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Subject: Fury of Dracula in Japan Game 01: Bordeaux of Blood rss

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Angry Augury
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Today being yet another holiday, some members of my game group and I planned to finally break out Fury of Dracula to test out the horrors it contains. Sadly one key member of the group came down with a cold and another member needed to take care of his sick wife so it became a three player session. No worries, we were still going to give the game a shot and see how it plays!

Character and Starting Location

Lord Godalming (Dandelion) - Constanta
Dr. Seward (Dandelion) - Marseilles
Van Helsing (Max) - Amsterdam
Mina Harker (Max) - Brussels

Dracula (me) - Vienna

The only "advanced" option we used were the Dracula powers as another player had recommended to always include them. So, being novices, we decided to trust the experienced words of another and do so. We used the default starting locations suggested by the rule book. I chose Vienna for myself because... I really don't have a solid reason. I figured it was a good choice to give me space to maneuver around hunters as they closed in and I also thought it might come off as obvious (to new players) that I might try to pick a corner, such as in Spain, to stay as far away from them.

With the rules explained and everyone set up, we were ready to begin.

Lord Godalming started by supplying in Constanta. He drew two items then got a hunter event. The card allowed him to choose two cities to see if Dracula was there. Dandelion left it up to Max to decide where he thought I was. They had a 2 in 59 chance as the only place I couldn't possibly be was Castle Dracula. He chose Vienna for his second guess.

Damn.

Just like that, first action of the first turn of the first game and I'm already discovered. This was going to be a short game, I figured.

Now the chase was on. Everyone closed in on Vienna. I tried to rush the middle going through Munich hoping they'd think I'd fall back to a less dangerous area. They made their moves during the day and started gearing up at night to go for the kill all while I prayed they wouldn't pick up on my trail again so soon. Mina then decided to use her psychic link to discover that I was in Germania.

Well.

I don't think I needed to spell it out as there was only one Germany location I could have gone to from Vienna so they all knew I was in Munich. Wonderful. Now the net started tightening even more. I escaped north to Nuremburg and then to Leipzig but they were hot on my trail. Van Helsing cornered me in Leipzig and our combat had begun.

I drew my hand of five cards to find two Escape by Mists, one Escape as Bat, one Mesmerize and a Plotting card. Nothing to truly attack. Even better. I decided to Plot for my first turn as I knew, thanks to the Wolves encounter card on Leipzig which did four points of damage to Van Helsing, that he didn't have any weapon items so Mesmerize wasn't that big of a deal for now. As I attempted to plot, he punched me in the face. I drew my next card only to get a second Plotting. Wonderful. I thought that if I tried to play this out, I was just going to get my hindquarters handed to myself and EVERYONE was going to jump in and finish me off. As I had played one combat card already and there were no Despair tokens on the board (obviously) I decided to Escape as a Bat and it worked! I flew away to Hamburg and crossed my fingers that they would leave me alone.

Fortunately the hunters made a south/south-westerly turn, thinking I tried to rush past them again. I realized they would figure it out soon enough and if I went west, I'd run into them and if I went south, I'd get cornered by both the hunters and the end of my trail. My only true option was to go to sea.

I moved into the North Sea and, yes, they knew exactly what I had done then. Dandelion was sure I was heading for England (tempting) but I realized I'd just be trapped up there and likely killed. I had to keep moving. Sadly, for me, the hunters had the ally that caused two damage when moving from sea to sea locations so I took yet another 2 points of damage to move to the North Atlantic. Now I was at 5 damage. Max was certain that I didn't go into the English Channel and I was in the North Atlantic (as I was) so he started moving his characters into France while Dandelion also moved towards France but aiming for the north.

I decided to use my first Power card and used Wolf Form to bypass the port at Bordeaux then run to Toulouse, taking a 6th point of damage. Mina then asked if I was in France and, yes, of course, I was in France. Ugh.

At this point I should mention that I had a Vampire on the board. It was an Aristocratic Vampire but discarded by the heroes so I was left with nothing of excitement in the pipeline to get matured. I'm the world's worst Dracula.

