Andrew Simpkins
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- Dracula vs. Hunter (Daytime) -

Conventional wisdom is that you should not engage in combat during the day -- your limited powers make you more vulnerable and less lethal -- and for the most part that is true. However, if you find yourself against a poorly armed Hunter that's already low on health then it may be worth going for the kill, even during the day. What is poorly armed? Well, unless desperate, I'd never go up against a Hunter with a Stake or Crucifix. Holy Water and Sacred Bullets can cause some damage too, but at least they're one shot items at best. The Knife is also a concern, but clever play should allow you to get the kill before taking too much damage. The Pistol, Rifle, and Heavenly Host cannot damage you, so these should be taken advantage of. On the other hand, you can't inflict any damage against a Hunter who plays any of these cards which makes them defensive problems.


CLAWS
Using your Claws will be the only way you can inflict damage on the Hunters during the day. It's usually not as powerful as the Bite attacks you can get at night, but it can inflict between '1' and '2' damage depending on what the Hunter plays. If the Hunter is already low on health, it can be enough. Claws will not work against Heavenly Host, Pistol, or Rifle. Defensively, using your Claws typically leaves you open to a lot of damage. Claws really only defend particulary well against Sacred Bullets. You'll still take '1' point of damage, but that's better than the other options.

USE: Sacred Bullets
HOLD: Heavenly Host, Pistol, Rifle.



DODGE
Usually, you'll be using a combination of Dodge and Escape(Man) to get out of combat as quickly as possible. However, if you've found yourself in a favorable situation then Dodge can be useful with Claws to achieve a quick kill. If the Hunter only has one really threatening weapon, your goal is to play Dodge when he plays that weapon and then hit him with Claws the next turn. Dodge minimizes or negates the damage against the Crucifix, Holy Water, and the Knife. The Hunter's have two attacks against Dodge that you need to worry about. The first is the Stake which provides a kill against anything Dracula can play during the day. The other is Sacred Bullets which inflicts damage against Claws and Escape(Man), but inflicts a kill when winning the combat roll against Dodge. In both of these situations you'll be better off trying to play Claws to inflict damage or simply running away.

USE: Crucifix, Holy Water, Knife
HOLD: Sacred Bullets, Stake, Escape



ESCAPE (MAN)
Most of the time your goal in a daytime situation will be to play this card and win a combat roll to end the battle as quickly as possible. If you win the roll, then the battle is over. You can also escape when a Hunter plays Dodge, Heavenly Host, or Escape even if you lose the combat roll. The one time when you might want to reconsider playing Escape (Man) is when you suspect the Hunter will play Knife. Escape (Man) does not defend well against Knife, and if you lose the combat roll then you will take a kill. In this situation it's far better to play Dodge, and often it will be better to play Claws.

USE: Dodge, Heavenly Host
HOLD: Knife
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Andrew Simpkins
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Re: Combat strategy for Hunter vs. Dracula (daytime) encount
- Hunter vs. Dracula (Daytime) -

During the day, Dracula's powers are limited to Claws, Dodge, and Escape(Man). This gives the Hunters an extreme advantage. However, if you aren't properly armed this advantage will disappear allowing Dracula to easily run away or, even worse, kill the Hunter. So what weapons does the Hunter need? First, you can forget about the Pistol and Rifle that work so well against Dracula's Agents -- they are purely defensive now. So is the Heavenly Host. Holy Water and Sacred Bullets are great, but you'll only get one shot with them so you'll need to have backup weapons. The ideal weapons are the Stake and the Crucifix. The Knife can also work surprisingly well if you play it at the right times.


PUNCH
A Hunter's Punch cannot hurt Dracula and it opens you up to receive damage from a Claws attack. It should rarely be used. A situation may arise where your primary weapon is inaccessible because you just used it, you have no other weapons available, and you don't want to Dodge because you think Dracula will play Escape(Man) and get away. In this case, Punch can attempt to keep Dracula in combat so you can use your primary weapon next turn. Usually, you'll just want to use a better weapon.

USE: Escape(Man) if you have no other weapons available.
HOLD: Claws



PISTOL
Like the Punch, the Pistol cannot harm Dracula. It is an excellent defensive play though, especially with its +1 combat roll bonus. Claws will be unable to damage you, and the +1 bonus makes it even harder for Escape(Man) to succeed. If you lack a good offensive option, play the Pistol and take advantage of the +1 bonus.

USE: Claws, Escape(Man)
HOLD: If you have weapons that can actually inflict damage.



RIFLE
The Rifle also fails to do any damage against Dracula, and it serves as a defensive option much like the Pistol. Instead of offering the +1 bonus of the Pistol, the Rifle inflicts a repel on a successful combat roll against Claws or Escape(Man). During the day, repelling a Claws attack is completely pointless. Repelling after an Escape(Man) attack is slightly more useful because you know that Dracula will be forced to play Dodge next round. You could then take advantage of that and play Sacred Bullets. All in all though, the Rifle is not very useful in this situation.

USE: Escape(Man) if you lack better options.
HOLD: If you have weapons that can actually inflict damage.



HEAVENLY HOST
This item should be considered a defensive escape. It defends completely against all of Dracula's attacks, and it always escapes when it wins the combat roll. If you need to get away from Dracula then there's no better card to play. During the day, however, it's usually Dracula who's trying to escape, which makes this card somewhat useless.

USE: To escape if it looks like you might be killed.
HOLD: The rest of the time.



