Seasons are reoccurring every year on the northern and southern half of the planet. A season varies in length depending on the latitude position. The closer the position to the north pole the longer the winters and the shorter the summers. The overall duration of spring, summer, autumn and winter can vary somewhat from year to year.
The length of a season can have a great impact on events and actions in the game. Spring, summer and autumn have different beneficial effects on flora and fauna. The winter has negative effects on crops, livestock, game, consumption, exploration, colonization, build and travel.
A year consists of 20 turns, these can be divided into 5 turns per season. Every season has 1 early turn, 3 basic turns and 1 late turn. The early and late turn can change into another season depending on a 50% chance. A D6 die is rolled to determine if the current season continues or if the season changes into the next. This dynamic concept makes sure that there is variety in the length of a season and makes gameplay a bit more unpredictable. The season track takes this concept a bit further as is explained in the following paragraph.
The season track keeps track of the current season which is visible in a disc on the map. It has 3 different tracks, that run alongside each other. The tracks correspond with 3 geographical zones on the map, running along a different latitude from north to south. The upper most northerly zone has a longer winter with 5 basic boxes and 1 basic summer box. The zone in the middle has a slightly longer winter with 4 basic boxes and 2 basic summer boxes. The lower zone has a balanced season, here all four seasons have 3 basic boxes.
The effects of a season can be seen in the table below. Spring, summer and autumn have positive effects on yield and production. Spring gives +2 extra livestock production. Summer gives +1 extra yield for crops, fiber crops, livestock, lumber and game. Autumn gives +1 extra lumber and resin together with +2 extra yield for game, crops and fiber crops.
Overall the winter season shows the most negative changes. Travel and exploration are less effective during the winter months and have 1 node or token less. Crops and livestock growth are on hold and cannot be produced during winter. Game is less abundant and characters will get -2 resources less in winter. Food and supply consumption have gone up by 1 point per character. The build actions, which includes colonization, take 1 or 2 turns longer then indicated. The last effect also stands when the actual build action started earlier in for example autumn. You still have to add an extra turn to the total in order to complete it.