I spent a couple turns making a loop through Barcelona, Saragossa, to Alicante and Madrid then Santander and Bordeaux (which I Wolfed through the first time). By the time I got to Nantes, the hunters were all over me. They had found Bordeaux and knew I was one spot away. Since they were occupying a couple of those spots, there weren't too many options as to where I was currently cowering in fear waiting in ambush.

Finally I had a bit of luck as my Wolf Form had returned to my hand with the Toulouse card. I decided to Wolf Form through the hunters in Bordeaux back into Toulouse. This finally threw off the hunters from my trail. They all started heading east/north-east, certain I was making a break for Castle Dracula to heal. Instead, I began retracing my original path after coming ashore from the North Atlantic and started creeping my way along the coast of Iberia.

Once the hunters were a distance away, I felt safe enough to Feed, getting some health back. I made use of some road blocks to confuse the hunters for a couple of days, making them think I was trying to stop them from going north-east where they thought I was looping to get to Castle Dracula. Eventually after wasting days searching around the center of the map, they started to realize I wasn't there yet they weren't sure exactly where I had gone.

Finally I got a Vampire to mature, giving me three points on the Influence track. But, of course, it came with a downside as Dr. Seward wiped out a vampire den and took back two of those points. A little later, the encounter on Santander had matured and I had to reveal the location as per the rules on the encounter. I was sure they'd realize then and there that I had ducked into Spain rather than north through France but it somehow slipped past both of them and it wouldn't be until a few turns later when an event revealed the third location on the track that they realized I was completely on the opposite side than they expected.

Now knowing that I was back in Iberia, all except for Van Helsing, who was too far away, rushed into France. I looped back into Bordeaux yet again just as Mina made it to Saragosa. Using an event (which were hard to come by! I was getting NOTHING from the event deck even with night supplying!) I dropped three roadblocks around her to keep her from getting into Madrid by road and rail and then to Santander by road. I was hoping to bluff them into thinking I was still hiding in Iberia.

It worked. Mina played a card to get two movement (fast horses, perhaps) to move to Alicante and then Madrid. Then I played Wild Horses to move her back into Saragossa (Was this possible? See below.). As they all moved south to bypass my roadblocks, I continued onward to Nantes quickly by playing another event (that finally came to me thanks to being allowed to reshuffle all discarded Dracula events back into the deck making it now about 40% Dracula focused). This event skipped the next daytime phase. I got into Nantes and we passed into a new week.

The fourth week.

All Despair Tokens were now in play. The end--the surprising end--was now in sight.

On Monday night I moved into Le Havre then played an event that allowed me to take a second Dracula phase and moved into Brussels. This also gave me 6 points on the influence track. The hunters had given up on searching for encounters in their desperate attempt to track me so I was able to get a Vampire matured a few turns earlier. This now brought me up to 11 on the Influence Track.

None of the hunters were near me and I told the players that if they were unable to stop me from moving, I would win by the end of Tuesday. They all tried supplying in hopes of there being some event that might stop the inevitable but in the end they could do nothing but sit back and watch as Dracula's evil influence took hold of Europe and spread darkness across the land.

---

Final Thoughts

This game was CRAZY! And hard! For me, at least, in the beginning. It was very intense and completely unexpected to be found out on TURN ONE! From there, the chase was on and I was barely able to keep away from the hunters. Had I not thrown off the heroes by doubling back with the Wolf Form, I would have been torn to shreds early in the game.

We enjoyed the game but it took us a long time to play and I think all of us were feeling tired by the end. I know I was as I spent the first half of the game running for my life.

It was a great game and I learned a lot about playing it. I know there are a lot of things I would do differently

And now, it's question time.

Questions

1. Is Dracula allowed to use Wild Horses to send a hunter through a road block? We weren't sure and were thinking about the rules saying "a hunter can't move through a roadblock". Did that mean the hunter player couldn't choose to do that? Or a hunter figure by no means could do it? We took a vote and everyone agreed since they were "wild" horses, they might be crazy enough to go through a closed, dangerous road. In any case, even if it didn't work, I would have just sent her to Alicante or Granada and the end result would have been the same. We just thought it would be funny after she did all she could to avoid the roadblock that her horses brought her right back to where she started.

