It was a lovely Saturday evening during a game event, I had just finished a Power Grid game, but I wasn't quite satisfied, yet. I really wanted to play one of my "hot" games: Seasons. And, what do you know... I was approached by 3 players to play Seasons, which I had brought with me!
We didn't lose any time and set up the game immediately. Seating arrangement:
Player A: new to the game; first player
Player B: experienced player
Player C: new to the game
Player D: me!
Explaining the game was fairly easy and they got the basic aspects really quickly. The real accomplishment was me explaining the game in French. But, enough intro, let's get down to the the real stuff.
Nobody expected that we'd play with card draft, not even Player C, the experienced one. However, I proposed (actually imposed) the draft and it was immediately accepted. And thank the gods I did that...
Because I still remember my opening hand: BAD. Only a hand of fortune and an amsung were worth; I decided to pick the Amsung, he's always handy. The draft progresses slowly, as the newbies have to read their cards. Eventually, second hand comes by: Boots of Time; auto-pick, even just to deny it from my opponents. Third hand comes by: Hourglass of Time; my energy problems have just been solved. Fourth hand comes by: 2nd amsung. Okey...
The draft goes by, with me avoiding difficult to play cards, as much as possible; I drafted a Syllas mid-way, just in case I caught someone off-guard. I ended up with Thieving Fairies, Titus Deepgaze, Scepter of Greatness and last card was ... the Lattern of Xidit. Damn, a carefully laid plan would be hindered by two very difficult-to-play cards.
Year I: Hourglass of Time, Thieving Fairies, Syllas the Faithful
Year II: Lattern of Xidit, Titus Deepgaze, Scepter of Greatness
Year III: Boots of Time, Amsung Longneck, Amsung Longneck (2nd)
Winter passed without much action. Player B, got a good head start, by playing early a Vampiric Crown; he drew a card and it was the... Tree of Light (12 Prestige Points). He got his energy and quickly managed to play the Hand of Fortune that he drafted from my starting hand, the Tree of Light and... his point generator: Staff of Spring. Boom!
We came into spring, with Player C playing the Purse of Io, obviously pushing towards a transmute strategy; he had already started to build up his crystal reserves by that point. He also played an Amulet of Water and wanted to play his 3rd one, but did not have enough summoning gauge; thankfully, he waited for the next round.
Before the end of spring, I used my 1st bonus to exchange two energies and lay down my Hourglass of Time, before anything bad happened. I did not have any shield cards, but I was confident that I wouldn't require any. And I did it just in time, as players A and C revealed their first picks: Hourglass of Time (2nd) and Arcano Leech, respectively. Player A also wanted to play an Amulet of Air as his 2nd card, but he didn't have enough summoning gauge. "It's fine, you can do it on the next turn", I told him; he would play 3rd or 4th next turn.
Summer kicks in. I immediately use my 2nd bonus to yet convert again two energies and play Syllas the Faithful; players B and C just sacrificed two shield cards, but player A is forced to sacrifice his Hourglass. Hoho...
My engine was very good, however, I had one major problem: I did not have a point generation engine. Players B and C had Staff of Spring and Purse of Io, respectively, allowing them to quickly jump up in the crystal track and almost run though the game. I didn't have crystals to play my fairies, which would anyway be useless; no dice of malice were in the draft.
The new year kicks in and the game's on fire! Player B (experienced) is first and gets a hard time, as he's trying to coordinate his Sid Nightshade + Staff of Spring to get ahead in the crystal track; he was almost neck-to-neck with player C (Arcano), but a bit of transmute and his Staff of Spring give him the opportunity to play Sid and steal 14 crystals from the rest of us (I had 4 at the time).
Moreover, Player C now lays down Mirror of Seasons and makes his energies meet his needs; to make things worse, he summons Kairn the Destroyer, deadly combination with his Arcano. Thankfully, when my turn came, I had a transmute die; I transmuted a couple of energies and got the requires 6+1 crystals to play my Thieving Fairies. I had finally a small crystal engine, but really not much worth it. I did, however, start to build up a small crystal reserve from that point, thanks to his mirror of seasons.
