Fury of Dracula - Board Game Box Shot

Fury of Dracula

| Published: 2006
Fury of Dracula Fantasy Flight Game

The howls of wolves resound throughout the keep. Stalking up the stairs, Van Helsing draws the stake from under his cloak. He has tracked the vile fiend from Bordeaux to Saragrossa to Madrid to Lisbon, and now, for the moment at least, the beast is at bay. Outside, thunder crashes, and the relentless hunter flinches. In that instant, his quarry strikes!

fury of dracula game

Fury of Dracula is a gothic board game of cunning, terror, and deduction. It is playable by 2-5 players in 2-4 hours. This re-design of the 1987 classic features streamlined mechanics and high-quality components, including finely-detailed plastic figures and durable cards and tokens decorated with atmospheric art.

Fury of Dracula Map

images © Fantasy Flight Games

User Reviews (9)

Filter by: Order by:
Player Avatar
3
Amateur Reviewer
Gamer - Level 3
7
154 of 162 gamers found this helpful
“I Now Fear the Night Because of This Game”

I’ve played this game twice so far, once as Dracula and once as a hunter. For both play-throughs there are a few things I can say about the game.

First of all is that this game is LONG…maybe. The two times I’ve played the game has taken 4-5 hours. But both times, the game very nearly ended in the first 20 minutes. If Dracula makes a strategic error early in the game or if the hunters get lucky the game can end very quickly. But if the hunters miss their chance or leave a hole in their strategic “net”, one slip can add another hour to the play time.

Second commonality was the combat. The one word I would use to describe it is “meh”. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t terrible…it just is very far from good. The game can get into a sort of groove when the hunters are just chasing around the board running into a trap here and there. But whenever combat happens the game grinds to a halt. This might have been because we hadn’t played too many times, but it still felt like it was a bit too slow paced. The searching parts were so frantic that it seemed like a fight should feel more frantic, but it isn’t so.

Some of the fight mechanics are a bit odd/nifty. Not being able to use the same attack twice in a row was pretty cool. Looking up the outcome of the combat based on what the other person used was confusing.

As Dracula

The first time being Dracula is overwhelming. You’re thrown a few decks of cards, a bag full of tokens a small map, a big character sheet, and a one card cheat sheet. My first major issue with it is that there is too much to handle that absolutely needs to remain secret with no good way to keep it as such.

They give you a mini-map and say that you should look at that instead of the main board to hide where your eyes are looking, but then give you no good way to mark where the players are on the mini map. They also don’t give you a good way to mark down where you’ve been. For the first few rounds I was having to keep lifting up my played locations to see if I had been there. This actually led to some meta-gaming which I’ll talk about later. In the end we used a D&D DM screen to hide most of Dracula’s content and a paper and pen to keep track of where I had been.

Combat as Dracula is a very bipolar activity (read “awesomely thematic”). During the night you are Jarl of Europe! Nothing can stand against you and you make decisions to go away or towards hunters on a whim. “I could easily escape this attempt to trap me,” you confidently think to yourself “but I think I’ll head directly into the trap and fight my way out…I have more than enough health.”

Then you start to do that. You may get through one combat round and either send someone to the hospital or running in terror. But then…dawn. It’s a bit like getting caught with your pants around your ankles…by your entire extended family…and for some reason they’re trying to kill you.

During the day “The Mighty Dracula” ™ is reduced to three attacks. Waving his sun-scorched claw in a feeble attempt at clawing, wiggling around in an attempt to dodge the stakes raining down upon him, and escapeing as a man but like a pansy.

This was how both games ended. With each Dracula being overly offensive during the night and getting stuck in a tight spot during the day.

As A Hunter

Being a hunter can be tedious and frustrating. In fact, it was most of the game for me and the other players. There are a few instances of fun logic-ing to be had but mostly we spend our turns blindly stumbling around the map hoping to get some scent of a trail.

It did seem that the cards are stacked in your favor though. There are a lot of cards that reveal certain parts of Dracula’s trail or that let you choose a couple cities to see if he’s been there. But with so many cities to choose from, the decision to go to one city or another is a random guess most of the time.

