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Fury of Dracula (Third/Fourth Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Opinion of 2nd Edition veterans? rss

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Klaus
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I used to run and participate in many of the play-by-forum games of the 2nd edition. Towards the end of that, I really got disappointed in the game balance of that game. I got convinced that Dracula only had a chance if the hunters made a bunch of mistakes, or if he got very lucky with a series of dice rolls.

I'm wondering if any of the old PBF regulars already got the 3rd Edition, and what their opinions on the new game are. I'm not quite ready to buy it sight unseen, as much as I still love the theme.
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H-B-G
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Hannibal Rex wrote:
I used to run and participate in many of the play-by-forum games of the 2nd edition. Towards the end of that, I really got disappointed in the game balance of that game. I got convinced that Dracula only had a chance if the hunters made a bunch of mistakes, or if he got very lucky with a series of dice rolls.

I'm wondering if any of the old PBF regulars already got the 3rd Edition, and what their opinions on the new game is. I'm not quite ready to buy it sight unseen, as much as I still love the theme.
Based on my limited experience (1 game, so take this with a pinch of salt), I do think there has been a shift of the balance in Dracula's direction.

I certainly think it is a better game if only because it fixed some of what were (to me) thematic disconnects, such as eliminating the teleports and time stopping when Dracula is at sea.
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Jeffrey Speer
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As a veteran player of the Dracula role, I would say the game is much better. The difficulty spike when the hunters find you has been toned down - no teleport. There is no evasion card either, so you have to keep on your toes.

The change from tokens to cards has drastically improved the game, and now I can actually survive combat as the Count, so I count these all as bonuses.

Last game was super close, I had 2 life left until I retreated to castle Dracula, which I would have never done in 2nd edition, as all hunters would have resolved and jumped on me. I killed Mina in a fight, the problem they had was that they sent the hunter without a pistol and holy bullets, so I would say the game "feels" more even.
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Joe Reil
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Only played once so far, but I feel like it's an improvement. Balance seems tighter, and the theme even stronger.

It does come at the cost of a little more complexity, though.
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Edward Woods
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4 games in of the new version and I think its a substantial improvement. The new Day/night turns work better,I prefer the way combat is handled. The event cards have been tweaked and some bad ones removed and some interesting new ones added. The ticket system for trains is huge improvement IMHO, as it rewards forethought and eliminates a string of bad dice rolls that delay a character (and spoil their fun). I don't think will ever want to play second edition again. I still have a soft spot for 1st Edition though…
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K
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Interesting, based on early reports seems 2nd edition has no defenders! This is rare in my experience for there not to be some camp that clings to the previous version, especially initially, so it seems they probably did a pretty good job on 3rd.

So the overall opinion that 3rd > 2nd seems to be getting pretty well established, but I am curious there even anything at all anyone prefers about the gameplay in +2nd or misses about it, even if they think an overall improvement was made?
 
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Joe Reil
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In the interest of fairness, I will say that 2E is as little more intuitive. Move + action is a little more straightforward.

FWIW I suspect that the implementation of "dawn" and "dusk" may be needlessly clunky and if they'd just been the final steps of the night and day phases, respectively, that may have been more straightforward with little practical difference.
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Evan Pietrangelo
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Yea I have only played 3rd edition once so far and as someone who constantly played as Dracula in 2e, I think it is much more balanced. Can't be sure after only one play, but our game came down to the very last turn. I had 2 life left as Dracula and was surrounded by the hunters while I was in castle Dracula. I moved to klausenberg? I believe, and had to fight. Fortunately I escaped still with 2 health, and was able to use wolf form on my next turn to head south (2 roads away but no railroads from the hunters spaces led to it). With all 3 despair tokens, this moved gained me 3 influence putting me at 13! Had the game gone one more tuern, I would have died for sure.

After viewing many of he posts on here, I feel like this is he norm for this game. Obviously, that is awesome!
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Pavel Kourganov
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It would be also very nice to hear about exprerience of Hunter players
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Playing time?
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Brian Morris
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The combat is much improved with it not being so dependent on the initiative roll. That for me is the biggest improvement.

Some overpowered hunter mechanics like the stake have been changed. I think this has greatly improved the balance which was to much towards the hunters in second edition.

The hunters now have to make decisions which doesn't get talked about much but is big in my opinion. Let's say you move on your day turn. Do you search on your night turn or draw an item card? Let's say you don't search. Do you move next day turn and miss searching and finding something?
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Jeffery Hudson
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well, i guess i'll be the voice of decent

We've played two games. I don't find the game broken, but my entire play group feels the pendulum has shifted towards dracula too far. Personally, i think they just had some real bad luck in the first game we played and that’s tainting their view of it.

Here’s the “good”…

Changes to the hunters are awesome. The ability to bank train tickets and use them later is just phenomenal for getting the drop on Drac. If he forgets they have one (or two) they can totally disrupt dracs plans by coming out of no where. Fast horses is just deadly now. You play the card, blind draw a ticket and if it's not a yellow 0 then you move that many spots and keep your card. I've had that single card cause real issues for me. Especially when used over and over again.

