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Flashback Friday - Fury of Dracula - Love It of Hate It?

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Fury of Dracula Board Game
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Based on Bram Stoker's famous novel, The Fury of Dracula is a breakthrough title that introduced cooperative and deductive elements to the adventure board game subgenre, while managing to retain the feeling of breathless excitement that players seek in an adventure game. - Hobby Games: The 100 Best, Anthony J. Gallela

Fury of Dracula by Stephen Hand was originally published by Games Workshp in 1987. In 2006 Fantasy Flight Games released Fury of Dracula 2nd edition with significant changes to the game. Fantasy Flight games further changed the game in their 2015 release of Fury of Dracula 3rd edition, streamlining the gameplay and significant'y changing the combat rules. This year (2019) the 4th edition was published by WizKids with painted minitures, larger cards and an improved rule book, but with no significant changes to the rules.

Which edition do you prefer? Love it or hate it? Do you still play it?

 Fury of Dracula Miniatures

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There Will Be Games

Shellie "ubarose" Rose  (She/Her)
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Plays boardgames. Drinks bourbon. Writes code.

Articles by Shellie

Shellie "ubarose" Rose
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Articles by Shellie

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Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #302357 11 Oct 2019 10:45
I haven't played 1st or 4th edition, but I am still fond of Fury of Dracula 2nd. The box cover is a little cheesy, but otherwise the components do a nice job of delivering the gothic horror atmosphere. With the exception of the combat system, the game mechanics are solid, and the board is nicely designed to offer a challenging deduction puzzle for the hunters. The combat system is okay, but is essentially a complex version of rock-paper-scissors with some fiddly elements. 3rd edition is a different experience, but I found it overall to be equal to 2nd edition in quality. I normally don't paint my minis, but I did paint my Fury of Dracula figures because the game got so much play and the gameplay improved a bit when players no longer moved the wrong piece by mistake.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #302359 11 Oct 2019 11:05
I’m working on my top 5 horror games blog post, as promised, and spoilers: Fury of Dracula is #2 on the list.

Any edition of the game is worth playing, but 3rd/4th is superior enough to matter. Don’t get me wrong, 2nd is the version of the game I fell in love with, but Dracula is not enough of a threat for my liking and it has some really goofy, silly stuff in it and I don’t care for that in my Dracula. BLEH, LETS TELEPORT HALFWAY ACROSS THE BOARD, ISNT THIS FUN, BLEH. The dice rolling combat in 2nd is weak, no argument for it, and the variety in encounters in 3rd make a *HUGE* difference, not to mention cards being easier than the tokens.

But really, any version of the game is the best hidden movement experience around.
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #302362 11 Oct 2019 11:18
Love it but it is an "event" game that I end up playing about once per year.
hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #302364 11 Oct 2019 11:29
I had third edition, and while I liked it, it didn't go over big in my group due to its long play time and people feeling like they had no chance. They didn't actually GIVE it a chance. I sold it at a tidy profit once it got hard to find, and will probably not grab the 4th edition just due to it not seeing the table.
dysjunct's Avatar
dysjunct replied the topic: #302371 11 Oct 2019 11:51
Only ever played 2nd. Played the heck out of it and loved it, but like most FFG games, the rules are fiddly with a bunch of weird exceptions, which meant I was always Dracula. Also Dracula is not terribly furious, which would lead to things like me purposefully playing suboptimally just to have a semi-exciting combat -- but if I'm going to do that, I might as well play an RPG.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #302375 11 Oct 2019 12:06
I played a lot of FoD for the first few years after 2nd was published. Saw some dramatically different games over time. One really smart player was looking forward to his first chance to play Dracula, but we accidentally found him early. Instead of masterminding a prolonged battle of wits, he found himself in a rapidly escalating series of fights and won around turn 6 or so just by whacking hunters. Another time, a clever Dracula decided to follow one of the hunters, because that player was a lightweight gamer who was just playing so he could hang out with friends. On turn two, he decided to move back to where he started, even though the rest of us tried to persuade him otherwise. He bumped into Dracula, who died a turn later after another hunter jumped on the dogpile. Usually our games ran more like 3 hours, with a lot of table talk between the hunters.
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Jackwraith replied the topic: #302386 11 Oct 2019 13:21
Played 1st edition, back in the day, 'cuz I'm old. Liked it, as the one GW board game production that had the least amount of "Total randomness is FUN!" Decided to actually own 2nd when FFG redesigned it, which was a massive improvement mechanically, but the combat system was a failing and the small number of "Take that!" cards included was, as well. "We have Dracula cornered in Belfast-! ... And now he's in Sofia..." You could just see the light drain out of your Hunters' eyes (yes, I was almost always Dracula) and not because it'd been sucked out by one of Dracula's wives. (Hm. Are we still doing 'phrasing'?)

