Dracula | Command Post Games
Strategy Board Games Napoleon Waterloo Gettysburg Bulge Supremacy

Dracula Battle Decisions

Resolving Battles in Dracula is tense and involves a number of interesting decisions.  Deploying your forces to fight can have a big impact on how the battle develops.  Yes, there is luck involved but you can manage much of that with how you develop your forces on the battle field.  Let’s look at an example.

Dracula has attacked into Pitesti.  Dracula has 8 Troops.  The Muslims only have 5.  Dracula can group his army by 4’s.  The Muslims can only group by 2s.   

 

 

Before the opposing armies can actually fight, first they must find each other by Searching.  Each Group rolls 1 die.  They must roll their leaders rating or lower:  Dracula 4, Muslims 2

 

Dracula rolls:  2, 4.  Both Groups made it to the battle!

Muslims roll:  2, 3, 5.  Wouldn’t you know it?  Only the smallest Group succeeds.  The other two are lost this round and can’t fire unless fired upon. 

 

The Dracula player now has some interesting choices to make.  He has to declare which Groups he is firing at.  Dracula can mix up his troops however he wants.  They don’t have to stay in 2 Groups of 4.  Dracula could just fire all 8 at the 1 active defender.  The problem with this is that any excess hits are wasted.  They only apply to the Group he declared.  Out of 8 rolls, he should get 4 hits on average.  So with average luck, Dracula will kill the 1 defender and then waste 3 good hits. 

 

A better deployment for Dracula would be something like this:

 

 

3 Troops fire at the 1 Muslim.  This should be enough to kill him.  The remaining 5 Troops attack one of the lost Muslim Groups. 

Let’s say those first 3 Troops score 3 hits on the 1 Muslim defender.  The first 1 kills the Muslim piece, the other 2 are wasted.  You can’t apply them to other defenders.   

Next, let’s say the Group of 5 score 4 hits.  The first 2 hits kill the defenders, the other 2 are wasted.

This arrangement was better but still liable to generate wasted hits.  Ok, then the best thing to do is ensure that no hits are wasted?  Not necessarily.  If you push too hard, you could get yourself into trouble.  Check out this is a risky attack:

 

 

Here we have 2 Troops attacking the 1 Muslim Group.  On average, they ‘should’ kill the defender.  No guarantees.  Next we have 2 Groups of 3 attacking both lost Muslim Groups.  If Dracula gets a little lucky, this could be devastating.  The Muslims could be virtually wiped out in 1 round of combat with no chance to return fire.

 

It could also go very badly for Dracula.  Let’s say the 2 vs 1 both score 1 hit.  The middle Dracula group misses.  The third only scores 1 hit.  Then the ‘lost’ Muslims return fire with 3 hits.  Then Dracula would be going into a second round of combat for the battle looking like this:

 

 

Now it’s pretty much an even up fight.  This is a total disaster for Dracula.  Starting the game outnumbered 6:1, Dracula can’t afford to fight even up battles like this. 


Just to clarify, what if ALL groups on both sides passed their search rolls and were active to fight on round 1?  

That is just a straight up fight.  There are no decisions to make.  Dracula would roll 8 dice, the Muslims roll 5, you count hits and remove losses.  

The decisions on declaring attacks come up when the enemy has Groups that are lost:  failed their search roll and are Inactive.   

Dracula’s Brother

In our times, we rely on family for support.  We help each other.  Encourage each other.  Family is your foundation to build a life and face the world.  In a Medieval, aristocratic family, they were often your most dangerous enemy.

 

Dracula was the oldest son.  The oldest son inherits the throne.  Radu was Dracula’s younger brother.  What does the second oldest son get?  Comparatively, nothing.  Unless of course, something happens to Dracula….  There are many examples from this period, of  brothers, sisters, uncles, etc. murdering the next in line for the throne.  Only 1 person standing between you and the throne is a huge temptation.    

 

If Radu was a lot younger than Dracula, he would not have been as much of a threat.  If Radu was patient, he would likely have his own reign of power later.  They were however, only about 6-8 years apart.  Getting rid of Dracula was Radu’s only real chance at power. 

