, leaving behind any resource tokens. You lose 1 popularity for each worker that was forced to retreat.

    Your workers cannot move by themselves into territories controlled by an opponent’s workers.

    Any unit may move into a territory controlled only by a structure. The player controlling the unit now controls the territory.

    If your character and/or mech move into a territory controlled by an opponent’s character and/or mech, their movement ends (even if you have a mech ability that allows them to move further). The opponent still temporarily controls that territory. If any of your mechs or your character share a territory with an opponent’s character or mechs, combat happens.

    Your workers cannot move by themselves into or out of territories controlled by an opponent’s characters and/or mechs.

    You may not use a Move action to move any unit from the board into any home base (including yours).

    If you move your character into a territory with an Encounter token, their movement ends and they cannot move again this turn. After resolving all combats, if your character is still there, discard the token and resolve the encounter.

    There is no limit to the number of same-faction units that can be in a territory.

    Bolster

    Pay the $1 cost and gain one of the following:

    • Power: Increase your power on the Power track by 1 per power symbol.

    • Combat Card(s): Draw 1 Combat card per combat card symbol.

    Trade

    Pay the $1 cost and gain one of the following:

    • Resources: Gain any 2 resource tokens (any combination of wood, oil, food, and/or metal) and place them on any territories you control with at least 1 worker on them. You cannot do this if all your workers are on your home base.

    • Popularity: Increase your popularity on the Popularity track by 1 per popularity symbol.

    Produce

    Pay the cost (shown on all exposed red rectangles before taking the action), choose up number of different territories you control, and all workers on those territories may produce. Each worker may produce 1 resource token: place the token on the territory where it was produced.

    If a worker produces another worker, after paying the cost, pick up the leftmost worker of the Produce action on your player mat and place it on the village. Once you have a worker on the board it cannot return to your player mat.

    TerrainProduces
    MountainMetal
    FarmFood
    TundraOil
    ForestWood
    VillageWorker
    Lake-
    Factory-

    Any number of resource tokens or workers can be on a territory, and there is no limit to the number of resource tokens (if necessary, place a multiplier token next to resource tokens).

    Bottom-Row Actions

    Most of the bottom-row actions give you at least 1 coin when you pay to take that action. You may choose not to take the coins.

    If you ‘complete’ a bottom-row action, you may continue to pay the cost of the action to gain the coins (and the recruit bonus, if applicable).

    Each of the bottom-row actions has a Recruit Ongoing Bonus (green circle). If it is exposed, it rewards a player when they or adjacent opponents take this action.

    Upgrade

    Pay the cost, take a technology cube from any green box on your player mat, and place it on any empty red box with bracketed borders. Red boxes with solid black borders are off limits for upgrades.

    Deploy

    Pay the cost, choose any mech on your faction mat, and place it on any territory you control with at least 1 worker on it (not on a lake, even if it has an ability that allows it to move onto lakes).

    From now on, your characters and all mechs (not your workers) gain the ability on the faction mat that was under the mech miniature.

    Build

    Pay the cost, take any structure from your player mat, and place it on any territory you control with at least 1 worker on it.

    Only 1 structure can be built on each territory. Opponents can’t use your structure abilities; you always get the abilities even if you don’t control the territories they are on.

    A territory with one of your structures on it is under your control even if you have no units there. If an opponent’s unit is on a territory with your structure, they control that territory.

    Structures cannot be destroyed or moved.

    You may build on the Factory territory. Your home base isn’t a territory and you cannot build there. You can’t build structures on lakes.

    The benefit revealed by removing a structure from your player mat is an additional benefit you will gain when taking the top row action directly above it in future.

    Monument

    Whenever you take the Bolster action, also gain 1 popularity.

    Mill

    Whenever you take the Produce action, the Mill may produce as if it were 1 worker. If there are workers on the Mill’s territory, they may also produce.

    Mine

    The Mine acts as a tunnel that only you can use. You may move units to and from your Mine as if it was a tunnel (even if an opponent controls the territory the Mine is on). This is an ongoing ability associated with all unit movement.

