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Fury of Dracula (second edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Strategy for Dracula and the Hunters rss

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Alex Rockwell
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My thoughts on strategy:


Dracula Strategy:

1) Start in Eastern Europe, on a small town, and stay there as long as you can. Only violate this rule if MULTIPLE hunters start in eastern europe. If one does, still go there, just dont start adjacent to them, and stick to small towns.

The +1 to minions is very helpful, as is the fact that there is a large mass of cities to move around in, with many connections per city. If forced out, you ideally want to head out into central europe, where your goal is to evade the hunters and if possible, reenter eastern europe.


2) On turn 1, play Dark Call, unless your hand is quite good. Quite good menaing a Vampire at least, and other useful stuff.

Getting better tiles is not the only advantage of turn 1 Dark call. A huge advantage is that if newspaper reports comes up turn 1, it does NOTHING, because it cant reveal your current location. A second advantage s that you only have 1 location used, where they can find you.

3) On turns 2 and 3, move to an adjacent small city, play a vampire, then play hide, and play a bats or fog (or failing that, a minion). This gets your vampire on the board asap, and then guards it. If they get to it 'barely in time', then your fog or bats off of the hide stalls them the turn. A minion is also a good guard, since you force them to kill it first.

4) Dont be afraid to put another vampire on your track 2-3 spaces after the first, in a good out of the way spot. Chances are they will get the first. You want a backup in there, because you NEED 2 points relatively early, because its much harder later when they are all over you all the time. If the first one gets through, thats great. Losing the second isnt a big deal, you got 2 points. And it means there are again 6 vampires in the bag to try and draw more.

5) The biggest advantage of minions is to stab with their knives and discard the hunters event cards. Making them discard a good event card is way better than damamge. And the knife is 6 initiative, and with +1 in eastern europe, has a great chance of winning the roll.

6) When locations go to your catacombs, you probably want to put your excess 'lame' encounters on them. Like wolves. Its a freebie hit and a new tile draw. Save stuff like bats, fog, and minions. Those are some of your best defenses.

7) Avoid the sea unless desperate. You really dont want to be fleeing by sea if you can avoid it, because you can get wrecked by stormy seas, putting you right back in the same zone you started. If you can flee in multiple directions, dont flee towards the sea. If you do flee to the sea, dont go to Italy. Its a trap. Spain is also a trap. You want to be in eastern europe. If you cant, you want to be in central europe. If not that, western europe. You need movement options.

8) Save your devilish power cards for hunter events that will really destroy you. Devilish power should be used only to avoid a loss or protect a win. For example: Hypnotism at a bad time. Stormy Seas that wrecks you. Hunter's good luck on your card that lets you get out of a terrible position, etc.

9) If it is nearing daytime, and they have almost caught you, let them catch you now! And then play escape as bat to run far away. This is far better than running a bit more and having them finally get you at dawn. If you are caught in the night, its ok. You have escape as bat. You have wolf form. You can get away, at least for a while. If you are cought in the day, you get staked to death by prepared hunters.

10) If they are closing in on you, plant a vampire in an out of the way spot, and then run quickly in the opposite direction. They'll probably all chase you, and could let the vampire slip through.

11) If you are almost to victory, only use a Devilish Power event on something that would cost you the win, or reuslt in your death. Like the card that lets them fight a vampire to reduce your score by 1.

12) I have tended to reach 6 points through a combination of 1 vampire matured, 1 kill, and 2 days. Dont expect to be able to run and hide and survive for much more than 2 days. You almost certainly wont make it to 4. That means you need a combination of two kills/vampires. Kills are most likely going to occur due to repeated stabbings by agents in eastern europe.




Hunter Strategies:

1) Place Mina Harker and Lord Godalming in eastern europe, on small cities, to start the game. Lord Godalming is good in combat in eastern europe vs agents, which is essential, and Mina can scout the small towns and still draw items. Each of them should move to big cities for a couple turns, and then start hitting the small cities (unless Drac has been revealed somewhere else by then).

2) Draw as many event cards as you can. 5 a turn early on with Mina's bonus being an event is great. You need to dig for newspapaer reports ASAP, and acquire things like stormy seas, long day, good luck, sense of emergency, and hypnotism to find, and trap dracula. Unless Mina is hitting small towns, draw an extra event, not item. You fill up to 3 items very fast, but 3 events takes longer due to some events being play immediately or dracula. The only time to not draw events when you can is if you are right on Dracula's trail and you DONT have good luck cards to counter something like Evasion.

3) Save good luck cards for Dracula events that are devastating. Not just good. Or for countering Dracula's Devilish Power that counters your best events. Play the counterspell war. Those hunters holding your great event cards should be wary of minions with knives (i.e. all of them). Saving a weak card to discard if you get stabbed, can be good if you have other very strong cards.