Vlad Dracul II

 

Their father, Vlad Dracul, rose to the throne of Wallachia by promising to pay taxes to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.  To further ensure his loyalty, he surrendered custody of his two sons to the Sultan. While there, they were both raped.  Dracula was filled with fury and hatred for Turks and Islam.  Ever wonder WHY  he enjoyed sodomizing Muslims with a 20’ pole?  Impaling them to hang on display and watching them slowly die for several days? 

 

Radu however, responded very differently.  He embraced Islam, the Turks and the culture.  Radu willingly remained in the Ottoman Empire and even became the Sultan’s lover.

 

Dracula, embraced Christianity.  He hated Islam.  When he assumed the throne, he refused to pay taxes to the Sultan.  The Sultan sent 2 envoys to Dracula, ordering him to report to Constantinople to discuss the situation.  The envoys had secret orders to capture and kill him as he crossed the Danube.  The savvy Dracula learned of the plot.  He seized and executed the Sultan’s envoys. 

 

Instead of continuing to Constantinople, Dracula marched to the Ottoman fortress of Guirgiu.  In perfect Turkish, he ordered the commander to open the gate.  He did!  Dracula’s soldiers simply walked in and sacked the fortress.  He then began a rampaging campaign, devastating Ottoman villages along the border, for “honor and the preservation of Christianity”.

 

The only remaining option for the Sultan was war.  Imagine being the Sultan.  If you win the war and kill Dracula, who are you going to replace him with?  The younger brother Radu, is the natural choice.  It is a pretty easy offer to sell:   Now is your chance!  You will never rule otherwise.  Besides, by this time Radu was a loyal and trusted friend and lover.

Vlad Dracula III

 

Dracula ruled with an iron grip of terror.  His reign meant hardship, blood and war.  Radu promised the opposite.  Leniency, peace and prosperity.  Yes, they would have to pay taxes to the Ottoman Empire but in exchange, their economy would flourish with increased trade.  Dracula was harsh and uncompromising.  Radu was agreeable, pleasant and diplomatic.  Wallachians weary of war, gradually switched allegiance to Radu.

Radu

 

Though Dracula fought and won many spectacular battles, overwhelming numbers forced him to withdrawal to the mountains of Transylvania.  He persisted in a guerrilla campaign but eventually gave up, seeking refuge in Hungary. 

 

Radu became the new ruler of Wallachia.  He remained in power for nearly 10 years.  He fought several campaigns against his son-in-law, Stephen III, who eventually defeated and executed him. 

 

Violent times, even for an agreeable and pleasant ruler.      

Dracula is Now Shipping!

Kickstarters are shipping.  The regular game is now available for purchase.  Check out Dracula:  Forest of the Impaled.

Affectionately dubbed ‘Risklvania’, this game is an interesting mix:

Things in common with Risk:

  • Short rules.
  • Easy to learn and play.

Things different about Dracula:

  • Short play time: 1-2 hours.
  • No player elimination.
  • No ‘Kingmaking’ or ‘prisoner’s dilemma’.

Instead, this game focuses on teamwork and communication.

The Other Fog of War in Wargames

When we think about Fog of War in board gaming, we usually think of hidden units.  There are many ways to do this.  Traditional Kriegsspiel uses Umpires.  Each ‘player’ is isolated with his own map.  Only the Umpire knows where everybody is at any given time.

True Kriegsspiel is fantastic!  It does require lots of players though…  Most wargamers struggle to find 1 opponent, little lone teams of people.    

Wargames with Fog of War


Modern wargame (board games) have been moving towards incorporating Fog of War in their games.  Usually not with Umpires but with board game ‘technology’.  In many ways Columbia Games started this effort with their hidden blocks.  This conceals the unit type and strength.  This effort has grown with new companies pushing this concept in different ways:

Command Post Games

Columbia Games

Simmons Games

Worthington Games

The Other Fog of War


These companies all make great games that incorporate some Fog of War effects from Kriegsspiel into a regular 2 player board game.  As I think about playing Kriegsspiel and these games, I notice there is something missing.

In Kriegsspiel, you don’t know exactly where the enemy is or what they have.  Heck, half the time you aren’t certain about where your own people are or what they have!  That is true but it is only half the problem.  The other half of the problem is Communication and Control.  This is huge.