The most frustrating aspect was the need to (once on the trail) keep on the trail despite traps that you will soon fall in to. This situation happened a couple times in both games. The characters would spread out across the map. One character would hit Dracula’s trail a few turns back. That one character would have to keep trying to hit Dracula’s trail in order to not loose him while the other characters try and get all the way across Europe (a slow process) before the chasing character gets delayed too much from the traps.

Most of the time this led to the chasing character hitting some crazy trap that forced him to give up the chase before the other characters caught up and the trail would go cold. The first time this happens it is pretty fun and exciting. But 3 hours into the game it is a bit tiring.

Combat as a hunter is a bit limited but runs about the same as with Dracula. The same complaints stand for both. During the day, you search for Dracula desperately hoping to find him when he is weakest. During the night, you still search for him, but you hope in the back of your mind that you won’t actually find him until dawn.

Meta Gaming

My first instance where I decided that this game would be something that I would enjoy was a few turns in when someone asked me where I was (I knew that I wasn’t any where near there). I had the thought that I might have some fun. I pretended like I misheard them slightly and asked them to repeat it. I then put on my “worried” face and frantically looked through a few of the cards on my trail. When I looked at some of them I breathed a sigh of relief and happily responded that “No, I am not and have not been at that location.” They spent a while searching around there and I secretly sneaked in the other direction.

There are some ambiguity issues with the game. As a hunter the character found a card that said “Sensationalist Press”. It says that if a card on Dracula’s trail is about to be revealed, Dracula can play the Sensationalist Press and the card won’t be revealed. Dracula ended up playing this when we had a card that we listed off two cities and if Dracula had been there, he flips the trail cards over. We found out later that we didn’t list any cities that were on the trail. Dracula meta-gamed to make us think that we had mentioned a trail-city when we hadn’t. This makes thematic sense and seemed like a good time to play the card. However, the card specifically says “If a card on Dracula’s trail is about to be revealed…” In this case, a card wasn’t about to be revealed. We let it slide because it was a neat move, but we all felt that it really was classified as “rule breaking” and shouldn’t be done in the future.

Thematically it seems like everyone should stay together. It even makes sense (if you can pull it off) to stick together because in a fight, you are way more powerful. The problem is that I can’t see it happening. Movement across the board is so slow that during the day (when you want to spread out to find him) you don’t have time to band together at night (when you want to stick together). A small complaint, but there you go.

The Good
Fun time hunting/fleeing.
A great social game for putting your heads together and trying to guess what Dracula would do.
As Dracula, there is so much awesome from having them on your trail and then slipping away.
Great theme. Makes you truely scared of the day/night if you are Dracula/a hunter.

The Bad
Can be tediously long.
Combat isn’t very good.
Some ambiguity in the rules.

Overall

I gave this game a 7 because I had a lot of fun with it. For all the griping I’ve done, it is still a solid game even if it can drag on. A friend mentioned a game (Letters from Whitechapel) with a Jack The Ripper theme that was similar. He described it as “Fury of Dracula without the combat.” So if the deduction part of Fury of Dracula intrigued you but the combat turns you away, consider taking a look at that game.

One parting note was that both times I started this game a little late in the evening. So this review is probably a little more harsh than it deserves.

 
Player Avatar
9
Z-Man Games fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Ireland
Novice Advisor
7
15 of 15 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“2nd Edition, He is quite angry”

Yes, he really does seem to be annoyed!

Is it because he is in a game that isn’t quite as great as you feel it could be? Don’t get me wrong it is enjoyable but you can’t help but feel it is missing something… Let’s have a look.

I have played both perspectives in this game a few times and can safely say I have a good enough idea of the game to review.

The hunters are played either all four by one player or whatever way you divide the four amongst 2 to four players. Basically these guys, move once either by road (1 space), rail (1 to 3 spaces depending on where you are on the board) or by sea (get around the outside of the map quickly).

Then they get an action, take items or event cards from their location, rest up and draw two event cards or swap items if they are together on the map.

