Sunday, September 17, 2006

Oh where, oh where, could our little count be ? (Fury of Dracula)

Kozure, Shemp and I played our 2nd game of Fury of Dracula Wednesday night. I was Dracula once again, but unfortunately I wouldn't enjoy the same success I did last time...

The hunters started out spread across the board. Mina was the only hunter in Eastern Europe, so I thought I'd start there (in Sarajevo, I beleive). Lucky for me, Mina quickly picked up a piece of equipment she felt another Lord Godalming should have, and promptly exited the east to go give it to him. This ultimately allowed me free reign on my half of the board as the hunters systematically swept the west. It was looking liek a cake-walk for a while, but then disaster struck... Mina had returned to the east and was beginning to search there. She was two cities away from a vampire which would mature as soon as her turn ended. I felt confident. To my horror, Mina rode some fast horses to the site of Dracula's young vampire and destroyed it in broad daylight.

This was an enormous stroke of good luck for the hunters. Until that point, they had not even found my trail. There was about a dozen destinations Mina COULD have searched that turn, and any of them COULD have been on my trail. I still don't really understand why Shemp felt the need to play that card when all the cities surrounding Mina were equally viable targets, but it turned out to be very useful for them, indeed (Shemp must have some sort of spidey sense).

I had been delt a big blow, but somehow I still felt pretty good. I hadn't sufferred a single point of damage, hadn't been forced to resort to a voyage by sea, and they still couldn't really know where I was. I tried a bold move and attempted to slip right between the oncoming Dr. Seward and Van Helsing as they headed east and I headed west. It was a bad gamble, as Van Helsing found me rather quickly. In the dark of night, I chose to teach him a lesson and attacked rather than try to escape. Van Helsing was almost killed, but he escape my wrath before I could finish the deed. Day had dawned, Van Helsing had healed himself, and I decided to head north rather than push my luck further.

The hunters spent quite a bit of time clearing my trail. They did not want to chance any maturing vampires! Sadly, I was ddrawing none, so they didn't have much to fear. They then drew the card which allows Dracula to teleport to any destination, so I went to Spain and made a Dark Call. I now had 3 young vampires I could sire, and therefore a new lease on life. Beef, some guy I left behind in central Europe with a shotgun and a knife, gave the Dr. a tougher fight than he expected (see the post titled "Beef...STAKE" by Kozure). The hunters where hot on my trail, though, and a few lucky guesses* brought them quickly onto my path. Combat wasn't going so well for me anymore, and a heavily armed Dr. Seward knocked me around a fair bit (I stupidly tried to fight back, taking heavy damage before I escaped).

I was down to 5 life. I tried to get away from my predators. Mina found me and played Heroic Leap. I rolled a 5.

I lost.

Well, once more I quite enjoyed the game. Playing as Dracula is quite exciting, as close calls and interesting twists of fate are fairly common in the game. There is a fair amount of luck involved in the draw of cards, and the roll of the dice in combat but I haven't yet felt like anything I was doing was pointless or anything. On the hunter's side, things might be a little different. Having now played with three, I think this is the ideal number of players. With two hunters apiece, decision making is quicker and if Dracula manages to incapacitate a hunter for a few turns (though fog or bats, for example) the player can still participate through his 2nd one. It's still long, and it's still complicated, but it's fun and you wind up with a much more interesting story arc than most german games provide.


  1. Nice recap, Easy, and I agree that 3 is probably the best number of players for this game, for the reasons you mention.

    I don't really have a Shempsense (if ONLY I had a Shempsense!), but I was really eager to expose SOMETHING on your trail before locations started dropping off, and it seemed like the location that Mina fast horsed to was one that you must have passed through. AND, since it was Mina, who can get equipment quite easily, I had decided that she was going to use any equipment that required discarding as soon as possible, leading to the use of Fast Horse at that point. Discovering the vampire about to mature was a nice bonus.

    I think that there was a lesson to be learned in your midgame escape from the hunters, as well. I was drawing events willy-nilly, allowing you to get the card where Dracula "teleports" away from the hunters, to an unknown location. In the future, I think I'll be much more reluctant to draw event cards when Dracula is within our grasp; drawing the cards strengthens Drac's hand too much.

    Lastly, I wanted to mention our snazzy severing of Eastern Europe from the west with judiciously placed heavenly hosts. It didn't come into play, I don't think, but getting that task done was quite satisfying, after all the times Lord G was delayed by fog and bats.

    A last, minor, quibble: I think that you switched Lord Godalming and Mina Harker in your mind, and the recap. Lord G started in the East, and delivered the death blow. Mina has much less health and is much more suseptible to Drac's powers, so I wouldn't have been so agressive in attacking w/ her.

    Easy, are you interested in being a hunter, or do you feel like there is still more room to explore the Drac side of things? Just curious.

  2. 1) The heavenly host barricade: Yes, it was very influencial. I had to reconsider my strategy of going back to Eastern Europe for fear of getting trapped there. I chose the West. I chose... poorly.

    2) I would not turn down the chance to play again, as the hunters OR Dracula. Honestly, I suspect playing Dracula is more fun than playing the hunters, so obviously I would be happy to do it again if no one else wanted to give it a try.

  3. Actually, one more thing. I was at BGG and saw mention of Drac's minions getting a +1 in Eastern Europe. Since I've never even glanced at the rules, I don't know if we knew that.

    Did we know that?

    Did we remember that?

    Were we playing that way?

    Beef might have lasted a little longer....

  4. I just happened across that piece of info myself. However, the Beef encounter occured in Western Europe, I beleive, so that wouldn`t have changed. You did encounter a few in the east, but I don`t think things would have been too different.