Control


When it is my turn to move, I don’t actually move them.  Another player (or an Umpire acting as my subordinate) moves them for me.  I give them orders telling them how to move and what to do but I don’t actually do the move or even see it.  Did they do what I said?  Did they do it exactly like I would have done?  Did they do it quickly or slowly?  I don’t know. 

In Kriegsspiel, I control MY pieces indirectly.  I don’t actually move and attack with them myself.  Imagine all the Fog of War that results from this one simple difference.  It is massive! 

Communication


Ok, so you don’t actually move the pieces, you tell somebody else to do it for you.  Keywords here are:  ‘Tell Somebody’.  That is Communication.  Did they hear what you said?  Did you say what you thought you said?  Do those words mean the same thing to them? 

Here is a bigger problem:  What if there is no communication?  You CAN’T talk to them?  At least not right now.  Maybe there is a turn or two delay.  What happens in the mean time?  Bam!  Fog of War. 

Example


It all starts out sounding so simple.  Your orders are to attack the enemy in Newville.  Throw them out and occupy Newville.  Hold and defend Newville from the enemy thereafter.  Fine.  What could go wrong with that?

You approach Newville.  As you do, you find that the enemy is not there.  Newville has been evacuated.  You see some enemy activity on your right flank and get the sneaking suspicion that they are preparing for a massive counter attack at you from there but you have no hard evidence to support this.

What do you do?  Do you occupy Newville as ordered?  If the enemy does attack from your right, you will easily be cut off.  If you delay and ask for clarification from command, the enemy could occupy Newville in the meantime.  Now you just lost and easily secured objective. 

Maybe your commander already knows about the enemy forming to your right.  Maybe they already have something in place to deal with that threat.  Maybe they are clueless and you are about to get stomped. 

Notice the key ingredient that causes the headache here is:  No Communication, not least not for the moment.  IF your commander was sitting right next to you, holding your hand, there would be no issue.  You both instantly know what is going on and can easily make the best decision. 

 

What can we do?


Hidden units in wargames are great.  They bring in much of the Fog of War.  From my Kriegsspiel experience, that is only a part.  A much bigger part of the Fog of War is limited Control and Communication.  How can we bring more of these elements into Wargaming? 

Our first big push in this direction is Dracula’s Final Stand.  Yes, it is a semi fantasy theme but make no mistake, it IS a wargame.  The movement & combat may be very simple.  I’ll argue that the C&C aspects are very advanced and sophisticated.

In many ways, Dracula is the opposite of traditional Block Games.  Dracula implements Fog of War not by Hidden Units.  All players can clearly see everything on the board at all times.  Guess what?  This makes little difference.  This game has massive amounts of Fog of War, like you’ve never seen.  (Unless of course you are used to Kriegsspiel.)  The Other type of Fog of War.   

Dracula’s Hopes and Fears


Dracula is a strong push in a very new direction:  Fog of War based on C&C.  This is very exciting and we plan to drive harder with this in more ‘serious’ wargame titles.  I can’t wait to see how this develops.  

The only down side I see is that it requires more people.  No way around this.  To get the real C&C Fog of War effects you MUST have teams.  It doesn’t take much.  You can start to see this with even 3-4 players.

To make this easier, we’ve kept the complexity to Dracula very low.  Grandma can play it.  If you are a Grognard, your first thought maybe to skip it.  A simple ‘Dracula’ type game is hardly worth our higher, cerebral, military science faculties. 

I’d ask you to think again.  Yes the movement and combat is really simple.  That’s so you can easily find players.  The military strategy, C&C is very complex. 

Can you lead and turn Grandma, two teenagers and your fishing buddy into an elite fighting force to take down the enemy without being able to talk to them half the time? 

Now you are practicing the true Art of War.  I would say this is a much more realistic and accurate model of Command.  “What if YOU were in command at Gettysburg?”

They were a sad lot.  Soldiers dressed in rags, poorly paid and low in morale.  Under Napoleon, they became heroes, achieving the highest, heights of glory.  

 

   

 

 

 

Dracula, Risk, Kriegsspiel & Zombicide

Dracula, Risk, Kriegsspiel & Zombicide

  What do these all have in common?  The inspiration for our latest release!

This is a recent interview with a Tupelo Game Days.  