The interesting thing about drawing event cards is you draw from the bottom of the deck, so you do not know what is being drawn next, if you draw a hunter card you keep it or play immediately if it says to. These can be making Dracula show a recent location he was in or the one he is standing in right now or collecting cards to gain strength in the upcoming fight.

If. however you draw a Dracula card you give the man some powers. Resting presents a bigger risk, as you do not collect events for yourself but Dracula gets any of his. His events can give him a boost in battle or let him create ambushes etc.

Dracula is played with the one player selecting a card with the location he is moving to on it and placing it face down so no one can read where it is. It reminds me of the game snake from the older mobile phones as he cannot reverse or land on a spot he has been to unless he gets the card back into his hand to select again. He will only get a location back after he moves 7 locations away from it. He has a few cheat cards like turning into a wolf to move two spaces, or doubling back etc, all usable once per 7 turns like the locations.

My favorite is hide as it looks like all the other location cards but no one knows you are using it and are basically, staying put!

If the hunters land on a location on Dracula’s trail, (the last 6 turns) he reveals it and the chase is on.

To do any special moves Dracula has to spend his precious blood that the hunters are trying to reduce to 0 to win and he is trying to raise 6 vampires (points) to win. Vampires are raised by getting one point every 3 rounds of play, killing/incapacitating a hunter for two points or raising and maturing a vampire after it has nested for seven turns for two points.

The fighting is done by gathering cards or items that the hunters have collected, while Dracula gathers his based on the time on the board. If it is day, he gets three and they are weak, if it is night, he has his full powers, eight cards and they are crazy good.
There are ways to modify dice rolls, but essentially, you select a card each if you are in the fight, roll a die each and whoever gets the higher, damages the other based on the results on the card.

I have enjoyed both sides of this game, but I must confess to enjoying myself more when playing as a hunter. Working with your team mates to deduce where Dracula is hiding is great, and when one of you catch him, there is a thrill watching the fight and willing your buddy to kick Dracula’s a**.

Playing as Dracula is… stressful. It is fun, but you are being hounded by up to four other players and once they land on your trail, the pressure gets heavy. I once had a game where they played and event and guessed my starting location. The game was pressure as they boxed me in for the next 2.5 hours. Fun, but I was glad when it was over.

I would recommend this if you want to try something a bit different and want to try taking a particular player who thinks he is awesome down a peg or two. Be warned, if Dracula wins, you’ll never hear the end of it.

Replay Value: This will find it’s way to the table, works well in our league as we take it out if the guy in first is getting too far ahead.

Components: Okay, 4 figures and some cards, not amazing, but okay.

Easy to Learn: Seems complicated, but when you get into the flow, it’s fine. The rulebook is unnecessarily complicated and it is annoying to have to constantly reference Dracula’s encounter tokens he leaves behind him on the trail.

 
Player Avatar
9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel
5
76 of 83 gamers found this helpful
“The Frustration of Dracula”

INTRODUCTION
Fury of Dracula takes place in Europe at the turn of the 19th century. One player takes on the role of Dracula while the other players take on the role of a Hunter (Van Helsing, Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward & Mina Harker). Fury of Dracula is in the same vein as Scotland Yard and Letters From Whitechapel but with combat and much more theme. The Hunters play a hide & seek game with Dracula in which they try to find and kill Dracula before time runs out. Fury of Dracula is for 2 to 4 players ages 12 and up and plays in about 3 or 4 hours.

COMPONENTS
The components are excellent. Hats off once again to Fantasy Flight Games. The board is mounted on thick cardboard. There are thick cardboard tokens, plastic playing pieces & dice, cardstock character cards and marginally durable cards. The artwork on the board and playing pieces is beautiful and really sets the theme. The rulebook is about 30 pages and fairly well written and organized. The rulebook contains some examples of play.

