The Pull Bag Banner Art #2

In Episode 24 we find out The Origins of Danner’s comic reading. Danner is a co host formerly of The Lunchroom/Table and XRG… he now brings his opinions and wit on Off The Cuff. Here in The Pull Bag Mike will be chatting with him on his comicbook reading, and just how this gamer got into comics. 

By: Kristen McCarty

I have always felt privileged to live in a place that experiences all four seasons.  I love the falling leaves in autumn, the crisp white snows of winter, the refreshing newness of spring, and the lazy days of summer.

Seasons takes the ideas of the passing of the days and the abundance or scarcity of resources  to create a beautiful new game.

Intro

The legendary tournament of the 12 Seasons is taking place.  At the end of this 12 year competition the new Archmage of the kingdom of Xidit will be chosen.  You are a wizard competing in the tournament using familiars, magical items, and spells to win the challenge and become the Archmage.

Components

All of the component for Seasons are beautiful.  I love the playful brightly colored artwork, the big chunky dice, and high quality cards, and the nice player boards.  I also love the player colors.  It isn’t just red, blue, black and green you get lime green, purple, orange, and gray!  Gray can be a bit boring but it’s nice to see something besides the standard in the Seasons.

The first component is the Crystal Track.  This shows the number of crystals possessed by each player.  Crystals are not only the prestige points (victory points) in the game but also you activate some Power Cards.

The game board is nice, but small.  It is divided into three zones.  The first zone is the year track.   A black cube is used to indicate which year is being played (1st, 2nd, or 3rd year).  The game ends at the end of the third year.  The season wheel is the second zone.  Another black cube is used to indicate the season of the current round (three blue for winter, three green for spring, three yellow for summer, and finally three red for fall).  The third zone is the energy transmutation chart.  This shows how many crystals each energy type can be transmuted into with the appropriate action, depending on the season.

Each player receives four Sorcerer Tokens in their player color.  These are used to show the number of crystals each player owns, on the crystal track, the level of summoning gauge of each player on their player boards, and the number of bonuses used by each player on their player boards.

I love the artwork and the functionality of the individual player boards.  Each player’s board has three different zones.  The first zone is he energy reserve.  This is where players keep the energy they have acquired during the game.  Y0u may store a maximum of seven energy.  The second zone is the numbers from 0 to 15.

This is the summoning gauge that indicates the maximum number of power cards a player can have in play.  The last zone is the bonus track.  The bonus track allows a player to gain an advantage during the game.  However, the player will lose prestige points at the end of the game.  The circle under the dragon is where you can keep the dice you are using during your turn.  You do not need to keep the punched out circle.

The Power Cards are the heart of the game.  There are 50 different power cards, with two copies of each.  These cards allow players to win prestige points at the end of the game and change the course of the game with their effects.  These are divided into two categories: magical items and familiars.  Magical items have purple top and bottom boarders.  Their effects only benefit their owners.  Familiars have orange top and bottom boarders, and their affects apply to multiple player

A Power Card is also divided into six zones.  The first zone is the name of the card, such as Titus Deepgaze.  The second zone is under the picture and this shows the summoning cost in energy / and or crystals

When there is a symbol that looks like a person, these indicate the cost of the card depending on the number of players.  The third zone shows the effect of the card, once it enters play.

The fourth zone shows the number of prestige points the card is worth at the end of the game.  The fifth zone is the game symbol and the card number.  The cards numbered 1 to 30 are the basic cards, which are ideals for playing games with beginners; the cards numbered 31 to 50 are more complex cards.  The last zone is the type of effect of the card, indicating when its effect is applied.

One of my favorite components are the big, chunky season dice.  There are a total of 20 season dice, divided among the four colors.  The blue dice are for winter, the green for spring, the yellow for summer, and the red for fall.  At the beginning of each round, the dice corresponding to the current season are rolled.  Each face of the die offers players one or more actions they can perform.  They also allow player to determine how many spaces the season marker moves on the season wheel at the end of the round.  The dice are nicely etched and easy to read.

