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Fury of Dracula (third edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Some general questions from Edition 2 player - Balance rss

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Matthew Fisk
United States
Spanish Fork
Utah
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I own and played the 2nd Edition of this game for years and last night was the first time we tried out Edition 3 of the game...

When we first got Edition 2 we felt that Dracula was WAY too powerful and houseruled quite a bit, but over time as we played more and more we learned the nuances and after several months we were back to the original rules of the game, and the win ratio was about 50/50 which was great.

Last night playing 3rd edition it felt like the beginning of 2nd edition all over again so let me ask a few questions that initially made us feel the game was unbalanced.

Movement: The hunters can only move during the day, which pretty much means that the ONLY time they can get into combat with Dracula is at night. Move during day, combat occurs at dusk (which counts as night for combat).

They can't move at night (with the exception of some pretty rare event cards) which means they can RARELY position themselves to be in combat during the day. This was allowing me (Dracula) to just deal out the hurt while they were often only scratching me.

If they happened to be in my location after the night phase I could just move away, thus making sure that combat only occurred at night.

Stake: Before this was the hunters main weapon against Dracula, now it is USELESS against him in combat but is used as a means of killing encounter vampires during a search. However if I am reading the rules correctly it will only be of use during the initial search because once a vampire is revealed the stake can no longer do anything. Thus it would be silly NOT to ambush whenever they move into the location because otherwise the stake could remove the vampire without a fight at all.

I know this is only one play through but it seriously discouraged a couple of the players to the point that they really don't have interest in playing it again. I mowed through them easily dealing out lots of damage between myself and the vampires.

However years of experience shows me that multiple plays can often reveal things we don't necessarily see in a first time play through. What are we missing here?

Just looking for thoughts from effective hunters on what you think balances out this game.
 
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Lior Kiperman
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Ramat Gan
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Stake can be used whenever a hunter uses the search action. It doesn't matter whether the vampire encounter card has already been revealed.
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Christophe Jannin
France
SAUTRON
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It's my understanding that if a combat last for more than 6 rounds at dusk, then you'll fight again at dawn.
 
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Abdiel Xordium
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Hunters get clobbered when they fight one-on-one against Dracula. But if three or four well equipped hunters are fighting Dracula together he will go down pretty quick. That's pretty much the point of the game for hunters, find Dracula then make a coordinated attack. Fighting him one at a time just hands Dracula points.

The game is designed so that hunters can only attack Dracula at dusk and Dracula can only attack hunters at dawn. Combat favors defense.

haplo92 wrote:
It's my understanding that if a combat last for more than 6 rounds at dusk, then you'll fight again at dawn.

Dracula will normally be required to move between dusk and dawn. If Dracula were to attack a hunter at dawn, that hunter doesn't have to move and can then fight Dracula again at dusk.
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Kelly B
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There are some posts in the Strategy forum that have good hunter tips.

As I play more I am finding that Supplying during day with many of your hunter actions during first week works better than moving all hunters around to try stumble into Dracula. Just two hunters with a 1-2 red items each is something Dracula doesn't want to get into combat with. If you spend the early rounds with 2 hunters Supplying in a large city, and even take a break every now and then with Mina+Partner (can also throw off Dracula if he is border hopping to try evade Mina) to Supply, you'll be much better off when you eventually locate Dracula. There's also a decent chance you'll draw an Event that will help you locate him in the first week.

I've played many games where Mina or her Partner find Dracula in the first week yet they have no (or not enough) good items, and so combat goes horrible. Or they don't WANT to fight him and he just goes to Sea and we have to find him all over again wherever he lands.

I think a good opening for hunters is:
Van/Seward in Britannica(London?)
Van/Seward in Baltica (Bucharest?)
Mina+Godalming in Vienna


With this setup Mina+Godalming have so many options including:
--Spain in 4 turns while using her power in the 4 regions along the way. Need to draw two 3/2 tickets though in a few Godalming draws.
--Spain in 5 turns while using her power in the 5 regions along the way (includes a turn in Vienna region)
--Multiple different region routes for a 5/6 turn route to Spain
--Its a gamble for Dracula to try border hopping b/c he doesn't know if Mina+Godalming will stay in Vienna first turn, or double-back, or what region order they'll take as they go west.

The other 2 hunters just Supply for a number of turns until they are forced to act (ex: Mina+Godalming make it to Spain and haven't got a hit). You may want to move 1 or both sometimes make Dracula think twice about starting next to them.

As you can imagine we've had a lot of Dracula starts in Spain against this opening but more often than not he's been found week 1.