The Day/Night turns are pretty cool. It does remove some of the cat and mouse/. who's stalking who elements of the game but it works thematically and allows the hunters to resupply, stock, heal, etc. in a timely manner.

The Changes for Drac are also interesting. Drac has some NASTY effect cards. The ability to use all your powers whenever you want should never be underestimated (that in it's own right is a major advantage). The encounter chits have become encounter cards with the rules printed right on them, which is a HUGE improvement. The mature effects on most cards seem to be better and more useful too. The last thing is when Dracula matures a vampire, you clear the 4,5,and 6th slots of your trail instead of everything. This allows dracula to have a steady stream of vampires in his trail if he has them in his hand. Dracula can also add Rumor tokens that he adds to an encounter. If the encounter is a vampire and it matures, it adds 3 victory points. If not forced out to sea where he can’t drop encounters this can really speed up the game.

Alright...now for the "Bad". My play group feels the balance has swung far towards dracula. I do think was the first game was just very unlucky for them. I drew three vampires and my first event allowed me to draw 6 event cards from the top of the deck and keep any drac events while discarding any hunter events. I got 5 events off of that and three of them were total game changers. I marched to victory in 2 1/2 hours - and that included a great deal of rules consultations. To show how quickly it went, i had matured a vampire on Turn 7 (4pts), matured a second about 5 turns later (4pts + 3pts (Rumor Token) + 1Pt (Despair token), which jumped me to 12vp. I then Seduced Mina and finished the game.

I really think the Rumor tokens are over powered. Maturing a vampire an aditional +3 (when vampires are 3-4 pts themselves) can really move the influence track up quickly. When i went from 4vp to 12vp in one maturing it just took my hunters out of the game both figuratively and literally.

Dispair tokens. I'm of two minds of this. It really does help speed the game along, but the hunters are under the gun from one turn. Every time the 'clock' completes a cycle, a dispair token is added to the board. For each dispair token, Drac gets a +1 to his vp when he earns them...this can really ramp up the difficulty for the hunters. Dracula also gets another Rumor Token with every dispair token placed on the board. The two combined really push the influence track quickly.

Finally, i'm not a fan of the new combat. We only had one combat in two games, so i've not seen the full implication of it....but i found it really really boring. My group found it 'unfair', 'boring', 'pointless', etc. I actually like randomness in my games, so the die roll never bothered me. My other issue is, does Drac stand a chance in daylight combat, because without cards to change drac initiated combat to night (yes, they do exist), all combat imitated by Drac is at Dawn. Can I confidently hunt a hunter myself? No idea. I feel combat is the one thing the designers streamlined too much.

It least after the second game my group feels the first game was just a bad luck fluke. They bitched, moaned, complained, whined, etc., through the first half of the second game. It took them over half the game to find my trail (they kept missing it by one city) and by then i was at 7vp. It was only when my son played "Vampire Lair" and moved my influence back by two that they calmed down a bit. After that, they found my trail and hounded me unmercifully for what time we had left. I still had a great chance of maturing a vampire and winning, but they were close to my trail and could have easily prevented it (we'll never know, i had to leave for work before we could end the game).

OK: FINAL VERDICT. My group liked most of the changes. They liked the day/night cycle, the train tickets, the new hunter abilities. The only real complaint is they feel drac is far to powerful (I can't disagree...i never really felt that foreboding dread when playing Drac) and that as hunters, they have NO chance of winning so why play...though, they are willing to try the game again and see if there is just a learning curve. If there is no learning curve, i'll never get 3rd to the table with them again.

As for me. I like the improvements. The only thing I don't like is the loss of the 'who's hunting who' feel of the game with the new day/night cycle, though I will admit it's far more thematic. I'm not sold on the combat yet, but i'll keep an open mind.

For those with 2nd, i'd not pay retail for the new edition. I'd grab it at $20 or even $30 and not feel bad. If you happen to find it under the Christmas tree (like I will when I put my gift there in two months) you will not be disappointed.
If you have a game store with a demo copy, go check it out with your play group beforehand. I like 3rd...i like it alot...but my play group does not and im not convinced that will ever change.


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H-B-G
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Barronmore wrote:


Dispair tokens. I'm of two minds of this. It really does help speed the game along, but the hunters are under the gun from one turn. Every time the 'clock' completes a cycle, a dispair token is added to the board. For each dispair token, Drac gets a +1 to his vp when he earns them...this can really ramp up the difficulty for the hunters. Dracula also gets another Rumor Token with every dispair token placed on the board. The two combined really push the influence track quickly.
I won't comment on all your points because I don't claim enough experience yet, but I will mention this. Despair tokens don't add influence every time Dracula gains it, they only add to the points he gets from defeating hunters, so in the case you mentioned of getting 8 ip, it should have been 7 (not something that would have made much difference in the case you described, but something to bear in mind.)
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Jeffery Hudson
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AH!!!

Thank you. That helps. That really helps a great deal.

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Our first 3rd Ed game came down to the wire. Dracula won, but survived three battles with less than 5 HP left. It was tense and fun.
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