SET UP
Set-up for Fury of Dracula takes a moment. The Dracula player places the 15 blood markers on his character sheet, gathers the Dracula powers and tactical cards and draws 5 encounter markers. Each Hunter places his health marker on his character sheet, gathers their respective Hunter tactics cards and places his hunter miniature on the board in any location except Castle Dracula & the Hospital of St. Joseph and St. Mary. The Item and Event card decks are then shuffled and you’re ready to go.

GAME MECHANICS
Fury of Dracula is played in a series of rounds in which each character takes a turn consisting of a movement phase and action phase. There is also a timekeeping phase at the beginning of Dracula’s turn which tracks the number of days in the game. Upon the dawn of each day, Dracula advances his Vampire track by one and the Hunters advance their Resolve track by one. If the Vampire track reaches six days before Dracula is killed, then the Dracula player wins. Round order is as follows:

1. Dracula
2. Lord Godalming
3. Dr. Seward
4. Van Helsing
5. Mina Harker

MOVEMENT PHASE
Movement is generally made along links between cities.

Dracula – Dracula secretly chooses a card from the Location Deck corresponding to the location Dracula moves to. The card is placed in the left most slot on Dracula’s Trail on the board. In subsequent rounds, cards already on Dracula’s trail slide to the right. Dracula can move by road, sea or use one of his special powers such as Hide, Feed or Wolf Form to throw the Hunters off his trail.

Hunter – The hunters can move by road, rail or sea.

ACTION PHASE
Dracula performs one of the following actions:

Attack – Dracula can attack a Hunter in his current location.
Place Encounter – If there are no Hunters in his current location, he must place an encounter.

Then he can Mature any encounters which ‘fell off’ Dracula’s Trail by resolving the effect on the encounter. Finally, Dracula refills his encounter hand.

The Hunters can perform one of the following actions:

Search – The hunter searches for Dracula and could stumble upon Dracula’s Trail revealing a location card, find an encounter left by Dracula or even find Dracula himself.
Rest – The Hunter regains health
Resupply – Allows hunter to draw item and/or event cards depending on where the hunter is located.
Trade – Allows a Hunter to trade items with another hunter at the same location.

If Dracula is found, then combat immediately ensues. During each combat round, the Hunter(s) and Dracula play a tactical card facedown. The cards are revealed simultaneously and then each player rolls a die and adds the appropriate modifiers. The result is then resolved. Characters could receive damage, items could be destroyed, combat continued or someone escapes.

THOUGHTS
Fury of Dracula is a game that takes a play or two to learn and explore the strategies. This game has a tremendous amount of theme and great looking components. I really want to like this game but the game can become a frustrating exercise in futility. The board is huge with many places for Dracula to hide. It can take a very long time for the Hunters to even get a whiff of Dracula’s trail. Most of the time it’s just dumb luck finding his trail. Finding Dracula is another matter. Even if the trail is found, Dracula can use his special powers to fool the Hunters. The Hunters may quickly lose Dracula’s trail and need to start the search all over again.

Fury of Dracula has combat which other games along similar lines do not. Great, an added dimension! Unfortunately combat is another frustrating occurrence. When the hunters finally find Dracula, combat begins. The problem with combat is that about half the cards in Dracula’s tactical deck are escape cards. So the Hunters may do 2 or 3 damage to Dracula before he escapes. With 15 health, the Hunters will need plenty of combat to kill Dracula. If Dracula escapes that means starting the frustrating search sequence again. Realize that the search, combat, search, combat and so forth makes for a long game. Expect a minimum of 3.5 hours for a game. This can be painfully long if you are playing a Hunter. The Dracula player has much more fun. There are some items which can help pin Dracula down during the search and even temporarily prevent Dracula from escaping combat. However, it takes game time to draw these cards and put them to use.

I had only one good game where the Hunters for the most part stayed hot on Dracula’s trail and defeated him in a reasonable time frame. However, the majority of my plays have been long drawn out slogs of frustration. I strongly recommend playing this game first to determine if it is right for you and your gaming group before you buy.

 
Player Avatar
10
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Inventor
Advanced Reviewer
8
86 of 94 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 3
“One Vs Many Hidden Movement Hunt Comparison”

This started as a comment in a news article. I thought it may have merit in the reviews of each game. Not my typical format, but I hope it helps!

