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SEASONS
Published by Libellud (Asmodée)
Designed by Régis Bonnessée - Naïade
2-4 Players aged 14+ with a 60 minute playing time

The background story of SEASONS is as old as the hills, possibly older. The players are Sorcerers (or Sorceresses) vying to win the 3 year competition
to become the Archmage of the Kingdom (of Xidit). You (the players/mages) have been summoned to the Argos Forest (where you take a number and stand
in line waiting for your goods to be brought to you - oops sorry, wrong Argos!) where the competition is to take place.

There are three levels of play, Apprentice (beginner) Magician (intermediate) and Archmage (advanced) . The main difference between each level is the number
of Power cards that are put into the game. For Beginners certain cards are removed from the first 1-30 of the 50; Intermediate players use all 1-30 cards and then
the Advanced players get to use all 50 cards. It is quite acceptable for experienced board gamers to play as Advanced from the start as it is the complexity of the
card effects that determine why they are in or out of the game and generally if you have played a lot of boardgames you will be used to complexities like these.

Players each have 3 decks of 3 Power cards. They choose the 9 cards they wish to use and then create the 3 decks accoring to their (the players) own strategies.
The game is played over 3 years (not real time - honest!) with time being slowed or hastened depending on the players themselves. Different effects occur with
each Season and so it is often advantageous to move time on to the Season that is best for you and hopefully not for your opponents. Of course your opponents
will be wanting to move time away from the Season you are hoping for - it's a merry-go-round of intrigue, back-stabbing and luck.

Dice play a large part in what can occur - each player selecting just one of the Seasonal dice in turn order with the option to use it during their phase of the round.
The sorcerers/sorceresses get to cast spells that summon creatures to their aid and use magic artefacts, crystals and symbols in the bid to become the Archmage.

The game play is quite fast despite it looking like there would be too many options for a game played at any pace other than slow and thoughtful. You can generally
decide what you are going to do while the other players are taking their turn - okay sometimes your plans are blown apart, but that's where Plan B comes in - you did
remember to make a Plan B didn't you ?

Overall SEASONS is a reasonable game. It looks better than it is, but as it looks really good that is less of a criticism than one may think. Once the third year ends there
is a scoring where everything you have done and saved and collected count. You can see the end coming and sometimes you can prevent or hasten it. This makes for
both an interesting and exciting as well as an annoying and frustrating game. Your hope is that the game plays more as interesting and exciting than the other alternative.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015