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Ryan Bretsch
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University City
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All,

It seems to me that Dracula is an all powerful character. You can never be too sure what Dracula is going to come at you with, of course, but I was wondering about what are best respective card plays are if you guess correctly?

Can you even deal a modicum of defeat upon Dracula without item cards in hand? (i.e, just using "punch", "dodge", "escape")

---------

In the meantime, I thought it might be interesting to get people's ideas on the following:

1. If Dracula comes at me with the "Strength" Card, what are my top three counters?

----- 1. ___________ 2. _____________ 3. ___________


2. If Dracula comes at me with the "Mesmerize" Card, what are my top three counters?

----- 1. ___________ 2. _____________ 3. ___________


3. If Dracula comes at me with the "Fangs" Card, what are my top three counters?

----- 1. ___________ 2. _____________ 3. ___________


4. If Dracula comes at me with the "Plotting" Card, what are my top three counters?

----- 1. ___________ 2. _____________ 3. ___________


5. If Dracula comes at me with the "Claws" Card, what are my top three counters?

----- 1. ___________ 2. _____________ 3. ___________


6. If Dracula comes at me with the "Escape As Mist" Card and I need to keep him in the fight, what is the best strategy for doing so?

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Martin S
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Sorry Ryan, Im not quite getting this. Obviously you don't know which card Dracula is playing until it is revealed as this is simultaneous and then it's (normally) too late to change you mind.

The combat 'paper / scissor / stone' game of bluff aspect is key to building the tension within FoD.
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Ryan Bretsch
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Hi Martin,

Thanks. Totally understand your point. I'll try to clarify. I guess what I am aspiring to is that even if I knew, in theory, what card Dracula was going to play, I am still struggling to understand what the best card(s) would be to play to counter Dracula.

My theory is that when asked for a "range" of cards (i.e. the top 3), there are likely to be obvious answers but also some opinions about what are the best cards to play as well.

Does this help?

R.
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Martin S
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Hi Ryan

Yes that does, thanks. I tend to keep it simple. If the Hunter has weapons and items I play agressive to wound Dracula. If the Hunter is attacked early on in the game and is almost defenceless then it's time to dodge or escape!

Of course other factors apply - how near are the other Hunters, how strong is Dracula, how many dispair tokens are in play.

Hope this helps.
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Randal Divinski
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In the FILES section, you will find a "Combat Player Aid" that shows (using symbols) which hunter cards cancel which Dracula cards. I'll put these roughly in the order you should worry about them.

STRENGTH is cancelled by Dodge, Escape, Garlic, Holy Circle. If STRENGTH is not cancelled, it will cancel a hunter attack (fist or crucifix or weapon) and if it is night, it will discard that item. This is a key consideration: as hunter, do you lead with your weapon, and risk strength, or do you dodge, hoping to get Dracula to use up (one) Strength, and try the gun next.

MESMERIZE is cancelled by Punch, Crucifix, Heavenly Host, and Holy Circle. MESMERIZE, like Strength, is a strong opening for Dracula if it lands. It reduces hunter damage for the rest of the combat and sets up a Bite with Fangs, which can defeat the hunter.

FANGS is cancelled by Dodge, Crucifix, Garlic, Holy Circle, and Knife. FANGS is the most dangerous card if Mesmerize has previously landed.

CLAWS is cancelled by Dodge, Holy Circle, Pistol, Rifle. Claws does double damage at night.

PLOTTING is cancelled by Punch, Escape, Holy Circle, Pistol (but not Rifle). Plotting does no damage, but it lets Dracula go get a card from his combat deck and can be used on a later turn (once) to cancel Punch, Dodge, or Escape.

ESCAPE AS BAT is cancelled by Holy Circle, Knife, and Rifle. Remember that Pride rules put limits on how soon Dracula may attempt to escape.

ESCAPE AS MIST is cancelled by Crucifix and Holy Circle.

If the hunter is alone or badly wounded, and wants to Escape, he has to watch out for Plotting (already played). If the hunters have the advantage, they want to get blows in before Dracula escapes.

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Ryan Bretsch
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randiv wrote:
In the FILES section, you will find a "Combat Player Aid" that shows (using symbols) which hunter cards cancel which Dracula cards. I'll put these roughly in the order you should worry about them.

STRENGTH is cancelled by Dodge, Escape, Garlic, Holy Circle. If STRENGTH is not cancelled, it will cancel a hunter attack (fist or crucifix or weapon) and if it is night, it will discard that item. This is a key consideration: as hunter, do you lead with your weapon, and risk strength, or do you dodge, hoping to get Dracula to use up (one) Strength, and try the gun next.

