Fury of Dracula
I got an opportunity to play Fury of Dracula tonight for the first time. I had read the rules a few times before, so I played the role of Dracula. The other poor fellow had to manage all 4 Hunters. It took us about 30 minutes before we were up and...er, walking. There's quite a bit of game setup, and there's a lot of rules to explain before you can start.
The game quality is pretty high. If I could change anything, it would be to make the insert work for what's in the box, and to make the large city squares a little bigger so you can see them when a figure is there. The rules need a ton of work. They are disorganized, rough, and ambiguous. Using the enclosed rules, the errata, the latest FAQ, and reading all the Q&A on BGG, you learn about 95% of what you need to know to play the game. That's pretty sad. Still, we had a good time.
The Hunters distributed in a wide pattern. I started in France. Bad luck (or Hunter greed) flushed out my trail during the first day, and I was on the run. The Hunters forced a fight during the day and staked me for 5 damage. I made my way to Spain, then Portugal, then out to Sea. The Hunters were initially upset at the ease of my escape, but somehow managed to guess my destination.
The map looks very open. It seems impossible that 4 Hunters could ever trap you. But when you're in Lisbon, with one Hunter in Madrid, another in Genoa, and another in Berlin, the water starts to look attractive, even though it hurts.
Landing back in France--perhaps a mistake--I was pounced upon again, the Hunters aided by Agatha. By the end of my next 2 fights, I was down another 5. I raced away using Wolf Form, heading for Italy, hoping to increase the distance. The Hunters guessed right again and started to close me in. I went to Sea yet again from Venice. I could have been in Rome, and was hoping the Hunters would think that. They did not.
I moved to the Ionian Sea. The Hunters used Resolve and Events to get 2 of them to the ports surrounding Athens. With only 4 life, I had to disembark. I played a road block on the only road out of Athens and landed there. I wasn't about to attack during the day. Reward was in the Mediterranean Sea, and I used Control Weather to drop him in Ireland. A Hunter used Sense of Emergency to move directly to Athens (bypassing the roadblock?). I had to laugh at the sight: 3 Hunters and Dracula in Greece, and a lone Hunter in Ireland.
He then played the card that replaces a fight with a die role each to lose life. I rolled a 6! Dracula died a painful death in the evening of the third day. Europe was destined to be completely uninfected with my spawn for eternity...or until our next game.
Fury of Dracula image by riledguy