Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Thursday 19 May 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Seasons

Game: Seasons

Publisher: Libellud

Designer: Régis Bonnessée


Seasons is a game I find it quite difficult to sum up – I suppose it’s a fantasy themed, card combo, dice drafting, resource management game? Most people trying to sell the game to me told me it was a game with awesome chunky dice which is great for two players and had some drafting. We generally play two player, enjoy drafting and dice for some reason tend to favour me rather than Amy, so why not give Seasons a go?

Seasons is a game that takes place over 3 years and each year you progress through the four seasons at a different pace, which you have some control over when you draft the dice. You roll different coloured dice during each season and the different coloured dice have different symbols on them, which mainly reflect which elements are more abundant in each season. Quite logically water is more abundant in Winter, Fire in Summer, Earth in Spring and Wind in Autumn and the other elements are more rare by comparison. Different elements become valuable in seasons when they’re in short supply.

At the start of the game each player has a hand of 9 cards, which we determine by drafting the cards. You then choose which 3 cards will be available in Year 1, which 3 in Year 2 and which 3 in Year 3. Until the end of Year 1 you’ll only be able to play the first 3 cards to your tableau unless card effects or dice let you draw more. On your turn as the active player you will roll the dice corresponding to the current season. Players then take turn to draft these dice based on the symbols available which might give you some elements, some points, the opportunity to increase your card summoning ability or allow you to transmute elements (exchange them for points). You might also be mindful of the dice you leave behind for your opponents to choose and how quickly you want time to advance.

Some of the potential Power cards and the 4 different coloured player boards.
So long as you have enough summoning points you can then play as may cards as you wish to your tableau by paying elements or energy costs. Doing so can trigger many card effects or combos from other cards. The game continues in this manner with a whole variety of cards with different abilities throughout the game as well as points value at the end of the game.

There’s nothing complicated about Seasons, the game is very intuitive and the card text is very clear, however thinking through at strategy at the stage when you’re drafting cards can be key to your success in the game. There’s an element of luck in the game when the dice roll exactly the elements you need or they conspire against you and against the odds to roll only the rarest elements of your current season, but overall this game rewards careful planning. When an awesome combo starts working for you it can often swing the game massively. That said, all of the games of Seasons we’ve played have ended up with a much closer final score than we expected, indicating that the game is probably really well balanced.

A two player game in progress

We really enjoy playing Seasons with 2 players and neither one of us is always the winner, so it seems the cards are pretty well balanced. The game often plays out very differently, but we always end up close in the scoring. Seasons looks great on the table, with the big dice stealing the show and everything else being pretty compact and easy to understand. Building awesome combos is really satisfying and there is a good amount of opportunity to try and block your opponent either through playing dramatic cards or my some tactical dice selection if you’re particularly observant of what they need to move forward. Seasons also seems to pack a lot of game into a play time of around 45 minutes for two players, giving it plenty of opportunities to hit the table.

The Yellow Meeple is happy to give Seasons and 8.5/10.

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