  1. What is your game? 

Dracula’s Final Stand:  Forest of the Impaled

It is an Asymmetrical, Cooperative board game, where up to 6 Muslim players try to invade and take down the Christian Dracula player.  It plays in 1-2 hours, is low complexity and well suited to casual gamers. 

Dracula is massively outnumbered.  To survive he can hunker in Castles, slip through secret mountain passes and of course, Impale people!


  1. What was the inspiration?

Risk, Kriegsspiel & Zombicide

I know, a strange combination.  We incorporated our favorite parts of these games.

I’ve always found the historical Dracula far more horrific than the campy vampire from Hollywood.  I don’t even think they can show most of the stuff that went on in a movie.  The real Dracula was very tragic and complex.  Was he a hero or a villain?  In many ways he was a freedom fighter for independence:  defending his Christian European country from oppressive Muslim rule, crushing taxes and invasion.  His tactics were brutal and savage but those were the times. 


  1. What are some unique features/mechanics your game features?

 


Impalement

Dracula can Impale any piece in the dead pile.  He can even Impale his own live troops!  What does it do?  When you march into an area with Impalements each group must roll a die for morale:  4-6, they stay in the ranks and take down 1 Impalement marker.  1-3, they run away!  How many of your troops will actually be there to fight Dracula?  All?  Half?  15% ?   Always a surprise.  Usually hysterical.   

 

No Player Elimination

Is there anything worse than being the first player to get knocked out of Risk?  Then you sit there, a bored loser for 4 hours while everybody else has fun.

There is no elimination in this game.  “Dracula just whacked my army!  What can I do?”  Simply form a new army:

  • Go ask another player to give you some of his troops.
  • Did the selfish bastard turn you down?   Form a new army by rounding up all of his stragglers that just ran from Dracula’s Impalements.
  • No stragglers in the area? Just ride back to Rumelia and recruit a new army.  No big deal.    

 

Team Play   

Another big problem with competitive, multiplayer games is that the only way to win is to make a ‘fake’ alliance and then betray and backstab another player.

This is a team game.  You win by working better as a team.  This is more fun, challenging and rewarding.  You can still be the ‘best’ player that saved the day and won the game but your teammates may find this arguable.       


  1. What is your favorite part of the game?

No Communication!

Players on the same team cannot ‘communicate about the game’, unless their HQs are in the same area.

It is hard to describe how incredibly fun this is.  It is very much like Krieggspiel without an umpire. 

Dracula gets a free ReRoll token as a penalty every time somebody breaks this rule.  ‘Communication’ means all types:  verbal and NON-VERBAL, to include:  smiles, frowns, sighs, staring, eye rolling, groans, banging your head against the wall, etc.  (No I’m not exaggerating.  I’ve seen it in this game.)

We can talk and plan our strategy before the game:  You go up the center.  I go up the right and take down these castles.  Fine, except then your army gets trashed by Dracula.  Now what?  Should I go rescue you and cover the center?  Should I ignore that and follow the plan:  castles on the right?  Should I stop and waste a turn to go talk to you about it and come up with a new plan?

Another great result we see from this is that the ‘smart kids’ can’t bully everybody with:  “Oh no, that’s not what you do.  THIS is the perfect move in THAT situation.”  Not being able to talk makes this absolutely epic.  The mere mortal players have more fun because they are free to try anything and experiment.  If it all blows up,  they have a great excuse:  I didn’t know!  Nobody could tell me!  The ‘smart kids’ have more fun because they are horrified at what everybody is doing ‘wrong’ and they can do nothing to stop it. This game is SNAFU on steroids. 

Guess what?  Sometimes, the ‘wrong move’ works.  Sometimes the ‘perfect move’ fails.  This is a game that serious, competitive, strategic players can play together WITH casual gamers and even non-gamers.  Everybody has fun and learns a lot of interesting things about communication and teamwork.  This game isn’t about being a strategic genius and making ‘perfect’ moves.


  1. Will it be Kickstarted? If so when?

Yes, it’s on Kickstarter right now!  It ends on Halloween.  There is one week left so you’ll need to hurry to get the cool extras like custom Dragon dice.  -in some rewards. 


  1. Where can we keep up with the game?

You can see it on Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1743441977/draculas-final-stand-forest-of-the-impaled


  1. Anything else you want to share?

Short Play Time

Easy to fit in time to play.  It only lasts 4 turns.  It is usually over in 1.5-2 hours. 

