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Last week, we took a look at Seasons. The base game is all about creating combos and having powerful turns. Enchanted Kingdom, the first expansion to the game, seeks to elaborate on that theme. Enchanted Kingdom provides new player powers, additional components, and unique cards.

The Basics. Enchanted Kingdom essentially adds four things to the base game of Seasons. The first is new tokens. It includes a First Player token so that you don’t forget who rolled the dice. It also includes new boards for players who get the Bespelled Grimoire from the base set. The second thing it introduces is more cards: it includes both Artifacts and Familiars in the same proportion as the base game.

The two big changes, though, come from individual player powers and Enchantment cards. The expansion comes with ten new Enchantments. At the start of the game, players can choose a single card, or select one at random, to impact the game. They do things like giving more cards per year, allowing a larger draft, raising the cost of power cards, or giving a new bonus for players to choose. Each Enchantment card can be viewed as a random variant for any particular game.

The other change is the individual player powers. There are twelve potential powers. Most of them provide an immediate one time bonus but come with a cost of points at the end of the game. For example, there is one that can increase your summoning gauge by one, but you will lose five crystals at game end. Another gives you 12 crystals immediately, but you will lose six at game end.

The game also comes with a few revised cards that replace their base game counterparts.

The Feel. The new components are great. Seasons has always put a premium on extremely nice pieces with amazing art and the expansion definitely carries that torch forward. I love that it even includes some pieces for the base game to make the experience even more fabulous, component-wise.

The additional cards are also very interesting. They include some of the most powerful cards in the game, but often have some sort of penalty to off set their power. For example, Mesodae’s Lantern gives you three crystals at the end of the round, but then it also reduces your maximum energy capacity by one. So while it is a powerhouse by itself, it definitely impacts your ability to make combos by getting out new cards.

Some of the familiars are also highly interactive. Raven the Usurper, who gets his own tokens, allows you to copy the effect of an artifact played by another player. In effect, then, you get benefit of the artifact at what is typically a lower cost. Other familiars, as in the base game, can directly attack opponents. Warden of Argos, for example, forces opponents to discard either energy or power cards – your choice.

My favorite addition, though, is the new player specific powers. Twelve are included in the base game. Each player receives three at random. At the conclusion of the Prelude, after having drafted all the cards, the player can then select one of the special powers. The more potent the power, the more of a point penalty it has. Some powers are relatively weak but actually provide a point bonus at game end.

These powers can add a lot of variety to the game. For example, in one three player game I was able to draft Thieving Fairies. They hamper opponents by requiring them to pay you crystals if they play a card. But, in a three player game, they cost eight crystals to play so you usually can’t put them out too early. Except that I also had a special power that would give me twelve crystals immediately. On my first turn I used my power, cast the Thieving Fairies, and then laughed an evil laugh as I stole my opponent’s crystals.

The only ho-hum aspect to the game is the Enchantment cards. They are certainly nice enough and they do provide additional variety to the game. But, in general, I’m just not a fan of the “deck of variants” that seem to be used quite often for various expansions. The Enchantment cards are less obnoxious because one is chosen at game start and impacts the entire play – rather than decks that change a rule every turn. But, my personal preference is to play without them. I don’t see myself including these cards until I have many more plays of Seasons and I’m really looking to change things up.

Components: 5 of 5. Seasons had great pieces and Enchanted Kingdom keeps it going. The artwork is still incredible, and I absolutely love that it includes tokens simply to enhance the base game (like the start player and Grimoire board). Plus, new components for the new cards and pieces to lower energy capacity.

Strategy/Luck Balance: 4 of 5. Enchanted Kingdom does little to change the balance of strategy from the base game. The cards are simply added in to the deck. With a wider variety of cards, you see less repetition and, therefore, there may be more opportunities to create new combos. Although there are some significantly powerful cards in the expansion, they also have drawbacks. On the whole, the expansion cards are not significantly more powerful than base game cards.

Mechanics: 3.5 of 5. Enchanted Kingdoms doesn’t add too much in the way of new mechanics. The new cards have new effects and definitely provide new opportunities for combos. The Enchantment cards are a nice way to add variety, even if they aren’t my favorite addition.

Replayability: 3 of 5. Enchanted Kingdoms enhances replayability in two ways: (1) new cards, and (2) Enchantment cards. The new cards do help replay value by allowing new combos, but in any given game, you may or may not see the new cards. The Enchantment cards layer on an additional variant which do make some cards more valuable and others less. I’m not sure that translates directly into replay value, though.

Spite: 2.5 of 5. Enchanted Kingdom adds a few familiars with more spiteful effects, but they are not out of line with what is already available in the base game. In fact, cards like the Warden of Argos are opportunistically spiteful. They can be fairly devastating, but only if saved and used at the right moment.

Overall: 3 of 5. Enchanted Kingdoms is a fun expansion that essentially provides “more of the same” along with some variants in the form of Enchantment cards. Is it a must buy? Not really. This expansion is targeted more for avid Seasons fans who are looking for more variety without necessarily enhancing or altering the experience.

(Originally posted, with pictures, at the Giant Fire Breathing Robot. Check out and subscribe to my Geeklist of reviews, updated Fridays)
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Dustin
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thanks for the review. I just thought seasons was ok, and was hoping the expansion would elevate it for. But more of the same I know it's not for me.
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Bryan McNeely
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It's always wonderful to hear that a first-player token appears in an expansion for a game.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to brainstorm, envision, create, playtest and publish a game called "Weather" that has virtually nothing to do with weather.
 
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GeekInsight
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SeerMagic wrote:
thanks for the review. I just thought seasons was ok, and was hoping the expansion would elevate it for. But more of the same I know it's not for me.


Yeah. The expansion really is a "more of the same" type. Nice if you're an avid fan, but there's nothing essential or ground breaking.
 
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Jorge
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Very nice writeup! A minor correction:

MyParadox wrote:
Raven the Usurper, who gets his own tokens, allows you to copy the effect of an artifact played by another player. In effect, then, you get benefit of the artifact at what is typically a lower cost.

At the time when you summon the Raven, you also have to pay the summoning cost of the magic item you're mimicking, so it's not at a discount; it's actually a bit more expensive (cost of item + 1 fire energy for the Raven).
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