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Fury of Dracula (third edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Is this game fun for new players ? rss

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Henrik Schmidt
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It seems there are very different game experiences with this game.

A friend of mine was hyped but very disappointed after the first game with his girlfriend. I also read about disappointing sessions when hunters were running around for hours and dracula was hiding before spending his last week on sea.

Is it true that the game really shines

a) with more than 2 players and more important
b) with players who already know the game and cards ?

It seems that combat is heavily relying on the knowledge of cards and what is possible to achieve with them and that even the supply action is much more important if you know that you are looking for specific, powerfull cards.

I have a game weekend with 3 friends and we all never played the game. I have a strong grasp on the rules and will play dracula but I fear it may be disappointing for such a long game. Perhaps better play Eldritch Horror ?

What was your experiences with your first FoD session ?

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Tiago Soares
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The first game can be a bit clumsy if you don't know the rules, alright.

But it is an amazing game and like any game with cards, the trick is to read carefully each card not to miss any effect it can have.

For the combat, yes, you have an advantage if you know the cards as you can easily predict your opponent's moves but you'll get it after a couple combats.

In my experience, playing FoD with two players can be a bit boring and tiring as one player has to keep up with all four investigators and their cards and it kinda defeats the purpose of having the cards for yourself and hunting as a group. I think with three players would be a bit easier. But definitely, it does shine with 5 players.
Having 4 different hunters all throwing their own ideas to the table makes it easier to trap Dracula, so probably that's why your friend didn't find it funny.

As for the time it takes, it can be pretty fast or it can drag for 1+ hours.

I never played Eldritch, so I can't really compare but FoD is an amazing game and you won't be disappointed!
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Tim Earl
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Regarding player count, we think it is best with 3. It can get boring with 5, as each hunter is bound to have turns where they're not doing much. If each player controls 2 hunters, it's enough to stay engaged without being overwhelmed.
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Randal Divinski
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As long as one player knows the rules well, a good experience is possible. I think the experience is more likely to be positive if the players are experienced gamers in general -- used to absorbing rules and with the patience for a long game.

Beyond that, a few things that can help the experience:

1. Play aids. We use small cubes that the hunters can put on the map to keep track of their thinking -- where Dracula can and can't be, for instance.

2. Timekeeping. Too much socializing on hunter turns will grind the game to a halt. Players should know what they want to do at the start of their turn and do it. Hunters as a group should strategize, but there has to be a sense of urgency. (I have done the math elsewhere: if every hunter takes 2 minutes a turn, that translates to 2 hours per games week, or a 6-8 hour game.) The group should take responsibility for getting through a week of game time in 60-70 minutes. If you fall behind that pace, consider loping a few days off the week to "catch up." But mindfulness may be enough. Dracula should timekeep as well as manage the rules.

3. As Dracula, limit your use of Wolf Form and going to sea, unless the hunters are ahead.

4. Consider a quick practice combat before doing a real one. Make sure the hunters understand three things: 1) be equipped, 2) strength in numbers, 3) basic card interactions (how cancelling works, and what Strength and Mesmerized do in particular).

Plan 3-5 hours for your first game. You can be on the low end if you timekeep, otherwise expect the high end.
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Chris Merritt
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randiv wrote:

4. Consider a quick practice combat before doing a real one. Make sure the hunters understand three things: 1) be equipped, 2) strength in numbers, 3) basic card interactions (how cancelling works, and what Strength and Mesmerized do in particular).


I was going to suggest this. If you are familiar with all the cards at this point, I'd lay out a number of weapon cards and all of Dracula's cards so all players are aware of what is possible. Then run through an example combat so everyone can see how it works. Unless they want to be surprised by what Dracula can do, in which case, they asked for it.
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Mr Suitcase
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COMaestro wrote:
randiv wrote:

4. Consider a quick practice combat before doing a real one. Make sure the hunters understand three things: 1) be equipped, 2) strength in numbers, 3) basic card interactions (how cancelling works, and what Strength and Mesmerized do in particular).


I was going to suggest this. If you are familiar with all the cards at this point, I'd lay out a number of weapon cards and all of Dracula's cards so all players are aware of what is possible. Then run through an example combat so everyone can see how it works. Unless they want to be surprised by what Dracula can do, in which case, they asked for it.


Just a note that the back of the rules reference has a listing of all the combat symbols. This helped a lot for those unfamiliar. And I second the idea of first explaning the importance of "Strength" and "Mesmerize". I'd also add "fangs" to that list too.
 
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Alex Nguyen
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Definitely YES fun for new players. We played it as a family just before Halloween this year. I wrote a review about it but it was rejected for weird reasons. Spam (?) was one of the reasons haha.

Anyways my main points had to do with why some reviews are super positive and others are super negative.

