[BLOG] Tabletop Lore: Fury of Dracula

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Shaderrow
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[BLOG] Tabletop Lore: Fury of Dracula

Postby Shaderrow » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:45 pm

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Hide and seek, regardless of the context or setting which in it's played still retains a unique element of suspense. The thrill of always being mere moments away from capture is one that Fury of Dracula is a encapsulates and applies to one of the most well designed asymmetrical board games around.

Fury of Dracula sees four players each controlling their own vampire hunter chasing down Dracula across Europe. The fifth and final player takes the role of the dark prince himself who's needs to avoid and if need be, eliminate his perusers.

The game takes place on a board representing 19th century Europe complete with newly established railways, big mercantile ships and cities fresh off the industrial revolution. At its core the game is all about movement and deception though combat becomes increasingly relevant later on. Every hunter is represented on the board by a miniature, which its owner will be taking around the board as they scout out cities and villages in order to deduce Dracula's location.

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Dracula's play-style is radically different, instead of the the payer deciding where to go Dracula's movements are dictated by a deck of cards, with each card representing a location. As Dracula you'll play your cards face down onto six open spaces in the board. This thus represents your trail and every time a hunter moves into a new location Dracula must announce whether that location is in his trail by flipping the corresponding card face up.

The back of each of these location cards represents whether that location is a sea, land or city which allows the hunters to guess with a fair amount of accuracy where Dracula is might be sheltering. It can get quite intense when four people are sitting around you, avidly discussing your whereabouts while you try and maintain the best poker face you can muster.

As Dracula you are definitely outnumbered, but you're by no means outgunned. Catching Dracula is by no means the end of the game as he possesses a suite of abilities all geared towards deception and combat. Taking him down is nearly impossible for a lone hunter, which means that organization is of prime importance when you decide to go after him.

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Dracula also has the ability to place encounters face down on every location in his trail. The joy of finally uncovering a fragment of Dracula's trail is quickly cut short as by an encounter with a thief, assassin or wolf.

When things start getting grim for Dracula he has the ability to retreat to his castle in Translyvania. The hunters are immediately informed of this via their spies, but the journey to the fortress is in itself dangerous as transportation is unreliable and Dracula gains the aid of a horde of nasty minions.

With such a wide range of options open to you, Dracula is very enjoyable to play. You always feel empowered yet vulnerable, as the tiniest of mistakes can see you getting overwhelmed almost instantly. Unveiling yourself is as much of a opportunity as it is a risk, for you gain the the chance to lay all manner of traps and creatures on your trail.

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The hunters themselves aren't purely occupied with Dracula though. As a hunter you can choose to prey on the weaker vampires Dracula leaves in his wake. Should Dracula play a New Vampire encounter the hunters must find and execute the victim or run the risk of it mutating into a much more powerful creature that can significantly hinder their progress.

As I mentioned before: finding Dracula is simply half the battle. Combat in this game is a fast paced and bloody ordeal and will invariably see both sides scurrying off to lick their wounds. You really need to be on top of what the opposing hunter/Dracula is about to do as it can lead to either a quick demise or some nasty wounds that hinder players in the long term.

There's a wonderful sense of tension surrounding the whole thing as it's impossible to know if a fight is going to be the game's last. Everything is always on the line until one side of this conflict lies dead at the other's feet.

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It really is a game I cannot recommend enough. Whether your taking on the mantle of the Dark Prince or hunting him down the game provides a great time provided everyone plays their part. Playing as Dracula proves to be a great challenge as you need to outwit four other people and keep track of there plans at all times.

It has some bugbears though. The plastic inlay containing all of the cards, miniatures and board is horrendous. There's an unbearable amount of wasted space in the pen meant to house the miniatures, leaving the dice and cards in pens that are either to small or absolutely useless at holding stuff in place. A pack of plastic card sleeves in a near essential purchase for this game if you hope to keep any semblance of order in the box.

Luckily the art and build quality of all the pieces make up for this. The artwork is fantastic all round with the box itself boasting some great cover art and the various ability and location cards are lovingly illustrated. Its bears keeping in mind though that this isn't the quickest of games to play. While most of our sessions clocked in at around an hour it can easily stretch to double that if you come up against a skilled Dracula player.

It's assuredly worth that time though as Fury of Dracula is a beautiful game both in terms of it's theme, aesthetics and mechanics. Its acquired a very special place in my heart and it most definitely deserves a place on your shelf.

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Marz
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[BLOG] Tabletop Lore: Fury of Dracula

Postby Marz » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:18 pm

This does sound awesome. I actually want to play it.

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Vale
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[BLOG] Tabletop Lore: Fury of Dracula

Postby Vale » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:12 pm

Would love to play this @ a sorted event, all of us trying to kill Marz sounds like a fun evening.
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Marz
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Re: [BLOG] Tabletop Lore: Fury of Dracula

Postby Marz » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:43 pm

sneaky marz will be sneaky i warn you!


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Re: [BLOG] Tabletop Lore: Fury of Dracula

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