2. Can you Wolf Form through a location that's currently somewhere on the trail to get to a location not on the trail yet? Or can you not pass through (not stop on) any place that you currently have on the trail?

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Chris Merritt
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Sounds like one hell of a session. Out of curiosity, what was your life total at the end of the game, as it sounds like you took quite a bit of damage?

I don't know the answers to your questions for certain, but I would think that:

1. The hunter should not be able to move through a roadblock, no matter who is controlling the figure at the time.

2. This seems legal to me. Wolf Form essentially skips over a location, so it seems feasible that you can move over a location that is already on the trail to move to a new location.
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Randal Divinski
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1. Yes. Wild Horses says to "move the hunter to an adjacent city." Under Adjacency in the Glossary (RR) it says "Roadblock tokens block movement, but do not affect adjacency."

Thematically, the road blocks are Dracula's minions setting up obstacles. Presumably they can let the hunter through on Dracula's orders as well.

2. Yes. No prohibition against passing through a hideout on your way to a location not on the trail.
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Angry Augury
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COMaestro wrote:
Sounds like one hell of a session. Out of curiosity, what was your life total at the end of the game, as it sounds like you took quite a bit of damage?

I don't know the answers to your questions for certain, but I would think that:

1. The hunter should not be able to move through a roadblock, no matter who is controlling the figure at the time.

2. This seems legal to me. Wolf Form essentially skips over a location, so it seems feasible that you can move over a location that is already on the trail to move to a new location.


Thanks for the reply.

It certainly was a crazy introduction to the world of FoD. At the end I had 1 point of damage remaining on my sheet out of 7 taken throughout the game. Of the initial 6 points I mentioned above, I used Feed to heal 3 when the hunters were far away. Then one of my encounters matured and healed me for 3. The only thing left was the point for the second Wolf Form card.
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Angry Augury
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randiv wrote:
1. Yes. Wild Horses says to "move the hunter to an adjacent city." Under Adjacency in the Glossary (RR) it says "Roadblock tokens block movement, but do not affect adjacency."

Thematically, the road blocks are Dracula's minions setting up obstacles. Presumably they can let the hunter through on Dracula's orders as well.

2. Yes. No prohibition against passing through a hideout on your way to a location not on the trail.


Thanks for the answers to the questions! It's good to know we played that situation correctly and your explanation makes sense.
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Neil Maher
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Recently picked this up as it is out of print and I was always interested in it and Dracula is of course from Dublin! Good to see you get this played in Japan.
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Justin Long
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Your description of your first play through really has me excited to play this now devil
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Angry Augury
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Hey Neil, haven't seen you around these parts for a while.

I was debating getting this or Letters from Whitechapel for a long time. Finally got Letters but I had hyped this one up so much I got it too. It arrived two days before the FFG/GW announcement happened so I lucked out there. It was exciting but really stressful. I hope you have a good session of it. Post a report of you can!
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Angry Augury
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Thrashbat wrote:
Your description of your first play through really has me excited to play this now devil


It definitely is a thrilling game. Just pray your Mina player doesn't truly have psychic link with you as Dracula.
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Neil Maher
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Letters is a super 2 player game. It doesn't work as smoothly in a group and I think Fury is better suited for that type of play (although I haven't played it yet). I really enjoy Letters.

We must compare gaming notes again, it's been a while. Glad you still have time to play !!
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Angry Augury
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Nirumaru wrote:
Letters is a super 2 player game. It doesn't work as smoothly in a group and I think Fury is better suited for that type of play (although I haven't played it yet). I really enjoy Letters.

We must compare gaming notes again, it's been a while. Glad you still have time to play !!


A lot of people say that Letters is great for two players. I'd like to give it a shot but I don't think my wife is too interested.