4) Use resolve as sense of emergency to teleport onto Dracula with a prepared character (or to block the only escape route).
Your goal in the early game is to stock up cards and get on his trail, so that when day 2 rolls around you are in position to start attacking Dracula, teleporting people onto him with sense of emergency, playing Long Day to keep the night away, countering his (strong) cards that would get him away with Good Luck, preventing his sea escape with stromy seas, and finally killing him. If you are on him, and it becomes night, Dracula will slip away with things like wolf form and escape as bat. And combat becomes ineffective when he can just play escape as mist.

5) Try to get 2 anti dracula weapons and 1 anti minion weapon per character. Pistol is best against minions (due to +1) and then Rifle. Stake and Crucifix are great against Dracula. One shot items like sacred bullets and holy water should be tossed in favor of permanent items, most of the time. (Though holy water DOES prevent escape as mist from working!).

6) Heavenly hosts should be placed in locations to block entire areas of the continent. Best is to get two and block of eastern europe from central europe. Also good is to block the city in spain that is the only road route out of spain, and to block the north part of italy so it cant be entered/left. If someone with a host isnt near eastern europe, use it in a good location near them, so they can get back to 3 good combat items. If they can get to eastern europe and block it though, thats amazing. With the sanctified ground event (or whatever its called), I would recommend placing it in to block one of the two routes out of eastern europe, in most cases. (If you are chasing dracula of course, and it can block his path, thats amazing).

7) Killing Dracula's placed vampires and not getting killed are priorities, because Dracula will win by doing about 2 of these, and lose without doing 2 of them. If someone gets heavily wounded, they should almost certainly spend some time healing. The loss of a couple actions and a couple events to dracula isnt nearly as bad as 2 dracula points.

8) Expect that when you get to attacking dracula, he will have many defenses. Bats, Fogs, and Minions protecting him, event cards to stop you from enteringthe battle, push you off of him to nearby locations, cards to move twice, or make night come faster, or all sorts of things like that. Thats why you need to be well stocked on good events, have your Good Luck cards, and use your resolve to teleport a war away hunter into the action to cover all the spaces Drac could move.


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Daniel Edwards
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Good article. This largely mirrors the conclusions I've come to as well.

In particular, at the start it seemed liked dracula could win just by keeping away from the hunters for long enough but its becomes evident that time is on the hunters side rather than dracula. On or before the time the hunters hit 3 resolve they usually seem to have ammassed a critical mass of events to force through a "combo-kill" with a reveal card and sense of emergency (with good luck backup to prevent devilish power).

I also agree that dracula really has to try and attacks the hunters events through the appropriate encounter chits (or just be killing a hunter).

A few points of difference though:

- Im not sure how often you will get away with maturing an early vampire in the way described. In the initial turns the first effective newspaper reports finds your start location (and you know they will draw it sooner rather than later). Dropping a vampire in the initial turns is so obvious that the hunters have a big incentive to check out your early locations very carefully. I think nasy chits may often turn out be better.

- I think your underestimating dracula's need to use the sea. I see it as crucial for several reasons. One of the main ones is that its simply too hard to lose the hunters when your running around the land. At best you simply lose them for a turn or two until they pick up the trail again. You can't mature vampires in that scenario. Careful hunters will backtrack your trail to ensure that you can't mature any vampires.

Going to sea creates a break in your trail because the hunters don't reveal your sea locations. Newspaper reports just show locations that they already know you've gone to. Going to sea forces the hunters to spread out and check places you could be rather than converge like they can on land. This results in wasted turns for the hunters and they can't draw events and items if they are sailing around.

In particular the atlantic sea is the most flexible space on the board. If you embark to the atlantic sea and move one sea zone you can be in pretty much any port in the western side of the board.

Once you've lost them you can disembark, go inland and start dropping vampires.

While stormy sea is a huge pain it is only 1 card. They may not draw it (particular in the early game). You may be able to make them discard it. You may be able to counter it. They may not (again in the early game) have the resolve to take full advantage of it.

- While Eastern europe is great its too small to run around in for very long. If your escape route by land to the west gets blocked it can also be fairly difficult to get out of as sea movement is fairly predictable (whereas if you sea move into say the atlantic they have to spread out all over the place to find you).

- Newspaper reports doesn't work on day 1 anyway. If you dark call on turn 2 then it doesn't work on day 2.

- From the midgame dracula should always try and keep at least one fog chit in hand in case of hypnosis / sense of emergancy shenanigans. They may have the cancel event but if not you may be able to buy enough time to get away.

- While killing a hunter is great its a risky business for dracula to do it himself. If they are weak great but even a night a battle with a well armed hunter seems like a bad idea unless your pretty sure your going to lose the game otherwise.