My gaming group has limited the Wolf power card to 1 use and we've played many close games. Even so I think Dracula has the advantage overall but it's still been very enjoyable for both sides.
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David Williams
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Quote:
As I play more I am finding that Supplying during day with many of your hunter actions during first week works better than moving all hunters around to try stumble into Dracula. Just two hunters with a 1-2 red items each is something Dracula doesn't want to get into combat with. If you spend the early rounds with 2 hunters Supplying in a large city, and even take a break every now and then with Mina+Partner (can also throw off Dracula if he is border hopping to try evade Mina) to Supply, you'll be much better off when you eventually locate Dracula. There's also a decent chance you'll draw an Event that will help you locate him in the first week.


Completely agree.

Usually I say something like this myself on threads discussing hunter strategy, but you said it perfectly so I won't bother repeating it!
 
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Randal Divinski
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Good hunter points above. The other thing you can do for your play group, to even things out, is make sure the hunters REALLY understand how combat works. First, which of their cards (and items) cancel Dracula's powers. Second, how Dracula's powers effect them: especially Strength and Mesmerize. Third, the huge difference between a 1:1 fight and a 2:1 fight, and also between well equipped hunters and poorly equipped hunters. Fourth, the difference between Night and Day combat. Fifth, how "Escape" works (both sides) and what cancels escape.

Because the Dracula player is often the one who understands the rules the best, this can bleed into a tactical advantage in combat -- from understanding card interactions more. Once the hunters understand a few combat basics, e.g. my rifle is powerful but I want to try to avoid using it the turn Dracula plays Strength (don't ALWAYS lead with it) the hunters will do better overall.
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Davy Ashleydale
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Currently, the Geek Ratings for the three editions are:

1st: 6.255
2nd: 7.009
3rd: 7.201

Not that this is definitive, but it does suggest that in general, most people prefer the 3rd edition to the 2nd edition. So hopefully your group is willing to give it a couple of more chances.
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Ivor Bolakov
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https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1491226/refurendum-drac... - poll seems right to me.
 
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giovanni ciampi
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I'm a great fan of this game, i have played the second edition a lot and quite a bit the third, and i have come to the conclusion that the game is probably balanced as it is. The only side of the game that i feel to be a little much against the hunters is the combat. Dracula and it's minions almost always got plenty of ways to harm them, while the hunters are severely limited by their three item slots, and by the fact that they would want to carry utility items too (Stakes and Horses) with them. Moveover, Dracula will sooner or later discover, through combat or encounters, what those items are, which is not helping either.
About that, since healing and movement have been buffed for the hunters in the third edition, i would say that ditching dogs, horses and stakes completely and focus only on combat weapons may be the best choice for them. Specializing (some hunters takes more utility while other more weapons) may be a possibility, but there's no guarantee for the hunters to be always in the best position possible to pull off this strategy. Changing weapons now and then could be a good move too, to keep Dracula uncertain about what he is going to face next.

Apart from that, i think that the game is fine as it is. The Fury of Dracula ability sound really bad, but i'll say that if Dracula is really able to run for two/three weeks while getting enough points AND be healthy enough to instantly win the moment he makes land as part of the "Pirate Dracula" strategy...then he probably deserves it. As i wrote before, movement for the hunters has been incredibly buffed: apart from the buffed horses, during most of the nights, if the hunters are unwilling to take risk on events, they will almost certainly get tickets, which means that, differently from the second edition, the hunters will got almost unrestricted movements on trains, knowing always how much they can move and never risking for it to fail. This will probably cause Dracula to not move along the train lines...which is something that hunters should anticipate . By all means, i never felt that one Wolf Form every six turns can really allow Dracula to outrun hunters. It may allow him to outsmart them tho...which is exactly the point of a hidden movement game .

There is some concern, too, about that fact that the first encounter Dracula will place will invariably be a vampire with a rumor token on it, because the start of the game is when Dracula is at his safest, and there is the chance that the hunter will not be able to find his trail in time to prevent those 6-7 points. While this is surely true and this is indeed a strong opening for Dracula (the second edition was no different in this case), it's value is overrated. Good hunters will know how to move to rapidly scan regions with movements and the power of Mina, and if there is the need to, they will more or less got the same chances to sift for useful events they got in the second edition (ironically, the fact that now hunters can get safe events by surrender movement is something that can bite them back, because they will be less inclined to gamble on the botton of the deck, in spite of the fact that the number of events is still rigged in their favor). The moment the trail is hot, Dracula will have an hard time maturing even one encounter without resorting to sea to go back into hiding.

Even the rumor tokens are way less harsh than it's seems at first glance. Getting 6-7 points in a single possibly lucky stroke may appear to be unfair...but if Dracula is then forced (or determined from the very start of the game) to try and win by running out the clock without attacking hunters or find a way to mature more vampires, then those 3 extra points amount to a single movement empowered by the Fury of Dracula, which given the circumstances may not make any difference at all for the outcome of the game.

I therefore think that the game is balanced, and that hunters should be relentless, coordinated, and with no fear of the events deck if they want to avoid a clock defeat.
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