Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Fury of Dracula (second edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Rules for Cheating Need Refinement! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Günter Immeyer
Germany
Essen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After around 100 plays of FoD, I thought I'd seen it all... but then the following situation arose in our game yesterday:

It had been a really long and tight game - 3 days had already passed (in the game, not in real life, duh!) - the hunters hadn't been too lucky with their event card draws and due to an early "Evasion" event, stumbled onto Dracula's actual trail fairly late in the game. Dracula, on the other hand, had been doing quite well with his encounters and managed to keep the hunters well at bay for a long period of time.

With the help of 2 "Trap" cards and 2 "Devilish Power" cards, paired with incredible luck in his combat rolls, he even managed to kill Van Helsing once with an "Assassin" and easily escaped combat on two occasions in the first round in broad daylight (against a heavily armed Dr. Seward, I might add...).

Nevertheless, the hunters stayed focussed and at least succeeded in preventing Dracula's vampires from being matured. No less than 5 Vampire encounters had to be dealt with at night (Lord Godalming and Van Helsing each got bitten once in the process) and a couple more were obliterated during daytime.

So with the vampire counter being at 5, the day/night-marker on "dawn", Dracula's blood still at 14(!) - he had only used his "Wolf Form" once!, the game was looking utterly desastrous for the hunters. But they stayed persistent and managed to set up one final deadly trap for the Count, driving him away from Marseille to Toulouse and Barcelona and further into the south of Spain. Three of the four hunters were hot on Dracula's track (i. e. in the immediate vicinity), and Lord Godalming closed the door on a possible escape route in Santander, using the hunter's final point of resolve.

However, Dracula's plan to escape to the Atlantic and sail away to Ireland for good seemed still feasible (as the ports Lisboa and Cadiz were still open/available)... But the hunters stayed alert this time: Godalming quickly rode to Lisboa, Seward disposed of a dreaded "Fog" encounter in Granada (thanks to a "Forewarning"), Van Helsing dropped off a "Heavenly Hosts" token in Madrid from his bag to seal that place off for good and moved on to Alicante (only to be welcomed by a swarm of "Bats", of course), and Mina played a powerful "Stormy Seas" on the Atlantic Ocean sea zone before riding into Madrid herself. Next turn (noon), Seward finally got a clean shot at the Count: after fighting his way through 2(!) assisting minions in Cadiz (and breaking his favorite stake during combat) and with the help of "Sister Agatha", he was finally able to inflict some serious damage on the Count. Unexpectedly losing 2 consecutive combat rolls with "Kill" results, the Count barely escaped once more (in human form), crippled down to 3 blood this time.

So at this point in the game (afternoon, Dracula's turn), the hunters felt very satisfied and relieved, having managed to stop the Count just in time, after a very long and tough struggle. Completely controlling the situation now, knowing the location of the Count (Cadiz), leaving Dracula with only 3 options to go and receive his final beating from at least 3 fully equipped (and fairly healthy) hunters (Van Helsing of course, would not be able to participate in this final "execution ceremony", due to the nasty "Bat" effect that would send him away from the action to sleepy Zaragoza):

Dracula's current location: Cadiz (with the "Hide" card also having been played in that same location, i. e. visibly in his track and therefore not available for Him)

Godalming's location: Lisboa, 1 city away from Cadiz (and being equipped with a "Fast Horses" card, the Lord could also very well reach Granada)

Dr. Seward's location: Cadiz

Mina's location: Madrid, 1 city away from Cadiz

Van Helsing's location: Alicante (...and out of business, really)

Dracula's legal possible moves (according to the hunter's deduction...):

A) move to Lisboa => receiving a nice warm welcome from Lord Godalming (immediately) and then get completely beaten to pieces by Godalming (again!), Seward and Mina Harker during their upcoming turns

B) stay in Cadiz playing "Dark Call" => receiving a nice warm welcome from his old friend Dr. Seward (immediately) and then get completely beaten to pieces by Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward (again!) and Mina Harker during their turns (see above)

C) double back to Granada (free of hunters) => probably getting ripped to shreds from Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward and Mina Harker in their next turns

D) all other options were not available: moving to Madrid was impossible because of the Heavenly Host marker, embarking into the Atlantic Ocean was impossible because of the Stormy Seas effect (which would still last for another round).

