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#1 El Mariachi

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:16 AM

 Hi everyone,

I would very much like some help with a little dilemma of mine so to speak which is...why do I find Fury of Dracula so dull? Now this isn't a whine or a rant thread- if I don't like a game (and to be honest, I don't like Fury of Dracula) I see little point in whining at others on a forum. No, this is a thread to try and either help me like it or just to finalise the decision that "it's not for me". I've owned the game for a while now (about 5 years I reckon) and whilst my girlfriend always seems to like it when it (rarely) comes out- I try and keep it on the shelf as much as possible simply because my mind wanders quite early on. I had forgotten I even owned the game for a while but rummaging around for something in the garage lead to me spotting this game lying forlornly in an abandoned box in a corner and it inspired me to create this thread. 

Now a little bit about myself. I first came into contact with Fantasy Flight Games towards the end of my university studies (around 2007ish). I was never big into board games (being from the UK the only games you really see readily for sale on the high street are Monopoly, Scrabble and Risk) but my girlfriend was. One day in town we both saw this game called 'Warrior Knights' so we decided that we would pick it up and give it a go with a housemate of ours (who really liked her boardgames as well). I was instantly hooked. The high quality of the pieces, the complexity of the rules and the politics of the game really drew me in and to this day I'm still a big fan of Warrior Knights.

Other board games followed in the years since; in rough order I believe it was Fury of Dracula, Blue Moon City, Doom, Twilight Imperium and more recently Battlestar Galactica and Blood Bowl Team Manager. All of these FFG games have several things in common- high quality components and great game play (Twilight Imperium and Battlestar Galactica rate amongst my favourites in particular) but Fury of Dracula stands out in my mind as the only game that I get bored with very quickly with me starting to feel like I'm wasting my evening as I play. Now why is this? This game has fans out there so either I'm missing something or I just really don't get it.

It's been quite a few years since I last played it so I apologise if I'm hazy with the details. From what I seem to remember we largely played 3 player games at the time and I remember finding the whole mechanic of searching for Dracula whilst exciting and interesting in theory, was inanely dull in practice (just my opinions chaps and chappettes,  no offence is meant or intended). I also found having to manage multiple hunters a bit tedious (although that's probably more to do with there just being three of us at the time). Maybe it was because how Dracula was played (I think I was only ever a hunter in the 5-6 games we played) but I got the overall impression that nothing seemed to happen in the game. You spent a long time not doing anything (just stocking up on items whilst following a loose plan to cover the board) and when the night time phase came around- you might get a fight or two before *poof!* Ol' Pasty Face vanished into thin air and you effectively had to start over. This would repeat  several times until the end when either the Hunters won, or Dracula won without much in the way of a climax (if memory serves Dracula won the most but I couldnt tell you an exact ratio- it wasn't anything so that to suggest that the game was inbalanced or anything so maybe 60/40 to Dracula?).

So I ask you ladies and gents- is it worth me getting it out for one more go after all this time and what can I do differently?

 

Regards,

 

El

 



#2 Julia

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:13 PM

FoD isn't an easy game to play. It founds on subtle strategies and actually if the parts aren't that well good played, well, half of the fun is off. But first of all, you have to see it as a deeply strategical game. The "dull" phase should last more or less the first two turns. For that time, Hunters should have been able to track down at least one location on Dracula's Trial, and then it's a pure matter of strategy. Thinking about the ossible movement. Surrounding the vampire in order to corner him. Stockpiling items to be more effective. Using Hosts on Munich, Wien and Saragoza to cut Europe in three parts. Being carefull on when to draw Events: certainly not during the first turn (the risk of wasting a Newspaper agency is too high) and not when you're about to hit and Evasion is still in the deck.

At the moment, I played 30 FoD games, playing both sides and I've found only one reason of disappointment in the game (apart from some rules lawyery that the game designer should fix): the combat. Having a great stategical game ending in a die rolled is kinda *sad*. IMO, this ruins the game: there is a great suspance throughout the game, and if both players are good, you can see some brilliant moves. Then, if combat starts, and the Hunters are good, it's all about rolling dice. But anyway, until final combat, I've always found it brilliant!


We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
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#3 El Mariachi

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:12 AM

 Thanks for the reply Julia, much appreciated.

To be honest the combat system didn't really bother me at all. Having grown up with Warhammer 40,000 I'm more than use to being frustrated at random dice rolls and to be honest, I got rid of that frustration as a kid so I merely see it as a means to an end.

I'm sure there a lot of subtle strategies to discover, just from the few examples you mentioned. My problem is that from the 5 or 6 games I played (the last few being guilted into it by my girlfriend before I finally said 'no more!') just didn't grab my attention. It was more or less hours of fruitless searching (okay, maybe an hour of fruitless searching truth be told) followed by a combat, then a card is played that basically resets everything which does not make for a fun time. It also kills any table banter. (I would like to point out I don't mean to offend with my views on a game you quite clearly enjoy, this is merely my personal experience).  In other words, we would spend ages basically going to a city, picking up a card and passing play on from what I remember- or at least that's the overwhelming impression I've been left with. For sure, the more you play a game the more one can learn the strategies to play it well and enjoy it, but the games I've had provide me with absolutely no incentive to do so (unlike others like Twilight Imperium- far too complex for a player to develop any kind of strategy in the first game but I was hooked from the start). 

 

What can the hunters do to enjoy the intial hunting around? An hour of initial boredom is a big mood killer, especially with new players (I've since moved into a new area since owning the game).

 

Also I see from your signature that you play Arkham Horror? To be honest I'm quite curious to try that. I'm looking for a full co-op game that's more about story than anything else but I've heard it being compared to Fury of Dracula quite a lot which concerns me. Given what I've posted above, would it be worth me giving AH a go?

 

Cheers,

 

El



#4 Julia

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

Hmmm... my FoD experience is clearly different from yours (and don't worry, I'm not offended at all, I respect all point of views, as long as they're expressed politely and not imposed on others). I'm not so sure why you have to spend an hour searching for Dracula in a fruitless way. There are tons of ways to force Dracula to reveal one card on his trial by event cards (Newspaper agency; Hypnosis; the Jonathan harker aly card; and many others), plus, if you scatter wisely your Hunters across the board (my usual starting locations: Lisbon, Edimburgh, Neaples, Wien) and you move them according to a certain pattern (from North to South, from West to East, and so on), you have to cross Dracula's trial, in some way (hence, the best strategy for playing a *good* Dracula is not to move. Starting location. If you don't have a Vampire, stay there. Hide. Dark call. Feed. The less you move, the safer you are). If you have a Vampire, move from the starting location, play the New Vampire, play Hide + Mist (or Bats), then Dark Call, Feed and so on).

Buuut... my suggestion is the following one: let the Hunters put their markers on the board. And then play Dracula starting location FACE UP on the Trial (and again, when you draw Evasion, play the new location Face up). And challenge the others to guess their moves. This is the best part of the game. Let them see if they're able to understand how Dracula can move. How they can corner him and stake him to death. In this way, you'll cut off the boring part, and start immediately the hunt. You will see the spice of the game. If even in this way you don't like the game, then maybe it's better you play something that you feel nearer to you likenings.

As per Arkham... it's a completely different game. It's good both as a strategical game and for its mood. My suggestion is to post the question "should I get this game" in the Arkham forum. The guys writing there are a big, welcoming family, and they'll literally snow you under good reasons to give this game a try. For me... it's the best game I've ever played. 130 games under my belt, and I still haven't played the same game twice. Huge replayability. Great challenges. And an entire world to discover, in a box.


We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
Custom Arkham Horror material / Arkham Horror Advanced Players League




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