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Subject: Fourth week pleasure cruise rss

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Andreas Johansson
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I spent 200 GG and all I got was this lousy overtext!
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In today's game, by the middle of the third week, Dracula had enough Influence that just one day of free points in the fourth week would win him the game, and enough health to survice a week at sea. Accordingly, he went to sea in the Adriatic, and near as we could tell there was nothing the hunters could do to prevent him from staying at sea until Influence hit 13 on Monday of week four. A Vampire Lair could have delayed him till Tuesday, but he had health and location cards to stay at sea until Wednesday.

Are we missing something? If not, it seems a fairly obvious strategy for Dracula to go to sea once victory through pure survival is closer than death from the one damage per turn from a sea voyage. It's thematically justifiable - his minions are doing the dirty work for him while he hides away on a yacht - but distinctly anticlimactic in the game.
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Mark Turner
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Well, maybe so, but they should have caused some decent damage to you by then, and there is also that awful ally which hurts you twice a turn at sea. I find with a decent hunter team it should be touch and go whether you can make it.
 
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David Williams
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Orcoteuthis wrote:
In today's game, by the middle of the third week, Dracula had enough Influence that just one day of free points in the fourth week would win him the game, and enough health to survice a week at sea. Accordingly, he went to sea in the Adriatic, and near as we could tell there was nothing the hunters could do to prevent him from staying at sea until Influence hit 13 on Monday of week four. A Vampire Lair could have delayed him till Tuesday, but he had health and location cards to stay at sea until Wednesday.

Are we missing something? If not, it seems a fairly obvious strategy for Dracula to go to sea once victory through pure survival is closer than death from the one damage per turn from a sea voyage. It's thematically justifiable - his minions are doing the dirty work for him while he hides away on a yacht - but distinctly anticlimactic in the game.


I'm not sure I follow - how did he obtain those 'free points'?

Just to be clear, Fury of Dracula only applies when placing City locations, not sea. So the only way he can get those points is if his encounter cards earn them for him. If he's spending that long at sea then the hunters should be able to clear lairs relatively safely.

A bit of clarification on exactly what happened would help I think?
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You didn't do anything wrong, and [Edit: Missed the fact that you were still giving Dracula an influence every turn while at sea - see continued discussion below.] you make an interesting point about how the system can be manipulated for a Dracula victory if the conditions are right at that point in the game.
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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Orcoteuthis wrote:
In today's game, by the middle of the third week, Dracula had enough Influence that just one day of free points in the fourth week would win him the game, and enough health to survice a week at sea. Accordingly, he went to sea in the Adriatic, and near as we could tell there was nothing the hunters could do to prevent him from staying at sea until Influence hit 13 on Monday of week four. A Vampire Lair could have delayed him till Tuesday, but he had health and location cards to stay at sea until Wednesday.

Are we missing something? If not, it seems a fairly obvious strategy for Dracula to go to sea once victory through pure survival is closer than death from the one damage per turn from a sea voyage. It's thematically justifiable - his minions are doing the dirty work for him while he hides away on a yacht - but distinctly anticlimactic in the game.


Dracula can spend months at sea if his health can handle it but he never gets influence until he touches down in a port.
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David Williams
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squash wrote:
You didn't do anything wrong, and you make an interesting point about how the system can be manipulated for a Dracula victory if the conditions are right at that point in the game.


I'm not so sure they didn't. It sounded from the 'free points' comment that they may have been applying Fury of Dracula while he was still at sea. This is wrong.

Grumsh wrote:
Dracula can spend months at sea if his health can handle it but he never gets influence until he touches down in a port.


I don't think that's strictly true either. He can still get influence from maturing Vampires while at sea, for example. Or if one of his encounters defeats a hunter.
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brian
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squash wrote:
You didn't do anything wrong, and you make an interesting point about how the system can be manipulated for a Dracula victory if the conditions are right at that point in the game.

From the sounds of it he did. Fury of Dracula only activates with CITY cards or Hide, not sea locations. So while at sea in the 4th week, he would not gain influence in this way.
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brian
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Orion3T wrote:
Grumsh wrote:
Dracula can spend months at sea if his health can handle it but he never gets influence until he touches down in a port.


I don't think that's strictly true either. He can still get influence from maturing Vampires while at sea, for example. Or if one of his encounters defeats a hunter.

That is correct.

I believe the statement was made strictly in reference to the 4th week and influence through Fury of Dracula. Dracula can continue to gain influence in the normal ways while at sea if they occur. But Fury of Dracula is not one of them.
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Ben Turner
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This strategy has been discussed in a few places, mostly here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1475621/dracula-running-too...

I agree when these circumstances occur, it can lead to a terrible anti-climax of Dracula plodding along at sea, and the hunters aggressively drawing events in the hope of getting those one or two cards which might give them a fighting chance - pretty dull stuff.

