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Fury of Dracula (third/fourth edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Exciting start; Dracula error leads to his demise rss

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Edward B.
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Played my second game recently. This was a five player game with myself being the only person who had played the game before. Once again, we rolled to determine who would play Dracula with that going to one of the new players.

Players were “Barry” (Dracula), “Sam” (Dr. Seward), “Tom” (Van Helsing), “Alan” (Mina) and myself (Lord Godalming).

Everyone seemed to grasp the rules fairly well, although it took me just as long to explain as my first game. We did reference the rules a lot loss frequently than my first game, though. I think we only had to look up one or two minor clarifications.

We started off with Mina in England, Lord Goldaming and Mina in the same city in central Europe (I found no rule against starting in the same city), and Van Helsing in western Europe.

Fairly early on, we discovered that Dracula was in central Europe thanks to Mina's ability. An event card was played allowing hunters two day time actions. Lord Goldaming took the rail system, traveling two spaces and discovering Dracula's hiding place. Mina took an action to draw a ticket and (luckily) was also able to travel two spaces to join Godalming.

Dracula then proceeded to open up a can of butt whooping. Dracula targeted Godalming early on, doing a few damage to him. Lord Godalming then busted out his rifle with hopes of firing holy bullets into the undead monster, but the cunning Dracula used his powers of mesmerization, stopping Godalming in his tracks. He then sank fangs into him (knocking him out of the battle) as Mina beat at Dracula with her fists. Dracula took two or three damage over the course of the battle. On the sixth round, Dracula flew away in bat form.

The hunters began scouring the area for Dracula's trail, running into a new vampire, which proved tenancious, surviving a two to one battle against Van Helsing and Godalming. The vampire had one life left and one more turn to mature when Dr. Seward arrived to deal the fatal blow.

Mina joined up with Godalming in western Europe and discovered that Dracula was not near... meaning that he must have fled east. The count's trail had gone cold and he was piling on the encounters thanks to playing the Brides of Dracula, which allowed him to double up encounters on two hideouts. He had a full track and a rumor token on one of the hideouts. Very likely, he had 6 or 7 points just two or three turns from sliding off the track.

However, one of the hunters arrived in Prague only to have Dracula declare he had not been there. The only issue was that it would have been impossible for Dracula not to have traveled through that city. We had the player double-check to confirm and, yup, he messed up.

He had traveled two roads on two seperate occassions after using bat form. I'm not sure if the bat card confused him or if he wasn't paying attention. We would have been fine allowing a takeback, but the trail was so far advanced at that point it wasn't really an option. So we got to use the rather punishing rules for Dracula errors. Dracula immediately revelead his location in southeastern Europe, cleared his entire trail (goodbye seven ecounters!), and he took five damage (ouch!).

Not only that, but we were all fairly close to him if we used railways, which we did.

Godalming was the first to catch up with the Count. It was the opposite of the first encounter, with Dracula getting almost everything blocked and suffering massive damage before being able to retreat. (The despair track was at +1 at this point so he had to wait until his third card to try to escape). Dracula tried to escape as a bat twice, but was shot with holy bullets and then stabbed. He was finally able to evaporate into mist and run away.

Unfortuantely, he was really on the ropes at this point with one health left. He was in a port city on the Baltic Sea, but couldn't run to the sea because he couldn't afford the health loss of two points. Nor could he utilize wolf form, again because of the damage requisite. His only move was onto a city occupied by Dr. Seward.

Without some massive luck, Dracula's fate was sealed. I hate to dissapoint you if you were expecting an amazing comeback, because Dracula went down in the first round of combat as Dr. Seward shoved a skewer of garlic into Dracula's mouth as he tried to bite down on him.

The game ended in the second week with Dracula at one influence point.

Thoughts

Man, oh man, it is a huge blow if you are Dracula and discovered making an error. One of the other players mentioned that you could, if gaming the system, move Dracula across the continent to escape closing in hunters and take the error penalty. However, at that point I'd just rule the game null as that is obviously cheating the spirit of the rules.

So let's assume the error occurs by honest mistake. More than likely, it's not going to advance Dracula many more lines of travel away than he was supposed to be. Plus all of his encounters (including potential Influence points) are gone and his location is revealed. Harsh.

But after talking it over a bit afterwards, that should be a good incentive for the Dracula player to pay attention. I did feel a little bad this time because it was the guy's first game. If there had been an easy fix I could have thought of, I would have used it. Because this game started off pretty exciting and I was looking forward to tracking him down.

Someone else mentioned that you could print off a copy of the map so the Dracula player could physically mark his locations. This may be a solution for some people. I haven't played as Dracula yet, but I don't think I'll need to do that. Really, all you have to keep track of is your last location and the movement rules. And you can look at your location cards on the track if you need to confirm anything.

Five players worked really well. It seemed like hunter turns went quicker than in my first game. Which could be partly because of the group and partly because each player had longer to think of what they would do for their one action. I think four players is going to be an awkward spot for this game because one player will need to control two hunters with two players controlling only one each.

