Jeff
Canada
Ontario
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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Fury of Dracula is a 1 vs. all, hidden movement, and deduction game. In it, one player is Dracula, and the other one to four player(s) is/are the hunter(s). The game is best with a full compliment of five players. This allows everyone to focus on their own character. Dracula wins as soon as he scores 13 influence points. The hunters win as soon as they deal 15 points of damage to Dracula thereby killing him.

At first blush the game is very simple. Hunters take a single day action, then they take a single night action. Then Dracula moves, and seeds his new location with some nasty trap that may be sprung on the hunters, if they should happen to stumble upon his trail.

The many problems occur when the hunters interact with Dracula and/or his minions that he leaves along the way. This is because the rules are a bloody (see what I did there) mess! The game comes with a players guide, and a rules reference book. Two books. These two books are in turn vague, open to interpretation, and at times even contradict each other! The rules suck...no, really. There is an errata and FAQ that you can print off. So, now we're up to three places you can go to for rules. However, mind-bogglingly this document also doesn't address all the inconsistencies of the books. When you throw in the many cards, and the rules tweaks they have, there's a lot of literature that needs to be sifted through to get any kind of grasp on how to properly play the game.

There is good news. If you like hidden movement games in the vein of Scotland Yard, or Letters from Whitechapple, and you have the patients to fight through terribly written rules, knowing you're going to play at least your first game incorrectly, then you will enjoy this game.

It's really fun. I don't typically like long games, and this one can run up to around 3 hours, but between the theme and the action on the board it keeps me engaged. As a hunter you feel lost at first, not knowing any information about Dracula's whereabouts. You are desperate to get on his trail as soon as possible, because eventually he will get points at an excellerated rate. As Dracula you feel like you are always only one step ahead of the hunters. Once they do get onto you, evading them is very difficult. Dracula has the advantage early, when the hunters are working with nothing. The hunters have the advantage later, once they are on the trail, and are mercilessly putting the squeeze on Dracula.
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Jon Hook
United States
Lenexa
Kansas
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Yes, the rules are a bit convoluted, and a little difficult to follow at times, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they are the absolute worst. I do love this game. I've painted my minis and blinged-out copy with a screen for the Dracula player, (which has only been me, to date).

Also, there are some excellent review and how-to-play videos that when a new game owner takes all of those resources into account, I think they, (like I did), can get a clear understanding of how to play the game.

I understand why Fantasy Flight is now adopting their "2 book" method for producing the rules, but they definitely need to concentrate on writing better "Learn to Play" books for their games. Fury of Dracula is not their only game with a weak LtP book. The "Reference Book" is basically a fancy index, which is fine, but it is the LtP that needs to be dynamic and helpful to the players.
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Oliver Koenig
Germany
Fuerth
Bayern
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I agree and disagree. Fury of Dracula hasn't the worst rulebook. ALL FFG games have the worst rule books, for "dual" reasons.
But , if you study hard (...!), and ever make it to play a game flawless, the games are awesome.
 
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Randal Divinski
United States
Natick
Massachusetts
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For the dual rulebook system to work, they actually have to blind playtest and then edit the rulebooks before they release them. There are many crucial things poorly explained or contradictory or left out.

The longer the game, the more important it is to get it right. FOD is a long game. The rules are not good enough, though not a complete disaster.

Scythe is a high profile example of how thorough playtesting and interative rules revision should be done. It is so clear that the rules were TESTED and revised and tweaked. In contrast, the FOD3 rules feel rushed and slapped together at the last minute. (Some parts were thought through, but not the whole package.)
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J C
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The rules are written in an awful fashion. As said, they often contradict each other and I've seen different copies of the game have different text printed on the cards, which again can be contradicted by what's in the rules. A fair few times I've been left with a decision that was just "well thematically this version of the rules makes more sense". Essentially it feels like the admin support behind the game was cut.

With that all said it's a great game. If you can all come to a reasonable decision for interpretations of the rules, house agree a few of the vaguer areas then it you can easily work around the poorly written rules.
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I'm glad, I'm not the only one who feels the rule books are somewhat ... lacking. I only had a very rough idea how the game works after my first read-thhrough.

E.g. I felt the much maligned rules for Robinson Crusoe are _a lot_ better. And the Walkthrough for Mage Knight was a lot better than FoD's, too.

I guess, I got to watch a few videos first, too.
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Mathieu Leroux
Canada
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What is it that you found so complicated about the rules? I thought they were pretty straight foward. The reason why they make two rulebooks is to ease first timers with an introduction, whereas the second book is to lookup details during the game.
 
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H-B-G
United Kingdom
Halesowen
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Neurasth wrote:
What is it that you found so complicated about the rules? I thought they were pretty straight foward. The reason why they make two rulebooks is to ease first timers with an introduction, whereas the second book is to lookup details during the game.


I don't see anything complicated about the rules and think that this is an excellent way of presenting them. However to work properly everything that is mentioned in the learn to play book must also be mentioned in the reference guide so that after playing a game or 2 you should theoretically be able to throw the learn to play guide away (I'm not of course suggesting anyone should do that).

The problem with these rules is that there are contradictions between the same rules quoted in the 2 books and that some rules are only mentioned in the learn to play guide.
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Simon Thomas
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DaveD wrote:
The problem with these rules is that there are contradictions between the same rules quoted in the 2 books and that some rules are only mentioned in the learn to play guide.


Yeah, as far as I can tell the only place that tells you how and when to draw combat cards is in the learn to play book.
 
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Randal Divinski
United States
Natick
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Simon280586 wrote:
DaveD wrote:
The problem with these rules is that there are contradictions between the same rules quoted in the 2 books and that some rules are only mentioned in the learn to play guide.


Yeah, as far as I can tell the only place that tells you how and when to draw combat cards is in the learn to play book.

I think you missed the (indexed) COMBAT section of the Rules Reference (pages 4-5) and the COMBAT ROUNDS summary in the Quick Reference section (back cover of the Reference).
 
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Simon Thomas
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randiv wrote:

I think you missed the (indexed) COMBAT section of the Rules Reference (pages 4-5) and the COMBAT ROUNDS summary in the Quick Reference section (back cover of the Reference).


I meant the initial card draws upon initiating combat - Dracula draws 5 cards, hunters draw their 3 basic cards and add those to their hand. Neither of the sections you mentioned cover this, unless I've somehow missed it.
 
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Randal Divinski
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Natick
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Simon280586 wrote:
randiv wrote:

I think you missed the (indexed) COMBAT section of the Rules Reference (pages 4-5) and the COMBAT ROUNDS summary in the Quick Reference section (back cover of the Reference).
I meant the initial card draws upon initiating combat - Dracula draws 5 cards, hunters draw their 3 basic cards and add those to their hand. Neither of the sections you mentioned cover this, unless I've somehow missed it.
I stand corrected! You are absolutely right. They left out the "Set Up for Combat" Step in the RR descriptions. (I have added a note to my annotated Rules Reference -- some time in 2017 I will create a fan version 1.2 rule books and card errata.)

ADD to RR p. 4:
0. Constitute Combat Hands. Dracula draws 5 cards at random from his combat deck. Each hunter in the combat creates a hand from owned item cards plus the three "yellow banner" combat cards (Punch, Dodge, Escape).

Note: While only bannered cards can be chosen in combat, all items are part of a hunter's hand. (Some non-banner items can be played at other specific times during combat as noted on the card, e.g. Holy Bullets.)
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