Here’s my brief rundown of the three one-versus-many hidden movement/catch the bad guy games that I own.

Scotland Yard – Lightest of the three; Least amount of theme; Safest choice for family gaming, content completely kid friendly; Easy enough for children to play, but deep enough that adults will still enjoy; Mechanics mostly about the chase and deduction, with resource management as secondary game device; Fastest play time.

Letters from Whitechapel – Not many more rules than Scotland Yard; Theme present on components and lightly worked into mechanics; Theme most offensive of the three, would be difficult to use with family and many adults are put off or at least have qualms getting into the Jack role; Mechanics almost completely deduction oriented. Really convey feeling of sweeping the dragnet across the map and narrowing down the hunt. You know that scene in the detective movie where they use pushpins to narrow down the murderer’s hideout? This will give you the exact same feeing!; Play time not too extensive as long as analysis paralysis kept under control.

Fury of Dracula – Heaviest amount of rules, including easily forgotten once-a-game technical rules; Strongest theme of the three, to the point where rules are created just to satisfy it; All components and game mechanics dominated by theme, making this one the Amerithrash lover’s hidden movement go-to game (and yes, it has DICE! and MINIS! and COMBAT! too); could work for family gaming as long as horror theme doesn’t create nightmares; Mechanics have the least focus on the hunt of the three games. Semi-random encounters and powerful effects from cards, add another layer of strategy while often stripping away from the deduction element. The innovative combat system makes the game a “hunt and kill” game instead of just “hunt”; Longest of the three games, partially due to checking on rules that are not easily remembered.

 
Player Avatar
6
Tactician
Professional Advisor
Tinkerer
Senior
7
140 of 154 gamers found this helpful
“The Long Chase”

In Fury of Dracula, one player is Dracula and tries to spread his influence across Europe, while the rest of the players control 4 characters from Bram Stoker’s novel trying to locate and slay him (always 4 hunters, regardless of the number of players), each with different special abilities. Dracula uses hidden cards and markers to track his movements and lay traps for the hunters; the hunters strategically search the map for clues and supplies. When they meet, they engage in combat using a combination of simultaneous tactical choices and dice rolls, with Dracula having a lot more options at night. Both sides must manage their resources carefully. The game is much longer than I expected, with my plays typically clocking 4-5 hours.

The hidden movement is reminiscent of Scotland Yard, but Dracula’s trail of clues feels more tense and elegant than SY’s timed reveals. Map control and mind games make a great difference in the chase, and both sides have enough special moves to keep things interesting, with cards that can give an extra move, block off a location, and more. This is the game’s strongest point, in my opinion.

The combat system is a bit clunky. It’s got some depth to it, but the cards do a poor job of communicating this; it wasn’t until I downloaded and printed a fan-made table of combat results that I started to see what each of the tactics was really good for. There’s also a lot of luck involved; a single die roll is sometimes the difference between Dracula losing a third of his maximum health or gaining a third of the victory points he needs to win the game.

Players often talk a lot about the Evasion card, which lets Dracula teleport anywhere on the map, effectively erasing the hunters’ progress towards locating him. That’s a potent effect, but it needs to be seen in context: there’s also two Hypnosis cards that the hunters can save and play when they choose for a 2/3 chance to reveal Dracula’s exact location, his next move, and the locations of all his young vampires. Both sides also have cards that can be played to cancel an opponent’s card, and Dracula only gets events when the hunters choose to draw. The events can cause dramatic swings for either side, but there are ways to prepare for and mitigate them once you’ve learned the game.

Overall, Fury of Dracula is a solid game. The different game systems don’t seem to work together as well as they could, but they all do their jobs reasonably well. There’s a high luck dependence, but that decreases somewhat as you learn the cards and how to counter them. A strong theme is evident throughout. The long play time means I don’t play this often, but I have fun when I do.

 
Player Avatar
4
Rated 50 Games
9
122 of 154 gamers found this helpful
“Vampire Hunting Never Felt So Good!”