There are also energy tokens in four different types:  air, water, fire, and earth.  These are more or less rare depending on the season.  These tokens allow players to summon and activate some power cards and earn crystals through transmutation.

The last of the components are the library tokens.  These are round disks showing Roman Numerals II and III.  The library tokens indicate the power cards that refill a player’s hand during the second and third year of the game.

Set-Up

Set-up is pretty fast.  You first put the game board in the middle of the table.  The black year token is placed on the numbered “1” of the year track and the season token is placed on the space numbered “1” of the season wheel, as shown.  The number of dice placed depends on the number of players.  With two players place three dice of each color (chosen randomly) in the corresponding spaces.  With three players, place four dice of each color, chosen randomly.  With four players, place all five dice of each color.

Next, place the crystal track next to the game board and place the energy tokens next to the crystal track on the energy stockpile.

Next players need to choose the game’s difficulty level.  If you are just learning the game you may want to start out at the “Apprentice Wizard” or beginner level.

Because choosing the nine cards you will use during the game can be difficult when you are learning the game there are sour pre-constructed sets of power card.

Instead of taking step 1 of the game phase, each player gets one of the predefined cards. The cards numbered 31 to 50 are returned to the box.  Then each player begins the game at the “Constructing Your Deck” step of the prelude.  The rest of the rules remain unchanged.

Players will more experience may want to try the “Magician Level” or the intermediate level.  In this level players will first choose their nine power cards during the prelude from the cards numbered 1 to 31.  Cards numbered 31 to 50 are not used.

Players with lots of experience will want to play at the “Archmage Level” or the advanced level.  Players at this level will use all 50 power cards.  Cards 31 to 50 have more complex effects than the basic cards.

After deciding on the difficulty of the game player will choose their individual boards and place them in from of them.

They will take the four sorcerer tokens in their color and place one token on the zero space at the bottom of the crystal track.  One token is placed on the second zero space at the top of the crystal track.  This token is to indicate hundreds when a player goes over 100 crystals.  One token is placed on the zero space of the bonus track of the individual board.  The last token is placed on the zero space of the summoning gauge on their board.

Each player then takes a Library I and Library II token.  All the power cards are shuffled and nine are dealt face-down to each player.  The remaining cards are placed next to the game board.  These form the draw pile.  If at any point the draw pile is empty, reshuffle all the cards in the discard pile.  This cards form the new draw pile.  The youngest player goes first.

Game Overview

Seasons takes place over two distinct game phases.  In the first phase, called the prelude, the players choose nine power cards.  These will determine their strategy for the second game phase.  In the second phase, called the tournament, the players have three years to acquire as many prestige points as they can in order to claim the title of Archmage of the Kingdom of Xidit.

TPB23

In Episode 23 Steve and Mike explore and SPOIL THE HELL OUTTA  the THRILLING stories in the Bat Books #22 issues! They continue the Zero Year, Batgirl comes to terms with being Barbara or Batgirl, Nightwing’s hunt of Billy Lester, and so much more. So jump into The Pull Bag as we talk about the books of the Bat from DC Comics!  We also chat in the beginning about the latest news from DC, and Mike has his faith renewed in the publisher? Tune in to find out why, although I’m pretty sure you can already guess! NIGHTWING RULES!!!!!!!! 

PITA Featured

In Episode 07 Neil and Mike are back! With more SMB Super Show! This week we head to Ireland as we find Mighty McMario and the Pot of Gold don’tcha know, then we are off to Japan as Mario Meets Koop-Zila, and finally experience Christmas in July with the final episode of the day Koopa Klaus! So tune in to the best video game cartoon review podcast out there, and help us find the Pixels In The Animation!

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A BEAST WARS RETROSPECTIVE

Article By: TFG1Mike

Looking back on it, I had outgrown cartoons in 1996. However since then, I’ve come to both appreciate and love Beast Wars. I’ve watched the series beginning to end three times since 2009. Once when I got the Rhino DVDs, all throughout The Beast Unleashed, and now just before writing this article up.  This article is based on MY OPINIONS ALONE!!! no matter how others feel about The Low Road! LOL