Dracula: Matthew (me)
Hunters: Greg, Raphael, Nathan, Melin (in hunter order)
This was our first game and one that I was anxious to get out on the table. I don’t have a lot of theme rich games that don’t take SIGNIFICANT amounts of time and this one has the possibility of filling in one of those gaps. Rich theme and 2 hours? Yep – I am all over that one.
They started out rather well spread out and I figured my best bet was to start in Berlin. Alas for me during the second turn they got the newspaper card and While I was in Leipzig learned I had started the game in Berlin… Not good for me. They immediately started to rush towards me in the middle and over the course of two turns pretty much had me boxed in at Strasbourg. It was still night so I went wolf and slipped past Godalming in Munich and into Zagreb. It is here a matter of semantics got in the way. At the beginning of the game I told them that if Dracula was in the same location as a Hunter a fight had to occur… Later when playing my Wolf Form card I explained to them the first location was inconsequential in my movement.
From this point they assumed that due to my first statement, if I had passed through Munich into Zagreb that I would have had to battle Godalming, even though I said in wolf form the first move was inconsequential. In the future when I introduce the game I will specify that if Dracula ENDS his turn at the location of a hunter then a fight must occur. That is a better way of putting it.
Anyway due to this fact they ruled out that I could have gotten to Eastern Europe and spent the next several turns taking apart Western Europe while I seeded eastern Europe with a couple of vampires. At this point they were getting pretty frustrated that they couldn’t find a trail anywhere and without saying it aloud pretty much wanted to accuse me of cheating (which I was not). By the time any of them had hit the trail I had originally left in Western Europe it had died out and was long cold. I has slipped through the eyehole of a needle.
It was at the peak of their frustration that I got the event card that immediately let me move ANYWHERE on the board. To say that they were not howling would be an understatement, “WHAT?!!? The game is freaking RESET?!?!?” They had done a good job of narrowing my options however as they had 2 heavenly hosts and Consecrated grounds in VERY strategic locations (like Saragossa – which meant I could only reach Spain by boat). I felt it best to simply remain in Eastern Europe. They spread out again and Mina used the card that allowed her four sea moves to land in Salencia and immediately had an encounter (alas with nothing but desecrated ground) and only two days behind me.
In the meantime I was up to 3 vampires (I had survived a day and one of the two vampires I had seeded had matured). The hunters were now hot on my trail and using the train or taking to the ocean as fast as they could. I had only taken one damage up to this point so decided to head out to sea myself. They quickly calculated exactly where I had boarded the ship and which sea zone I was in. I then moved one more sea zone and in that time yet another vampire had matured putting me to 5. It would be now that the grand finale would occur…
Van Helsing played Turbulent Sea, I played my interrupt (sorry magic term – can’t remember the name of the card), and then Van Helsing interrupted my interrupt. I was in the Ionian zone and forced to land. Mina was in Valona which forced me to have to land in Athens and there end my turn. Mina knew exactly where I was and attacked me in Athens as it was Midnight and if two more turns passed I would win by the day advancing and getting my sixth Vampire. The other hunters were not close enough to get to me in time.
The fight lasted 5 turns with Mina getting in about 5 blood damage as the rolls were always hers. Finally I got my chance and ended up with a bite, killing her and advancing two more vampires and winning the game.
I pointed out that their biggest mistake was NOT following my trail and hunting down the two vampires that I had sown. They were so obsessed with locating ME that they had ignored the encounters I had left behind. It would have been a very different game being four vampires down when I met Mina in Athens.