MESMERIZE is cancelled by Punch, Crucifix, Heavenly Host, and Holy Circle. MESMERIZE, like Strength, is a strong opening for Dracula if it lands. It reduces hunter damage for the rest of the combat and sets up a Bite with Fangs, which can defeat the hunter.

FANGS is cancelled by Dodge, Crucifix, Garlic, Holy Circle, and Knife. FANGS is the most dangerous card if Mesmerize has previously landed.

CLAWS is cancelled by Dodge, Holy Circle, Pistol, Rifle. Claws does double damage at night.

PLOTTING is cancelled by Punch, Escape, Holy Circle, Pistol (but not Rifle). Plotting does no damage, but it lets Dracula go get a card from his combat deck and can be used on a later turn (once) to cancel Punch, Dodge, or Escape.

ESCAPE AS BAT is cancelled by Holy Circle, Knife, and Rifle. Remember that Pride rules put limits on how soon Dracula may attempt to escape.

ESCAPE AS MIST is cancelled by Crucifix and Holy Circle.

If the hunter is alone or badly wounded, and wants to Escape, he has to watch out for Plotting (already played). If the hunters have the advantage, they want to get blows in before Dracula escapes.



Great stuff. This is exactly what I was hoping for.

Another question: Does Dracula have to play all 13 of his cards before he reshuffles? I know he plays up to 6 cards to resolve one combat. But what happens after this?
 
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Andy Burgess
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The Dracula combat deck is reshuffled before each and every combat.
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Randal Divinski
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MercifulBiscuit wrote:
The Dracula combat deck is reshuffled before each and every combat.
And within any particular combat, Dracula starts with 5 and draws up to 6 5 times. That's 11 10 cards of a 13 card deck. If Plotting resolved twice, he could draw 1+1 more, or all 12 of 13. But will never reshuffle during one combat.

EDITED to reflect that combat ends after 6 rounds before the Replenish Hands step.
 
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Randal Divinski
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There is probably some statistical work that could be done on the chances of Dracula having any particular card (e.g. Strength) in his opening hand. Or the chance of having the second copy of a card after playing the first copy.
 
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Chris Merritt
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If you have no item cards in hand, the Hunter's best choice is to escape immediately. I don't think Dracula can stop you with any card if you attempt to escape in the first round, though you may take damage from Fangs or Claws.

If you are feeling really gutsy you could try to Punch him first, but since the only cards that Punch can cancel do not cause damage in the first place (Plotting, Mesmerize), you still will likely take damage and it's entirely possibly you will either not damage him anyway (Strength cancels Punch), or the vampire will heal the damage caused (Fangs). You are just not likely to do enough damage to justify the amount of damage you will receive in return if you do not have any items or other Hunters in the combat with you. The only exception to this may be if the vampire only has 1 Health left and you can take a hit or two, but even then you may just end up healing the vampire more than you hurt him.
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Ryan Bretsch
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COMaestro wrote:
If you have no item cards in hand, the Hunter's best choice is to escape immediately. I don't think Dracula can stop you with any card if you attempt to escape in the first round, though you may take damage from Fangs or Claws.

If you are feeling really gutsy you could try to Punch him first, but since the only cards that Punch can cancel do not cause damage in the first place (Plotting, Mesmerize), you still will likely take damage and it's entirely possibly you will either not damage him anyway (Strength cancels Punch), or the vampire will heal the damage caused (Fangs). You are just not likely to do enough damage to justify the amount of damage you will receive in return if you do not have any items or other Hunters in the combat with you. The only exception to this may be if the vampire only has 1 Health left and you can take a hit or two, but even then you may just end up healing the vampire more than you hurt him.


This is a fantastic comment and brings up the question: Exactly what of Dracula's cards does "Punch" do any real damage against? It almost sounds like there are no cards that "Punch" can successfully deal damage to Dracula on. That, in turn, raises this query --- If the "Punch" card can never do any damage against Dracula, what is the point of the "punch" card even being in the Hunter's arsenal of cards in the first place?

Clearly there are several things I am struggling with. Dracula just seemed way to powerful in our game. But I know the combat is "balanced", so plainly I am the one missing something -- not the game itself.
 
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Ryan Bretsch
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randiv wrote:
And within any particular combat, Dracula starts with 5 and draws up to 6 times. That's 11 cards of a 13 card deck. If Plotting resolved twice, he could draw 1+1 more, or all 13. But will never reshuffle during one combat.


In Universal Head's FURY OF DRACULA 3RD EDITION Rules Summary & Reference, it states:

Players continue resolving combat rounds until a combat ends in one of these ways:

1. Dracula has played 6 combat cards.
2. Dracula wins the game by advancing the influence track to space 13.
3. The hunters win the game by defeating Dracula.
4. All hunters involved in the combat are bitten, defeated, or have escaped.
5. Dracula resolves "Escape as Bat" or "Escape as Mist".


