You ever wanted to hunt down and destroy Dracula?…..Or Maybe even be him?
Fury of Dracula [Third Edition]
Designer: Frank Brooks, Stephen Hand, Kevin Wilson
Publisher: ADC Blackfire Entertainment, Arclight, Edge Entertainment, Fantasy Flight Games, Galakta, Game Harbor, Giochi Uniti, Heidelberger Spieleverlag
Number of Players: 2 – 5
Playing Time: 120 – 180 mins
Age Limit: 14+
Happy Halloween everyone!
It’s that time of year when we want to watch more horror movies and for some to play more creepy themed games.
For today’s review I have decided to share one of my all time favorite games with you, Fury of Dracula. In Fury of Dracula players take on the roles of vampire hunters while one player becomes Dracula. This is a 4 vs. 1 deduction game where the hunters must work together if they have a chance of defeating the dark Dracula. While Dracula’s objective is to spread influence all while lurking in the shadows. Dracula wins by pushing the influence track to 13 (which I’ll touch on a little later) while the hunters just need to kill Dracula. I’ll go over briefly the set-up for this game, as well as game play, also explaining the basics of combat before concluding if this game is right choice for you.
On to the set up!
We will be setting up for a 5 player game but you can play with minimum of two. First the players will have to determine who will be playing Dracula and who will be the four Hunters! Once that is done you will need make sure you have enough table space for the 33 x 22 inch board along with room for tokens and individual player boards. Set up tokens according to the rule book and make sure card decks are shuffled (obviously) and placed in their starting positions. The Hunters then choose their starting cities on the map by placing their miniatures in that city.
The Dracula player will then secretly choose his starting city, making sure not to reveal it to the hunters, but marking it with a matching location card and placing it in the corresponding spot next to his or her side of the board. One thing to point out is that hunters may never talk in secret to one another during the game (since Dracula has spies everywhere) unless they are in the same town. This rule does not have to be followed but it makes for a much more thematic fun experience. Now onto the Hunt!
The game plays over two different phases: Hunter phase and Dracula’s phase. The two phases are further broken up into day and night cycles. Hunters get to perform one action during the day and another at night before Dracula’s phase. Hunters take turns in numerical order based on which Hunter they are playing. Seven different actions may be taken or performed depending the day or night cycle. The seven actions are as follows:
- Reserve a railroad ticket (to use the railroad)
- Rest (heal damage)
- Special actions
Most of the actions are self-explanatory, there might be a few that need clarification. The move action is straight forward for the most part, with the exception that you may never move at night (with Dracula on the loose and all). Search actions are used to check a city your in where you think Dracula may have been hiding traps and/or other vampires. Special ability actions are printed on hunters boards and items, such as the hunter Van Helsing’s “leader” ability. That allows trading of items to players in ANY city, compared to normally only being limited to trading ONLY in your current city. Or my favorite hunter Mina Harker’s ability “physic bond” which helps narrow down Dracula’s current region on the map. Lastly is the supply action, which lets you look for weapons in your city to fight or defend against Dracula.
After all four hunters have performed their actions its on to Dracula’s phase. The first thing Dracula will do is move into an adjacent city by finding the card in the location deck. The player will place it face down on the table while sliding the previous card down on Dracula’s trail area of the board. Next Dracula will place an encounter card on the top of his new location card face down. Thas will allow Dracula to do things like increase his influence by spawning new vampires or hindering the hunters from finding him. For each vampire that gets to mature Dracula gains influence if the hunter don’t deal with it soon.
Another thing I’ll touch on real quick is combat for this game. Eventually as a hunter you will come across vampires or will be ambushed by the boss man himself, Dracula. When this does happen each hunter in combat will gather their item cards. Dracula will also draw five cards from his own personal combat deck. Then over a series of rounds players will select one card at a time face down and reveal them. With the victor of each round getting to activate the text on their card.
It works similar to rock, paper, scissors with each card having an icon in the top left corner, which the hunters trump if they match the symbol on the Dracula combat card. Combat will continue until either Dracula or his vampires escape, are defeated, or have played 6 rounds of combat.
To wrap things up, Fury of Dracula is fun! It’s not without faults, with some of them pretty big depending on the type of board games you or your friends/ family enjoy. Despite how much I tried to keep this review simple, there are many more rules to this game. Which is one of the big cons, it’s not an easy game to understand for anyone new to boards games. You will probably wanna play with someone who has played before to help with all the rules. Another con is the game play is long and sometimes when things look bleak it can drag on longer then you want. Which lead to my final con, the character Dracula is tough to beat. I mean go figure, he is Dracula. But if Dracula knows what he is doing he can make life suck for the hunters which is usually why more experience players should probably play one of the four hunters to help balance the game. It can get more insane when playing the advanced mode.
Even though I don’t play this game nearly as much as I would like, only getting to play once a year around this time. I love this game! The theme alone sold me, but when you are cooperatively hunting Dracula it is rewarding to try and coordinate with your fellow hunters. While trying not to give too much info away in fear of Dracula seeing through your plans and thwarting them. Then when you are playing Dracula its exciting to sneak around, leading the hunters into ambushes and cold trails. It’s just so deliciously evil and fun! Lastly I must mention that for the manufactured suggested retail price (MSRP) of $59.99 you do get a lot of game components. Fury of Dracula is sadly out of print with no idea when it will be on sale again, so the best places to find this game are Amazon or Ebay until it someday hit stores again.
Please comment and share if you have any questions or this review was helpful.
Until then happy gaming!
- Very Fun Theme
- Game play is rewarding when a plan comes together!
- Co-op fun
- Lots of components
- Can be too lengthy
- Rule heavy
- Difficulty (Dracula player can wreck hunters easily)
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