Dusk falls over Budapest as Van Helsing and Mina Harker enter the city. As they walk through the deserted city streets searching for their quarry, the dark form of a vampire launches itself from the darkness at Helsing’s neck. As it flies forward at a terrible pace, Mina spins, expertly driving a stake deep into its heart.
As the decrepit form lays twitching in the rain soaked streets, the two shake their heads. This isn’t Dracula, but it’s one less lost soul preying on the weak, and one step closer to their ultimate prey.
The Hunter and the Hunted
Fury of Dracula is a 4 v 1 game where players will either play as one of four vampire hunters trying to kill Dracula, or Dracula himself, trying to gain enough influence across Europe to bring the continent under his sway.
As Dracula, you’ll be placing down location cards that become ‘hideouts’ along a trail on the side of the board as you move secretly around the map. On each hideout, you’ll also place down an encounter card which you can choose to ambush other players with. After each move, your old hideout moves up the trail spaces on the board, eventually reaching the very top.
Encounter cards can be anything from bats, which will waylay the hunters causing them to miss actions, to a sneaky spy who forces the hunters to reveal their secret cards. Most importantly, they could be new vampires. Vampires can fight hunters, but even better, moving them along this trail to the top allows you to ‘mature’ the cards, gaining large amounts on influence.
Dracula also has additional special powers at his disposal, which can allow him to heal, escape when cornered, and trick the hunters. He uses these instead of moving to a new location and can’t get them back until they reach the top of the trail again.
Meanwhile, the four hunters can move, search locations for hidden encounters, supply themselves with special events and items, heal, and gain train tickets. If they walk into a city where Dracula has been while the hideout is still on the trail, Dracula flips the card over, revealing his location and can choose to ambush them with an encounter, or keep it hidden, forcing the hunters to use an action to search for what could be a vampire, or a decoy.
Hunters all have special abilities as well (and a few weaknesses!) and players will play as all of them in every game, so in a 2-player game, one player would have their hands full controlling all of the hunters. They can also move across the board faster than Dracula using the railways on the board which, providing they have a ticket, can let them cross Europe in just a few turns. That’s critical when one of the hunters unwittingly stumbles into Dracula in downtown Prague at night and the rest of the gang are weapons shopping in Dublin.
Combat in Fury involves selecting cards from your deck and playing them against each other. Dracula draws from a permanent deck of cards, while Hunters start with only the ability to dodge, punch or run away – which are not hugely effective when fighting the Prince of Darkness. Luckily, many items they find on their travels such as weapons, garlic and crucifixes can supplement their attacks.