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Subject: Tips for playing Dracula rss

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David Tolin
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Well, we've now played this game twice, and both times the Hunters wiped the floor with Dracula (me) .

So, my question is... what am I doing wrong? My general impression is that it is nearly impossible for Dracula to keep his trail hidden for more than 2-3 rounds. Would anyone disagree with this hasty generalization? By the third round, it seems the Hunters have reached critical mass with Event cards every time--most of them have 2 or 3 cards and keep cycling through that number for the remainder of the game. Every turn seems like a newspaper report or some other card is being played to start revealing that trail!

I know the point of the game is to give the Hunters information so they can make educated guesses about Drac's location, but the games we've played have been nothing more than a nearly open chase from almost the beginning of the game.

For example, in our last game, Drac started in Galway (?), moved to Dublin, planted a New Vampire, used Hide for a turn and then embarked upon the Irish Sea (?). So far, so good. As soon as he hit water, Van Helsing played the card that reveals sea locations, narrowing down Drac's location. VH then immediately played the card that forces Drac to disembark on his next turn--which gave Drac only one choice for movement. Somehow, Drac managed to move around that little island for a couple of turns without being discovered, but then the hunters moved into the only remaining ports, forcing Drac to attack if he wanted to leave land (which was the only possible move, really).

So, Drac reveals by attacking Mina, who flees easily since its daytime. Then, Godalming moves in and attacks Drac, nearly killing him (which has always been my experience in combat--it takes a LOT of rounds of combat to do much damage to the Hunters, but Drac can be put in a really sorry state in no time at all).

So, Drac sets back out to sea with only 5 blood remaining, at which point the Hunters play the ally that costs Drac 1 blood every turn he's at sea. Obviously, he has to land quickly, and he can no longer travel much by sea to throw the Hunters off. At that point, between more newspaper cards, a couple Hypnosis, very liberal use of Long Day cards, etc... Drac was toast. I've never been so frustrated in my life.

...

It's important for me to point out that I'm not complaining or saying the game is "broken" or anything. I like the game. However, after last night, my opinion is becoming that the Event deck is VERY beneficial for the Hunters and not so much for Drac. I've also decided I will *never* attack anyone in the game again as Drac--whether it's night or not--because it seems far too dangerous (and I have a bad habit of rolling low numbers). Plus, the Hunters have so much health and heal so easily that it would take forever to actually kill one of them.

I'd just like some tips on how to keep that trail hidden longer. We played with an entirely open trail for nearly 60% of the game last night, and that wasn't fun for Drac at all. Also, what good are the Catacombs? Surely there's a good use for them, but I can't figure out why you'd want to limit your location deck unnecessarily. It could help if encounters were actually that dangerous for the Hunters to run into, but they're pretty much just nuisances for the Hunters, too.
 
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Justin Borges
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I've only played once so far, so my opinions/ideas will be minimal for now. I have possibly two more plays lined up for the upcoming Sunday and Monday, so hopefully by then I'll be able to offer more.

At first I wondered what Catacombs would be good for, because as you said, you limit your Location deck by one card for each Catacomb. Although don't forget you can pick it back up at the beginning of your turn.
The advantage of the Catacombs is a second encounter on a card. While a number of the encounters won't hurt the Hunters TOO much, you also have to consider combinations. If a Hunter comes up against two Agents, for example, they'll have to fight twice. If it's early enough, or you're lucky enough, the Hunter may not be ready for such a brawl, let alone two. Hopefully for you as Dracula, the Hunter will waste certain cards (Events and Items) to fight off the Agent, thus leaving less for the next battle, and subsequent battles with YOU (especially if you're near that city, can get there soon, and can see how well the Hunter is equipped with Events and Items).
It's all situational, really, so sometimes this can happen, others times forget about it. Dracula is in a VERY precarious position, especially when Hunters have cards that reveal his location, force him to stop/disembark/etc., and that dastardly Long Day card. But as Dracula, it's all about managing your cards, working on a Trail that can potentially confuse the Hunters. Don't be afraid to use your Powers, especially things like Double Back, Wolf Form, etc. These can really help you to maneouvre, including getting behind a Hunter if possible, giving you possibly a couple of turns to run.
Oh yes, back to the Catacombs for a sec. One of the interesting things about the Catacombs is that it doubly reinforces your Trail. If you are able to (by the Hunters' locations and the available Locations you can go to), you could potentially form a three-location wall on the map, so that a Hunter who moves into it would come up against the forces as described above. Imagine an Assassin and a Wolf in the same city, PLUS a Relentless Minion card in your hand. (At one point in my game one of the Hunters came up against an Assassin, escaped, and I played the Relentless Minion card, which allowed me to do some damage. Then the Hunter had to Rest in order to get some health back, effectively taking her out for a turn or two).

