Andrew Simpkins
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- Dracula vs. Hunter (Night) -

CLAWS
During the day, Claws are your only offensive option but at night you have several. Claws won't ever score a Bite or destroy your the Hunter's weapon (like Strength), but they still retain some limited use. When you've taken damage during the last round of combat they'll become your only offensive option. They are the best attack to make against Holy Water -- though Dodging or Escaping might be even wiser. They are also the only attack that can affect a Hunter's Dodge. If Strength isn't available to try to break a Crucifix then Claws can be a good second option to inflict damage, but because of the '3' damage you open yourself up to in return you might be better off Dodging. Defensively, Claws generally protect you more than Mesmerize and Fangs, though they aren't quite as good as Strength. Good for a few occasions, Claws shouldn't see that much use.

USE: Dodge
HOLD: Pistol, Rifle, Heavenly Host



STRENGTH
Dracula's Strength attack has the very useful special ability of breaking a Hunter's Crucifix, Knife, Rifle, or Stake on a successful combat roll. Depending on the Hunter's inventory, this can quickly change the momentum of the battle. In addition, Strength is defensively the best of Dracula's attack options. It defends well against most weapons, but most importantly it's one of the two actions that defends against a Stake attack -- Escape(Mist) is the other. This is the card to use against Dracula's most feared weapon. If you win the combat roll, then you break the Stake. If you lose the combat roll, then you escape the battle unharmed.

USE: Stake, Rifle, Crucifix, Knife
HOLD: Dodge, Heavenly Host



FANGS
Of Dracula's two bite attacks, Fangs has slightly worse defensive stats. It also fails to score a bite against the Stake -- inflicting a hefty '3' damage instead. To make up for this, Fangs has the highest initiative (4) of any of Dracula's attacks. It's also the only attack that can land a bite against Punch -- though if the Hunter is well-armed, you probably won't see much of that. After a successful Bite attack, Fangs allows you to escape as a Bat -- a valuable hit and run effect. More than Dracula's other options, Fangs are most useful when you feel you can predict the Hunter's next attack and you need to make a getaway.

USE: Escape, Pistol, Punch, Sacred Bullets
HOLD: Dodge, Heavenly Host, Crucifix, Rifle



MESMERIZE
Arguably the stronger of Dracula's two bite attacks, Mesmerize has slightly better defensive stats -- though it still leaves you very vulnerable. Compared to Fangs, Mesmerize has the more useful ability to inflict a bite on Knife and Stake attacks. After a bite, its special ability forces the Hunter to discard all of his Item cards. If the Hunter is alone and you have the chance to attack again soon then this can quickly lead to a kill. However, if the Hunter has armed friends nearby then this won't do that much to solve your immediate problems.

USE: Escape, Knife, Pistol, Sacred Bullets, Stake
HOLD: Anytime else.



DODGE
Due to the +1 bonus that affects the next round of combat, Dodge is a card that can be useful in almost any situation. After being repelled or taking damage, Dodge is often the best of a few options. Be careful though, because a Hunter with Sacred Bullets may try to anticipate this and score a kill. Generally though, Dodge is a great defensive card. It won't work against Stake, however, so go with Strength or Escape(Mist) instead. When Dracula is on the offensive, it can be a particularly good play against Rifle and Heavenly Host since Dracula doesn't have an attack that can inflict damage against these cards anyway. It's also great protection against the Crucifix if you don't have Strength available to break the item.

USE: Heavenly Host, Rifle, Crucifix
HOLD: Sacred Bullets, Escape



ESCAPE (MAN)
During the night, this card is pretty much useless. If you want to run away, you'll always want to use one of the other two Escape cards. Escape(Man) opens you up to the most damage if you fail, and offers none of the advantages of the other two escape cards.

USE: Never
HOLD: Always



ESCAPE (MIST)
This is the escape card to use if you need to get out of combat immediately. Like all the escape cards, Escape(Mist) ends the battle on a successful combat roll. But what makes it really powerful is that it also ends the battle on any failed combat roll unless your opponent played Holy Water. In other words, if they don't play Holy Water and win the combat roll, then the battle is automatically over after playing this card. This makes Dracula particularly hard to kill during the night. The problem is that Escape(Mist) doesn't help you get the Hunters off your trail like Escape(Bat). If you are surrounded by a group of Hunters and daytime is approaching and you don't have another good escape plan, then Escape(Mist) will only solve your problems in the short term.