    Armory

    Whenever you take the Trade action, also gain 1 power.

    End-Game Bonus

    At the end of the game, players gains coins for achieving the goals shown on the structure bonus tile that was randomly selected during setup. You gain the bonus even if you don’t control the territories the structures are on.

    Enlist

    Pay the cost, take a recruit token from any section on your player mat, place it on any open Recruit One-Time Bonus space on your faction mat, and immediately gain the depicted bonus. The token remains there permanently.

    The 4 one-time bonuses are: gain 2 power; gain 2 coins; gain 2 popularity; and draw 2 Combat cards.

    In addition to the one-time bonus, each recruit gives you a Recruit Ongoing Bonus related to the action from which you selected the recruit token (the bonus in the circle).

    For the rest of the game, whenever you or the player to your immediate left or right (shown in the icon in the red circle) take the bottom-row action in the section of the player mat from which the recruit was taken, you gain the specified bonus. Top row actions or a similar action on a Factory card do not count.

    If more than one player would gain a Recruit Ongoing Bonus, the active player goes first, followed by the player on their left, then the player on their right. If one of those players places their 6th star as a result, the game immediately ends.

    You must announce when you take bottom-row actions so adjacent players know to check for Recruit Ongoing Bonuses.

    In a 2 player game, whenever your opponent takes an action that would give you a Recruit Ongoing Bonus, you only gain it once.

    Mech Abilities

    Rusviet

    Riverwalk: Your character and mechs can move across rivers onto farms and villages.

    Township: For the purposes of Move actions for your character and mechs, villages you control and the Factory are considered to be adjacent to each other.

    People’s Army: In combat where you have at least 1 worker, you may play 1 additional Combat card. You still require a character or mech to participate in combat.

    Speed: Your character and mechs may move 1 additional territory per Move action. If any of those units move onto a territory containing an opponent’s character, mech, or worker, their movement ends and they cannot move again this turn.

    Moving from 1 tunnel to another still counts as 1 move, so with this ability you could move an additional territory before or after moving through a tunnel. Your mechs can pick up or drop off resources and workers in the middle of a Move action when they have this ability.

    Crimea

    Riverwalk: Your character and mechs can move across rivers onto farms and tundra.

    Wayfare: Your character and mechs may move from a territory or home base to any inactive faction’s (any faction not currently in the game) home base or your own regardless of the distance.

    Scout: Before you engage in combat, steal 1 of the opponent’s Combat cards at random and add it to your hand. You may do this once per combat, not once per unit.

    Speed: Your character and mechs may move 1 additional territory per Move action (see Rusviet listing for details).

    Nordic

    Riverwalk: Your character and mechs can move across rivers onto forests and mountains.

    Seaworthy: Your character and mechs treat lakes the same as other territories for movement. If a mech transports workers onto a lake (during a Move action or when retreating) or if a character or mech transports resources onto a lake, you may not leave those workers or resources on the lake after moving off it, nor may a worker move off the lake without the assistance of the mech. Lakes are territories, so if 2 factions have a lake movement ability, combat may happen on a lake. You cannot build a structure or deploy a mech on a lake.

    Artillery: Before you engage in combat, you may pay 1 power to force the combating opponent to lose 2 power (adjust the Power track). You may do this once per combat, not once per unit.

    Speed: Your character and mechs may move 1 additional territory per Move action (see Rusviet listing for details).

    Polania

    Riverwalk: Your character and mechs can move across rivers onto villages and mountains.

    Submerge: Your character and mechs can move to and from lakes and move from any lake to another (like tunnels). If a mech transports workers onto a lake or if a character or mech transports resources onto a lake, you may not leave those workers or resources on the lake after moving off it, nor may a worker move off the lake without the assistance of the mech. Lakes are territories, so if 2 factions have a lake movement ability, it’s possible for combat to happen on a lake. You cannot build a structure or deploy a mech on a lake.

