Seasons Rules Impressions – New card game from Asmodee & Libellud
Seasons is an upcoming card game from Regis Bonnessee and published by Asmodee in English (Libellud elsewhere) that is scheduled to be released, I believe sometime near the end of this month and plays in around 60 minutes with two to four players. The buzz for Seasons coming out of Gencon was overwhelmingly positive, so I decided I would take a look at the rules to see what the fuss was all about. Mind you, this is not meant to be a complete explanation of the rules (which you can read here), just a brief summary and some thoughts. The first thing I noticed, even from the pictures, is that Seasons is a really gorgeous card game. All of the art in the game is vibrant and really, beautifully saturated. If I wasn’t doing rules impressions of Seasons, I might pick up the card game on the art alone.
But I don’t have to rely only on the art! Instead, we’ll take a look at the rules of Seasons and see what it is all about. Seasons has four ‘beginner’ set ups you can use, as well as an intermediate set up, and an advanced set up, each using a more complete set of cards than the previous so that players can get used to the effect of different cards and how they play together. At the beginning of a game of Seasons, each player is dealt nine cards, each of which has a power on it, such as allowing you to draw cards or move forward on the crystal track (crystals are part of what determines who wins the game), as well as a lot more powers. Players then do a ‘booster draft’ style selection where they choose one card from the powers they were dealt and pass the remaining cards to the next player, continuing until each player has nine cards. You then divide those nine cards up into three piles of three cards (one pile starts in your hand and you pick up a new pile at the beginning of each subsequent ‘year’, the length of which varies depending on the dice).
Once everyone has their power cards divided up, the starting players rolls a number of ‘season dice’ equal to the number of players plus one and take turns choosing a die, which designates what action hey can take that turn, such as gain energy or crystals (which are both used to play cards), increase the number of cards that player can have in play, or draw a new power card, increasing the options for powers that the player will have on future turns. Although the rules (and many of the cards) don’t provide for direct conflict between players, some of the power cards do have aggressive effects, such as making opponents discard a power card or pay crystals to you.
It is not immediately clear upon reading the rules for Seasons as to how much variety the 50 cards will provide, although my guess is that it will be pretty substantial, especailyl when you start considering that each of those cards is unique and you get two copies of each card, allowing for a lot of combinations of different powers. At the the end of the game, the player with the most prestige points (on power cards) and crystals in play (minus relevant penalties) wins the game. Overall, Seasons looks like a really fun, interesting card game with a wide variety of different cards to choose from. I’m definitely going to look into getting a copy of Seasons once it is available and look forward to bringing you some thoughts on how it plays at that time. It does look like it runs the risk of being a little too dry for some people, with players trying to build the most efficient combinations on the board, but I know a lot of people love those types of games, as well. There’s lots more information on Seasons over on Board Game Geek, if you are interested.
Did any of you get to try out Seasons at Gencon (or elsewhere)? Have you heard of it? If you haven’t, are you interested in it now? Or not? Talk about it in the comments.