The greatest sorcerers of the kingdom have gathered at the heart of the Argos forest, where the legendary tournament of the 12 seasons is taking place. At the end of the three year competition, the new archmage of the kingdom of Xidit will be chosen from among the competitors. Take your place, wizard! Equip your ancestral magical items, summon your most faithful familiars to your side and be ready to face the challenge!
Seasons is a tactical game of cards and dice which takes place in two phases:
The first phase "Prelude" consists of a card draft: the goal during this phase will be to establish own 9-card deck for the main part of the game and with it the strategy.
Once the Prelude is complete, each player must separate his 9 cards into 3 packs of 3 cards. He will begin the second phase of the game with his first pack of three cards, then gradually as the game progresses, he will receive the other two packets of three cards.
Next comes the Tournament: at the beginning of each round a player will roll the seasons dice (dice = number of players +1).
These cubes offer a variety of actions to the players:
- Increase your gauge (maximum number of cards you may have placed on the table and in play)
- Harvesting energy (water, earth, fire, air) to pay the cost of power cards
- Crystallizing the energy (during the current season) to collect crystals. Crystals serve both as a resource to pay for some cards, but also as victory points in the end.
- Draw new cards
Each player can choose only one die per turn. The die not chosen by anyone determines how many fields the "time track" would move forward.
In addition, all the dice are different depending on the season. For example, there are not the same energies to a particular season. Throughout the game, players will therefore have to adapt to these changes - also the "exchange rates" of energy to crystals vary during seasons - the energy not present on the dice in any given season is also the best paid during the season.
At the end of the game, the crystals are summed with victory points granted by the cards (minus some penalties, where applicable). The highest score wins.
In another of our regular board game spotlights, Zatu Games reclines on a couch and lays bare its subconscious to a smug man in a scarf, along with its memory of Seasons, the 2012 release form publisher Asmodee and designer Régis Bonnessée.
Seasons is a 2-4 player game about a big wizards’ tournament in Argos, which, sadly, is a forest and not a revered catalogue retailer. The winner of the 12 seasons tournament becomes the unquestioned Archmage of the kingdom of Xidit, as I’m sure you know.
The game combines typical gamblers’ vices cards and dice into a two-phased, fantasy magic-based competitive colour gamestorm. The first phase is the ‘Prelude’, during which players draft cards to create their nine-card deck for the upcoming tournament.
Then comes the woodland event itself. Seasons dice are placed in the centre (one greater than the number of players). Dice offer different potential actions: allowing players to increase the number of cards they may have in play; allowing them to harvest elemental energy to pay to activate cards; turning the energy into crystals which can be used to pay for cards or as victory points; and drawing new cards.
Dice are colour coded by season. The first player rolls the winter dice, then selects a die to keep. The die that is left over at the end of the round governs the speed at which the game progresses, potentially shoving you into the next season and opening up a different set of dice and rules.
Once three bitter years have ended, points from cards and crystals are tallied, and the archest mage is chosen to rule over Argos and the surrounding fauna.
Asmodee is one of the biggest publishers out there. Founded in 1995, their games have won many awards, and they often co-publish with smaller partners to bring us games like Dixit, Splendor and 7 Wonders.
Régis Bonnessée is a French board game designer and the owner of Libellud, which co-published Seasons and is most well-known for Dixit.
If you like cloaks and twigs, buy this game from Zatu!