From what I can tell so far, Dracula is surely at a disadvantage in the long run. There are PLENTY of cards that will reveal him, limit his movement, prolong the day, etc. Of course, Dracula also has Powers and his own Event cards that can negate the effects of the Hunters' cards, as well as make the best of his situation.
It's Dracula's game to lose, I think. You have to be crafty, resourceful, conscious of the entire situation, sometimes protective, sometimes courageous. Sometimes it's better to risk fighting a Hunter than just sitting back, especially when you're confident in your cards (and it is night time).

I'd say keep going at it, and don't lose hope (not that I think you have yet). Call the first game a learning game, and the second a real one. Now go on, play the third, be the best Dracula you can be, and kick Hunter butt!
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Ken B.
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My only problem is that from reading the rules, the only role I'm really relishing to play IS Dracula. That seems like the meatiest, most satisfying role in the game, and winning or losing is up to you a very great deal.

I know it's a tough balance. From the old reviews for the GW version I read if Drac didn't want to be found, he wouldn't be. So you have to make the Hunters feel like they have a real chance to find him...even better if they are always convinced they are "right on his tail".


I'll be the teacher for our first game, so I know I'll be playing the Count anyway. I only hope that I will have as much fun as either Drac OR a Hunter.
 
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David Tolin
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franklincobb wrote:
From the old reviews for the GW version I read if Drac didn't want to be found, he wouldn't be.


Definitely not my experience with the new version. There are tons of cards that reveal some or all of his trail, and they come out frequently. These cards are gained through the Event deck, and the rules suggest that hitting the Event deck too often is dangerous for the Hunters because it supplies Drac with cards of his own sometimes, but--again, in my experience--the Hunters will draw an Event card every single time they're able. Drac's cards just aren't nearly as good as theirs are, so giving some to him isn't very painful.
 
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Ken B.
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DavidT wrote:
franklincobb wrote:
From the old reviews for the GW version I read if Drac didn't want to be found, he wouldn't be.


Definitely not my experience with the new version. There are tons of cards that reveal some or all of his trail, and they come out frequently. These cards are gained through the Event deck, and the rules suggest that hitting the Event deck too often is dangerous for the Hunters because it supplies Drac with cards of his own sometimes, but--again, in my experience--the Hunters will draw an Event card every single time they're able. Drac's cards just aren't nearly as good as theirs are, so giving some to him isn't very painful.



I did notice in the back section about making things easier for Drac, you could whittle out a few of the more useful event cards, but to be careful in doing so that you didn't take out so many that you neutered the Hunters' desire to actually draw from the deck. They even suggested which cards to take out.

There are also rules for making things easier for the Hunters, so I'm guessing that the Dracula role is one that has to be learned and honed. At any rate, I'm getting the game soon and am chomping at the bit to try it.
 
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Justin Borges
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I just realised that I played the Relentless Minion card wrong, using it on an Assassin (Agent) and not a Minion (Minion/Agent). Oops! Thank goodness it was a learning game.

I wouldn't be too worried about not enjoying being a Hunter. While being Dracula is surely MORE exciting, as the Hunter you have to really work on finding that Trail initially. There is teamwork involved, but also a lot of decisions you have to make on your own.
 
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David Tolin
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Von Cougar wrote:
While a number of the encounters won't hurt the Hunters TOO much, you also have to consider combinations. If a Hunter comes up against two Agents, for example, they'll have to fight twice. If it's early enough, or you're lucky enough, the Hunter may not be ready for such a brawl, let alone two.


