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

Subject: Hunter Strategy as to Cornering Dracula rss

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Michael Tse
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Having played 2 games (1 as a spectator & the human rule reference, the other as a hunter), I have the impression that Dracula is just too difficult to catch. Twice in the game, when we discovered Dracula and was about to combat, he used Wolf Form and jumped away and we have no idea where he went, with Hide and entering the sea, we simply have to restart everything and all hunters were frustrated at that point and considered surrendering. Saying so, we are not dealing with Dracula's encounter cards at all already.

So, once identifying Dracula's trail, how should hunters react in order to close down Dracula as fast as possible? Personally I think Wolf Form is too powerful, given he still has Escape as Bats.

And any general strategies after Dracula moved 2 spaces?
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Milan
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Well from what i know, the dracula power cards (wolf, hide, etc) are meant to be for experienced players. If youre playing with/against newbie hunters or ones who arent that good at the game, I suggest taking them out until dracula starts to have some trouble against the hunters without them.
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Mark Turner
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The key to catching Dracula is creating a drag net with hunters that draws in and closes up, using Mina's radar and ideally a couple of the cards which reveal. It's clear that for beginner players the hunters are harder to play; some will argue Dracula is too strong overall, but I'm still not convinced.
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nemo7 komn
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MrMT wrote:
It's clear that for beginner players the hunters are harder to play; some will argue Dracula is too strong overall, but I'm still not convinced.


Me neither.

Some general tips:
Week 1, forget about Dracula; Track down his encounter vamp.
Be equipped (both items & events) to the teeth.
Try "starve" Dracula of events (i.e forget the night supply action)
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Randal Divinski
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I feel Wolf Form is overpowered: I chose not to use it in our recent game, which was running quite long, because I felt the group would quit if I did so.

Do remember that, under the existing rules, it is placed on the trail after use and unavailable until it falls off the trail. I think making it a one-shot power, or playing without it, will make sense for many groups.

As far as groups tracking Dracula, I do have a few suggestions (some obvious):
1) Use events and Mina's radar as well as physical searching.
2) Stock up on items and rail tickets in advance. When you do locate Dracula, you will have one chance to do damage -- don't blow it.
3) A well timed and placed Consecrated Ground can make a HUGE difference - and Wolf Form can't move through it.
4) Remember that the Trail locations block Dracula's movement, Misdirect aside, and use that to pen him in.
5) Ideally, the hunters don't want to move onto Dracula, they want to force Dracula to move to them. This forces a DAWN combat, followed by a multi-hunter DUSK combat. Remember, like a shark, Dracula cannot sit still (except for HIDE). Use that against him.
6) A wounded Dracula will have trouble using a SEA escape. Put Rufus Smith (ally) in play to limit his options.
7) HEROIC LEAP! A hunter armed with this event is big trouble for Dracula.
8) Try to keep Mina in position that her "Drac-sense" can be used the turn after Drac bolts, to halve the potential locations.

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Jardal
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Great tips Randal, I might offer them up to my friends the next time they're hunters
 
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Zsolt Nagy
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In my experience the Hunters usually have only one big shot to catch an evasively played Dracula during a game, typically sometime during the second week. And they have to kill him right there, otherwise he will sneak/Bat escape/Wolf Form/sail himself out of the net and there will be not enough time for the Hunters to corner him again.

What worked for the Hunters so far is to draw a loose net around Dracula, where he does not feel himself in danger yet than using some "surprise move" event cards (like Sense of Emergency or the one which allows night moves for the Hunters) to jump on Dracula unexpectedly. Of course it assumes the Hunters have enough information to nail down Dracula potential whereabouts to one or two cities and they actually can reach it with their cards.

Of course a smart Dracula will calculate with such a possibility. Therein lies the core of the game. Who will make his part better?
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Michael Tse
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randiv wrote:
I feel Wolf Form is overpowered: I chose not to use it in our recent game, which was running quite long, because I felt the group would quit if I did so.

Do remember that, under the existing rules, it is placed on the trail after use and unavailable until it falls off the trail. I think making it a one-shot power, or playing without it, will make sense for many groups.

As far as groups tracking Dracula, I do have a few suggestions (some obvious):
1) Use events and Mina's radar as well as physical searching.
2) Stock up on items and rail tickets in advance. When you do locate Dracula, you will have one chance to do damage -- don't blow it.
3) A well timed and placed Consecrated Ground can make a HUGE difference - and Wolf Form can't move through it.
4) Remember that the Trail locations block Dracula's movement, Misdirect aside, and use that to pen him in.
5) Ideally, the hunters don't want to move onto Dracula, they want to force Dracula to move to them. This forces a DAWN combat, followed by a multi-hunter DUSK combat. Remember, like a shark, Dracula cannot sit still (except for HIDE). Use that against him.
6) A wounded Dracula will have trouble using a SEA escape. Put Rufus Smith (ally) in play to limit his options.
7) HEROIC LEAP! A hunter armed with this event is big trouble for Dracula.
8) Try to keep Mina in position that her "Drac-sense" can be used the turn after Drac bolts, to halve the potential locations.