When it went out of print, I went through a period where money was needed, so I sold it for a nice chunk of change (I think my collection shrank by over half at that point.) Literally a month after I did so, FFG announced 3rd edition... with the incredibly cheesy cover art(!?) But, since I was in a better spot then, I picked one up and I still like it. It just doesn't see the table that often. There's one guy at one of the weekly FLGS gatherings who keeps bringing it and trying to shoehorn it in after we've been there for a while, despite everyone warning him that the store closes in a little over an hour and we will never, ever finish it. He's determined, though.

Would I bring it out as a "Halloween"-type event, as Wade references? I dunno. It's fun, but I have better/faster "all vs 1" games (The Others/TE Zombies) that fit that theme if we wanted to do something like that. I think the shine has come off from playing 2nd as many times as we did. I think it's still a worthwhile game, regardless of the time of year, though.
Ah_Pook's Avatar
Ah_Pook replied the topic: #302397 11 Oct 2019 16:46

WadeMonnig wrote: Love it but it is an "event" game that I end up playing about once per year.


yea this. i had one friend who really enjoyed it but they moved away, so now i bring it every once in a while to game night and no one wants to play it. maybe tonight?
Erik Twice's Avatar
Erik Twice replied the topic: #302405 11 Oct 2019 19:16
I really like the combat system in 3rd edition! Not that I have played any other version of the game.

I like it. I haven't played it enough to say more but I would always be willing to play. My gaming companions weren't too hot on the game, though. I think it hasn't had the chance to shine. Slow play and not quite grasping the strategy must have hurt it.
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drewcula replied the topic: #302419 12 Oct 2019 09:43
I adore this game. I'm playing the 3rd edition on 10/30, and again on 11/6. This schedule has been a gaming constant for the past three years. Like Wade, this title is an "event" for me. As host Dracula, my gaming hunters and I go all out for the evening. Behind me, a muted screening on Bram Stoker's Dracula will be running. The film's nudity and violence is great at distracting the hunters. I'm not even below poisoning my opponents; a serve a communal bowl of Count Chocula.
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wadenels replied the topic: #302432 13 Oct 2019 08:36
I love it. I have 1st edition and 3rd edition. I manage to play the 1st edition at least a few times a year and it's one of my favorite games. I consider it one of the most thematic games I own. I always play Dracula and love crouching behind the little screen and reading the thematic text, making menacing faces at the hunters, the whole shtick. Third edition I've played less, but I managed to get a game scheduled for next Saturday so I'm pretty happy about that.
Yugblad's Avatar
Yugblad replied the topic: #302444 13 Oct 2019 20:10
3rd edition is my favourite.
I also INSIST that the Dracula player wear a black cape (with red lining) - which I always bring over with the game!
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #302445 13 Oct 2019 20:38
The only thing we ever insisted on is when you draw from the bottom of the Event deck and it turns out to be a Dracula card, the Dracula player has to say: "Sweet! Thanks!" as he/she accepts the card. It's a rule.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #302446 14 Oct 2019 00:09
One of the all time greatest games.

Oddly, I’ve been lax on getting the new edition (I’ve had all three previous ones)...and I’ve kind of been thinking that I want to go back to 1st edition to be honest. It’s simpler, a little goofier, and I love the classic heavy line GW art.

3rd/4th edition is pretty great though.
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Matt Thrower replied the topic: #302448 14 Oct 2019 07:13

Michael Barnes wrote: One of the all time greatest games.

Oddly, I’ve been lax on getting the new edition (I’ve had all three previous ones)...and I’ve kind of been thinking that I want to go back to 1st edition to be honest. It’s simpler, a little goofier, and I love the classic heavy line GW art.

3rd/4th edition is pretty great though.


Yeah, I came here to post a similar sentiment.

The comparison between 1st and 3rd/4th is a classic case of losing sight of how valuable fluffy assets are in tabletop games. On paper, there's no contest: the newer edition has deeper strategy, better components and a richer evocation of its theme. It should win this contest hands down.

Except that somewhere along the line, someone forgot that the real appeal of this game is simply the sense of the feeble hunters pitting themselves against the lord of darkness. And in 1st edition, Dracula is scarier. He's better hidden and tougher in a fight. He gets to be scarier in half the time for a quarter of the rules. He plots scary schemes which make his turns last longer, so the game doesn't have a skewed downtime where Dracula is left with little to do when his go finally comes around.

Don't get me wrong: the latest version remains a great game. But the original should get far more credit than it does. I know which I'm busting out this Halloween when I break out some games for the kids.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #302449 14 Oct 2019 08:34
I think I’d be more inclined to bring 1st out than 2nd, which is the weakest edition when you really get down to it. At least 1st decides that it’s going to be sillier and sticks with it where 2nd tries to merge a deeper strategy game with the goofy stuff and it causes more frustration than anything else.
Yugblad's Avatar
Yugblad replied the topic: #302476 15 Oct 2019 08:10
I've played the 1st edition countless times, and it's still good, but, the later editions are superior (for my money) because it's easier to find Dracula.

While it's fun as Dracula (1st ed) to lose the hunters and the game to grind on another 2 hours, it's not so much fun for everyone else at the table. The constant pressure of the hunters on your back in 3rd keeps the game tighter. Plus I like Dracula's new lair (hideout?) ability!