Combat continued to be fun and work really well. I've never played earlier editions, so I can't compare them and say whether this is an improvement, but I don't see anything that needs to be fixed here.

Two on one against Dracula isn't as overwhelming as I thought it might be, especially if you are fighting at night and he is at full health. I think Dracula is appropriately scary and tough without being frustratingly difficult in combat. It does seem like you are going to have to encounter the Count multiple times and grind him down unless you manage to bring three or four hunters on him at once.
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Can Bud
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Nice write up, thanks a lot!
Looking forward to playing my first game towards the end of this week. I'll try and force myself to write a session report.

Also, as far as i know, indeed, there are no rules against multiple hunters starting in the same city.
 
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Joel Stair
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NeedsNewDice wrote:


Someone else mentioned that you could print off a copy of the map so the Dracula player could physically mark his locations. This may be a solution for some people. I haven't played as Dracula yet, but I don't think I'll need to do that. Really, all you have to keep track of is your last location and the movement rules. And you can look at your location cards on the track if you need to confirm anything.


This is why i asked if someone could make an APP for Dracula.
 
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Agri Fan
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NeedsNewDice wrote:
We would have been fine allowing a takeback, but the trail was so far advanced at that point it wasn't really an option...

...that should be a good incentive for the Dracula player to pay attention.

I think you've summed up the crux of the issue in these two sentences. Dracula has less to do than the hunters so he absolutely has to get it right. In the games of 2nd ed that I've played the Dracula player has occasionally made slip-ups and noticed fairly quickly. As we all trust each other not to intentionally cheat, and since it was never more than once per game, we never invoked the Dracula error rule. We allowed Dracula to replace the location card he played with a valid one and the 'penalty' was that he wasn't allowed to replace the encounter regardless of where that left him in relation to the hunters.

In your situation, where several turns had passed and there were lots of about-to-mature encounters, I don't think there was anything else you could have done. Even though it does kind of end the game, if I was Dracula I wouldn't want to win due to a mistake even if it was a genuine error.
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Randal Divinski
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With 4 players, just be sure to stagger the player controlling two hunters. The ideal would be that player controlling 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 (hunter move order). That would give them a moment to think between moves.

The unfortunate error is another reason to have the experienced player play Dracula, perhaps. But maybe just stressing their need to be vigilant and check pass moves during down time would be enough.

Thanks for the report.
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Edward B.
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Staggering the turn order is a good suggestion. We did this in a three player game (hunters going 1/3 and 2/4) and it worked. I think it'll be awkward more because one person gets twice as many turns.

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Andy K
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I made a player screen for my second edition according to the template provided on second editing bgg file.
I then found some glass tokens, four coloured tokens for the hunters, and track the game from the little map provided. I don't need to look at the big board AT ALL.
This helps to remember all the hideous and avoiding the need to constantly check the cards if the hunters are close, which is a dead giveaway.

Also since my minis are not coloured sometimes its hard to remember who's who.
 
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bycoolboy823 wrote:
...avoiding the need to constantly check the cards if the hunters are close, which is a dead giveaway.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a dead giveaway whenever you check the trail...

You're not being dastardly enough. Here's a suggestion to help you get into character:-

Occasionally check a few of the location cards on your trail when a hunter moves somewhere on the opposite side of the board to where you are... devil

There are ways to use almost everything in this game to bluff & misdirect the hunters.

And I frequently check the first card on the trail anyway, as it's the easiest way to see the connected cities without allowing your gaze to give anything away.
 
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bycoolboy823 wrote:
Also since my minis are not coloured sometimes its hard to remember who's who.

...and for this, as I do for various other games...

I use some cheap poker chips, in a variety of colours. Stick a different coloured one under each figure, and then place a matching colour on each character's sheet in front of them.

At least until I get round to painting them - or I may just swap them with my painted 2nd Edition figures!
 
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Can Bud
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bycoolboy823 wrote:
I made a player screen for my second edition according to the template provided on second editing bgg file.
I then found some glass tokens, four coloured tokens for the hunters, and track the game from the little map provided. I don't need to look at the big board AT ALL.
This helps to remember all the hideous and avoiding the need to constantly check the cards if the hunters are close, which is a dead giveaway.

Also since my minis are not coloured sometimes its hard to remember who's who.


Thanks a lot, this is a great idea. I was already considering adding a screen to the game, but using small glass markers on the mini map is a terrific idea.
 
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Edward B.
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Pudsy wrote:
You're not being dastardly enough. Here's a suggestion to help you get into character:-

Occasionally check a few of the location cards on your trail when a hunter moves somewhere on the opposite side of the board to where you are... devil

There are ways to use almost everything in this game to bluff & misdirect the hunters.


Devious! Someone else mentioned how Dracula should use his downtime to taunt the hunters, lol.

I will say that in my first game I noticed the Dracula player checking on the western section of his minimap, so I assumed he was somewhere over there, but he was actually on the opposite side of the board. Just because you think you've caught Dracula doesn't mean that you have!
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