I am also considering removing Wolf Form in my future games.

I agree with all your tips. Though for 5, would it be too difficult to force Dracula to move to the hunters? With the power cards available, Dracula could use Misdirect->Hide or play a bunch of power cards to slip his previous locations off the trail.

And should hunters keep a "Dogs" card while searching for Dracula? The encounter cards are quite annoying actually.
 
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Mark Turner
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My concern is that without wolf form, Dracula loses the most important tool in his box to avoid a good hunter team. Without it, a smart and well equipped search party should be able track him down with relative ease.
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Randal Divinski
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MrMT wrote:
My concern is that without wolf form, Dracula loses the most important tool in his box to avoid a good hunter team. Without it, a smart and well equipped search party should be able track him down with relative ease.

I don't think there is one right answer to this. It depends on the play group. In theory, a strength of the game design is that there are lots of little tweaks available to adjust play balance. In practice, it is hard to play enough games to know what that balance should be for your group.

My sense at the moment is that one should start with limits on Dracula's powers, either the basic game, a subset of powers, or once-per-game use of powers. If hunters are good, put all powers and lairs into play.

Since my main concern at the moment is to constrain the length of the game (to the vicinity of 3 hours rather than 5) I am toying with tying some things to the real-time length of game weeks. For instance, in week 1 Dracula has a subset of his powers. If the week is completed within 70 mins, Dracula gets access to additional powers. If not, at the 70 minute mark any days of the week that have not started yet are lopped off the calendar (the next day is automatically Monday of week 2) but Dracula loses a power for each day lost (while gaining the advantage of the influence track advancing sooner).

With the right balance, my hope is that some version of this can contain the game length while also balancing play within the game. And the whole framework would be designed so that if the group was able to make good time on it's own, through crisp play, these variant rules would not be triggered.
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Mark Turner
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Maybe another approach could be that as he loses life, he gains powers. A wounded Dracula is more dangerous, and more likely to transform into a feral form.
 
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Tim Earl
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Somehow we assumed the power cards were one use each. We only introduced them in our last game, after a few learning games. We didn't want to make it too lopsided. In early games with new players, Dracula doesn't need any more help.
 
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Burak Katipoglu
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Don't try to find Dracula right away in the first week but don't stay at the same place as well.Slightly move from city to city and Supply to get items and gear up for the fight.Expand to some places maybe you can stumble upon a trial if you are lucky.

First week Mina and her buddy(Preferably lord Godalming since he can get more tickets) should move together while supplying tickets at night.The trick is to move these couple to different areas(moving from region to region by railway fast) and use Mina's ability in each region very fast.I wouldn't advise you to speak about your plans ahead.Be a bit impulsive on where you go otherwise Dracula can be prepared for the oracle ability by staying at the borders of the region and switching back and forth.

Some impulsive singular maneuvers could help a lot.If you play always statistically the most probable move you are outwitted by the Dracula player.So I would say while trying to find Dracula act %80 the move that everybody anticipates and %20 radically .

Some events like evil presence and such can help you a lot if you are spread out.There is even an event that tells in which region the Dracula is in.

Starving Dracula of the event card is a tactic but first it's boring for the game play second the first card I always try to put down as Dracula is the "Hoax" which allows me to take an event card when matures.So since the Dracula cards will pile up in the discard pile there is a good chance he will draw a card that allows him to draw even more cards(like Dracula's brides) and the disadvantage for you being wasting daylight in the previous rounds.

At turn 7 or 8 if you should be getting "Some" information from the maturing card probably(Hope that is says "reveal this location" which all maturing vampires require you to do)

"Consecrated ground" and "long night"(Allows you to move at night for once) events shouldn't be wasted.Keep it until you get a track of Dracula by one or two spaces then use it.Last time while I was playing as Dracula A consecrated ground in Barcelona really made my life uneasy since it bottle necked the way to the Iberian peninsula and it was a good port city.Anyway Dracula is a 7 day long snake so he might also box himself somewhere so it's not “that” easy for him to move around as well.

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Zsolt Nagy
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It is a funny mind game to place no Hunters in the British Isles at the start, but having one (Lord Godalming is the best for this) in Le Havre, Amsterdam or Hamburg, making the Isles quickly available for him.

After a round of getting equipment he might be able to go for the Isles. If Dracula is there, his trail (and potentially, a vampire he plans to mature) can be found quickly. Will Dracula risk it? And will that Hunter really go to the Isles or will focusing on the continent?
 
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