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Fury of Dracula (third edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Combat at Sea? rss

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Kilo Force
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Question: Does combat occur at sea?

If not, what is to prevent Dracula from burning down the clock at sea? 1 damage per sea location isn't even enough to stop Dracula from sailing around the continent.


The Rulebook contradicts the Learn to Play. The Rulebook also appears to contradict itself. Annoying. All related rules I could find:

Rulebook wrote:
Intro paragraph. "...read the Learn to Play booklet, then use this Rules Reference while playing the game to answer rule questions as they arise".

Okay, so the Rulebook supersedes Learn to Play. The Learn to Play is dumbed down to help new players. The Rulebook appears to be the law, so I am cutting out the conflicting Learn to Play rules from this list.


Rulebook wrote:
Locations. "Each city and sea zone on the board is a location."

By definition city and sea zones are "locations".


Rulebook wrote:
Combat. "If a hunter is on Dracula's current location during dawn or dusk, he must start a combat with Dracula."

If hunter is on Dracula's location, which by definition includes sea zones, combat ensues. This seems to be a clear vote for combat at sea.


Rulebook wrote:
Sea. If a hunter is in a sea zone that is a hideout, Dracula does not reveal that location card.

While a frustrating rule for the heroes, as this obviously hides Dracula's trail while out at sea, but this does not necessarily mean Dracula himself is not revealed, or even limit/allow combat either. This could be a vote for not having combat at sea?


See, annoying. :-(


The real reason why combat at sea makes sense, is if not, the game seems to have a serious flaw. We already know the game has a maximum game time of exactly 3 weeks and 5 days, even if Dracula does absolutely nothing, because on the 4th week, the Despair influence kicks in and 5 days x 3 despair influence = 15 influence (13 needed to loose the game).
rulebook wrote:
Despair Tokens. If all three despair tokens are on the time track, when Dracula [moves], advance the influence track by 3!

It turns out the heroes really have exactly 2 weeks to kill Dracula, or the mathematically obvious winning move for Dracula is to run the clock out by jumping into the sea at the beginning of the 3rd week of the game:
• At the start of the 3rd week (2 of 3 despair tokens) (or could even start this a few days earlier in the 2nd week)
• Assuming Dracula has at least 9 health remaining (can be adjusted for fewer health, with more walking required)
• Jump out at sea on one side of the map (furthest east or furthest north)
• Run clock down by circumnavigating the continent from furthest sea all the way around to furthest sea (1 Black Sea -> 2 Ionian Sea -> 3 Tyrrhenian Sea -> 4 Mediterranean Sea -> 5 South Atlantic -> 6 North Atlantic -> 7 English Channel -> 8 North Sea, or in reverse)
• Take the 9 damage (8 sea locations and 1 for entering the sea)
• This will push the week to the 4rd and final week, with 3 of 3 despair tokens, which causes 3 influence each time Dracula moves!
• Walk 4 spaces for an instant win. (first Despair influence was out at sea)

If combat really is not allowed, then there is one hero ally card that could help, which causes Dracula to take 2 damage per sea space. Assuming you can find this event card, and assuming Dracula doesn't have one of the "remove hero ally" cards, this might be the only possible way to even slow down Dracula. Although 5 sea spaces at 10 damage only means slowing down Dracula by 3 more days.

At least with combat at sea, the heroes could jump in the sea a few locations ahead and pounce on Dracula. If Dracula is invincible out at sea, the heroes are left twiddling their thumbs as Dracula sails on by, at least until he leaves the sea (assuming one can determine where Dracula landed along the massive coast line, considering sea locations are not revealed), and by then the Despair influence kicks in, and you are basically defeated in a few rounds anyway.

Thoughts?
 
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Jason
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Quote:
what is to prevent Dracula from burning down the clock at sea?


If the players have done so little damage to Dracula that he has the 9 health to burn at the very end of the game and haven't contained him well enough that he can get to a port at either end of the ocean track, it seems very likely that they were going to lose anyway. To me, this is actually a very speedy way to speed up what would otherwise be a needlessly drawn out end of the game.
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Mark L
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Well, firstly, when all 3 Despair tokens are out, Dracula only gains ponts when he moves to a city, not a sea zone, and not when he plays a Power card (except Hide). So it's not quite as bad as it seemed to you!

But yes, the "go to sea in the third week" strategy is real, and many do consider it a cheap way for Dracula to win. Various solutions have been suggested on the forums here (look in the Variants forum).

My suggestion would be to make it more expensive for Dracula to go to sea as the Despair tokens build up. Perhaps each sea move should cost a number of blood equal to the Despair tokens currently in play (minimum 1). But I haven't had a chance to playtest that yet.


