Go Vampire Hunting in Fury of DraculaOctober 22, 2018
Originally released in 1987, Fury of Dracula is a classic board game of hidden movement and deduction. Players are in a frantic search for Dracula as he unleashes his reign of terror, spawning more vampires and leaving a trail of destruction.
Can the hunters find and destroy Dracula before it’s too late? Or will all of Europe succumb to the undead?
In this one-versus-all game, one player is Dracula and the others take on the role of Lord Godalming, Dr. John Seward, Van Helsing, or Mina Harker. Fewer players simply means you’ll be playing more than one character.
The hunters win if they find and destroy Dracula. However, if Dracula gains enough influence, he defeats the hunters and the game is over.
The hunters are working cooperatively to find and kill Dracula before he gets to 13 on the influence track. Dracula’s movements are hidden, but as each hunter performs actions they’ll begin to pick up his trail.
Each round consists of a hunter phase and a Dracula phase. The hunter phase consists of day and night and players each take a day action, which consists of moving throughout Europe and searching for Dracula. Then, they’ll take a night action, which consists of investigating and preparing for the next day.
Hunters use the supply action to collect items for their inevitable showdown with Dracula. Only the large cities in Europe contain items, however, and players may trade items with each other if they’re in the same city. Mixed into the deck are event cards that are resolved immediately; these can help or hinder the hunters’ search.
After the hunters finish their phases, Dracula takes his turn. His movement is tracked secretly with the location cards on The Trail section of the board. He’ll also place an Encounter card on his new location card.
As Dracula leaves more clues to where he is, the hunters will be able to pinpoint his location and ultimately battle him. They’ll use the items they’ve collected to fight Dracula; combat is based on played cards and their icons. If hunters cause 15 points of damage on Dracula, then they win and all of Europe can breathe easily again.
Fury of Dracula nails the theme of the race to find and destroy Dracula. Tension is high from the outset, as the hunters attempt to figure out where he is. Once you do, everything ramps up a notch as combat ensues with the game clock winding down.
It’s imperative that you and your fellow hunters work well together; splitting up early can help deduce where Dracula is moving. Of course, he’ll be laying traps for your team as you try to gather enough items for the fight.
The longer the hunters take to find Dracula, the tougher he’ll be to destroy. Each of his encounter cards he’s played has a chance to mature and produce beneficial effects for him.
Once you find him, he’s not easily defeated. After all, he’s been able to haunt Transylvania for centuries. Your team better bring more than a mere clove of garlic against the all-mighty Dracula. Thankfully, if you die, you’ll find yourself back in the nearest hospital, ready to get back into the fray (although without any of the cards you’ve accumulated to that point).
Although Fury of Dracula is now entering its third decade of production, it’s still highly recommended. With each successive edition, game play has been streamlined and improved. Fans of Bram Stoker’s lore will appreciate the game’s ability to envelop players within its theme.
While the game is built primarily on its a hidden movement and deduction mechanisms, there’s a heavy dose of hand management as well. The Fantasy Flight Games edition includes optional advanced rules to enhance gameplay: power cards that makes Dracula even more powerful and rumor tokens that advance his influence.
The new fourth edition from WizKids is now available for pre-order and the company promises the game will remain the same, but with several improvements, including five fully painted figures, an easier-to-follow rulebook, and standard-sized cards.