    Camaraderie: You do not lose popularity when forcing an opponent’s workers to retreat after winning combat as the aggressor. This applies any time on your turn when your character or mechs force an opponent’s workers to retreat after combat.

    Speed: Your character and mechs may move 1 additional territory per Move action (see Rusviet listing for details).

    Saxony

    Riverwalk: Your character and mechs can move across rivers onto forests and mountains.

    Underpass: For the purposes of Move actions for your character and mechs, mountains you control and all tunnels (including your Mine if you have one) are considered adjacent to each other.

    Disarm: Before you engage in combat on a territory with a tunnel, the combating opponent loses 2 power. This loss of power is reflected on the Power track. You may do this once per combat, not once per unit.

    Speed: Your character and mechs may move 1 additional territory per Move action (see Rusviet listing for details).

    Faction Abilities

    Rusviet

    Relentless: You may choose the same section on your player mat as the previous turn(s). This also applies to a Factory card if you have one.

    Crimea

    Coercion: Once per turn, you may spend 1 Combat card as if it were any 1 resource token. Combat cards are still worth nothing at the end of the game.

    Nordic

    Swim: Your workers (only) may move across rivers.

    Polania

    Meander: Pick up to 2 options per Encounter card. The benefit from the 1st selected option may be used to pay the cost for the 2nd selected option. Only 1 Encounter card is drawn.

    Saxony

    Dominate: There is no limit to the number of stars you can place from completing objectives or winning combat. You may complete both of your Objective cards (you don’t discard the second card after achieving the first), and you are not limited to 2 combat victory stars.

    Combat

    If, at the end of your Move action (after all units have moved but before you take a bottom-row action), if your character and/ or mechs share a territory with an opponent’s character and/or mechs, combat occurs.

    If this happens on multiple territories, the active player chooses the order in which combats are resolved.

    If the attacking player has a mech ability that impacts combat, they use that ability first, followed by the defending player.

    Lake battles can happen between mechs with the appropriate abilities: if a mech transporting workers is on a lake and the attacker wins combat, the attacking player loses 1 popularity for each of those workers (they are forced to retreat with the mech to their home base).

    Select Power

    Simultaneously and secretly select a number on your power dial (align the number with the icon at the top right). You cannot choose a number higher than the amount of power you currently have on the Power track.

    For each of your units (character and/or mechs) involved in the combat, you may tuck 1 Combat card from your hand behind the power dial (even if you select 0 power).

    Reveal

    Both players reveal their power dials and selected Combat cards simultaneously. The value from Combat cards is a bonus to the power you are spending, as indicated on your dial.

    The player with highest total power wins the combat (attacker wins ties). Both players then pay the amount of power they selected on their dial and discard any Combat cards they used faceup.

    The winner gains (or maintains) control of the territory and all resource tokens on it, and places 1 star in the combat space of the Triumph track (if they haven’t already placed 2 stars for combat victories).

    If the winner was the attacker, they lose 1 popularity for each worker they forced to retreat by initiating and winning combat.

    If there was an Encounter token on the territory and the winner has a character there, discard the token and resolve the encounter.

    The loser must retreat all of their units (mechs, characters, and workers) from the territory to their home base (the units are picked up and placed on the home base).

    All resources those units were carrying remain on the territory and are now under the control of the winner.

    If the loser revealed at least 1 power on the dial or through Combat cards, they gain 1 Combat card as they retreat.

    Stars

    Each player (with the exception of the Saxon player) may gain a maximum of 2 stars for winning combat; but they may engage in future combats after they’ve achieved those stars. If your 6th star is placed but you still have a combat remaining on your turn, the game ends and any units you moved to initiate that combat move back to the territory from whence they came.

    Encounters

    When you move your character into a territory with an Encounter token, their movement ends and they cannot move again this turn. After resolving all combats (but before you take a bottomrow action), if your character is still there, discard the token and resolve the encounter.