A lot of nice points in your reply to consider. I don't really know about this one, though. I thought maybe I had undervalued the tactical ability of Agents in our first game, so I tried to use them a lot in the second game... to no avail.

A perfect example would be late in the game when Mina had to face an Agent (the one with the pistol and the knife) three times in a row due to two 'Relentless Minion' cards. Ostensibly, this should cause her at least a little grief, but she just escaped each time. One of the most frustrating things I've noticed playing Drac is that the Hunters have enough health to gamble with the Escape card (it doesn't really cause much damage if they fail the roll a couple times), but Drac is in real trouble if he tries to Escape since it can knock him down to his next red blood marker (potentially a loss of 5 health!!). Granted, he has a better chance at getting away during the night, but the point is that the Hunters always have escaping as an option and they have tended to use it liberally in our sessions.

The best use for encounters that I've found is that many of them end the Hunters turns. Otherwise, they're pointless, imo.
 
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Cuppa Jack
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DavidT wrote:
The best use for encounters that I've found is that many of them end the Hunters turns. Otherwise, they're pointless, imo.


Well, that probably explains why you are having trouble winning as Dracula!

Encounters are the #1 weapon Dracula has to win the game. With encounters Dracula can score VPs, Hurt hunters, deplete hunters of their resources and even break the rules of the game by drawing event cards.

Every turn a hunter spends visiting a location to deal with an encounter is another turn they cannot be dogging you.

If you can afford the turn, you might try and "dark-call" early to stack your encounter-hand in your favor.

Drop off encounters that you want to mature in off-the-beaten-path small cities and the minions and damage-causing encounters in spots the hunters will stumble across. Save the Fogs and bats for when they get too close.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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While forcing you to shore is a good stroke of luck for the Hunters, I'll point out that with a minor modification you could have been in the Atlantic Ocean instead and had many more options. Indeed, I've found the oceans a fabulous way to throw off hunters. If you're not forced to shore your possible destinations grow exponentially.

As for encounters, a matured New Vampire leaves the hunters with to trail to find. They have a lot of power.
 
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Cody
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Well in the game synopsis at the top the dangerous moves I would point to would be:

A) Starting in Ireland which forces you to go to sea after two turns (three if you hide)

B) Remaining in Britain until the hunters closed in on it

C) Revealing in order to attack Mina during the DAY (you should NEVER do this unless you absolutely have to).

Other than that it sounds like you just got bad breaks on the event cards with the hunters pulling all the sea oriented cards at the right time. Did you get any Dracula events? Had you pulled an evasion while they were all blockading Britain things would have gone much differently.

Ive found when the hunters setup they usually space themselves out on the continent and *maybe* put someone in Ireland/Britain. As Drac I prefer to start on the continent. A good trick is not to start in an obviously open location but one thats right behind a hunter (mina is especially vulnerable). They will rarely waste time walking back and forth over the same spot so you can often shadow them from behind for a little bit. They also tend to use the Newspaper reports on nexus locations or locations that are far away from their pawns.

 
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David Tolin
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verive wrote:
DavidT wrote:
The best use for encounters that I've found is that many of them end the Hunters turns. Otherwise, they're pointless, imo.


Well, that probably explains why you are having trouble winning as Dracula!

Encounters are the #1 weapon Dracula has to win the game. With encounters Dracula can score VPs,


Yes, the New Vampires are great, I agree. I wish I would have drawn more than one last night. cry

verive wrote:
Hurt hunters,


Debatable. At most, you can cause 2 points of instant damage (which they can heal in one turn at their leisure), or instigate an Agent fight and hope the Hunter doesn't have the wits to simply escape as soon as possible.

verive wrote:
deplete hunters of their resources


Temporarily, maybe. But, since Hunters are almost always gaining one Event and one Item per Hunter turn, this isn't really much of a strategy. They never run out of resources, it seems to me.

verive wrote:
and even break the rules of the game by drawing event cards.


I'm not that impressed with Dracula's Event cards. There are one or two that are useful, sure, but overall they're pretty weak compared to the weapons of the Hunters.