This would seem to contradict your comment that Dracula starts with 5 cards and draws up to 6 times. Is that correct?
 
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H-B-G
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COMaestro wrote:
If you have no item cards in hand, the Hunter's best choice is to escape immediately. I don't think Dracula can stop you with any card if you attempt to escape in the first round, though you may take damage from Fangs or Claws.


Mesmerise will stop a first round escape as it cancels the hunter's card.

rdbret wrote:
COMaestro wrote:
If you have no item cards in hand, the Hunter's best choice is to escape immediately. I don't think Dracula can stop you with any card if you attempt to escape in the first round, though you may take damage from Fangs or Claws.

If you are feeling really gutsy you could try to Punch him first, but since the only cards that Punch can cancel do not cause damage in the first place (Plotting, Mesmerize), you still will likely take damage and it's entirely possibly you will either not damage him anyway (Strength cancels Punch), or the vampire will heal the damage caused (Fangs). You are just not likely to do enough damage to justify the amount of damage you will receive in return if you do not have any items or other Hunters in the combat with you. The only exception to this may be if the vampire only has 1 Health left and you can take a hit or two, but even then you may just end up healing the vampire more than you hurt him.


This is a fantastic comment and brings up the question: Exactly what of Dracula's cards does "Punch" do any real damage against? It almost sounds like there are no cards that "Punch" can successfully deal damage to Dracula on. That, in turn, raises this query --- If the "Punch" card can never do any damage against Dracula, what is the point of the "punch" card even being in the Hunter's arsenal of cards in the first place?

Clearly there are several things I am struggling with. Dracula just seemed way to powerful in our game. But I know the combat is "balanced", so plainly I am the one missing something -- not the game itself.


Punch does 1 point of damage to Dracula, assuming it is not cancelled or Dracula does not escape. Specifically Punch cancels Mesmerise and Plotting so will do its damage. It will do its damage against Claws, although the hunter will also take at least 2 damage. Punch also does damage against Fangs (edit: unless the hunter is mesmerised and it is night) although in this case Dracula will recover more than that through the Fangs effect.

rdbret wrote:
randiv wrote:
And within any particular combat, Dracula starts with 5 and draws up to 6 times. That's 11 cards of a 13 card deck. If Plotting resolved twice, he could draw 1+1 more, or all 13. But will never reshuffle during one combat.


In Universal Head's FURY OF DRACULA 3RD EDITION Rules Summary & Reference, it states:

Players continue resolving combat rounds until a combat ends in one of these ways:

1. Dracula has played 6 combat cards.
2. Dracula wins the game by advancing the influence track to space 13.
3. The hunters win the game by defeating Dracula.
4. All hunters involved in the combat are bitten, defeated, or have escaped.
5. Dracula resolves "Escape as Bat" or "Escape as Mist".


This would seem to contradict your comment that Dracula starts with 5 cards and draws up to 6 times. Is that correct?


True, Dracula will draw a maximum of 5 cards (other than due to plotting), he will not draw after the 6th round.
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Randal Divinski
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rdbret wrote:
Dracula just seemed way to powerful in our game. But I know the combat is "balanced", so plainly I am the one missing something -- not the game itself.
Dracula is too powerful for one ill-equipped hunter to face. He's dangerous for one well-equipped hunter: both will likely receive damage. Against two hunters, the odds shift in the hunter's favor, much more so if they are well equipped. With 3 or more hunters, Dracula can just limit the damage until he can escape.
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Chris Merritt
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DaveD wrote:
COMaestro wrote:
If you have no item cards in hand, the Hunter's best choice is to escape immediately. I don't think Dracula can stop you with any card if you attempt to escape in the first round, though you may take damage from Fangs or Claws.


Mesmerise will stop a first round escape as it cancels the hunter's card.


That's right. I forgot about that aspect of Mesmerize. Thanks!

rdbret wrote:

This is a fantastic comment and brings up the question: Exactly what of Dracula's cards does "Punch" do any real damage against? It almost sounds like there are no cards that "Punch" can successfully deal damage to Dracula on. That, in turn, raises this query --- If the "Punch" card can never do any damage against Dracula, what is the point of the "punch" card even being in the Hunter's arsenal of cards in the first place?

Clearly there are several things I am struggling with. Dracula just seemed way to powerful in our game. But I know the combat is "balanced", so plainly I am the one missing something -- not the game itself.