HOLY WATER
Holy Water can inflict '2' or '3' damage on Dracula with a successful combat roll, and it works well in any situation. Unfortunately, it's also a one time use item. The Hunter really needs to weigh the situation and figure out if it's worth using now or saving until later. If you lack better weapons it might be worth trying to hit Dracula before he escapes. But if you have a Stake or Crucifix or even a Knife it might be better to use them instead. Holy Water can also be used to cure Bite wounds, so maybe you want to save it for that. Holy Water cannot be used against Dracula's Agents, so there's no point in saving it for that. Finally, Holy Water can be even more useful against Dracula during the night, so you might want to save it for that situation.

USE: Anytime (see above)
HOLD: Anytime (see above)



SACRED BULLETS
Sacred Bullets are one time use items as well, and will be just as situational. Should the Hunter use them now or save them for later? Sacred Bullets have the nice feature of inflicing a kill on a successful combat roll if Dracula plays Dodge. Of course, if you have a Stake then it can do that just as well. Unlike Holy Water, Sacred Bullets are very effective against Agents, so in some situations it might be worth holding onto them for that.

USE: Dodge
HOLD: Anytime (see above)



KNIFE
With proper timing the Knife can be a highly effective weapon against Dracula. It's at its best when played against Escape(Man), as it can inflict a kill in this situation. It also does a respectable '2' damage against Claws while only allowing a potential '1' damage in return. The big fear is playing the Knife against Dodge, when it will inflict no damage. But if Dracula's Dodge is unavailable, the Knife is always a solid play.

USE: Escape(Man), Claws
HOLD: Dodge



CRUCIFIX
The Crucifix is one of the best weapons to use against Dracula. It inflicts damage no matter what Dracula plays, and it is strong defensively as well. Against Dracula's Claws it will inflict '3' damage while allowing only '1' damage in return. It's a good mix of offense and defense, and it is the perfect weapon for a Hunter who needs to watch his health.

USE: Anytime
HOLD: Dodge, Escape(Man) if you have a Stake.



STAKE
The Stake is arguably the best weapon to use against Dracula. It wouldn't hurt to have two of them so you can use them every round. The Stake scores a kill against Dracula on any successful combat roll -- no matter what Dracula plays. Defensively, it's not quite as good as the Crucifix. It gives up '2' damage against Claws instead of just '1'. But the offensive boost is almost always worth it. If you only have one Stake and you have to alternate with another weapon, you'll typically want to try to use the Stake against Dodge since most other weapons don't do well against it.

USE: Everytime
HOLD: Almost never
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Nice strategy tips! Fury of Dracula is one of my favorite games these days and I really like these types of articles.

Thanks! *tosses a few *
 
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Re: Combat strategy for Hunter vs. Dracula (daytime) encount
Note that Dracula's options are more limited than what is implied here.

Since Dodge can not be played in the first round, and no card can be played twice in a row, combat with Dracula will be quite predictable in the day time. This is especially true if Drac is after converting a low-health Hunter into vampire points. He only has two cards which must always be played in the same sequence.

Things will go like this:

Claw, Dodge, Claw, Dodge, repeat until Drac has had enough.

Knowing this, any hunter with any equipment (doesn't matter which) will be able to time their play so as to maximize the hurt on Drac or minimize the hurt on themselves, depending on what they decide their objective is.

To make the point another way, what you have put down under USE and HOLD will be irrelavant if Drac is trying to "go for the kill" in the day time.

I personally will never "go for a kill" in the daytime unless I have a good chance to win the game. The return is too uncertain, the combat sequence is entirely predictable and the final result all turns on the die rolls, barring card play. Add that to the fact that you have just revealed your position and every hunter will soon be descending on you like sharks to fresh blood, makes attacking during the day nothing more than a desparate gamble.

 
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Andrew Simpkins
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Re: Combat strategy for Hunter vs. Dracula (daytime) encount
Excellent point. This makes the Pistol, Rifle, and Heavenly Host far more valuable than I initially thought. The opportunities to attack and kill a Hunter during the day are even fewer.

If a Hunter has a defensive weapon (Pistol, Rifle, HH) then they should be able to synchronize them against Claws and fully deny Dracula the ability to do damage no matter who wins the combat rolls. This will force a stalemate at best, and if they have a weapon that damages against Dodge (Crucifix or Stake) then Dracula will have to run.

If he's pinned by a Pistol he does have the option to play Escape(Man) instead of Claws and hope to lose the combat roll. This would allow him to break the sequence and attack with Claws while the Pistol is down. This won't work against a Rifle (which repels) or Heavenly Host (which escapes) though.

I see four situations you can run into:

1. Hunter is completely unarmed. Go ahead and attack. Punch can't hurt you and Dodge can't defend against you. Inflict as much damage as possible before the Hunter runs away.

2. Hunter only has a defensive weapon (Pistol, Rifle, HH). You can attack, but you'll be lucky to inflict more than 2-3 points of damage. Ideally, you'll get lucky on the first round and then maybe later you can bluff with the Escape(Man). If the Hunter is low enough on health, it may be worth it.

3. Hunter has only offensive weapons (Crucifix, Stake, Holy Water, Sacred Bullets). You have a chance to inflict damage every other round, but you'll probably be taking more than your share in return. It might be worth it if he only has a few points of health, but don't simply trade damage with a Hunter.

4. Hunter has offensive weapons and a defensive weapon. If the Hunter has one point of health it might be worth a gamble, but otherwise run away.
 
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