I do realize now that I forgot to clear my trail after maturing that first New Vampire, so that's at least one thing that might have made things better. I appreciate all the tips... I'm just not sure they make Drac's position that much better.
 
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Jack Wraith
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It's going to take some practice. We've played two games now and I've been Dracula both times and have won both times. However, I also have played Scotland Yard many times before this, so I have some experience with being Mr. X and knowing how to throw people off my trail (and Mr. X must reveal his location every few turns; it's not based on card draws (pro and con argument, I realize.))

First off, examine your starting position closely. As someone noted earlier, the best position to start in Ireland would have been Dublin, allowing you to move to Galway, deposit a Vampire, and hit the Atlantic, giving you any number of moves. So, you move twice and then hit the sea. That in no way should lead your players to conclude that you're in Ireland. You could have been within a space of where a Hunter moved on the first turn by an Express train and decided it was better to clear out before one of your first two cards was uncovered with you still nearby. Your Hunters will often reason through these conclusions and the BEST thing you can do as they're doing that is change your body language. Part of the game is psychology (i.e. maintaining a poker face.) If they come up with an idea that you just moved from Sofia to Varna and then to the Black Sea because Van Helsing is nearby, there's nothing wrong with you sighing heavily and/or shifting in your seat to make someone think they have the right (wrong) idea.

Secondly, use Dracula's powers at strategic points. This hearkens back to the first point. Hiding in Ireland does you zero good. It just means they think you've moved 3 times. Once they uncover part of your trail and start to think they have you narrowed down, THEN you Hide, making 3 'moves' when you should have only made two before embarking somewhere or hitting a Hunter, confusing them (in our first game, I moved from Sofia to Velona to Athens, Hid in Athens, Doubled Back to Velona, and then moved to Salonika; they uncovered Sofia and figured they knew right where I was because they were coming down from the north; the two extra turns it took me to hit the Ionian Sea threw them off completely.) Also, Hide works best when Hunters are nearby, forcing them to run into two encounters which could be debilitating (Minion with Knife and Pistol following Rats or something like that.)

Third, Dracula's cards need to be played strategically and often held for long periods of time. In both games we've played, I held onto Wild Horses for virtually the entire game, even while I was being attacked in certain instances. Why? Because I wanted to play it right near the end of the game when I knew they'd be using Resolve to get me before the clock ran out on them. You'll eventually get a handle on when it's safe to stay in to fight and when you should run. Remember that, even at night, the odds are not always with Dracula, so you should take advantage of Escape as Bat whenever possible and then follow it up with a Wolf Form or Unearthly Swiftness if you have them. Moving 4 spaces out of the Hunters' net can put you farther out of their reach than it seems, because then they'll have to consider a whole new set of parameters for where you might have gone. Also, consider that some of the seemingly weaker cards, like the one that automatically makes the train roll fail, can be huge at the right moment. Is it Dusk and Dr. Seward is about to take the train into Berlin and cut off one of your two avenues of escape? Play the card. When he does that next turn, it's Twilight and your options in combat and for movement have tripled. Customs Search, likewise, can be devastating. Has Lord Godalming loaded up on Items and started discarding new ones that he picked up? Wow. He must have something pretty good. Not anymore... devil

Fourth, remember that the main way you gain points is by maturing Vampires. The clock is more your ally than the Hunters' but it's not something to be relied upon and gaining points by killing Hunters is almost superfluous and something to be avoided at all costs unless you have a Hunter who is already severely wounded and it's night (or you have a wounded Hunter who might not survive successive encounters with Minions as he moves along your path.) If you're counting on Dracula to overpower the Hunters, don't. Check your ego at the door and realize that the best way for you to win is to run and keep running, even from Mina.

Fifth, feel free to engage in a little psych warfare with the Hunters vis-a-vis unrevealed encounters making their way down the trail. Any of those encounters could be a Vampire and if they're hot on your trail, you can always try to peel one of them off by reminding them to go make sure that Fog encounter doesn't drop off the trail. cool That leaves you with one less Hunter to deal with, perhaps for 2 or 3 turns, and gives you another avenue of escape that that Hunter was otherwise covering.