USE: Almost anytime
HOLD: Holy Water



ESCAPE (BAT)
While not the nearly guaranteed success of Escape(Mist), Escape(Bat) can be almost essential to shaking the Hunters off your trail. On a successful combat roll it allows you to essentially teleport up to two spaces away and leave no trail. On the downside, you open yourself up to much more damage than with Escape(Mist). Knife, Crucifix, and Sacred Bullets can no injure you and Stake can inflict a Kill. Also remember that Fangs can activate this ability too if you win a combat roll against Escape, Pistol, Punch, or Sacred Bullets. So if you opponent is lightly armed, consider trying to score a bite before teleporting away.

USE: Almost anytime
HOLD: Escape, Pistol, Punch, Sacred Bullets -- if you can play Fangs instead.
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Andrew Simpkins
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Re: Combat strategy for Hunter vs. Dracula (night) encounter
- Hunter vs. Dracula (Night) -

PUNCH
Punch rarely hurts Dracula, and when it does it isn't very much. Combine that with Punch's big vulnerability to Fangs and Strength, and you have a card that you hopefully won't have to use very often. It also works terrible against Escape(Bat), failing to keep Dracula in combat even if you win the combat roll. It does have one good use though. It can be a great surprise play against Mesmerize since it deals out '1' damage if you win the combat roll, and takes no damage in return if you lose it. It's a risk though, so you should only try it if you are fairly certain.

USE: Mesmerize
HOLD: Fangs, Strength, Claws, Escape(Bat)



PISTOL
As during the day, firearms don't hurt Dracula, so they play more of a defensive role. The Pistol, however, loses much of its usefulness because most of Dracula's new night attacks work very well against it. Fangs and Mesmerize will both score a dreaded Bite. Strength is a bit less of a concern. It will inflict '1' damage, but curiously won't destroy the Pistol as well. The Pistol protects completely against Claws, so they are no concern. The Pistol is most useful when you need its +1 bonus to prevent Dracula from winning the combat roll, particularly against Escape(Bat) or Dodge to a much lesser extent. Just be careful about getting caught with a Fangs or Mesmerize counter-attack.

USE: Escape(Bat)
HOLD: Fangs, Mesmerize



RIFLE
Again, firearms don't hurt Dracula and can only play a defensive role. The Rifle does a much more thorough job of this than the Pistol. It completely protects you from taking bites or damage from all of Dracula's attacks. Offensively, while it will never inflict damage, it will repel against everything but Dodge and Escape(Mist). This will quickly narrow an aggressive Dracula's options and put him on the defensive, and it can also create an opening for a safe Escape. The Hunter's only concern is against a successful Strength attack. While it won't inflict any damage, it will break the Rifle.

USE: Claws, Fangs, Mesmerize -- if you need to play defensively.
HOLD: Strength



DODGE
Dodge is essential when you are on the defensive. It defends well against everything except Claws, which it allows only '1' damage on a failed combat roll. You'll typically alternate Dodge with Escape or Heavenly Host when you need to get away from Dracula and his bite. On the offensive, its usefulness will vary. If you have several good weapons then you'll probably just alternate between them, attempting to pile up the damage as quickly as possible. But if you really have only one good weapon, it will often be more useful to mix in Dodge instead of something weak and defensively vulnerable like Punch. Dodge can also be a good play against Strength since it prevents Dracula from breaking any of your weapons.

USE: Strength
HOLD: When you have better options.



ESCAPE
During the night, Dracula has attacks that can significantly threaten a Hunter, so you may often find that you need to run away. The good news is that Escape will work against anything if you win the combat roll. The problem is that it defends very poorly against most of Dracula's attacks. By turning your back to Dracula you can make his job much easier. Fangs and Mesmerize will both inflict bites, and Strength and Claws will inflict '2' damage. It will often not be possible to orchestrate, but the best time to run will be when Dracula cannot attack and/or after gaining a +1 bonus from Dodge. Remember Dracula completely loses his ability to attack after being repelled, and he loses the ability to use Fangs, Mesmerize, and Strength if he took damage the previous round. Finally, if you have Heavenly Host then use that instead.

USE: Dodge
HOLD: Claws, Fangs, Mesmerize, Strength -- unless desperate.



HEAVENLY HOST
This card is like Escape except that it also defends against Dracula's attacks so that you don't have to worry about being hit in the back. If you win the combat roll then you escape, if you loss the combat roll you are protected from Dracula anyway. Combined with Dodge, your Hunter will be nearly untouchable by Dracula. Your only fear will be losing a combat roll if Dracula plays Claws against your Dodge. Usually, you'll want to be on the offensive against Dracula, but if you need to keep a Hunter alive then no card is as effective as Heavenly Host.

USE: Anytime on the defensive.
HOLD: Never on the defensive.