Year II passed with players B and C battling for crystals and me trying to gather 6 fire and 3 earth energy tokens, for the Lattern + Titus. By the end of year II, I had managed to play Lattern of Xidit and Titus Deepgaze and end up with a depleted reserve. Guess what, the moment I play Titus, Player C also plays his 2nd Titus, so no relative gain with the most major threat. Last round of Year II takes place on month 12, I am starting player and the final die is a 3-dotted die; this was no coincidence, I had planned it.
Meanwhile, Player D had summoned the Damned Soul of Onys during year II and it started going around the table, giving me some crystals through the fairies. At the end of year II, the cute little bunny had made one full round around the table and was in my tableau.
Final year kicks in. We start on month 3, and I was the last player now in turn order. I have in my hands the scepter of greatness, the year III cards and 2-3 energy tokens, sans water tokens. My die had neither water tokens, which I needed for the Scepter, the Onys and the Amsungs. I also was a bit short in summoning gauge, almost enough to pull it out.
To make things worse, Player B, the experienced one, plays a... Demon of Argos, reduces my summoning gauge and forces me to draw a card. Damn! I followed the official FAQ, stating that drawing a card happens in turn order, so I dealt one card to player C, first and I took one. And it was... the Cursed Treatise of Arus! Exactly the one I needed, to boost my energy reserves (though, the 2nd Vampiric Crown would be the ideal, to discard the Scepter).
When all other players ended their turn, it was my turn. I was really behind in crystals, I had few magical items in play (3 with the Treatise), but I figured out that I had to take the risk before things become worse. And the time was "now", as I was last player.
I use my final bonus to convert energies and take 2 waters. I passed the Onys, played the Cursed Treatise of Arus and took a couple of energies to play my final cards. And... showdown time! I played the Temporal Boots and moved time from month 3 to month 6; my Hourglass gave me the energy token I needed for my Amsung. I immediately played the 1st Amsung Longneck, I took back my boots and the other players also took back one of their cards. I play the boots second time and advance time to month 9. Same story, 2nd Amsung Longneck and I take back the boots. I play boots for a final time and advance time to year III. End of game, big but very risky move, that completely took them by surprise.
However, the scores were very tight, as I had almost no crystals throughout the game. At end game, I had 41 crystal (so close to 42...!) and my opponents were way more ahead. More over, I never got to play the Scepter and ended the game with 1 card in hand and -20 points from the three bonus actions.
Player A was out of the game quite early: final tally 20 points, minus all cards he had in hand.
Player D was doing very well; however, he was left with many cards in hand as well. Final score: 47 points.
Player B was the major threat, as he had played almost all his cards, sans 2. He ended the game with 4 cards in hand, due to my two Amsungs. Final score: 77 points.
As I was calculating my score, he would also calculate mine, as I could see that he had almost taken the satisfactory expression of winning the game; true, my score was 75, just 2 points behind. However, he didn't account for... my Lattern! As time was passing by with the successive plays of boots + the final die, the Hourglass of Time was feeding my Lattern with energies. I ended the game with 3 energies in my reserve; that would be +9 additional points, for a final score of 84 points, just 7 points ahead.
And that was it. I took a big-big risk of ending the game, while I was much behind. And I did that to prevent things from getting worse. And true... player B, 2nd player, had in his 2 remaining cards:
1) Air elemental, worth 12 Prestige Points. It was a real blunder to keep it in Year III, as he could really screw me up when I was trying to play the Lattern of Xidit.
2) The 2nd Demon of Argos, worth 16 Prestige Points and another card handed over to me. No further comments.
And this is my final tableau at game-end:
Great game, for all 4 of us.
- Last edited Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:38 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:10 pm