The hunters deduced (and even suggested to Dracula!) that he would be best off to try his luck with option C, since in this case, he would effectively "only" have to face 3 fully-armed hunters during daytime, maybe giving him a (more than) minimal chance to survive with possibly 1 blood (and eventually go down in the round after that...).

Whatever he would choose though, each option would be evident and easily recognizable by the hunters anyway, quite easy to handle (at least the hunters thought...)

Much to the surprise of the hunters, though, the Dracula player refused to call it a day and pack the game in... Instead, he announced to the hunters - with an evil grin on his face - that he could easily save his neck and even win the game in this situation, playing strictly by the rules!!! What???

"No way, you old bloodsucker! - Very funny! We've got it all covered, you fool - see your only 3 legal actions above!" the hunters exclaimed. Again, the Evil One just chuckled and placed a new location marker in the first slot of his track, along with an encounter.

"Impossible!", the hunters screamed. "Illegal!", they yelled. "Exactly.", Dracula said! What?????

He affectionately explained to the unillumined hunters: "I cheated. I accidentally moved to Prague now. So go ahead: punish me according to the rules for 'Cheating' on page 25:"

rulebook wrote:
1) Dracula immediately clears his Trail down to one card and reveals his current location.
2) Additionally, Dracula loses Blood as though he had just suffered a 'Killed' result in combat.

...and now for the interesting/exploitable addendum to no. 2:

rulebook wrote:
However, if this would reduce him to 0 Blood, it only reduces him to 1 Blood instead.

He kindly pointed out to us, that although his Blood were at 1 now, his current location were definitely Prague and that he would inevitably win this game as soon as the day/night-marker would cross that "A new day"-line again! If we (= the hunters) would somehow come close to Dracula again before that, he would not flinch from cheating again... (strictly according to the rules, of course!) ... and again ...and
again. Already being at 1 Blood, he would only have to reveal his current location every time, but not fear to suffer any damage at all from each further "cheating move"!!!

The hunters gazed at the rulebook in disbelief and quickly strangled the Dracula player with their own hands to ensure that this evil knowledge wouldn't hit the public... But... well, I thought this issue might be worthwile discussing here on the forums anyway!

Haha - okay, that was the inglorious tale of the unfortunate Dracula player who found out an ingenious legal loophole in the rules, but didn't live to tell... hehe (Sorry, the story turned out to be quite looong - almost a complete session report, oops!)

But seriously, I have some questions/suggestions regarding this seemingly "legal" way of cheating:

Q1) Did the Dracula player really win this game (by the rules)?
Q2) Is cheating always a legal, apllicable means for the Dracula player (sort of like: not a very fair play, but an option allowed by the rules)?
Q3) If you cheat or are forced to cheat, can you really do such "outrageous" moves at will, such as teleporting from Cadiz to Prague??? The rules seem to indicate that "mistakes" or rule violations should be undone as good as possible:

rulebook wrote:
But if he makes a move and later finds out that he accidentally moved along a rail route or made a similarly illegal move, it’s important to undo the damage and get the game underway again.

So in our case, should Dracula be punished (= reduced to 1 blood), and should his highly suspicious destination Prague then be exchanged for "Granada"?! Isn't that a more natural way to interpret the rules?

I personally don't think that the "rules exploitation" as committed by the Dracula player in our game is right! I wouldn't even take the procedure described on page 25 as an official rule, it seems to have the character of a mere recommendation:

rulebook wrote:
We suggest the following penalty for a Dracula player who catches himself (or is caught) cheating...

Therefore, as a house rule in my future games, I would always suggest to completely omit the addendum described above - if Dracula cheats, he suffers a "Kill" result. Period. No second thoughts. No false bottom. No leftover blood.

Yeah, I know: most of the advice that you'll give me will be: "Hey, don't play with evil characters like that in the first place!" or "Ban these kind of jerks from your game group for future plays!".

Hey, relax - the guy has been strangled, staked and buried in my garden, so I promise: it won't happen again!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Hall
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
Miraculix wrote:
He affectionately explained to the unillumined hunters: "I cheated. I accidentally moved to Prague now.[...]"