As for combat: the rules are really very badly written, and some things are correct in the Learn to Play but not in the Rules Reference.

In fact, combat does not occur at sea, because Dracula and the hunter are not on the same ship. It was better explained in the second edition, but I'm sure it's meant to be the same in the third edition.

That's the intention behind not revealing Dracula's location when a hunter is in the same sea zone as him; the bit about a hunter being on Dracula's current location is only meant to apply when the current location is revealed as being Dracula's current location, which doesn't happen at sea.


Hope that helps!
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Kilo Force
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xipuloxx wrote:
My suggestion would be to make it more expensive for Dracula to go to sea as the Despair tokens build up. Perhaps each sea move should cost a number of blood equal to the Despair tokens currently in play (minimum 1). But I haven't had a chance to playtest that yet.


That is an interesting idea
 
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Kilo Force
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Dracula doesn't even have to wait till the end of the game to abuse the sea. I realized over the weekend that, with the "Heal" Power Card, staring with turn 1, Dracula can jump into the sea, swim a few oceans, jump out, Heal, jump right back in, swim a few more, maybe have to walk a few more spots until the Heal card falls off the table, or put a Mature Dracula card right before it to clear off spots 4, 5, 6 even sooner, and repeat. Throw in the Wolf form card to skip a port location too, just for good measure.

1. Sea
2. Sea
3. Wolf Form (skip port)
4. Vampire
5. Heal
6. Back to sea as they fall off the table, maybe even doubling back.

Rinse and repeat.

It is a really lame way for Dracula to win, but what incentive does Dracula have to play fairly in a game where he is being hunted?

To which our gaming group thinks Power Cards really should be limited to 1 use per game.
 
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Jason
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kiloforce wrote:
It is a really lame way for Dracula to win, but what incentive does Dracula have to play fairly in a game where he is being hunted?


I'd say because it's not just Dracula being hunted. It's a person playing a game with other people. For me, that's reason enough.
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Martin T.
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I think you miss a point here: You will not win by running down the clock alone but by gaining 13 victory points. So if you are low in points after week 3 which is quite likely with your strategy, you need to walk up to five locations in week 4 depending on your encounter card draw and if hunters found your vampires or not. After spending so many turns on sea the hunters will have a pretty good idea where you will come back to land. And they will be strong at this Point. And you will be very weak.

And why would you start with the heal power Card?
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Kilo Force
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cybertrigger wrote:
And why would you start with the heal power Card?

I didn't say start by playing the heal power card, as you can see with the numerical list of steps, just that using the heal power card allows Dracula to basically live at sea.


cybertrigger wrote:
I think you miss a point here: You will not win by running down the clock.

Pretty sure that is exactly how Dracula can win. Eventually 3 Despair tokens arrive, and each step on land crushes the Hunters' hope, assuming they didn't already decide to stop playing as the game is no fun with Dracula doing this.

Also the list includes dropping vampires, which if they mature also will win the game for Dracula.


cybertrigger wrote:
So if you are low in points after week 3 which is quite likely with your strategy, you need to walk up to five locations in week 4 depending on your encounter card draw and if hunters found your vampires or not.

Why would Dracula be low? The Heal power would clear up the 3 damaged taken at sea, each time. The only damage, assuming you followed the numerical list exactly, would be from wolf form. And there are plenty of ways to clear up even those few measly damaged points (Castle Dracula, Event Cards, etc).


cybertrigger wrote:
After spending so many turns on sea the hunters will have a pretty good idea where you will come back to land.

I don't think so. For example, if you went straight down into the sea from the center of the map, and the hunters followed you into the sea, you could take off to the left or to the right, and the hunters have no way of knowing. Locations are not revealed while at sea. So basically to cover all of the regions (not even ports), the hunters would have to spread out, which makes them very weak.

And even if you knew exactly which sea location Dracula was currently in, there are multiple ports per sea region. And Dracula could always take 1 additional hit to go one additional sea region, which puts significant distance between Hunters and Dracula.
 
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Alexa Elvrayen

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A little late to this party, but Dracula can't play Wolf Form to skip ports. Wolf Form very specifically states "up to tworoads away", meaning it can't be played at sea since they are not connected to anything by roads.
 
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Mark L
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Alexa_Elvrayen wrote:
A little late to this party, but Dracula can't play Wolf Form to skip ports. Wolf Form very specifically states "up to tworoads away", meaning it can't be played at sea since they are not connected to anything by roads.

From the Rules Reference, p14, under "Wolf Form":
Quote:
While Dracula’s current location is a sea zone, he may use
“Wolf Form” to move to either an adjacent port or a city one
road away from an adjacent port.

It's also mentioned on p11, under "Sea".
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