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Fury of Dracula (second edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Fog/Saboteur/Bats encounter played after maturing an Ambush rss

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Denis Utochkin
Russia
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Rulebook seems to be slightly ambiguous about how the slowing-down encounters (Fog, Bats and Saboteur) affect a Hunter when played by Dracula after he had matured an Ambush encounter.

In the description of the Ambush encounter it is stated that "The Hunter must immediately resolve the encounter as though he had encountered it".

The rules also state the following for all three slowing-down encounters:
"The Hunter's turn immediately ends (no further encounters, including Dracula)".

That leads me to the question: how do the Bats, Saboteur and Fog act if played in Dracula's turn after maturing an Ambush? They all must end Hunter's turn, which they cannot do immediately, since the last Hunter's turn is over and the next one is yet to come. Does this mean that, by playing these encounters that way, Dracula limits their effects to the following?

Bats: Dracula controls Hunter's movement in the Hunter's nearest turn.
Saboteur: Hunter must discard one item or Event card of their choice.
Fog: Hunter must remain in their current location (no restrictions are placed on Hunter's Action phase and ability of other Hunters to enter or leave the city).

What are your thoughts on this matter?
 
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dave
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That sounds exactly right to me. Otherwise you are delaying the effect of the encounter, which contradicts the Ambush instructions.
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Denis Utochkin
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Well, maybe that's how it was intended, but I have a strong suspicion that the special case which these three encounters present wasn't thought of when drawing up the rulebook. It's just that it seems unfair that Dracula is not able to play these encounters to their full force when maturing an Ambush.

There are certain situations when slowing Hunters down is the best thing Dracula can do with his matured Ambush, but his ability to do so is extremely limited by the "resolve immediately" rule. Thankfully, FoD gets only better after certain tweaks are made, so in our group we now play these encounters differently when they are inflicted upon a Hunter by an Ambush:

Fog deprives the Hunter both of movement and action phase in the nearest turn and forbids other Hunters (whether their turn takes place before or after the turn of the Hunter caught in Fog). The effects fully wear off on the next turn.

Bats stay the same (Dracula controls Hunter's movement phase in the nearest turn).

Saboteur strips the Hunter not only of one Item/Event card, but of his/her movement and action phases as well.
 
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Klaus
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Frankly, if you ever get to mature an Ambush, you should keep a more significant encounter on hand for that.

Hitting the lowest health / worst-equipped hunter with a Minion or Assassin is good. Hoax on a hunter in Western Europe who has 3 events is good. Or even a Thief one someone you know is carrying a good event, or Peasants on a well-equipped hunter in Eastern Europe.

If you have Seduction, you can try to instantly kill Mina with a New Vampire if the Ambush matures at night.

But when all's said, Ambush is rather unimpressive. In over 50 games played on the forum here, I'm not entirely sure if we even saw one matured Ambush. Vampires, sure, and even a few Desecrated Soils, but Ambush usually only gets played when you have nothing else that's maturable, and in that case, Dracula usually doesn't go out of his way to protect it so it almost never matures.
 
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Zsolt Nagy
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As a slight balancing to give Ambush a bit more power as a houserule we do not allow Forewarned and Secret Weapon to be played against an encounter delivered by a matured Ambush.
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Denis Utochkin
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to Klaus:

There is no denying all those encounters generally work much better for Dracula when he decides what to do with his matured Ambush. And Ambush + New Vampire + Seduction is, of course, one of the deadliest, although also seldom used, weapons at Dracula's disposal.

That being said, several times during our games a situation has arisen when Dracula was surrounded in broad daylight and yet was able to mature his Ambush (the Hunters may not have cared about clearing the about-to-mature encounter due to recently played Hypnosis or just too eager to kill the hateful Undead). He could play a Minion or Assassin, but the best he could possibly achieve by that -- and not without much luck, too (or should I say Devilish power?) -- is send one Hunter to the Hospital of St. Joseph and St. Mary, leaving the Count with two or three more battles to live through. In that unlikely setting, in which Dracula has still found himself more than once during our games, the best thing to do would be to enter a city with one of the Hunters (there's a good chance it will be either a seaport or at least a city with several possible escape routes), try not to get a stake through your chest in that one battle and then play Fog on the city you're standing in, thus ensuring none of the Hunters will be able to fight you during the whole turn. When Dracula's turn comes again, it's likely that 1. the night has come at last, 2. the Count can jump on a boat or 3. at least go to a location where Hunters might not find him in the first place or which only one Hunter can reach.