Sixth, accept that the cards sometimes will not go your way. Newspaper Reports? Bummer. Just deal with it and keep moving. Hypnosis? Do you have Devilish Power? Maybe now is the time to use it. If not or if you think you can handle what's coming because it's almost Twilight, let it ride (Remember, Hypnosis only works on Mina most of the time and only at the start of her turn, which is last, so if it works and they use Resolve to Sense of Emergency to get to you, realize that unless she's loaded for bear (and you should know at least part of it, because she has to keep cards revealed to you), she just wounded herself to take you on alone.)

Remember, the game turns on you. You're in control (for the most part.) Just be patient and confident (and study your map! Be aware of your surroundings and escape routes! Think 3 moves ahead, like chess!) and things will start going your way.
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Justin Borges
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A fantastic post, Jack. Perhaps one of the best I've read about strategy on the Geek since I've been coming here.
Those of you planning to play Dracula...read the above twice!


I think the idea of planning ahead is very important. I would say, always expect the worst. As in, if you're going to sea, consider there might be a Stormy Seas card out there. Try to plan accordingly. If the Hunters have not yet gotten on your trail, you could potentially cross from one part of the map to the other by sea movement, unless stopped. It may cost blood, but it may also move you far away from the Hunters. If you embark at Lisbon, for example, you're in the Atlantic. This gives you plenty of options already, because you could end up in two other ports right away, or with one sea move 13 potential ports (Irish Sea, English Channel, Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean), and one more sea move can get you another 7 ports (North Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea). Of course, this is all if the Hunters don't find out where you started, or where you are. And if they don't, three sea moves means you could have started anywhere, and have gone anywhere.
Of course, this is all assuming things go in your favour, card-wise. But it could definitely happen.

Another thing about Minions is that they get a +1 to their roll in the East, which is helpful for sure.
 
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Matthew Cary
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This is a link to a Dracula Strategy article for the old Games Workshop version of the game.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/6523

Obviously, alot has changed since then. The trail makes hiding harder, but combat is almost exactly the same and the general mindset of a successful Dracula player has not changed.
There is alot there that applies to the new game.
 
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David Tolin
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Jackwraith wrote:
A ton of really helpful information.


Thanks!!
 
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Brad Miller
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First off, many of the Dracula Events are exceptional. Nothing beats Evasion to really depress the Hunters. Customs Search is also brutal if played at the right time.

Encounters: Fog rocks. Ends the Hunters turn, prevents other Hunters from entering, and makes that Hunter lose their next turn as well. Bats are even better, as you can send that Hunter off where you want him/her to go.

Be very, very careful about moving by sea to Italy. It is very easy to get trapped there.

If you are fighting at night as Drac against a Hunter without items, they are screwed. Remember that.

Be careful what you use to escape as. Certain escapes won't help you against a stake, leaving you dead. One won't leave you dead.

 
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David Tolin
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Heh. It seems like I'm just bashing the game at this point... which I'm not trying to do. I really enjoy it and want to play again. I guess I just like playing devil's advocate. So:

Windopaene wrote:
First off, many of the Dracula Events are exceptional. Nothing beats Evasion to really depress the Hunters. Customs Search is also brutal if played at the right time.


Yeah, I really like the customs search card. I'm assuming the "right time" to play it, though, is just before you launch a nighttime attack? Otherwise, it takes no time at all for the Hunter to gain more items for replacement purposes.

Windopaene wrote:
Encounters: Fog rocks. Ends the Hunters turn, prevents other Hunters from entering, and makes that Hunter lose their next turn as well. Bats are even better, as you can send that Hunter off where you want him/her to go.


But that's just one Hunter. There are three others and, typically, they're all pretty close to one another, anyway. Once they're on Drac's trail, stopping one of them for a turn is not much help. The others just fill in the gaps.

Windopaene wrote:
Be very, very careful about moving by sea to Italy. It is very easy to get trapped there.


Judging by my past mistakes, this sounds like good advice!

Windopaene wrote:
If you are fighting at night as Drac against a Hunter without items, they are screwed. Remember that.


