Expansion Buzz – Seasons: Enchanted Kingdom

Some recently released expansions to catch up on.  Today, the first expansion for my favorite game from last year:

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user poeticallybored
image by BGG user poeticallybored

Seasons: Enchanted Kingdom was designed by Régis Bonnessée, and released by Libellud (Asmodee in the US).  As I mentioned, Seasons was my favorite game from last year, so I’ve been looking forward to this expansion.  It comes with 20 new power cards (two of each), 10 enchantment cards, 12 special ability tokens, 16 energy tokens, 2 raven tokens, 1 first player token, 7 decreased energy reserve tokens, and 2 “Bespelled Grimoire” extensions for your game board.  As with many expansions that have several modules, you can play with any or all of the new items.

The Power Cards are easy – just add them to the deck.  They are marked with a special symbol so you can sort them easily.  These do the usual things: produce energy, store energy, produce crystals, gain cards, transmute energy, get back a bonus action (!!!), increase your summoning gauge, and generally mess with your opponents.  There are 16 magic items and 4 familiars.

The Enchantment cards change the rules for everyone.  There are 10, and one is chosen at random at the beginning of the game.  These are:

  • Elemental Construction: Each player gets an initial hand of 18 cards instead of 9.  From these, you will choose nine , and separate them into three piles (no draft).
  • Extended Experience: Each player gets an initial hand of 12 cards instead of 9.  You will draft them as normal, then form three piles of four instead of three.
  • Natural Selection: Each player gets an initial hand of 11 cards instead of 9.  You’ll discard one, draft the rest, then discard one from your final hand of 10.
  • Entangling Roots: You may not summon more than one card during a turn.
  • Nature Split: The summoning cost of all Power cards is increased by one token of the player’s choice.
  • Argos’ Embrace: Whenever someone collects and keeps one or more Power cards, they move back five spaces on the crystal track, or sacrifice/discard a a Power card if they can’t pay.
  • Io’s Bounty: Whenever someone transumtes, they gain an extra crystal.
  • Olaf’s Knowledge: There is now a fifth bonus option – draw a power card.  You still have a maximum of three bonuses in the game.
  • Drought: Whenever the season marker reaches summer (once per year), the player that is highest on the crystal track either sacrifices a power card or permanently decreases their energy reserve by one.
  • Vision of Destiny: Draw the top two cards of the draw deck.  The first one is the top card, and the one you must take first if drawing.   The second one is the next card.  This means people can see what you’re drawing.  You can choose to spend five crystals from the track to discard the top card, but only once per turn.

Next up, the Special Ability tokens.  Apparently, people were demanding to know what that holes in the player boards were.  I just thought it was a place to put your die.  But no, apparently, it’s a place to put one of the crescent shaped special ability tokens.  Each player gets three random tokens at the beginning, from which you will choose one.  Once used, it will be flipped over and give you some points at the end (or take some away).  They are (with the endgame points for using it):

  1. Draw a card and add it to your hand or discard it. -5 pts.
  2. Sacrifice or discard a power card. +6 points.
  3. Collect two energy of your choice. -5 points.
  4. Move your summoning gauge back one space. +10 points.
  5. Gain three points per power card left in your hand at the end instead of losing five.  No extra bonus or penalty.
  6. You are always allowed to transmute for 1 extra crystal per energy.  No extra bonus or penalty.
  7. Gain 12 crystals on the track immediately. -6 points.
  8. Discard four water energy from your reserve. +18 points.
  9. Move forward two spaces on the summoning gauge. -5 points.
  10. Move the season marker forward or backward two spaces. +3 points.
  11. Look at the power cards in other players’ hands. +9 points.
  12. Look at the top three cards of the draw deck and put them back in an order of your choice.  No extra bonus or penalty.

Additionally, there’s a first player token (missing in the original game), extra energy tokens, decreased energy reserve tokens to permanently block spaces in your reserve, extra items to assist with Raven the Usurper and the Bespelled Grimoire, and replacement cards for Balance of Ishtar and Idol of the Familiar from the base game.  And of course, more fantastic art by Naïade.

What I’m looking forward to: obviously, new power cards are always welcome.  I look forward to exploring.the new combos.  The enchantment cards…I can tell already that I don’t want to play with some of them.  Particularly Elemental Construction (I like the draft) and Argos’ Embrace (will make life really difficult.  But some of them seem pretty cool – I like the idea of Extended Experience, Nature Split, and Drought.  But I guess all of these serve to further increase the replayability of the game.

The special abilities…I’m not so sure about them.  Some of them seem super valuable – particularly #5 (that’s an eight point swing) and #8 (a lot of points, particularly if you are getting a lot of water).  The penalties on some of them don’t necessarily seem worth it, but I guess it’s an in-the-moment decision much like the bonus actions.  I’ll play with them, but I’m on the fence for now.

At any rate, I’m really looking forward to playing with this expansion.  Thanks for reading!

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