As fun as FoD was, we think it could have benefited with two more people each controlling one hunter. Sure controlling two each isn't that difficult and it also allows for more coordination that Dracula isn't privy to but it seems like a larger group would be far more exciting.

After getting these two games in the past month, I thought I was done with board game shopping for the time being but I might have one more showing up at my mother's house soon. I got an insane deal on the price of a brand new game and I couldn't pass it up. I'm just hoping it's the real deal and not a box full of broken dreams that arrives. I'll let you know about it in the coming days.

How has your gaming life been going? Still getting some plays in at work? Have you had any full sessions of any big games lately?
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Fernando Santos
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Sounded like a really fun game!

I only played once this game (and i was kind of curious for it), but it was kind of a mewww game.

Our Drácula (the only experienced player in game, so i expected a win for the evil guy), started near the sea and went there, spending almost like 6,7 turns at sea.

When he arrived at land we had deducted in wich region it would be, so, we had investigators at every port, a quick fight started and after two blows from the investigator poor Drácula was no more.

For me the game was kind of boring, but after reading this session i should maybe playing it one more time.

And you sir, you do well on the session reports! I read yours on Arkham Horror and loved them!
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Angry Augury
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Facsantos wrote:
Sounded like a really fun game!

I only played once this game (and i was kind of curious for it), but it was kind of a mewww game.

Our Drácula (the only experienced player in game, so i expected a win for the evil guy), started near the sea and went there, spending almost like 6,7 turns at sea.

When he arrived at land we had deducted in wich region it would be, so, we had investigators at every port, a quick fight started and after two blows from the investigator poor Drácula was no more.

For me the game was kind of boring, but after reading this session i should maybe playing it one more time.

And you sir, you do well on the session reports! I read yours on Arkham Horror and loved them!


Thanks for your kind words, as always. It's nice to know the session reports are appreciated and I'm happy that you've found some entertainment in them.

Wow, the Dracula in your game stayed at sea that long? That's a terrible idea! There is so little he can do there not to mention that he is hurting himself with each passing turn. The fact that the hunters were waiting for him when he landed makes it all the more pitiful.

I think I would have been bored in that game too. Yes, definitely you need to try the game again. I hope it goes much better next time.
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Fernando Santos
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n107 wrote:


Thanks for your kind words, as always. It's nice to know the session reports are appreciated and I'm happy that you've found some entertainment in them.

Wow, the Dracula in your game stayed at sea that long? That's a terrible idea! There is so little he can do there not to mention that he is hurting himself with each passing turn. The fact that the hunters were waiting for him when he landed makes it all the more pitiful.

I think I would have been bored in that game too. Yes, definitely you need to try the game again. I hope it goes much better next time.


He stayed at Sea i think for like 6/7 turns, so, yes, he was kind of beaten when he arrived at land, so, two lucky cards from the investigator and game over.

It was the only fight of the all game indeed.

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Angry Augury
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Facsantos wrote:


He stayed at Sea i think for like 6/7 turns, so, yes, he was kind of beaten when he arrived at land, so, two lucky cards from the investigator and game over.

It was the only fight of the all game indeed.



It sounds like Dracula didn't really think his plan through. That's too bad because everyone suffered from that mistake because the game became boring.

At least you learned not to do that if you ever play as Dracula.
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Tim Earl
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Was he quickly cornered? Because that's the only reason for going to sea that early, and even that should be avoided by thoughtful initial placement.

Dracula totally screwed up that game.
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Fernando Santos
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cheng wrote:
Was he quickly cornered? Because that's the only reason for going to sea that early, and even that should be avoided by thoughtful initial placement.

Dracula totally screwed up that game.


No, he went to Sea like on his third move, after Mina finding out in wich region he was, but as we were kind of all over the place he was far from being cornered really!
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Alex Nguyen
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Awesome write-up!
I'm very excited for our first play sometime this month (October!)
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Angry Augury
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USP45 wrote:
Awesome write-up!
I'm very excited for our first play sometime this month (October!)


Thank you for the kind words. I'm waiting for another go at this one myself. It's really exciting with some nail-biting moments.

I hope you write up a session report of your own game too!
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