Fury of Dracula is a great deductive game that has a ton of theme as well as a great social game. 4 players team up to hunt down the 5th player Dracula and try to kill him before night time arrives when he is his weakest. They need to accomplish with in 7 days or before Dracula sires 3 Vampires.

I love playing this game especially as Dracula because it provides a great amount of tension when the players are close to capturing you in a city. With the limited movement ability of Dracula vs. the hidden movement cards it makes it pretty easy to find him once the players get a whiff of the trail. The only issue here is one card that can allow Dracula to escape to anywhere on the board. However, that card must be played immediately once it comes out and Dracula can’t keep it like his other cards. Making it most likely it won’t pop up when Dracula really needs it.

The combat is simplistic but not as bad as many people make it out to be. The trick is to find Dracula again during the daytime when he doesn’t have all his powerful combat cards.

If the team works well together and makes smart decisions they should come out on top most of the time.

This is a longer game at 3 – 5 hours so plan for it, but it is completely worth it to me.

A must play Halloween game!

 
Player Avatar
2
My First Heart
8
118 of 156 gamers found this helpful
“Great theme, some iffy mechanics”

Fury of Dracula is one of the most successful games at telling a story, that doesn’t mean that the tale is always a fantastic one.
The idea of four hunters trying to track down Dracula’s secret location creates a thrilling chase, where traps can be laid and sprung, false leads can thwart the best laid plans and where you get a real sense of urgency as the time track ticks on, slowly favouring the Dracula player’s chances of winning.
Mechanically, this game has it’s ups and downs: The combat system uses simultaneously played cards to decide which side is the stronger. There are tactics involved, but they are limited. Generally only one or two of your cards are viable to be played if you want to win. Also, it takes a few games to realise that Dracula is not the mighty combatant that we imagine… it is usually best for him to avoid fighting whenever possible (especially during his weaker “daytime” phase).
Dracula’s hidden movement and trap laying works well, creating highs and lows of discovery, loss and bewilderment. The difficulty however lies in the cards that can either favour Dracula or the hunters. Some of these cards are incredibly powerful and, if drawn at the wrong time, can kill any sense of tension that the game has been building up. Imagine that the hunters have spent 8 turns slowly tracking down Dracula, have finally got the scent of his trail only for the Vampire player to draw a card that allows Dracula to make a free move anywhere on the board thus resetting the game to turn 1 and leaving the hunters with the feeling that they have wasted the last hour.
All in all, I have played many great games of FoD than bad ones, but when you stumble into an “unlucky” game it really shows the mechanics in sharp relief. Be aware when you play that your game is much dependent on the cards and when they are drawn… if you can accept this reliance on luck, then the suspenseful, gothic tale that this game weaves is fantastic!

 
Player Avatar
2
I'm a Real Person
10
3 of 7 gamers found this helpful
“Instant Classic”

This is my first boardgame, I’ve played it 5 times with 4 or 5 players. It’s a long game (2-3.5 hours) but it doesn’t get boring. It’s full of tension the whole time, especially if you’re Dracula. It’s so satisfying to outplay the 4 hunters. But being a hunter is fun too, trying to get that event that will help you find Dracula, or some good items so you can kill him in a fight. My friends and I love this game and we wanna keep playing it. We like to change who Dracula is each game, so we have had VERY different games: the Pirate Dracula, The Fighting Dracula, the Running Dracula, etc.
Also, the map is gorgeous and the overall quality of the components is quite good.
Totally recommend this game.

 
Player Avatar
1
10
“One of my favorites”

was the year 2003 when I meet this game. I was livin in Toronto, Canada and I found it in a garage sale. The game was incomplete, dusty and the map cracked. but the miniatures was perfect.
In that time I tried to play with som friends. I use the manual to complete the missign parts.
After 12 years (2015) I found the second edition in my friend`s Store SANCTUARIUM, in Aguascalientes. The price was high, but ith worths.
Now is one of my favories, actually we play this game once at month.

regards

 

Add a Review for "Fury of Dracula"

You must be to add a review.

× Visit Your Profile