KNIFE
The Knife is a moderately effective weapon against Dracula. It loses some of its appeal during the night since it works best against Escape(Man) but Dracula has no reason to ever play that instead of Escape(Bat) or Escape(Mist). The Knife still inflicts a decent amount of damage (1-3) against each of Dracula's attacks as well as Escape(Bat). Defensively, it comes in about average. It limits damage from Fangs and Claws to just '1' point. It denies all damage from a Strength attack, but the Knife will be broken all the same. Its biggest weakness is against Mesmerize, which can inflict a bite wound. The Stake is better for its offensive potential, and the Crucifix is better for its defense, but the Knife can be an acceptable third option.

USE: Fangs, Claws, Escape(Bat)
HOLD: Mesmerize, Strength



CRUCIFIX
The Crucifix is a powerful combination of offense and defense. It's not the most damaging weapon you can play, but for the protection it offers in return it is hard to beat. Only Dracula's Claws can hurt you when you play the Crucifix, and that's only for '1' point of damage. Offensively, the Crucifix inflicts a few points of damage against nearly everything. It doesn't work against Escape(Mist) -- only Holy Water does that -- and it only repels against Mesmerize. There may sometimes be better options, but this is never a bad card to use against Dracula.

USE: Almost anytime.
HOLD: Rarely.



STAKE
The Stake is the most deadly weapon you have against Dracula. It inflicts kills against six out of eight of his cards on a successful roll. It's a poor defensive weapon, however, so you'll need to use it cautiously or you'll end up with a bite or worse. All of Dracula's attack cards will counter well if you lose the roll. Claws and Fangs inflict damage, while Mesmerize will get you a bite. Dracula's Strength is the most troublesome though. While it won't inflict any damage, it will break the Stake. To make matters worse, it is also one of the two cards that defends completely against Stake even if you win the combat roll -- Escape(Mist) is the other. Despite these drawbacks, you'll want to frequently use your Stake when you have it. It's offensive potential is too great. Just hold onto it when you think Dracula will play Strength.

USE: Almost anytime.
HOLD: Strength



HOLY WATER
Dracula has no cards that can protect against Holy Water -- it inflicts damage on any successful combat roll. It does its best damage against Dracula's attack cards, but it will still inflict some damage against a Dodge or Escape attempt. The best feature of Holy Water is that it is the only card that can prevent an escape if Dracula plays Escape(Mist). Against any other card Dracula will be gone for sure, whether he wins the combat roll or not. But Holy Water (and a successful combat roll) can keep Dracula in combat so you can inflict more damage. Finally, Holy Water defends very well against nearly everything. Unfortunately, it is a one time use item, but unless you have several better weapons you'll probably want to use it now -- preferably when Dracula tries to Escape(Mist). It does inflict '1' damage against Escape(Bat), but that's kind of a waste of its potential, so try to not use it against that card.

USE: Escape(Mist), Fangs, Mesmerize, Strength
HOLD: Escape(Bat)



SACRED BULLETS
Sacred Bullets inflict damage against everything except Escape(Mist). However, many of the damage scores aren't particularly high nor are Sacred Bullets a very defensive attack. It's easy to pick up a bite with these, and you generally won't be inflicting much damage in return. This is also a one time use item. The best time to use Sacred Bullets are when you anticipate Dracula to Dodge. You'll open yourself up to no damage and you will inflict a kill if you win the combat roll. Try to anticipate a Dodge after successfully repelling Dracula or inflicting damage on him the previous round since his offensive options will be limited. Otherwise, you might be better off holding on to these and using them against an Agent where they can be more effective.

USE: Dodge
HOLD: Fangs, Mesmerize
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Alexander B.
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Nice list! This stuff really is essential for both drac and the hunters to know, and you seem to have caught pretty much every nuance.

What about the ever deadly Garlic?
 
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John Harley
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Re: Combat strategy for Hunter vs. Dracula (night) encounter
An excellent guide, but arent some of the hunter attacks really meant to be used against minions? Holy Bullets for one? in this case the guide may want to mention it.

i could easily be wrong though...
 
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Andrew Simpkins
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Re: Combat strategy for Hunter vs. Dracula (night) encounter
diamondspider wrote:
What about the ever deadly Garlic?


I definitely didn't avoid mentioning it because it wasn't effective. I just had to limit the scope of the article to "in combat" cards to make sure that I finished it.

If anyone wants to throw out some comments on the big combat modifier cards like Garlic, Rage, Dogs, Sister Agatha, etc. it would be appreciated... as would any elaboration or alternate takes on the cards I covered.

Demo_Boy wrote:
An excellent guide, but arent some of the hunter attacks really meant to be used against minions? Holy Bullets for one? in this case the guide may want to mention it.


I mentioned it at the end of the Sacred Bullets section, that is, that they are typically most effective against Agents rather than Dracula himself. They can still hurt Dracula though, and they can be very lethal if you can time them against his Dodge attempt.
 
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