No matter what you do, Dracula always seems to be one step ahead of you. Just when you think you have him, he attacks and escapes. Tensions run high and hunters may die, it’s all part of the Fury of Dracula 3rd Edition.
After purchasing this game almost a year ago, we finally gathered a group to give this massive game a try at The Forge Herald gaming center, Saturday.
Upon opening the box, we were all immediately struck by how thematic the design and artwork of the board and pieces was. Clearly, a lot of attention to detail has gone into crafting the majority of the pieces. Artists Chris Beck and Samuel Shimota have done an excellent job. The only pieces I felt lacking were the miniatures. As a long-time fan of Games Workshop, I have come to have extremely high expectations of their miniature range. These fell far short of what they are capable of.
The other thing that immediately struck us was the massive rule book. To help us learn the game, we turned to Youtube.
With the video watched, we decided to give it a go.
Set up wasn’t too difficult. There are several decks that need to be shuffled, the hunters chosen, figures placed, and of course, Dracula choosing his location on the map. The game even makes choosing who goes first easy by simply telling you.
Side note: The soundtrack to Bram Stoker’s Dracula is an excellent choice for musical accompaniment for this game.
The turns are broken up into days. Each day will have a dawn and a dusk phase and then finally a late-night phase. The late-night phase is when the nefarious count gets to do all his actions. Each round is broken up into weeks.
Each hunter will take the dawn part of their turn by completing 1 action. This action could be searching, moving, re-supplying, trading, etc. There is a card that should be given to each player to let them know what they can do.
Once all hunters complete their dawn action, they then complete their dusk action. The big difference between the two parts of the turn is hunters can’t move during their dusk action. It is dangerous to travel at night, after all.
As for Dracula, the player gets to move in secrecy. A mini-map is provided so hunters can’t attempt to follow the Dracula player’s eyes to determine where the devil is. Dracula’s turn tends to be a matter of moving, adjusting the trail, and placing Events in the city he just moved to.
There are a TON of rules with this game and it makes little sense to bog you down with them here. Just know, when you play this game the first few times, you will want to keep the rule book and the rules reference book as close as possible. You will use them, a lot.
Things to remember
Do not try to be a hero! Dracula is a powerful adversary and you must work together to defeat him. All the advantage is in his corner. Once you get on his trail, do your best to keep it. We found boxing Dracula in and forcing his hand worked well for us. Dracula may be strong one-on-one, but he suffers when he is forced to fight multiple hunters at once. Use this to your advantage.
Use the equipment in the game, just be careful when you choose to get them. If you choose to get equipment at night, there is a chance it will end up in Dracula’s hands instead.
As I stated above, I am a huge fan of Games Workshop and, to some extent Fantasy Flight Games. I have not played the other editions of this game, but understand 3rd Edition helped to smooth out some issues. That being said, this is a rules-heavy game. As stated above, you will want to keep the rules close at hand.
The artwork, theme, concept and design of this game are excellent (except for the miniatures). You truly get the feel of traveling across Victorian era Europe on old roads and rickety rails as you track down the ultimate evil.
Do not plan this game with a short game night in mind. Expect that this game will take you more than an hour and will push the two-hour mark easily. It will take far longer if you’re introducing people to it for the first time.
There are a lot of pieces with this game so it won’t travel very easily. When you clean it up for the night, make sure you look around for anything that may have fallen off the table.
This is not a game for your non-hardcore board game friends. This game involves strategy, deduction, and teamwork to play.
With all that being said, this is a great game that deserves to be played often. I enjoyed this game and look forward to playing it again and again.
Patrick Cossel is the publisher of The Forger Herald. He is a writer, gamer, husband, father, and Level 1 Magic Judge. Professionally, he is the Operations Manager for a family-owned newspaper company. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2017, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.