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Bitterman

Some rules questions...

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Our group played our first two games of FoD today, absolutely loved it - brilliant game. However, we have some questions...

 

(1) After an Ambush, Dracula must discard that card unless it specifies otherwise (RRp3). However, if a vampire is still alive after a combat ends, any damage that vampire suffers stays on its card (LTPp14). But if the vampire card gets discarded anyway, why would the damage stay on the card? If ambushed by a vampire, why wouldn't the hunter just escape in the first round of combat, automatically causing the ambushing vampire to be discarded at (almost) no risk?

 

(2) What happens when you run out of train tickets, or any given card deck? Is the discard pile shuffled back in, or is that your lot?

 

(3) Not so much a rules question as a WTF... what actual benefit does Van Helsing's special ability provide? When would you want to use it? We've never yet seen a worthwhile time to use it, which makes him by far the weakest of the hunters.

 

(4) We assumed that once Dracula had been revealed, he would become hidden again once he moved away from where the hunters are. But I can't actually find any rule to that effect! Does Dracula remain revealed, once revealed? If so, surely that basically means he can't win as he'll never again place encounters; but if not, where's the rule that says he hides again, and when/how does that happen?

 

(5) One of the event cards says that the hunters choose two cities which Dracula must reveal. If it means to choose two cities (i.e. face-down city cards) on the trail, it seems way overpowered because they can effectively get Dracula's location instantly. If on the other hand it means to choose two cities somewhere on the board, which Dracula then reveals *if* they are on the trail, it's way underpowered as there's practically no chance the hunters will choose a city anywhere near Dracula. Which way is it supposed to work?

 

(6) Dracula cannot be revealed while on a sea zone (LTPp12). Does that mean the trail can't be found while at sea, or does it mean the sea card can be flipped but Dracula himself doesn't count as revealed (even though the space he's in is face-up on the trail)?

 

So, just gonna say it... the rules really could have been written more clearly. Great game, but far too much head-scratching. Stuff like what happens when a deck runs out really didn't ought to be something that needs asking; then, things like dusk happening before night (but the combat fought at dusk counts as being fought at night anyway) is just unnecessarily confusing. So if anyone can please answer any or all of the above, I'd appreciate it!

Edited by Bitterman

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1. Fury of Dracula FAQ:

Q: What happens to a vampire encounter when the vampire is not defeated?

A: The card is returned faceup to its hideout or lair, and all damage dealt to the vampire remains on the card.

 

2. Train tickets are a token pool, not a token stack.  When a train ticket is used, it is returned to the token pool (RR pg. 11), and the token pool is mixed.  As for the event cards, there is nothing I can find that explicitly says to reshuffle, but I would guess that is the case.

 

3. For one, it is the ONLY way to move event cards from one player to another.  There are some event cards which can ONLY be played by a specific Hunter, so if another Hunter draws those cards Van Helsing is the only way to get that card to the appropriate Hunter.  It also allows you to move event cards to those who need them most immediately.  As an example, I was playing Dracula and about to pounce on Mina Harker.  The group's Van Helsing was able to pass her the "Cancel combat and do 5 damage to Dracula" card, which royally ruined my night. 

 

4. RR Page 7, bullets 1 and 2.  Basically, when Dracula moves he moves to a location and (if there are no hunters in his new space) places the card face down.  Because the card is face down, bullet 2 kicks in and Dracula is removed from the board and placed above the first spot on the trail.  He can also disappear by using Escape As Bat, which allows Dracula to move to a new location.

 

5. The Hunter playing the card picks ANY two cities, and Dracula must show those cards, whether they are on the trail or not.  It is actually a good card as it allows the Hunters to narrow down their choices based on any existing Trail knowledge.  Or if you're me playing Dracula, the players will pick slots 3 and 2 on the trail, which pretty much pinpoints your new location. -_-  It is not super powerful when played early, where the players have really no idea where Dracula started.  Played appropriately, or simply with some luck, and you can get a decent bead on Dracula's path.

 

6. This one I'm honestly not sure of anymore.  RR Page 11, bullet 8: "If a Hunter is in a sea zone that is a hideout, Dracula does not reveal that location card."  This contradicts the "Hideouts" section, RR Page 9 bullet 5: "After a hunter is moved to a hideout, Dracula reveals the location card in that hideout and may ambush the hunter."

 

It seems strange to me that you would keep Sea locations hidden, but I guess the downside of Dracula taking damage every time he moves Sea Zones sort of mitigates that?

 

Sadly I don't think we'll be getting another FAQ for Fury of Dracula, but I hope that helped somewhat!

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Thanks hugely for that comprehensive answer - it really has helped a great deal!

 

(1) Ah - I was not previously aware of the existence of the FAQ. Yep, this covers it...

 

(2) Good spot about tickets, thanks. Still amazes me that what to do with cards isn't addressed directly.

 

(3) I don't think I've yet come across a card that can only be played by a specific hunter; didn't realise they existed. Even so, it doesn't seem much of a benefit for the Van Helsing player, and situationally useful at best for the hunters as a whole.

 

(4) OK, this makes sense.

 

(5) True, perhaps the time when we drew this card is what makes the difference: we had no idea where Dracula was - it was very early in the game - so guessing two cities out of literally any city on the board, meant the card was almost worthless. (We were at least able to agree that it would be way too powerful if we pointed at two cities on the trail and said, "reveal those"). I can see that later in the game, when Dracula was nearby but we weren't sure where, it would be very useful indeed.

 

(6) Hmm - you seem to have found a direct contradiction in the rules (as opposed to merely being confusing, like we found). RR p11, taken as written, would mean Dracula is impossible to find at sea! In our second game, Dracula started in Edinburgh then moved through three or four sea zones - we only had the faintest idea where he was because someone moved into the North Sea and discovered he'd been there. Granted, he can't remain at sea forever, but the hunters will never find him if he can just jump on a ship and guarantee evading capture whenever they get near - two sea moves later and there's probably twenty different cities he could get to, hunting him down would surely be impossible.

 

The way we played it is that the hunters could force him to flip over his current location, but that (by LTP p12) he's not revealed (and thus attackable) even though they know where he is. (An ocean is a big place!) It seemed to work, but we weren't sure if it was right... it now seems like it might (or might not!) be wrong, but the alternative is surely unworkable? I think we'll stick with it the way we're currently playing, in future games, unless it becomes clear that Dracula needs that option to have a chance.

 

Thanks again!

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