It might seem to you that it's too much thought given to such a (generally) useless encounter, but you'd be surprised how often in our group Dracula finds himself with only Ambush to mature at hand, even though we normally extend his hand to six encounters.

to Zsolt:

That's something we did not think of; it really seems like a nice idea! Although one might argue that by doing so you are practically depriving Mina of any hope of making it through the New Vampire + Seduction combo, making it only a matter of whether or not Hunters have a Good luck card laid in store.
 
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Zsolt Nagy
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Having Seduction + New Vampire in hand, plus an Ambush matured is a long shot to gather all. Plus if the maturing happens during daytime it is fully useless. Dracula might plan with the day/night cycle somewhat, but Hunters tend to throw the wrench into it with a Long Day. So it takes a lot of luck and a lot of planning together to succeed. I don't feel that this option is a gamebreaker.

Encounter maturing itself is not something which happens quite often in our games. Practically Dracula's only chance to mature an encounter is at the beginning of the game, or after an Evasion. The hunters -at least in my group- are usually keen to stop a potential New Vampire from maturing (but Desecrated Soil can also be quite devastating), so they try to hunt down all the encounters. If it turns out to be Ambush, even better for them.
 
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Denis Utochkin
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You do not need to have a New Vampire in hand to play it after Ambush is matured -- if that were the case, it would have been more advantageous to just try to mature this Vampire instead of an Ambush in the first place. Although I would say that with a Seduction card in hand Ambush becomes more powerful than New Vampire encounter: it does not show up after Hypnosis is played, thus blunting Hunters' vigilance, and it allows Dracula not to worry about the location of the encounter, since it is next to impossible to arrange everything so that Mina steps into the city with a Vampire in it.

As to the timing, seafaring helps quite a lot, and Dracula can usually calculate the right moment to place either Vampire or Ambush so that they will mature at or after midnight, thus counting in possible Hunters' meddling with the day/night track. Moreover, the Long Day cards are usually played in predictable situations, what makes planning ahead of time in which phase the encounter will mature even easier.

Hunters in our group usually clean up Count's trail quite effectively, too, but may sometimes choose to risk leaving the last card untouched if they are positively sure that no Vampire will come into being any time soon.

Apart from the start of the game and after Evasion is played, Dracula has a good chance of maturing an encounter after playing the Wolf form + Unearthly swiftness combo or after boarding a ship and going ashore two or three turns later, leaving the Hunters with as much seaports to check as possible.
 
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H-B-G
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werbliben wrote:
You do not need to have a New Vampire in hand to play it after Ambush is matured


That isn't true, the rules are specific that the encounter played when Ambush matures must come from your encounter hand.
 
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Denis Utochkin
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But!.. Uh. Now it gets interesting! The thing is, in the Russian rulebook the description of the Ambush encounter is specific of the contrary. I have checked it now, and it certainly allows the Dracula player to draw any encounter from the encounter pool, not use one from his hand. I somehow doubt it was a simple typo, because it makes Ambush reasonably powerful compared to playing encounters only from hand. I wonder what do the rules say about it in versions of the game other than English and Russian ones.
 
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Klaus
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If a hunter triggers in normally, Dracula gets to draw an encounter from the pool. If it matures, he plays one from his hand.

German rules match the English ones.
 
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Zsolt Nagy
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If Dracula does not have a New Vampire encounter in his hand at start, he often does Dark Call in his first round. But that means one turn (and two blood) lost, so it doesn't necessary worth it.

I think the main benefit of Ambush is the versatility. As the game starts to unfold and the Hunters gather cards Dracula might guess which encounter would hurt the Hunters the most and save it for the Ambush in his hands. Seduction+New Vampire+nighttime is brutal, as we discussed, but an unexpected Minion (especially in Eastern Europe) always could cause much havoc, too. Dropping Rats, Saboteur or Thief on Hunter without Dogs is given, too. Hoax and Peasants can help Dracula to seriously weaken a card-fat Hunter, making it a prime target for combat. If nothing else, a Fog or Bat can slow the Hunter down which could be a (un-)lifesaver during daytime. It all depends, how the game goes, and if Dracula does not have the perfect encounter in his hands when Ambush is placed, there is always a chance to draw it later.
 
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