As DaveD mentions above, Punch does cancel two of Dracula's combat cards (one of which, as he noted, does cancel the Hunter's Escape card) and will do 1 damage to Dracula in most cases. You need to defeat him or his vampire, not his cards, though the latter helps lead to the former. However, when the Hunter does not have any item cards, combat is NOT balanced, nor is it supposed to be. In that scenario the only way to damage Dracula is Punch which at best will do 1 damage and then it can't be used again for two turns. Meanwhile the vampire can damage the Hunter greatly, especially at night. Even with items, combat is not fully balanced, which is why once Dracula is discovered it is in the Hunters best interests to group up to fight him, putting the imbalance in their favor.

For instance, if a lone Hunter with no items encounters a vampire, they have just the three basic combat cards to choose from and have to guess what the Dracula player will do. Ultimately, Dracula will want to defeat the Hunter in order to gain Influence, so they probably want to keep the Hunter in combat, so they may start with Mesmerize, which (as DaveD noted) will cancel Escape and keep the Hunter engaged for at least one more turn, but Mesmerize itself can be canceled by Punch. Dracula knows this, however, so they may guess that the Hunter will start with Punch to cancel any attempt to Mesmerize and then escape in the next round. In which case, Dracula may play Claws instead which is not canceled by Punch or Escape and will do 4 damage to a Hunter at night if not canceled by Dodge.

So every card the Hunter has available has its use, but again, running away as soon as possible should be high on the priority list as doing one or two damage to Dracula is going to be offset by the four to eight damage he is likely to dish out in that time, possibly entirely if he lands a Fangs attack and heals. Supply, get some good items and weapons, then engage the Count in battle and things won't be quite so bleak.
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Ryan Bretsch
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DaveD wrote:
COMaestro wrote:
If you have no item cards in hand, the Hunter's best choice is to escape immediately. I don't think Dracula can stop you with any card if you attempt to escape in the first round, though you may take damage from Fangs or Claws.


Mesmerise will stop a first round escape as it cancels the hunter's card.

rdbret wrote:
COMaestro wrote:
If you have no item cards in hand, the Hunter's best choice is to escape immediately. I don't think Dracula can stop you with any card if you attempt to escape in the first round, though you may take damage from Fangs or Claws.

If you are feeling really gutsy you could try to Punch him first, but since the only cards that Punch can cancel do not cause damage in the first place (Plotting, Mesmerize), you still will likely take damage and it's entirely possibly you will either not damage him anyway (Strength cancels Punch), or the vampire will heal the damage caused (Fangs). You are just not likely to do enough damage to justify the amount of damage you will receive in return if you do not have any items or other Hunters in the combat with you. The only exception to this may be if the vampire only has 1 Health left and you can take a hit or two, but even then you may just end up healing the vampire more than you hurt him.


This is a fantastic comment and brings up the question: Exactly what of Dracula's cards does "Punch" do any real damage against? It almost sounds like there are no cards that "Punch" can successfully deal damage to Dracula on. That, in turn, raises this query --- If the "Punch" card can never do any damage against Dracula, what is the point of the "punch" card even being in the Hunter's arsenal of cards in the first place?

Clearly there are several things I am struggling with. Dracula just seemed way to powerful in our game. But I know the combat is "balanced", so plainly I am the one missing something -- not the game itself.


Punch does 1 point of damage to Dracula, assuming it is not cancelled or Dracula does not escape. Specifically Punch cancels Mesmerise and Plotting so will do its damage. It will do its damage against Claws, although the hunter will also take at least 2 damage. Punch also does damage against Fangs (edit: unless the hunter is mesmerised and it is night) although in this case Dracula will recover more than that through the Fangs effect.

rdbret wrote:
randiv wrote:
And within any particular combat, Dracula starts with 5 and draws up to 6 times. That's 11 cards of a 13 card deck. If Plotting resolved twice, he could draw 1+1 more, or all 13. But will never reshuffle during one combat.


In Universal Head's FURY OF DRACULA 3RD EDITION Rules Summary & Reference, it states:

Players continue resolving combat rounds until a combat ends in one of these ways:

1. Dracula has played 6 combat cards.
2. Dracula wins the game by advancing the influence track to space 13.
3. The hunters win the game by defeating Dracula.
4. All hunters involved in the combat are bitten, defeated, or have escaped.
5. Dracula resolves "Escape as Bat" or "Escape as Mist".


This would seem to contradict your comment that Dracula starts with 5 cards and draws up to 6 times. Is that correct?


True, Dracula will draw a maximum of 5 cards (other than due to plotting), he will not draw after the 6th round.


Got it. Now I understand. I forgot the aspect of Dracula drawing cards after each play when I may my statement. Sorry and thanks!
 
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