    Read the text out loud, then choose one of the options and pay any applicable cost. You must be able to pay any required costs, but you may gain as much of the benefit as you’d like. Then discard the card facedown to the bottom of the Encounter deck.

    Any resources, structures, mechs, or workers you gain go on the same territory as your character.

    If a card instructs you to gain something or perform an action, do not pay any additional costs or gain additional benefits beyond those on the card, or trigger any Recruit Ongoing Bonuses.

    The Factory

    When your Move action is completely finished, after combat if necessary, if your character is on the Factory for the first time this game, look through the Factory cards on the board and choose one.

    A Factory card is placed next to your player mat and is treated as a 5th section. Even if the card does something similar to a section on your player mat, they are independent of one another.

    All Factory cards have a bottom-row Move action that allows you to move 1 unit up to 2 times within the same Move action.

    All other normal rules for movement apply. If you have a Mine, you may move through the Mine with this Move action. If you’ve unlocked the Speed mech ability, one of your mechs or your character may move up to 3 territories with this action.

    You may have 1 Factory card at most; your selection is permanent.

    Objectives

    You may reveal a completed Objective card at any time during your own turn. If you do, place 1 star token on the objective space of the Triumph track and discard the card along with your other objective to the bottom of the Objective deck.

    Each player (with the exception of the Saxon player) may gain a maximum of 1 star for completing objectives.

    You may wait to reveal your completed objective, but you must meet its requirements at the time you reveal it.

    Alliances and Bribes

    Players may make informal agreements. The only tangible objects that may be exchanged are coins (in tournament play, coins may not be exchanged for deals or alliances).

    You can’t negotiate your way out of a combat that has already begun. Agreements made between players are not enforceable.

    Placing Stars

    When you achieve one of the goals on the Triumph track, you must place a star on the appropriate space. You cannot lose a star after you’ve placed it.

    Normally, each player may complete each of these goals one time. Having a star on a goal does not prevent other players from having a star on that goal. You can’t place more than 6 stars.

    Game End and Scoring

    The game immediately ends when a player places their 6th star token.

    If the 6th star comes from taking a bottom-row action, gain the primary benefit, the coins, and the Recruit Ongoing Benefit before placing the star.

    If you have units (characters, mechs, and/or workers) remaining on a territory with an opponent’s units (from a Move action), you must undo that portion of your Move action, returning the unit(s) to the territory they moved from.

    If you place a star for total popularity or total power as a recruit bonus on an opponent’s turn, that placement happens after the opponent takes the action in clockwise order and only if that opponent didn’t place their 6th star by taking that action.

    End-Game Scoring

    Total the coins you had before the game end was triggered, plus end-game coins, to determine the winner. To determine how many coins you earn for each of the 3 scoring categories, look at your level on the Popularity track and pick up coins for that category.

    Delay of Game (Variant)

    If a player delays the game (while it is being played) for more than 10 seconds by trying to calculate the final score, they lose 1 popularity.

    Scoring Categories

    Coins you accumulated during the game count for end-game scoring.

    Gain coins for every star token you placed during the game.

    Gain coins for every territory you control (including lakes). Home bases are not territories. You control each territory where you have a worker, mech or character, or where you have a structure (but no enemy units).

    At the end of the game, the Factory is counted as 3 territories to the player who controls it.

    Gain coins for every 2 resource tokens you control. Workers are not resources. You control all resources on territories where you have a character, worker, mech, or a structure not occupied by an opponent’s unit.

    Gain coins based on the number of structure bonuses you received. You gain this bonus even if you don’t control the territories your structures are on.

    Declaring the Winner

    The player with the most coins wins. On a tie, use these tiebreakers (in order):

    1. Number of workers, mechs, and structures

    2. Power

    3. Popularity

    4. Number of resource tokens controlled

    5. Number of territories controlled

    6. Number of star tokens placed on board

    The winner of the game may write their name up to 2 times on the Achievement sheet. This commemorates the first time any player wins under a certain condition.