Fury of Dracula Third Edition Board Game
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- Board game of deduction and gothic horror for two to five players
- Based on Bram Stoker's classic novel
- The third edition features all-new graphic design and intuitive, highly thematic gameplay
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The most notorious vampire of all rises again in this third edition of Fury of Dracula, a board game of deduction and gothic horror based on Bram Stoker's classic novel. One player takes control of the legendary Count Dracula as he stealthily crosses Victorian-era Europe, spreading his diabolical vampirism everywhere he goes. Up to four other players govern Mina Harker and her determined companions as they try to locate and destroy the fiendish Count before he plunges Europe into horrific darkness. But in this heated game of cat and mouse, the hunted prey may also be preying on his hunters. Any day's travel might bring the hunters to Dracula's location. On any night the Count may attack. This edition features all-new art and graphic design crafted to complement the game's intuitive, thematic mechanics. Rounds are now broken into day and night: hunters take actions during both, but Dracula can only act at night. Combat is now more streamlined and decisive, and new rumor tokens allow Dracula to mislead hunters and extend the terrible reach of his influence. Count Dracula triumphs if he advances his influence track to thirteen; if the hunters can defeat him before then, they save the continent of Europe and win the game.
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I was a little reluctant when I heard that Fantasy Flight Games was planning on streamlining this game. I loved so much about it, that how could they possibly make it better. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that the game did have some clunky rules, and perhaps a new edition could indeed simplify a few game concepts.
For those of you new to the game, Fury of Dracula is a contest for 2-5 players. One player takes on the role of the evil Count Dracula, and the others take on the roles of the vampire hunters form Bram Stoker's historic novel- Abraham van Helsing, Mina Harker, Dr. Seward, & Lord Godalming. The hunters begin in various cities around Europe, each connected to other cities by road and rail lines, then Dracula can choose his secret starting location. As opposed to the second edition, in this edition the hunters a daytime action and a nighttime action. Hunters can only move between cities during the day. They can move once per road, or by reserving a train ticket (another action) they can potentially move up to three spaces by rail by drawing a random ticket token. (This is different from the second edition, where players had to roll a dice to determine rail movement, and could be quite frustrated when they were "detained over papers"- losing a turn). If players enter a location where Dracula has been, Dracula must reveal the card from his trail. Players can attempt to resupply while in a big city by drawing an item card, then drawing an event card. If they resupply during the day, they can draw the event card from the top of the deck- if it's a Dracula event card they can discard it- but at night they must draw from the bottom of the deck, and if it is a Dracula event card they must give it to Dracula.
After both the hunter day and night action, Dracula can move. He secretly selects a location card from his deck and places it on the board. Previous location cards slide to the right. Unlike the second edition, where Dracula used cardboard encounter tokens from a pool, here Dracula has an encounter deck, from which he draws cards to lay down upon his location cards in order to set traps for the hunters, and in order to mature his vampires. Combat is also streamlined in this version. Where in the second edition players would roll dice and then play cards to resolve the winner's and loser's effects, here players both just play cards simultaneously. These cards represent tactics available to Dracula and the hunters. Typically, there are six rounds of combat unless someone escapes first. There is a real "rock, scissors, paper" feel to combat, but it can be incredibly intense, and surprisingly I liked it a lot better than combat in the second edition.
Finally, Dracula's victory conditions have changed somewhat. In the second edition, Dracula had a vampire track that went up to six. If Dracula matured vampires the track advanced, or if he knocked out a hunter it advanced. The game could take a surprisingly long time to get to six, and this game could potentially go on for 8 hours or more (though that was uncommon). Now, Dracula has an "Influence Track" that runs to 13- his victory condition, and he can gain influence by maturing vampires and knocking out hunters, but in another important way as well. In the middle of the time tracker is a sun face. After each game "week" a evil third to this face is added. After three game "weeks" the evil face is completed, and despair among the hunters takes hold. Each turn thereafter leads to Dracula's marker advancing by three along the influence track. This adds an important timer to the game which can keep it from going too long. It is still at least a 2-3 hour game, and can go longer depending upon the players' analysis paralysis problems, but the game just seems to move quicker than its predecessor.
All told, this is a brilliant new edition of a wonderful board game. Fury of Dracula is one of those games that serious gamers can really sink their teeth into (pun intended), and offers some really great board game experiences. Many games will come down to the wire, (a game I played on Halloween came down to Dracula with just one health point left, and he was able to escape just as his influence track hit 13), and you and your friends will be laughing throughout. I'm a little disappointed with the aesthetic here. I do prefer the artwork on the cards, the board, the box, and the overall visual presentation of the second edition, but as far as game play goes, Fury of Dracula third edition is the winner hands down. I'm really excited that with this new edition more and more gamers will have the opportunity to enjoy this great game! I cannot recommend it enough.
Review copy provided.
I simply cant stop playing this game. Must buy game.