- The hunters really need to know when to stop drawing event cards. In particular continuing to draw events when your in "chase mode" often seems counter productive.

- While heavenly hosts are great for blocking off areas of the board mina in particular might want to hold on to one. As long as she does its practically impossible for dracula to bite or kill her and prevents dracula from pulling out a long shot victory by getting that last 2 points.
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Alex Rockwell
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myopia wrote:
- Im not sure how often you will get away with maturing an early vampire in the way described. In the initial turns the first effective newspaper reports finds your start location (and you know they will draw it sooner rather than later). Dropping a vampire in the initial turns is so obvious that the hunters have a big incentive to check out your early locations very carefully. I think nasy chits may often turn out be better.


Interesting. I've found that once they are on my trail it gets pretty hard to mature one, because they are all over my locations.

Quote:

- I think your underestimating dracula's need to use the sea. I see it as crucial for several reasons. One of the main ones is that its simply too hard to lose the hunters when your running around the land. At best you simply lose them for a turn or two until they pick up the trail again. You can't mature vampires in that scenario. Careful hunters will backtrack your trail to ensure that you can't mature any vampires


I guess I am paranoid of the sea, because the times I've seen dracula lose, it was due to stormy seas.

Quote:

Going to sea creates a break in your trail because the hunters don't reveal your sea locations. Newspaper reports just show locations that they already know you've gone to. Going to sea forces the hunters to spread out and check places you could be rather than converge like they can on land. This results in wasted turns for the hunters and they can't draw events and items if they are sailing around.


There is money trail however...
I guess we just kept drawing the anti-sea stuff.

Quote:

- While Eastern europe is great its too small to run around in for very long. If your escape route by land to the west gets blocked it can also be fairly difficult to get out of as sea movement is fairly predictable (whereas if you sea move into say the atlantic they have to spread out all over the place to find you).


The best part of it is that if in trouble, you can often hide under a minion effectively. And hwen they run into your minions they can take lots of damage/lose events.

Quote:

- Newspaper reports doesn't work on day 1 anyway. If you dark call on turn 2 then it doesn't work on day 2.


I guess I was counting from turn 0 as your starting location, since you dont get to do anything else on that turn.

Quote:

- From the midgame dracula should always try and keep at least one fog chit in hand in case of hypnosis / sense of emergancy shenanigans. They may have the cancel event but if not you may be able to buy enough time to get away.


I completely agree. Bats is good defense too.

Quote:

- While killing a hunter is great its a risky business for dracula to do it himself. If they are weak great but even a night a battle with a well armed hunter seems like a bad idea unless your pretty sure your going to lose the game otherwise.


Definitely. I certainly didnt mean to advocate trying to kill hunters with Dracula. Minions do it well. I'd only attempt to kill a hunter at night, if they werent very well armed. And then, I tend to alternate between escape as bat and attacks, to try and get the free double move.

Quote:

- The hunters really need to know when to stop drawing event cards. In particular continuing to draw events when your in "chase mode" often seems counter productive.


Yes, however, there have been times when as dracula, I was being chased, had 5 points, knew they couldnt kill me by the time day came, and was only afraid of cards like long day, good luck, and 'fight a vampire to make dracula lose a point'.

Quote:

- While heavenly hosts are great for blocking off areas of the board mina in particular might want to hold on to one. As long as she does its practically impossible for dracula to bite or kill her and prevents dracula from pulling out a long shot victory by getting that last 2 points.


But, another alternative would be to not play combat cards that allow a bite result.
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John Gjertsen
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[q="Alexfrog"

5) The biggest advantage of minions is to stab with their knives and discard the hunters event cards. Making them discard a good event card is way better than damamge. And the knife is 6 initiative, and with +1 in eastern europe, has a great chance of winning the roll.

[/q]

I've scoured the rules and have yet to find where minions successfully inflicting knife wounds results in a discarded event. Is that maybe a rule that Fantasy Flight did away with in the new release? Or am I blind as a (pun intended) bat?

John
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Matthew Fisk
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It is on the knife card for the minion itself, not in the rules.

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Matthew M
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gjertsen wrote:
[
I've scoured the rules and have yet to find where minions successfully inflicting knife wounds results in a discarded event. Is that maybe a rule that Fantasy Flight did away with in the new release? Or am I blind as a (pun intended) bat?



Have you checked the knife card itself?

-MMM
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Michael Daumen
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The best place I found for placing a vampire was in a city on the edge of the board, especially if there are routes that bypass this city. Anything that forces a hunter to choose between a shorter route to Dracula or investigating the encouter.
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Eric C

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Dark call cannot be played on turn 1
 
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