Well... relatively screwed. As I pointed out earlier, all they need to do is escape from combat, which is pretty darn easy for them to do. They usually have an initiative advantage with the Dogs card and--between the four of them--will usually have at least one +1 combat card, as well. I think I'm going to stick with the tactic of never attacking anyone if I'm playing Drac.

Windopaene wrote:
Be careful what you use to escape as.


Yeah, my problem here was that you only have one choice during the day and after I was initially discovered and forced to land we had a very, very long day ahead of us since the Long Day card was played four times. So, no fancy escapes, no wolf form, no sea travel thanks to the damaging ally... it was a nightmare. Hopefully, the next game will go better.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Jack Wraith
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DavidT wrote:
Yeah, I really like the customs search card. I'm assuming the "right time" to play it, though, is just before you launch a nighttime attack?


Not necessarily. Often the best time to play it is when a lot of your Trail is revealed and a Hunter who is loaded with items has the next turn and is likely to move into your space. Remember that the Items give the Hunters some feeling of security. If you make them drop all of them, there's a distinct possibility that they'll sit still for a turn and try to gain some back before daring to challenge you. That gives you time to move away.

DavidT wrote:
But that's just one Hunter. There are three others and, typically, they're all pretty close to one another, anyway.


Heh. If they are, then you do have an advantage: one quick sea trip or use of the Evasion card or even Wolf Form gets you away from ALL of them. Meanwhile, Fog remains good, especially if you can predict the Hunters' path to some degree (which you usually can when they're closing in on you.) Keep in mind the turn order: If Seward is the closest threat, then you don't want to throw Fog in front of Lord Godalming. Also, Mina is always a good target, because it ends the Hunters' turn immediately, moves the clock, and gets you back in control. Mina is usually the Hunter that people are trying to make the coup de grace because she takes advantage of Hypnosis and goes last. If you foil that, you often gain a distinct time advantage (both in terms of getting away, forcing them to come up with plan B, and getting closer to night or a new day.)

DavidT wrote:
Judging by my past mistakes, this sounds like good advice!


Yeah, Italy is, shall we say, VERY BAD. It's far too easy to get cornered there. That being said, if you hear the Hunters discussing how it's too obvious that you wouldn't go there because of that apparent problem, spend some time in Rome, see the Pantheon, drop a Vampire...

DavidT wrote:
Well... relatively screwed. As I pointed out earlier, all they need to do is escape from combat, which is pretty darn easy for them to do. They usually have an initiative advantage with the Dogs card and--between the four of them--will usually have at least one +1 combat card, as well.


Then you need to make some effort to get rid of the Dogs. Several of the encounters make them drop items. If they're so attached to those Dogs, then they'll drop any offensive ability that they have, which is fine by you, as your taking damage in a fight is far more threatening than them doing so. If in every encounter the Hunters choose to run, more power to'em. Keep running yourself.

DavidT wrote:
Yeah, my problem here was that you only have one choice during the day and after I was initially discovered and forced to land we had a very, very long day ahead of us since the Long Day card was played four times. So, no fancy escapes, no wolf form, no sea travel thanks to the damaging ally... it was a nightmare. Hopefully, the next game will go better.


Yeah. Sounds like you ran into some serious card issues. Sometimes the deck just turns out like that. Can't be helped.
 
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Carrie Ulrich
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Jackwraith wrote:
Remember, Hypnosis only works on Mina most of the time and only at the start of her turn, which is last, so if it works and they use Resolve [or] Sense of Emergency to get to you, realize that unless she's loaded for bear (and you should know at least part of it, because she has to keep cards revealed to you), she just wounded herself to take you on alone.


Very useful tips! But I'm not sure what you mean by "you should know at least part of it, because she has to keep cards revealed to you." Which cards does Mina have to keep revealed? It would be nice if Hypnosis actually did work as a two-way psychic link.
 
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Jack Wraith
United States
Ypsilanti
Michigan (MI)
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a willowisp wrote:
Very useful tips! But I'm not sure what you mean by "you should know at least part of it, because she has to keep cards revealed to you."


