Events and new villagers bring even more opportunities to get rich!
Through the year various traditions, visitors, and events give the villages interesting opportunities for business and expansion.
Shifting Seasons features several new modules for the Villagers base game, allowing for greater variability, more opportunity, and even more crucial decisions. The expansion adds enough new cards and official rules for games to last an extra round on average, allowing players to build even bigger and better villages!
—description from the publisher
Shifting Seasons is an expansion to Villagers that introduces several new modules to the game. This review assumes you're already familiar with the base game.
Event cards get placed underneath some of the road piles. When such pile is depleted during a round the event will trigger during the new Event Phase at the end of the round. These events will reward the players with extra scoring opportunities, free actions or bonuses
New Special Villagers
A few new special villagers are introduced that can be shuffled into the main pile of cards.
Teams are a new villager type that can be recruited by discarding two villagers from your hand. These are always available and offer either a build or food symbol. This gives players always the option to get an extra symbol of their choice even if there are none available on the road. Each player can only build one team villager.
You can now replace the Grapes suit by the all new Clay suit to experience whole new production chains and possibilities.
New Solo Mode
While I'm not much of a solo gamer the new expansion does offer a more relaxed way to experience Villagers when you're just on your own.
Villagers is one of my most loved pure card games. It's easy to teach, offers plenty of decisions and lands well with everybody I've introduced it to. I've played it plenty of times and I'm still not bored of the base game. I hoped this expansion would introduce even more variation and options to the game and that is exactly what it did.
Shifting Seasons changes the set-up a bit, you don't place the standard starting road villagers on the road anymore you now randomly draw those. This changes the start of the game each time you play, you need to adapt your strategy accordingly. The Teams module makes sure you still have acces to building and food symbols if the road does not. I really like this change as it makes each play more unique.
The event module is my favourite new module. This adds another thing to consider when drafting/building villagers. The events are placed face-up from the start so you know what is coming up (and when). This makes you draft / build differently as you try to maximise the event benefits you gain.
Overall the new concepts and rules introduced by Villagers are lightweight and integrate into the existing game flow very nicely. It has elevated the base game further and make it a more complete and thinkier experience without too much extra rules to consider.
When I first opened the Shifting Seasons box I was a bit disappointed by the amount of content. Just a few cards and a wooden bee. It feels like more could've been added (maybe a second suit to replace the grape suit) but the upside is that the new content still fits into the base game box. Since I wont be playing the game without the expansion anymore I can keep all cards shuffled into the appropriate decks which is a big plus.
For those interested, my preferred mix of modules (when including all Villagers content) is: All Promos and Special Villagers, Profiteers, Saints, Teams, Developments and Events. The only thing we're leaving out is the Scoundrels module (from the Villagers Kickstarter Expansion) since it adds a bit of take-that which we don't usually like. But that is the beauty in it, you can mix and match and create your own favourite modules mix.
👍 New modules offer exciting new possibilities
👍 Not much added complexity
👍 Enough new content to keep Villagers interesting for a long time
👍 One of my favourite card games
➖ Expansion box could've been fuller as there was plenty of room left. However now it all still fits into the base game box.
Villagers Shifting Seasons
Shifting Seasons adds just enough to give Villagers some new life. This elevates an already great game to a fantastic game for me. The new rules and modules introduced don't add much complexity and are easily integrated. I will always include these modules in my play. If you like Villagers, you should definitely get Shifting Seasons.
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)