Check out my first published board game: In the Name of Odin!
A second Bulletpoint review by myself (first being 'Blue Moon City'). What I aim at here is to sum up the pros and cons of the game, according to me. It allows the users to have a quick look at a breakdown of (possible) good and bad features of a title without getting much into details.
I'm a big Vampire fan. The theme here is strong, reinforced by...
Everything is the regular FFG quality: that means, high quality. The only complaint I have is that the character cards could have been a bit thicker - frequent playing may wear them out. Other than that: lots of tokens with nice art, simply designed cards which do the trick, nice (though not overly detailed) plastic figures and a good looking board to match.
+ INTERESTING MECHANIC
The Dracula movement mechanic is great and allows a cunning player to fool his friends again and again.
With the right players and mood, there is a lot of tension which is always good and allows the Dracula player to smirk each time the Hunters try to guess where he is.
- OFTEN GETS TOO LONG
Running and hiding is all nice, but gets tiring after a while. Especially true if the Hunters are all controlled by one player.
The mechanic itself is not bad, but the cards provided breed problems. The most probable outcome of a 1v1 fight is a draw or Dracula escaping. Dracula can rarely do any real damage to a Hunter other than Mina Harker.
- OVERPOWERED CARDS & ABILITIES
"Hypnosis" and "Evasion". Throw them out, they ruin the game. Also "Newspaper Reports" can prove to be an overpowered card if it surfaces at the wrong moment, and there are multiple copies of it in the deck. Resolve can be particularly damaging when the players use it to execute "Sense of Emergency".
- USELESS FEATURES / BALANCE ISSUES
Most of the Encounters Dracula uses are pretty darn useless. Despite playing Dracula a number of times, I never saw any use at all for the Catacombs. The Roadblock card is almost not usable at all. Biting a Hunter is only sensible when fighting Mina. All that strongly biases the game toward the Hunter's side.
MY RATING: 7
Despite the (sometimes very problematic) balance issues and the (sometimes) long playing time, this is still a very nice game. I enjoy the theme and the chase. A lot of small things bug me in the game (why can't Dracula fight?), but I do fondly remember some very good sessions of FoD. Much depends on the people. A two player game with a good partner may be very enjoyable, but generally this works best with five.
Evasion initially seems overpowered, but its there as a deterent for the Hunters to stop drawing Event cards if they are on Dracula's trail. If the Hunter's are still drawing events when they are close to Drac then the problem is not the card.
If Dracula picks off isolated Hunters at night he can definitely hold his own in a fight. I don't think there are any balance issues in the game, but Dracula isn't as straightforward to play as the Hunters.
I really like FOD but it can run a little long sometimes (& the Catacombs are useless). I've found it best with 3 players.
Yeah, playing Dracula requires cunning and good timing. If Dracula could kick the hunters around with ease he wouldn't need to run from them.