The greatest sorcerers in the kingdom of Xidit have gathered in the heart of the Argos Forest. For the next three years, they will harness the elements and call upon the powers of magic to compete in a grand tournament. The victor of this tournament will become the realm’s next Archmage! If you want to win, you must carefully plan and nurture your magic, while taking advantage of the changing season. Only the most canny and powerful magician will become the new Archmage of Xidit!
Seasons is a board game of magical power and cunning combinations for two to four players. Over the course of the three-year tournament, you must summon magical items and familiars and transmute the elements into valuable crystals in order to increase your prestige. Along the way, you’ll have to account for the ever-changing seasons and carefully lay your plans for future years. Every game of Seasons is a challenge of planning and adapting to the mercurial whims of magic.
Preparing Your Spells
Before you cast your first spells in the game of Seasons, you and your opponents have the chance to lay your schemes for coming years. Each player is dealt nine Power cards, and you will take turns selecting a Power card and passing the remaining cards to the player on your left. In this way, each player will draft a hand of nine carefully chosen Power cards. There are countless combinations between the various Power cards in Seasons. You might focus on playing as many Power cards as possible, transmuting the elements into crystals, or building a massive surplus of energy. Your choices in this prelude have repercussions that will last throughout the game.
After each player has drafted nine Power cards, you must split them into three sets of three cards each. The first set forms your starting hand, and you’ll gain the other two sets in the second and third years of the tournament. Some Power cards are most valuable near the end of the game, so you would want to place those in your third-year set. Other Power cards may form the foundation for your entire strategy, and you’d certainly want to start the game with those cards in your hand.
The Tournament Begins
Drafting Power cards and assigning them to different years lays the first foundation for your strategy across the tournament, but the largest part of the game consists of actually enacting your plans. Over the course of the tournament, you’ll need to gather elemental energy and use it to play Power cards and gain crystals which can increase your prestige.
The game of Seasons consists of three years, and each year is further divided into four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each season has its own unique dice. At the beginning of each round, you roll the dice for the current season. Then, each player takes a turn to select one season die and perform the actions shown on the die.
Selecting a season die is your principal way of gaining energy from the four elements—earth, fire, water, and air—but the season die can offer other benefits as well. It may increase your summoning level, which lets you play more Power cards, or it may immediately grant you crystals, which directly correspond to your prestige at the end of the game.
A season die can also give you the chance to transmute energy into crystals. The amount of crystals you receive for a type of energy varies based on the current season. For instance, earth energy is worth three crystals apiece in the dire cold of winter, while water and air energy are only worth one crystal. By the time the blazing heat of summer reaches the realm of Xidit, however, air and water energy are worth significantly more than fire or earth energy.
Certain types of energy are also more common depending on the season. In winter, it’s easiest to tap into water and air energy, but those are also worth the fewest crystals if you transmute them during winter. Smart magicians hoping to turn their energy into crystals will learn to acquire energy when it’s common and transmute it when that energy type is rare.
Of course, there’s more to do with energy than just transmute it into crystals. Almost every Power card in the game requires you to pay energy in order to summon it. As an action on your turn, you can summon new Power cards into play by paying the appropriate amount of energy.
The Power cards you summon often directly provide you with more prestige points, but they also have powerful abilities that spark strategies and power combos. For example, Staff of Spring grants you three crystals every time you play a Power card, Hand of Fortune reduces the summoning cost of each Power card by one energy, and Ragfield’s Helm gives you twenty crystals if you have more Power cards than any other player at the end of the game. Finding these combos as you prepare your strategy and enacting them throughout the game makes every game of Seasons a fascinating challenge.
Finally, you have a number of bonuses that you can take advantage of during the game, if you so choose. Using these bonuses costs you prestige at the end of the game, but sometimes it’s worth the cost to raise your summoning level or switch energy from one element to another. Deciding if you want to use these bonuses and when you’ll do so is another critical aspect of playing Seasons.
Only the greatest master of elemental magic—one who truly understands the flow of seasons—will be elevated to Archmage of Xidit at the end of three years. Call upon your familiars and gather your magical items close. The tournament and your game of Seasons are about to begin.
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