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The dice, the darn dice (or, first impressions)


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#1 Stalkre

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 05:07 AM

I borrowed this game from the local game store last weekend, and we've played twice so far, both times we me as Dracula. I lost both times, so I'm a little grumpy.

The first time we played I pretty much deserved to lose - I didn't play so well, the hunters were constantly on to me, and at night-time I hid instead of pursuing the hunters. Eventually they cornered me and took me down.

The second time, though, I felt like I was robbed of my rightful victory. I was at 4 points, had two bitten hunters (plus Mina), and had them scattered about and half of them with no items. Then the card that takes me anywhere came up, and I had two vampires in my encounter hand. My first instinct was to run away as far as possible, to Spain or the UK - but then I thought, it's night time, I should pursue. Using the double-move card, I played both vampires along with a Hide on the second one so I could protect it with a minion, and then I attacked one of the hunters. I figured I'll try to get a bat-ending, to push another card into the trail and put my vampires one closer to maturing.

Three bad dice rolls later, my poor Drac was stabbed through the heart while trying to bat-scape away.

I guess there's something of a learning curve to the game. I noticed that Escape (Mist) usually saves you from a "Kill" result, so I thought Escape (Bat) would be as good. It might have been nice if there was a cross-reference table in the book that shows all the results. I suppose that next time I would know that attacking with 7 Blood isn't a very good idea, or that if you have two well hidden vamps you should just pass the time until they mature. Still, I felt that I was doing very well, and it's a bit annoying when three dice rolls turn all that around.

Other than that... in both games, the hunters had me pinned down almost all the time. Once they figure you out - for example, if you go to Castle Dracula to heal - it's very hard to outmaneuver them. Especially with the anti-sea ally. You pretty much need that move-to-any-city-on-the-board card to escape if they pin you down in Eastern Europe.

You feel very helpless as Dracula during the day when there's two hunters on your trail.

The heavnly hosts and consecrated grounds seem to gravitate to that east-west border pretty quickly.

All in all it's a fun game... it's going back to the store on Friday, we'll try squeeze in one more game tomorrow, and maybe I'll manage another during the week.



#2 Dam

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:48 AM

Stalkre said:

Using the double-move card, I played both vampires along with a Hide on the second one so I could protect it with a minion, and then I attacked one of the hunters. I figured I'll try to get a bat-ending, to push another card into the trail and put my vampires one closer to maturing.

I'm very new to this game (3 games done), but is the card you're talking about "Unearthly Swiftness" (from the Event deck) or Wolf Form? Wolf Form is clear that you don't even play the 1st location you move through. US on the other hand, seems like I read that you don't place an encounter on the first location, as placing encounters takes place AFTER your movement phase is over. Like I said though, new to game, so could be wrong on this one.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#3 Stalkre

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:59 PM

Dam said:

 

 

I'm very new to this game (3 games done), but is the card you're talking about "Unearthly Swiftness" (from the Event deck) or Wolf Form? Wolf Form is clear that you don't even play the 1st location you move through. US on the other hand, seems like I read that you don't place an encounter on the first location, as placing encounters takes place AFTER your movement phase is over. Like I said though, new to game, so could be wrong on this one.

It was Unearthly Swiftness, which seemed like a good way to push vampires towards maturing. It's interesting what you say about encounters being placed after the movement phase... I'd have to look at the card, I think it says something like "you perform a full move at each city", which I interpreted to mean that you place an encounter at each one, but I could be mistaken.



#4 Dam

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 06:34 AM

My "Unearthly Swiftness" reads:

"Play this card at the start of your turn to move twice in a row, following the normal movement rules for each move."

I bought my game this week, noticed that Consecrated Ground had the FAQ'd correction printed on it.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Stalkre

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 07:49 PM

I took "the normal movement rules for each move" to include placing an encounter, but I agree that there can be a different interpretation, as that is done on the action phase. However that makes it a little bit too much like Wolf Form, so I don't know if that's the intended effect. Maybe we should send a question to FFG.

We played it again last night, and I was a Hunter this time. Dracula lost again, which makes us 3:3, this time by a combination of a hunter's luck with the dice and Dracula's unwillingness to use any Escape while Sister Agatha was on the board.

