Monday, September 11, 2006

Tales of the Tabletop

It might be a curse
, but somehow my friends and I can make any board game last at least twice as long as its average completion time.

So it was with The Fury of Dracula. This is a Fantasy Flight game, a company which makes some of the best - we picked up their Game of Thrones boardgame and hope to someday understand the rules well enough to play it.

When we began playing, there was a moment about ten minutes in when we thought that, perhaps, the game would be far too short. My friend William was in control of the Count and we picked up on his trail almost right away. The four of us tracked him to the Iberian Peninsula and had formed a chokepoint through the only city open to Dracula (ol' Vlad, when on land, can only travel upon roads - no trains for him).

Then Will decided to take to the water. Unexpected, because nobody ever takes to the water. Dracula especially, since he loses health as he travels over water.

So from that vast underestimation we four hunters embarked upon a five hour journey of frustration and deduction, degenerating into tired desperation.

Actually, the exact moment when the game length doubled is perfectly clear to me. Dracula played a card that allowed him to travel to any city on the game board, effectively starting the game over, making the trail absolutely worthless.

It was fun, but clearly we need to start gaming earlier.

And remove that damned card next time.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I remember playing the original version of this game back in the 1990s (when it was published by The Abomination - the games company that shall not be named). It was lots of fun, but it took an entire afternoon to play. It also famously had some rules problems that became serious for any group that played it often, and which I understand were fixed in the new version.

Enjoyed your account of playing the new version! I'd like to try it myself, but I don't want to have to buy it. I already have my eye on some expensive Days of Wonder games...

Best wishes!