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GC ’15: Fury of Dracula

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Hey Kenneth, I bet Fantasy Flight Games is your favorite publisher, am I right?

No. Why would you even think that?

Well.. y’know… you’re a dragon. A fantasy creature. That flies. Like… Fantasy Flight. Get it?

Wolfie?

Yes, Kenneth?

Please. Never speak again.

Hunting the Vampire

Who it’s for: Fans of Dracula, those who like asymmetrical games or hidden-location games (a la Scotland Yard)

Who it’s not for: People who don’t have a lot of time on their hands

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Among Fantasy Flight Games’ many announcements during Gen Con, one slipped through the gates a few weeks early; a revamped edition of Fury of Dracula.

Full disclosure: I’ve never played the original Dracula, but I do love me some asymmetrical gameplay. I’ve also very recently just read the book, so it was neat to see those characters and their abilities with their stories fresh in my memory.

The game has a team of four players trying to find Dracula. The players get a lot of actions (although nighttime actions are more risky) to collect useful items and narrow down Dracula’s location. They’ll also run into vampire minions and other traps set by Dracula.

Hey look! Europe!
Hey look! Europe!

Meanwhile, Dracula uses a set of cards to move secretly around the board. While many hidden-movement games (Scotland Yard, Letters from Whitechapel, the Bio-terrorist from Pandemic: On the Brink) use a pad of paper to track movement, Dracula has a set of 5 card slots to track his last 5 locations. Anything beyond that isn’t really useful anymore anyways, so it’s a neat little system (and it also helps the investigators track down Dracula, since he can’t visit the same city again until that city card leaves the queue).

Combat is resolved with a sort of rock-paper-scissors mechanism coupled with special abilities. Human players will find it very difficult to fight vampires without a bunch of upgrades, and in fact they’re not going to want to find Dracula too soon, since he is very powerful.

I played as Mina... who starts with a vampire bite already.  Which makes sense if you know the book.
I played as Mina… who starts with a vampire bite already. Which makes sense if you know the book.

This is a Fantasy Flight game through and through, which means the components are fantastic and the art is very evocative of the theme. I can’t say perfectly whether it captures the feel of it in gameplay, since we got a quick demo, but I really look forward to trying out a full game. The rules seem fluid and streamlined, and the potential for fun looks very, very high.

Futurewolfie loves epic games, space, and epic games set in space. You'll find him rolling fistfuls of dice, reveling in thematic goodness, and giving Farmerlenny a hard time for liking boring stuff.

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