Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Perfect Storm (Fury of Dracula, Entdecker)

We were three players again, so my plans to pick Cosmic Encounter and Space Alert were dashed. Instead, I chose Fury of Dracula and Entdecker.

Fury of Dracula

Kozure and I have been Dracula numerous times, so Shemp tried his hand as the count for the first time. After the usual rules recap (man, this game has a lot of rules), we started the search. Kozure and I decided after a few turns that Drac was likely in the east... and a bit of searching there revealed his trail as we had hoped. Shemp managed to elude us for a while, but didn't manage to leave the east. Cornered by our four investigators, he tried to escape to sea. Unfortunately for him, I had stormy seas in hand and I was 99% sure I knew which sea space he was in. Even more unfortunate (for Shemp, anyway), after I picked correctly he revealed that to get back to land he needed to cross his path! After losing the blood and clearing his trail, we knew exactly where he was and we closed in for the kill. Outnumbered, outequipped and forced to fight during the day the vamp was slaughtered over the course of a few combats. At 1.5 hours, this was likely the shortest game of Fury of Dracula ever.

This game is interesting because while there is definite room for skill, strategy and cunning, the order that the cards come out can create situations that heavily favour one side or the other. In this case, the only "mistake" Shemp made was to leave himself no way out if he was ever forced to return to land. If I didn't have that card, he would have made a perfect escape and we would have lost him.

While it wasn't a normal session, it was still fun. I wonder whether Shemp will want a rematch next week?


Entdecker is a game that I picked up in a math trade, and which exemplifies the problem with good games that don't stand out. For whatever reason, even though the game is enjoyable it lacks a certain spark. I mean, the theme of sea exploration is well captured by the mechanics, the idea of the players creating the regions to be scored is one I quite like and there is no denying that the seascape created in the game is quite attractive. Still, it's ultimately a Carcassonne and El Grande mash-up, a VP fest. As Kozure pointed out, it's also a little long for what it is.

It does work though, and I do do enjoy playing it.

Even though Shemp hadn't yet played it, he did very well. He snagged a couple of big islands, and my attempts to come in 2nd in as many islands as I could didn't pay off. When the native huts where all tallied, he beat me by about a dozen points.

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