Under the 'Bitten Hunter' rules: the Hunter has to keep one Event and one Item card face up at all times. That's the 'two-way' psychic link you're talking about, where Dracula is worming his way into their mind.
 
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Ken B.
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Jackwraith wrote:
a willowisp wrote:
Very useful tips! But I'm not sure what you mean by "you should know at least part of it, because she has to keep cards revealed to you."


Under the 'Bitten Hunter' rules: the Hunter has to keep one Event and one Item card face up at all times. That's the 'two-way' psychic link you're talking about, where Dracula is worming his way into their mind.



Cool, so Mina's permanent "bite" gives you an edge against her that you would have against any normally bitten hunter (except the +1 in combat against her, unless she's with a group).


Is that right? That's a cool bit of flavor, if you ask me.
 
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Nicholas Hutcheon
Canada
Calgary
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I've found a few things in my first play through the game. I was actually able to kill TWO hunters for the win, but not by trying to do damage. I would mix up in combat with dodge and other stuff, but I found that by far the most effective way to kill a hunter (especially Mina), is with a bite.

That said, I definitely DO NOT advocate trying to fight in daytime. With such a limited number of attacks at Drac's disposal, it seems to be pretty easy for the Hunters to predict him. Many of the encounters are very useful, and yes, Fog does ROCK! Nothing like the Hunters using hypnotise to track you down, then resolve to jump right to you, only to find a fog there, so their turn ends, they can't fight you, and their friends can't attack you either.

Escape as Bat is excellent too; if you win the roll, you get an instant single or double move. I also noticed in the rules a second use for Catacomb locations; you can use Double Back to move to them! This will let you all of a sudden return to an area of the board that you haven't been to in a long time near the end of the game.
 
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Kevin Wilson
United States
Roseville
Minnesota
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The Nicholas Cage of games! Oh god, not the beeeeeesssss!
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It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
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Note that when you use Double Back, your move must still be a normal, legal move. All Double Back lets you do is cross your own trail, it doesn't work as a teleport.

-Kevin Wilson
Fantasy Flight Games
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Tonight I managed to get Dracula good and dead, and for the first time I tried to use Castle Dracula to replenish some health...but given the apparent inability of Dracula to stay at home, is it even worth the trip?

I foolishly used double back to return for more health, and then hide to get even more (played face up, since the Castle was revealed, right?)...but the damn hunters delayed dark so Wolf Form was unavailable to me and I was left with no valid moves. I only lost 3 blood out of the deal, but it seemed a bit ... wierd.
 
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Matthew Fisk
United States
Spanish Fork
Utah
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I now have 4 games under my belt now and this is a difficult question to answer due to keeping balance at the same time. Dracula has now lost three times in a row and in most cases it was due to being caught during the day and killed.

The game is among my favorite as it sure generates a lot of talk but I also find it quite anti-climactic to have spent 2 hours doing an artful job of dodging only to finally have to fall because the hunters have collected and saved all their events and items and then simply nailing drac to the wall during the day. In our last game they had saved 2 Hypnosis, two Good Lucks and each had a card that let them skip an encounter.

So they waited till they had all they needed and made sure I was not in a port. Used Hypnosis (I countered), used Hypnosis again (I countered, and then they countered), spent health to move to where hypnosis revealed me (they made sure they had 2 resolve), used the card that allowed them to discard an encounter, and each of the two hunters each carried two stakes. Each dropped an advance planning and it was no contest. I was slaughtered and there wasn't a dang thing I could do about it, now matter how good I had played.

Up to that point I had been dodging all over the place but newspapers kept revealing my trail and they took care of the vampires I had left behind. Encounters were what kept me alive up to that point with fog, bats and some minions I thought I might have a chance... That is until that stunt. It seems like a sure fire win.

With three losses in a row however as Dracula (3 of us having played him) we have decided to make large cities give either an item OR an event card, not both. Mina still gets that option thanks to her extra draw. We will see how it goes from there...

The last house rule we are considering is that Newspaper Reports only works from the third slot on (ie it doesn't reveal where he is OR the day previous). This still allows for a lot of deduction to happen but doesn't narrow him too tightly
 
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