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Fury of Dracula (second edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Too easy to obtain items/events? rss

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Jon W
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Does anyone feel that the Hunters can too easily obtain items and events? Everyone should be maxed out in about 4 turns for both (3 for items), if they just visit any of the multitude of large cities (there are 30 large cities and 29 small cities, plus Castle Drac and the Hospital). I know some events will go Dracula's way, but it just struck me as odd that large cities had an "items and/or events" clause; I was expecting just "or" (as at the Hospital, which I would've expected to be the place for the "and/or").

With 16 events drawn (Mina modifies this a bit), you should expect to see Newspaper Reports very quickly (90+% of the time; I think there are three in the deck, right?). And of course there are other very good cards for the Hunters as well. Just seems odd to me to not only have a high probability for great events, but also to be maxed out on useful items (and thus ability to attack) so early...feels like one should have to choose one or the other. Curious to hear some thoughts on this design decision.
 
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Brad Miller
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Yes, I do tend to agree. They get them maxed out pretty fast, and yes, the Newspaper Reports put them on Drac's trail in a hurry. Not sure if that was the intention or not...
 
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Luca Iennaco
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Yes, you're right (and there are FIVE Newspaper Reports!). I think it is intentional. So far, I'm still winning a lot as Dracula so the complain is only marginal for me.
 
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Matthew Cary
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The new game actually give you cards slower than the old one did.

In the Games Workshop version let you draw two events and a weapon in the big cities and one event & weapon in the small ones.

The notion is that 1/3 of all event draws favor Dracula. If everyone rushes to fill up, odds are that by the time the hunters have filled up, Dracula has as well.
 
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Brad Miller
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True enough, and some of those are quite nasty for the Hunters...
 
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Dane Peacock
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I have only played twice, but yes, we have noticed this in both games. It seems like most of the time the hunters are leisurely maximizing the best cards to keep, instead of there being angst in desperately searching for helpful cards. Cards like Hypnotism and Newspaper are regularly being played, which seems to defeat some of the fun in trailing Dracula.

The designers must have intended it this way, and I have to admit, it has been a fun experience both games, but I have had the same thoughts about gaining items too easily.
 
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Jon W
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Luke the Flaming wrote:
...there are FIVE Newspaper Reports!). I think it is intentional. So far, I'm still winning a lot as Dracula so the complain is only marginal for me.

Oh, it's not really a complaint. It just puts a different emphasis on the game than I expected--the rules don't give any indication on the power or frequency of the cards. Having a lot of cards lessens the deductive aspect and ratchets up the cardplay and associated timing and management (including the management of Dracula's special cards, which are looking more and more important). With five NRs (!), the odds of not getting one by turn four are vanishingly small (~5%). I gather one complaint about the old edition is that too much time is spent wandering about somewhat aimlessly; this certainly resolves that. Some hard choices will have to be made quite early about whether to ferret out the whole trail (for vampires) or just zero in on killing the Count, which is appealing.
 
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Alferd Packer
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I personally find that having some of Dracula's trail exposed increases the deductive elements of the game. If he was in Paris 3 turns ago, these are his possible locations now. Where if his trail isn't revealed, the most you can really do is guess.
 
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Jon W
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AlferdPacker wrote:
I personally find that having some of Dracula's trail exposed increases the deductive elements of the game.

Your point is very well taken. Scotland Yard resolves this in a clean, predictable manner, where everyone can plan around the revelations. FoD's system is much more unstable, but you're absolutely right that having *some* knowledge is critical in a deductive game. I'm just mildly concerned that the cards (not to mention Resolve) come so quickly that it'll often be "one turn ago," and not three. All these revelations also make clearing the trail (whether down to one or three) as much a detriment as a benefit; that seems a strange side effect rather than a design intent, but perhaps it's essential for balance.

 
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Brad Miller
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Well if it's cleared down to one, that won't help the Hunters much, as a NR at that point won't reveal anything. At three, yes that would kind of suck.
 
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Alferd Packer
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But if Dracula has cleared his trail, he's either matured an encounter or cheated. If he cheated or got trapped, he deserves the penalty. If he matured Desecrated Ground or a Vampire, he's that much closer to winning, so Hunters need that extra edge to keep them in the game. At least, that's how I always saw it.
 
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Jon W
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Right, that's what I meant about it being necessary for balance. And Brad, I understand you can't use NR with only one card; the phrase used above was "x turns ago", not "x cards showing." So Paris 3 turns ago must be 4 cards showing, etc. Really sucks to have NR played with 2 cards showing.

I just think it's kind of weird that Dracula removes evidence of what he's been up to and suddenly it becomes easier for the Hunters to find him, that's all. I'm not complaining about balance or a systemic weakness in the game, but rather that it's difficult to reconcile the way the trail works. A long trail of clues should be the key to finding Dracula, and yet the shorter the trail is, the better it is for the Hunters, given the number of NRs and the use of Resolve. I actually find this pretty interesting mechanically, but it's weird (IMHO).
 
