Winter Rabbit – Village, Task, and Story Cards

This article is a followup to our Winter Rabbit Gameplay article. This time, I’ll be talking about the three different card types in Winter Rabbit: Village Cards, Tasks, and Stories.

Village Cards

If you read the gameplay article, you’ll know that a player’s turn is broken down into three steps: Morning, Midday, and Evening. Acquiring Village Cards is one of the Midday options.

Village Cards represent various buildings, locations, and natural resources found around a Cherokee village. Historically, Cherokee villages would have a central area containing a communal council house, ceremonial grounds and various other common structures. Family settlements and homes would often be placed far from the village center. Clans or families resided in longhouses made of reeds and clay over a wooden frame. These structures were often large, providing a home for the entire extended family.

In Winter Rabbit, Village Cards allow you to build up your personal engine. These cards provide additional storage space for resources and powerful ongoing effects that allow you to generate resources more quickly, manipulate the game board, and gain other benefits.

As your Midday action, you can acquire up to four Village Cards. Acquiring several at a time can be beneficial since the action economy in Winter Rabbit is rather tight.

Village Cards list their cost in the upper left. The cost for most Village Cards is two resources. A few also require you to take a conservation token into your inventory as part of the cost. Conservation tokens represent damaging the land or expanding cultivation. Having them in your inventory is a bad thing, and you’ll have to expend time and resources later to get rid of them.

Once you’ve acquired a Village Card, you can use its effect and extra baskets immediately. On top of that, most of them are worth a small number of points.

There is no limit to the number of Village Cards you can have. I recommend getting a few early in the game to get your engine going before you start focusing on Tasks.

Task Cards

The engine building function of Village Cards is pretty common to a lot of strategy games. Task cards, on the other hand, are pretty unique. Task Cards represent the things our village needs to be prepared for Winter. They are broken into three categories: food, clothing, and tools. We need seven of each by the end of the game to avoid a collective loss.

You start the game with a hand of seven Task Cards (11 in a two-player game). At the beginning of each Season (there are four in the game), each player will play a Task Card from their hand (two in a two-player game). Task cards list a cost along the bottom, their category, and how many points they are worth for the player that completes them.

 

One unique wrinkle is that you can’t complete your own Task. Also, you get a resource benefit when someone else completes yours! So, there’s some strategy in which Task you choose each Season. Do you choose a card that benefits our communal goal? One that minimizes your opponents’ points potential? Or maybe you choose one that gives you a favorable benefit when other players complete it.

Another unique aspect of Tasks is that they don’t go away when completed, and you can complete multiple per turn. You can even complete the same Task multiple times if you have enough resources to pay for it. Remember, the action economy in Winter Rabbit is tight. Completing two or three tasks in one turn can rocket you ahead toward an individual victory. 

Tasks are the main way of scoring points in the game, so you’ll be focusing on these a lot, especially in the later Seasons. Tasks remain in play for an entire Season, and are replaced with a new Task when the Season changes. Essentially, players are setting the goals for each round (aka Season). And since the Task cards don’t go away when completed, you have a lot of opportunity to plan ahead.

Story Cards

In the Evening step of the turn, players have two options: tell a story or swap a resource. Swapping a resource with the supply is fairly self-explanatory, but often very useful. Telling a story is another unique game mechanic in Winter Rabbit.

All of the Story Cards in Winter Rabbit are themed after traditional Cherokee stories and folklore. They each contain a snippet or summary in the center. Historically, stories were used as a method for passing along important knowledge and life lessons. In Winter Rabbit, Story Cards affect everyone while providing points to the player that told the story.

Story Cards all have a cost of any three resources and they are worth three points each. Story cards come in two basic types: instant and ongoing. Instant Stories (as the name implies) happen immediately and are then discarded. Ongoing stories are instead placed in the center of the game board and create a new rule that affects everyone. Once an ongoing story is told, it remains in effect until another player tells another ongoing story.

Next Time

In the next article, I’ll explain more details about the thematic and cultural aspects of Winter Rabbit.

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