"No, you did not accidentally move to Prague. You deliberately and knowingly moved to Prague, and an illegal move made knowingly and deliberately is not accidental. The rules on page 25 only apply in the case of an accidentally illegal move, not in this case. You lose. Now get out of my house, and don't come back."

That last sentence assuming the game takes place at my place, of course. The majority of my boardgaming does these days, since I managed to get regular gaming nights up and running here.

(Also, the penalty on page 25 is assessed when Dracula has no legal move at all.)

Miraculix wrote:
Q1) Did the Dracula player really win this game (by the rules)?

No. Strictly by the rules, the penalty does not apply when the Dracula player knows that he is making an illegal move. It only applies in the case of a genuine accident or when he has no legal move at all (and in the latter case, the penalty is assessed before he makes his move, which means that when he actually makes his move he is able to make a legal move again because his trail has been cleared).

Miraculix wrote:
Q2) Is cheating always a legal, apllicable means for the Dracula player (sort of like: not a very fair play, but an option allowed by the rules)?

No. Irregularity rules exist in many games, and are not taken to be a legal tactical option in those games. Irregularity rules are just a means of getting the fun of the game underway again when somebody screws up.

Miraculix wrote:
Q3) If you cheat or are forced to cheat, can you really do such "outrageous" moves at will, such as teleporting from Cadiz to Prague???

No. For the adjective "accidentally" to apply, Dracula would have to be genuinely unaware of the error, and without awareness there can be no volition, so "cheating" moves cannot be undertaken at will.

There is no need for an amendment to the rules. That player did not find an exploitable hole in the rules of Fury of Dracula.

Miraculix wrote:
Yeah, I know: most of the advice that you'll give me will be: "Hey, don't play with evil characters like that in the first place!" or "Ban these kind of jerks from your game group for future plays!".

That too. Okay, if the guy tended a sincere apology and admitted that he had lost the game fair and square without being prompted for that, I might play games with him again. Nobody can tell me I have to put up with that sort of thing, though. I've got plenty of other people to play with who will approach gaming in a good-natured manner.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Doroski
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mjtuell wrote:
Wraith wrote:
"No, you did not accidentally move to Prague. You deliberately and knowingly moved to Prague, and an illegal move made knowingly and deliberately is not accidental. The rules on page 25 only apply in the case of an accidentally illegal move, not in this case. You lose. Now get out of my house, and don't come back."


While I agree with your sentiment, I don't believe this is technically correct. There is a situation involving the Stormy Seas card where the Dracula player can be forced to make an illegal move, in which case he is subject to the cheating rules. A lot of people hate that interpretation, but it's the official ruling.


Perhaps, but there's a big difference between having no legal moves and being forced to make an illegal one, and having several legal moves and deliberately choosing an illegal one to "escape" via the rules for cheating. I feel Dracula clearly did not win under these circumstances.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Hall
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
mjtuell wrote:
While I agree with your sentiment, I don't believe this is technically correct. There is a situation involving the Stormy Seas card where the Dracula player can be forced to make an illegal move, in which case he is subject to the cheating rules. A lot of people hate that interpretation, but it's the official ruling.

I did mention that situation in my post, twice. Read just a little further down to where I wrote, "(Also, the penalty on page 25 is assessed when Dracula has no legal move at all.)"

That does not have to involve the Stormy Seas card, though it can occur due to certain plays of Stormy Seas. However, as I also mentioned, this still does not create a loophole in the rules, because the penalty in this case is assessed before he makes his move, which will provide him with a legal location to which to move again. See page 13, second column, under "Crossing His Own Trail".

And that case certainly is not the case in question.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Günter Immeyer
Germany
Essen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All right! Thanks a lot, guys (especially Travis). You really gave the hope back to "us" hunters... laugh

No, really: that's exactly how I see it, too. Following the true spirit of this game (or any game, actually), you shouldn't shy away from fairly admitting defeat if the other side has done better (or even been luckier, in some cases).

So for forthcoming FoD matches, I definitely have some strong arguments now that the "rules for cheating" in FoD are only applied in true "accidental" situations and that they can by no means be deliberately "used" at will by the Dracula player!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.