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Subject: The Most Insane Seasons Game I've Had rss

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Lance Cephile
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I've played a game of seasons at a local gathering of board gamers. It's a standard four person game, with myself (still relatively new), two other players that are somewhat experienced (I'll use P1 and P2), and one person who has never played before (P3). We used all 50 cards plus the first expansion, but because of the new player, we decided to use a completely random starting hand in place of the standard drafting rules. The hand that I ended up with is as follows:

Year I:
Cursed Treatise
Hourglass of Time
Thieving Fairies

Year II:
Hand of Fortune
Potion of Power
Beggar's Horn

Year III:
Helm of Ragfeld
Scepter of Greatness
Olaf's Blessed Statue

The strategy was pretty simple - use cursed treatise to get the fairies and hourglass out as soon as possible, and aim for having lots of energy cards by year 3. It was a pretty good hand for completely random cards, though nothing divinely powerful. I eventually learned that the other high point generation cards (wonderous chest, staff of spring) were also in other players' hands, although that was not very important. The seating arrangement were as follows, with P2 leading:

P2 -> P3 -> Me -> P1

Year 1 was not very eventful. We had three summoning cubes on the first roll, so I got Cursed Treatise down on the first turn and was able to quickly play Thieving Fairies, also obtaining two of the more difficult energy types for the hourglass. I was able to play the Hourglass of Time by summer; during this time, P1 played Damned Soul of Argos; this was passed around for a bit, so I was able to earn about 5 crystals with Thieving Fairies.

P1 played staff of spring as his second card, and used a few of the early dice for card draws. Player 2 and 3 both played a wonderous chest; P2 also played a familiar that reduced the summoning gauge of other players by 1 and gave them a card at the end of year 1 (picked up a Die of Malice from this), while player 3 summoned the Forgotten Vase. I couldn't get any card draw dice to come up after playing hourglass, so I just took a few summoning dice and a transmutation dice, and transmuted 4 water energy for 12 crystals. P1 then played amulet of water and put four fire energies on it.

Year 2 came; I had enough energy stored up to immediately play Hand of Fortune and the Potion of Power, drawing a Vampiric Crown. I had around 8 summons at this point, and received the Damned Soul of Argos at the end of year 1. I decided to keep it for a bit in case if two Syllas came up - surely enough, P3 played it, and I tossed out my Cursed Treatise. It costed me all four of the energies I saved up, which hurts - but no matter, since I was already able to play Begger's Horn and get two energy back (one from the horn and one from the Hourglass of Time). P1 transmuted seven fire energies (including the ones on his amulet) for 21 points, while P2 played one of the expansion .

Next turn, I take a card draw dice and play Vampiric Crown. The card that comes up? Amulet of Fire, which refilled the rest of my energy gauge. My card draw dice nets me a Helm of Ragfeld (!); I played the amulet of fire first, and picked up a Hourglass of Time (!!) from the four cards. Then, I played the die and ended my turn. P1 plays his own thieving fairies, and I pass the Damned Soul of Argos to him anyways, eating the crystal loss.

I then grabbed another summon meter dice, then picked up another card draw and obtained a Divine Chalice (!!!), which netted me a Forgotten Vase (!!!!). P1 and P2 both played a point card (I actually forgot which ones), and P3 played his second Syllas at this point, and I discarded my Vampiric Crown. P2 was already giving up at this point, while P1 starts dumping his own point cards. With my energy generation now officially at "ridiculous", I very easily play my Helm of Ragfeld.

It was relatively obvious at that point that I was winning, so the players decided to end the game at year 2, at which point I was approximately 80 points ahead of the second place. My last die in year 2 gave me an additional summon and I pick first at the beginning of year 3, and with the two hourglass AND vase AND hand, it's very easy for me play all three of my year three cards (worth 20+20+33+8+10=91 points alone) within the first two turns of year 3, as well as any additional card I can manage to get into my hand. I was at 160 points by the end of year 2 - by my estimates, if one player didn't end up with amsung + 2 temporal boots and end the game immediately (I discarded one of the Amsung with my amulet of fire), I would easily be able to break 300 points that game just from summoning cards as I draw them. Meanwhile, most of the other players were struggling with their energy reserves due to me having pretty much all of the energy engines.

The cards that I had in play with at the end of year 2 with are as follows:

2x Hourglass of Time (!)
Forgotten Vase (!!)
Hand of Fortune (!!!)
Thieving Fairies
Amulet of Fire
Die of Malice
Divine Chalice
Helm of Ragfeld (I had 10 power cards out at this point when the other players are at around 5 due to 2x Syllas and potions, so the bonus is pretty much guaranteed)
Begger's Horn

I've never seen a seasons game like this, especially given that 2/4 of the energy generation cards that I had were drawn rather than acquired at the beginning of the game.
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Jason Kratz
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Madison
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Actually, that is an amazing hand for a random draw - you would probably never get that good of a hand drafting (unless your opponents had similar hands). If you look at the amazing strategy guide put out by Altereds in these forums, you'll note that you can generally expect 1 tier one card, 2 tier two cards, 3 tier three cards, 2 tier four cards, and 1 tier five card. You had 0 tier 5 cards, and 2 tier one cards.

In a drafting game, if you have an amazing hand like this, it is likely that the only reason your opponents allowed you to have it is that their hands are near as good - in this case, that probably wasn't the case.

Don't get me wrong, it looks like you played it very well (I might have done a couple of things differently - probably wouldn't have gotten the second Hourglass - second year is a bit late, and your energy production may have been too good at that point), but I wouldn't expect this to ever happen with a draft, which is why you don't usually just do random cards.

One thing you could have done differently with the game as a whole is that in the expansion there are 9 or so cards that change the rules for the game - one of them allows each player to draw 18 cards and select 9 of them to play with. That would likely cause there to be less of an effect of the random draw.
 
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