The game is still nice on the other side of the board, but it's nowhere near as fun as being Dracula. You just get a lot less action, and you can end up being halfway across the board when Dracula is finally found. If your encounter hand is full and you're happy with your items, your turn amounts to moving one futile space on the board. We talked about it afterwards, and the game is probably best for three players - if each Hunter player has two characters there's a bigger chance he'll be in on the action. One-on-one might also work out, but then the roles might be reversed, as the Hunter player gets to take four turns for each one of Dracula's.

In any case, I suspect there's a reason the game's biggest fans here like to play as Dracula.



#6 Dam

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

Stalkre said:

 

I took "the normal movement rules for each move" to include placing an encounter, but I agree that there can be a different interpretation, as that is done on the action phase. However that makes it a little bit too much like Wolf Form, so I don't know if that's the intended effect. Maybe we should send a question to FFG.

 

For the purposes of maturing encounters, especially those necessary Vampire(s), Unearthly Swiftness is better than Wolf Form, since with US you place both locations on the trail, moving it twice, with WF only the location you move to.

Also, I think that "normal movement rules" means that if you move through a Hunter city (1st move on US), you place that location face up on the trail, that sorta thing.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#7 Nagypapi

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:52 AM

1) Only the Hunters need to fight to win. Dracula should be very careful about when and how to enter combat, especially if he is not familiar with the cross-effects of the cards. Even at night a botched roll against a Stake hurts a lot. If you had 2 vampires hidden in your trail after an Evasion and are at 4 points already than fighting is totally unnecessary. If you look for trouble you will usually get it, like in your case.

 

2) With 'Unearthly Swiftness' you don't place encounter on your first location. Encounters are placed in the action phase which is after the movement phase. With US you get 2 move phases only, not two action phases. With 'Wolf Form' you can move 2 cicties distance but you don't touch the first one, so it is correct that US is useful to hurry encounter maturing while Wolf Form doesn't speed it up (because you don't put the location card of the passed over city into your trail).



#8 kjakan

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 02:42 AM

Dice? The dice are good. :)

My last game I was more or less pinned down by Sister Agatha every fight (she makes biting and escaping cost 2 blood regardless of success). On top of that I made it my priority to keep moving and try to get away from the Hunters. I ended up in a lot of fights, all but one during the day, but some-how always managed roll consistently well enough to make the other player decide to withdraw his Hunter from the fight

-K



#9 derros87

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:56 PM

this game sounds interesting i may have to pick it up sometime



#10 RedMike

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:50 AM

It's a great game and no mistake - and beautifully produced by FFG as well - although the original GW edition was also well produced for its time.

You're right to say, Stalkre, that playing Dracula is the best bit; we always have to decide this randomly as a group now - and nothing is more exciting than slipping the cordon and breaking loose into an area of Europe that the hunters have just searched through.  There are certainly bottlenecks, like Spain and Italy, but if playing the count, I quite like to begin in Italy, as it gives me the option of heading east or west or even out to sea w/o the hunters catching my scent too early.  Judicious use of encounter tokens can also protect your vamps as well.

I hope you invest in the game - it works well as an 'opener' for non gamers I've found with its relatively straightforward (for the Hunters at least) game mechanics.



#11 Ruvion

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 03:05 PM

You asked for a comparison chart? Well, here it is.

As for the dice...I swapped them out with a nice Chessex set a while ago. The combat rules were also changed a bit which satisfies the Risk player in me (makes it less dicey for me with variant rules).

Strategy and tactics are not as clear cut as you would think...play some more with different victims (ie: players) and you'll see many effective play styles crop up.



#12 Cailus

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 05:21 PM

I've only played the game once (as a Hunter) and our Dracula player was very cunning. We got totally beat because the player using Mina (or whatever her name was) was the only player with the luck to face the Dracula but always failing in battle, resulting in an easy victory for Drac.

I found the game very frustrating because it's very much a poker game, where you have to read the Dracula's face and deduce very well where the Dracula is.

Each to his own, I guess.

A person at our club had a good idea of using a similiar concept to build a board game for Jack the Ripper, where a bunch of Detectives are trying to chase the killer around London. I think just the gore aspect of such a game would excite me more than Fury of Dracula!






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