Bored? Game! Seasons


All the brightest and best sorcerers in the land of Xidit have gathered themselves in the Argos forest for a three-year long wizard-off called the Tournament of the 12 Seasons. This prestigious event will decide not only who is the most powerful sorcerer in the land but who will also be named the next Archmage. So, put down your pipe-weed, put on your robe and wizard hat and get ready to duke it out magic style in Seasons!

Inside the Seasons Box
I may need to be an actual wizard to understand this game!

The first thing you will notice on opening the box is that there is a lot of components that make up the game of Seasons. There is no board in the conventional sense but there are lots of parts to play with and set up including cards, dice, boards, a wheel, tokens and cubes. It can seem a little overwhelming at first. You will need to master a good understanding of the cards and their powers as well as pull off a few lucky rolls to become the greatest and most prestigious wizard.

The game is set over the three years of the wizard tournament. A year is made up of one full cycle of the circular Season Wheel or game board, around which much of the action is set. This wheel broken into the four sections, each representing a season. Each season will allow you to roll a different set of Season Dice and gather resources which you will be able to use to cast spells and increase your prestige as a wizard.

Season Wheel
500 days of Green

There are no life points and you cannot directly harm another player (although you can certainly hinder them) so when the dust settles at the end of the tournament and the game, you just need to make sure you were the most impressive wizard out of the players by having accrued the greatest number of prestige points on the board. This can be done in a number of ways but the most effective by far is through casting spells. More about that in a moment.

Seasons can be challenging for the newcomer as there are numerous game elements that you have to understand before you can really start flexing your wizard muscles, summoning demons and hurling lightning bolts about. So grab a Butterbeer and settle in for the long haul as we break it down.

As any good sorcerer knows you will need both mana and casting ability to be able to cast a spell. In the game, mana comes in the form of elemental Energy Tokens: Air, Water, Fire and Earth

Spell Casting: Power Cards and Energy Tokens

This is the primary mechanic of the game and allows you to play Power Cards which both give you extra abilities, and therefore the power to change the course of the game in your favour, as well as counting towards your final score at the end. You will have a deck of 9 Power Cards at the start, three of which you can cast in the first year, three in the next and the final three in the last year of the game. When not in play, the next year’s cards sit under library tokens until the year begins. However, you will have the opportunity to gain more Power Cards into your hand for casting throughout the course of play.

As any good sorcerer knows, you will need both mana and casting ability to be able to cast a spell. In the game, mana comes in the form of elemental Energy Tokens: Air, Water, Fire and Earth.

Seasons Power Cards
Hypnotic Hamster Stare: My ultimate power!

I have a real bugbear here as the Fire Energy Token is coloured yellow and the Air Energy Token is coloured red. Clearly I have been indoctrinated through years of elementally-based spell casting but I found that I was always picking up the wrong element when I needed Air or Fire.

Each Power Card will require a different set of Energy Tokens to cast and you will need to make sure that you have enough casting points to cast the spell in the first place. All of this is tracked on your Wizard Board.

The Wizard Board and Sorcerer Tokens

This represents one of the four wizards you will be playing as during the game and gives you a identifying wizard colour of either purple, light green, orange or grey. On the board your will use your coloured ‘wizard cubes’ or Sorcerer Tokens to track your casting ability on the Summoning Gauge. This tells you how many Power Cards (spells) you can have in play at any one time. Each point represents one card. You start at zero and can move all the way up to 15 at which point is essential that you make a ‘Tthhuuummm’ sound effect as you glisten with ultimate power.

Seasons Wizard Board
Are you a wizard?

The Wizard Board also tracks any bonuses you may have used throughout the game. There are four bonuses available to each wizard and during the game you may use three of them. But be careful as each time you do you will lose 5 points off your final prestige score as wizards frown on that sort of thing.

The final part of the Wizard Board is some lovely little niches and one big hole in which you store your gathered Energy Tokens (up to a max of 7) and keep the dice you have chosen for the current round.

The Season Dice

At the start of each turn, the wizard in play will roll the set of coloured Season Dice which relate to the current season indicated on the  Season Wheel: Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. Each Season will allow you to collect different types of Energy Tokens as shown on the dice, for example it is next to impossible to collect green Earth energy in Winter but blue Water and red (grrr!) Air energy are abundant.

Starting with the wizard who rolled, each wizard will choose a die to keep for the round and will be able to use the abilities shown on it which can be either: Gain Energy Tokens, Increase your Summoning Power, Draw an additional Power Card, Transmute Energy Tokens into points (based on the exchange rate of the current season) or Gain Crystals.

There will always be one die left over and this will indicate how many months through the year the wheel will be moved on once the turn is complete. Some years will fly by, whilst others can be drawn out indefinitely.

Seasons in play
Pass my staff. Let’s do this thing!

The Crystal Track

Through casting spells, rolling dice or using abilities on the cards you will gain crystals which are essentially game points. Wizards are crazy for crystals and your prestige will be measured in how many you gather during the game and in the final count up at the end. You track your progress using your Sorcerer Tokens (wizard cubes!) and if you know one end of your staff from the other, you can score into the 200s and look suitably smug.

A good understanding of the Power Cards, what they do and when to play them in the three years will also make you a far better player, much like in other games such as Dominion or Magic: the Gathering.

Game Difficulty and Beginners

It should be fairly evident by now that there is quite a bit going on in Seasons. There are lots of elements to keep track of and spells to understand. The box claims that a game can be played in an hour and perhaps once you have a good grasp of it this may be true, but coming to it as a complete beginner I found it difficult to finish a game in under two.

Also, a good understanding of the Power Cards, what they do and when to play them in the three years will also make you a far better player, much like in other games such as Dominion or Magic: the Gathering. In the very first playthrough you will not have this knowledge so don’t worry if you are a bit daunted by it all, it will get better as you play more often, so just jump in and have fun.

With this varying of player levels in mind the game designers have made slightly different rules at the start of the game which can help new players acclimatise and seasoned players flex their experience.

The Power Card Draft

One key feature of the game which more veteran players can enjoy is the card draft at the start of the game. This is when the cards are shuffled and then passed round each of the Wizard Players one by one allowing a player to choose one card each time. They will then add this card to their hand until all cards are dealt.

Obviously to do this requires some prior knowledge of the cards and what they do, so the game designers have also included 4 pre-chosen hands for those just starting out. These hands include some of the less powerful cards (those numbered 1-39) and those with powers that won’t wreck someone’s first play through before they even get out of the first Season.

Once you become more experienced in the game you can then ramp up the difficulty by adding the card draft and more powerful cards, to make it far more challenging experience.

Fir and Air Tokens
Fire and Air. Just… whyyy?


Overall, Seasons is complex at first but an enjoyable game with numerous different game mechanics that you won’t find in many other games. If you can bend your mind around the cards, dice and why oh why Air elements are red, then you may just have the making of an excellent Archmage in you.

Good luck at the Tournament!

Seasons Board Game

Designer: Régis Bonnessée
Publisher: Libellud
Mechanic: Card Drafting, Dice Rolling, Hand Management
Players: 2-4
Game length: 60-90 minutes (Longer if inexperienced)
Complexity: Medium-Hard



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