The real questions remains on how often the events that allow this will occur (Dracula on good health and high influence during start / mid week 3). So far, it seems quite likely in my group - we have a feeling that an experienced Drac player has quite the advantage in this game over experienced hunters.

But I still really enjoy the cat and mouse that leads up to this point, and am hoping some improvements to our hunters gameplay can lower that gap. Our play is still coloured by 2nd edition quite a bit (e.g. we often move every day at the start - maybe we should just sit still and mine the event deck more for "clues" ? Plus use Mina's powers more often ?)

Hopefully time will either show this strategy to be something that doesn't occur too often, or otherwise a reasonable house rule (nothing knee-jerk) can discourage this strategy when the conditions for it occur.
 
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Andreas Johansson
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Orion3T wrote:

Just to be clear, Fury of Dracula only applies when placing City locations, not sea.


Ah, so that's what we missed. Would have made very little difference in this session - Dracula would only have had to disembark on Monday week four to hit 13 Influence - but makes the strategy less useful if he has farther to go on the influence track.

Re Mark's comment, the hunters had done quite decent damage, but before going to sea Dracula managed to heal eight points of damage via Fangs, Feed and maturing a Desecrated Soil in quick succession.

That ally I wasn't aware of the existence of, but happily I had a card that discards allies in hand so it wouldn't have made much difference if it'd turned up.
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Mark Turner
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Orcoteuthis wrote:

That ally I wasn't aware of the existence of, but happily I had a card that discards allies in hand so it wouldn't have made much difference if it'd turned up.

Except hunters have a card that brings allies back :)
 
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Andreas Johansson
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MrMT wrote:
Orcoteuthis wrote:

That ally I wasn't aware of the existence of, but happily I had a card that discards allies in hand so it wouldn't have made much difference if it'd turned up.

Except hunters have a card that brings allies back

Well, then, if both it and the ally himself had turned out at the best/worst moment it's possible the hunters might have forced Dracula ashore and caught him before hitting 13 Influence.

Relatedly, am I correct in that the Influence gain from Fury is immediate and that if Dracula has 10+ Influence he can land in a port with a hunter present and win before combat is fought?
 
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In order to avoid this kind of anti-climatic endings, as well as strategies relying on huge sailing + feeding we have house ruled to freeze the clock on Drac's see voyages (as in 2nd Ed). We also consider ruling that whole time spent by Drac on See counts as day (so hunter's can supply from top AND make two road/railroads moves per turn), it's just without teleports and with limited drac tracking resources it's very hard to catch drac after see voyage.
 
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Randal Divinski
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Eruantalon wrote:
In order to avoid this kind of anti-climatic endings, as well as strategies relying on huge sailing + feeding we have house ruled to freeze the clock on Drac's see voyages (as in 2nd Ed). We also consider ruling that whole time spent by Drac on See counts as day (so hunter's can supply from top AND make two road/railroads moves per turn), it's just without teleports and with limited drac tracking resources it's very hard to catch drac after see voyage.

My variant is to remove one DESPAIR token for every week (7 sea location cards) Dracula spends at sea. This requires the least rules tinkering -- and none at all if Dracula is at sea for 6 days or fewer.
 
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
Orion3T wrote:
Grumsh wrote:
Dracula can spend months at sea if his health can handle it but he never gets influence until he touches down in a port.


I don't think that's strictly true either. He can still get influence from maturing Vampires while at sea, for example. Or if one of his encounters defeats a hunter.

That is correct.

I believe the statement was made strictly in reference to the 4th week and influence through Fury of Dracula. Dracula can continue to gain influence in the normal ways while at sea if they occur. But Fury of Dracula is not one of them.


Ahh yes that is indeed my intent with my comment. I see how that could have been taken out of context but I was indeed referring only to the "Fury of Dracula" ability itself only.
 
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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randiv wrote:
Eruantalon wrote:
In order to avoid this kind of anti-climatic endings, as well as strategies relying on huge sailing + feeding we have house ruled to freeze the clock on Drac's see voyages (as in 2nd Ed). We also consider ruling that whole time spent by Drac on See counts as day (so hunter's can supply from top AND make two road/railroads moves per turn), it's just without teleports and with limited drac tracking resources it's very hard to catch drac after see voyage.

My variant is to remove one DESPAIR token for every week (7 sea location cards) Dracula spends at sea. This requires the least rules tinkering -- and none at all if Dracula is at sea for 6 days or fewer.


This is a pretty good idea but if you want to minimize rules tinkering even more, the Hunters could save Consecrated Ground just for this instance. Dracula has to go to ground eventually just due to how the sea lanes are arranged and forcing Dracula to make a horrible decision due to Consecrated Ground could be very intimidating to Drac.
 
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Flavio Santos
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Well, just do not play in a manner that everyone (including the winning player) will think it's lame.
 
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