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Eric Chantigny
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I played yesterday night. After 2 turns we played NR and got to know exactly where Drac was going almost all game long. It still took 2 hours because we needed sme extra time to catch him after fleeing at night. The fact that you're so close to him all the time makes it that much easier for him to kill you at night too. We won with him at 5 points.

IMO, the game is pretty well balanced.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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I've got a second turn "Newspaper Report" in the last three games I played as Dracula, but I still managed to win them all. The Hunters were always on my trail and we even fought sometimes, but there's still space for Dracula to act deviously and (overall) the games were tense and interesting to play (from my perspective and from theirs as well).

I was definitely concerned that the Events were giving away too much "free information" on Dracula's position, but the game worked fine so far (after 7 plays) so I consider it to be a (successful) design choice.

Note that the rules suggest to remove a few of those Events as a way to help Dracula (if you find too easy to win as the Hunters). I'd be careful to manipulate the deck, but the option is there...

Have fun!
 
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Dane Peacock
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We played another game, and even though it seems like events and items are obtained too easily, in practice, once again, it turned out to be a very close game. I give credit to the designers and playtesters. I just have to get used to the idea that this part of the game is about maximizing the cards in your hand, not the tension of drawing the next potentially helpful card.
 
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Court
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I just picked this one up, and I was also concerned about the frequency of Hunter-beneficial event cards. This discussion (and the notes on actual play) help ease some of the doubts. It sounds like a fun game, and I am looking forward to playing this evening.

As for optional rules that aid the Count; I am wondering (without having played) if instead of removing those NR and other heavy hitting event cards from the hunters if it would be better to set a timer as to when they could be played? For instance, you cannot play a news report if there are fewer than 4 location cards played?
 
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Justin Borges
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Daren, I know what you mean. In the last game I played, I was found on the FIRST turn, because one of the Hunters in Madrid jumped out of Spain, even though I expected him to at least move around Spain a little first. ('Funny' thing is, though, he remained in the area the entire game, and when he finally came out of the peninsula, he killed me in battle = ).

The only thing you can really hope for is to get a New Vampire in your first encounter hand draw, play it right away, and get as many locations out before the Hunters find that first location. And if you've used some powers in between the turn you play it and the turn it matures, you'll get them back since the trail gets brought back down. (i.e. technically it can be less than 7 turns, but only if you're lucky...and we all know, Dracula isn't lucky for long).
 
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Jon Greisz
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I haven't played this yet, hoping to soon. But I find it interesting that people are complaining of the power of events in this thread, while another thread is complaining about the power of a Dracula event the game uses to add risk to drawing events, http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/103874. Game sounds great, and I've read the rules, just need to find the people and the time now.
 
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Zom Bee
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Jon Waddington wrote:
Does anyone feel that the Hunters can too easily obtain items and events? Everyone should be maxed out in about 4 turns for both (3 for items), if they just visit any of the multitude of large cities (there are 30 large cities and 29 small cities.


I don't know...during our first game, we started out spread out on the map so we could close in together and I had alot of trouble getting to the large cities having started in eastern Europe.

I was also always wary of drawing too many event cards because Dracula gets alot of them for himsefl which certainly doesn't help the HUnters in the big battle...

Anyway, I believe the theme of this game is the "pursuit and destruction" of Dracula for the Hunters, and "Hide, Run, and bide your time" for Dracula...He only has to stay undead until he gets his points...even after you find him, he still has many ways of slipping away - and if gets out of your sight for a few turns, it gets harder to find him again using deductive reasoning, with only 4 hunters to pin him down.

I think it is well-balanced. I think it just relies alot on the skill of the Dracula player to make it more or less difficult fo the hunters
 
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Justin Borges
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Even after two losses for me as Dracula, I definitely think this game is closer to balanced than it is to unbalanced (although sometimes it really seems like Dracula's got it a bit too tough).
There is a lot of luck, skill and logic to be found in this game, when played properly. Luck, it's all about the draws, for both players. Whether it's an Item, Event card or an Encounter token, you always hope for the best. Both players have to use skill in this, but especially Dracula. You have to know your cards and encounters, both in hand and what has been played. If you can keep track of multiple things in your head, like which Items the Hunters have and if they've resupplied since you last saw their stuff, then you can do well. Even if you can't, don't worry. The main thing is not to take unnecessary risks - like fighting the Hunters. Even if it looks like a 'sure thing,' you're taking a huge risk in fighting the Hunters, especially if you would otherwise be unrevealed.
As Dracula, you've got plenty of tricks up your sleeve. Can you manage your fate by utilising them, outwitting the Hunters, and hope they deduce wrongly?

In my last game I was found on the first turn. I was shocked, not thinking the Hunter would go THAT way. But he did, and the game ended quickly. An hour quicker than the first game
So anything can happen. Just try to be ready for it.

When it comes to ease of obtaining Items and Events - well yeah, it is. But that on its own doesn't unbalance the game. It just makes it harder for Dracula, who has to do as best as he/she can.
 
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