FTW Staff Pick - Seasons
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Designer: Régis Bonnessée
Genre: Card & Dice Drafting / Engine Building
Player Size: 2 to 4 Players
Game Length: 60 minutes
For fans of: 7 Wonders
Seasons has a special place in the hearts of the FTW Staff, so it was only a matter of time before we gave it some love in our Staff Picks. From the art, to the components to the engine, the game delivers strongly on every front. Seasons is the ultimate smorgasbord of board games. It offers so many unique gameplay mechanics that work in great synergy, without bogging the game down with too much to think about.
In Seasons, players act as competing sorcerers summoning Familiars & equipping Magical Items in the tournament of 12 seasons, over the course of three years. In the first phase of the game, players draft cards that they will use throughout the tournament. Once all cards have been chosen, they will be divided into three piles - one for each year of the tournament. Access to cards will be unlocked as time progresses. through the seasons. The main phase of the game is played as a dice drafting game. Each season has its own dice with different distributions of the elements. Players take turns selecting a die, and the leftover die will determine how quickly the game will progress after this turn.
Throughout the game, players have to balance their elements, cards in hand, summoning gauge (how many cards a player may play), crystals (victory points as a currency) and prestige points. There's no shortage of mechanics, but they all work together in a way that just makes sense. Learning the language of the game isn't the easiest task, but once you've got it down you'll begin to really see just how deep the game goes.
I've personally played over 40 games of Seasons, and each time is a new experience. Both expansions add interesting Power cards to the mix, as well as some decent add-on mechanics. But even without the expansions the game can easily last you years of play. Few games feel as rewarding as Seasons, when it comes to figuring out how cards interact with one another. It's the equivalent to solving a tough math equation. Seasons is a game of so many wonderful bits and pieces, but what makes the game special is how those pieces fit and function together.