We played it as a family at home, which means we can step away after an hour and continue whenever we want. Some of the negative reviews talked about the time frame needed for the game.

We started playing the day before Halloween so the timing was perfect. It's very themey! And I had just finished reading Bram Stoker's Dracula leading up to this so it was especially in the forefront of my mind that the designers were inspired perfectly by the book! :-)

 
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Abdiel Xordium
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I prefer a full five player game. It means each hunter has less information to process which makes learning the game easier.

With experienced players fewer players makes the game faster because you need to talk less to coordinate hunter moves.

For me, the fun from learning a game is in the surprises and figuring out how things work. So I wouldn't say you need to know the cards as long as you are okay with being surprised by them, specifically some of the Dracula events can be nasty. The hunters do need to know that they have to get weapons in order to fight Dracula. Going up against Dracula with the default combat cards is a recipe for disaster.

If your group does not like to be surprised I would let everyone read through the event, item, encounter, power, and Dracula combat cards after explaining the rules.

I found combat to be a simple but effective paper-rock-scissors variant: everyone picks a card, then resolve cards. The cards themselves tell you what to do.

For the first game I would recommend not using the advanced rules: Lairs, Dracula's power cards and rumor tokens. They all make the game harder for the hunters. Until the hunters get the hang of coordinating movement and quickly finding Dracula's trail while arming themselves, those additional rules aren't necessary.
 
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Randall Monk
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We had good fun on our first play, mistakes and all.
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Davy Ashleydale
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It's kind of funny to not want to play a game because first time players won't like it. Everyone has to have a first time.
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Davy Ashleydale
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PEdorido wrote:
As for the time it takes, it can be pretty fast or it can drag for 1+ hours.


What?? I can't imagine playing a full game in under an hour! I've never finished in less than 3. Although, I do usually have at least one new player every time, and we are pretty social.
 
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Andrii Chabykin
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LarkinVB wrote:

A friend of mine was hyped but very disappointed after the first game with his girlfriend. I also read about disappointing sessions when hunters were running around for hours and dracula was hiding before spending his last week on sea.


If the hunters can't even find the trace - that's a broken strategy, not bad luck. The best game I had was the one revealing my location on the very first turn.

randomlife wrote:
PEdorido wrote:
As for the time it takes, it can be pretty fast or it can drag for 1+ hours.


What?? I can't imagine playing a full game in under an hour! I've never finished in less than 3. Although, I do usually have at least one new player every time, and we are pretty social.


Same issue. Complex rules and weird interactions make me and my group make mistakes over and over again. Time to time this ruins the game.
 
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Henrik Schmidt
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randomlife wrote:
It's kind of funny to not want to play a game because first time players won't like it. Everyone has to have a first time. :)


Gaming time is too scarce and precious to have a miss for our group. Therefore I was interested wether having fun with Dracula is related to properly know the game.

Just imagine you will only play every game once without knowing it. Will FoD be on your list of games which will shine under these conditions ?
 
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David Williams
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If you want to make sure the other players have fun, and you as the 'rules expert' are playing Dracula (which makes sense) then I'd advise playing without the Dracula powers and rumours for your first game.

It will make it more difficult for you, which means they have more chance to catch you and it's less likely to feel hopeless if they don't click with a good strategy right away.

The worst thing that can happen is they are always a step behind and never catch up with him. Not fun, and not unlikely if you are playing to win.
 
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Andy Burgess
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Orion3T wrote:
If you want to make sure the other players have fun, I'd advise playing without the Dracula powers and rumours.

It will make it more difficult for you, which means they have more chance to catch you and it's less likely to feel hopeless if they don't click with a good strategy right away.


I disagree. Those powers are pretty hard for a newbie Dracula to use effectively anyway. We had our first game of this just the other week, in the same conditions as the OP - i.e. I knew the rules up front, almost nobody else did, I played Dracula - and it was excellent.

The only thing I'd say - make sure you know the rules as well as you can, have the various rule books, FAQs (official and unofficial), errata, etc to hand just in case, explain those rules to the best of your ability and discuss what a good strategy might look like before the game starts. The hunters don't need to know the event and item decks to play effectively, but they should be clued in to the fact that getting through them quickly is a good way to find and ultimately defeat Dracula. Oh,and maybe skip some of the gamey strategies you may have rea about, like spending ages at sea, at least for the first play.

The first half of our game, I felt all powerful as Dracula, skulking around on the other side of the map to the hunters, throwing them off the scent with some road blocks hinting I was somewhere that wasn't. I was starting to get a little worried that the game would fall flat if I wasn't found. But then they found me, and it was only then that I realised how much trouble Dracula's in when the hunters are on his trail. It was a total turn around, I got brutally murdered, and it was excellent.
 
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