 

Short Rules

Quick & easy to learn and teach.  Only 8 mini pages of rules.  Even non-gamers play and like this game. 

 

Good 2 Player

Though we strongly urge more players, this game plays very well as a standard 2 player game.    

 

Great Solitaire

You’re gonna think I’m just saying this to hype the game but it’s really true.  It makes a great solitaire game as well.  This game was designed to be multiplayer.  Surprisingly, our play testers report that it is very strong as a solitaire game.  I can’t explain it.  I’m not sure I understand it.  I’m just tellin you what we hear.       

 

With Friends Like These

Games like this are fun but we can also learn priceless, real world lessons;


This is a good example of team player dynamics.  Radu (red dragon crest) moves first.  The path to Castle Dracula is wide open!  Radu moves into Poliesti. 

Now Radu can talk to the black crest player:  “Let me take your 6 Troops with me!  That will get me up to full strength so I can take Castle Dracula.”

“Heck no”, says the black crest player, “Those are MY Troops.  That will leave me with nothing.  If Dracula attacks I’ll lose my siege and get crushed.” 

“That’s ok,” says Radu, “You can march back to Rumelia and raise new troops.”

“YOU march back to Rumelia and raise new troops.”, responds the black player, “I’m taking down THIS Castle.”


If they can’t agree, what happens?  They are each in control of their own Troops.  You can’t make somebody give you their Troops.  Unless of course you are the Sultan.  That is an interesting twist but not the case here. 

Ok, so rebuffed, Radu continues his march north.  Maybe now he won’t have enough to Storm Castle Dracula but he can at lease Siege it. 

Next up to move:  black crest.  After thinking this over for a bit, he now sees a chance for glory.  He marches up the valley to have a little chat with Radu. 

“Hey, I think this will work better, if you give me your Troops now, I can attack Castle Dracula and take it down this turn!” –says the black crest. 

“Yeah right.” responds Radu, “Why don’t YOU march back to Rumelia and get your own Troops.”  

Same problem.  Same result.  Black crest marches north to Siege Castle Dracula.  It’s the best he can do.

 

Notice how this plays directly into Dracula’s hand.  Dracula moves later in the turn:

  • He can strike at Poliesti and cut off Supply to both Muslim armies;   OR
  • He can crush the black crest army at Castle Dracula;   OR
  • He can cut through the mountains and smash Radu in the valley. 

On top of that, how many penalty tokens are the other Muslim players going to give Dracula for wanting to knock their (Radu & black crest) heads together! 


To wargamers, this is often disturbing.  “That’s not the BEST move!  That’s not what they should do!”

 I know.  Isn’t it great?!  🙂  Guess what?  It happens all the time in real war with real officers.  You may think this game isn’t very ‘realistic’ because it doesn’t have thousands of counters and a 100 page rule book. 

I’d argue it is more realistic because of messy, command issues like this.  I’ll also argue it is more fun as well! 

The average person off the street can relate to this.  Everybody has to deal with conflict like this. 

How many times have you seen the ‘imperfect move’ being made at work?  You tried to persuade co-workers and management to do things differently but they didn’t listen?  Did it hurt your team’s performance?

Games like this are fun but we can also learn priceless, real world lessons;  and they are games everyone can enjoy playing together.       

What Now?

Maybe my move wasn’t the greatest but they just cost our team penalties.  Which is worse? 


In Turn 1, the triple crest (lower right) and then the Sultan both charged straight in at Dracula in Pilesti.  The result?  They were both completely destroyed.  Dracula was beat down but then he Recruited and Impaled a bunch of prisoners.  Still 1/3 of his army is gone.

 I attempted a third attack on Dracula but 3/5 of my army ran from the Impalements.  Luckily, most of Dracula’s army was sleeping when I arrived (failed their search rolls) so I was able to withdrawal before a battle with no losses. 

Now it is turn 2.  I have to move first.  What should I do? 

The Castles to the left and right are already under siege. 

If I attack Dracula, I’m liable to get smashed.  I also now have the only remaining army in the center.  I feel an obligation to hold that but I don’t want to just sit here and waste a turn.  We only have 3 turns left to conquer Wallachia and Transylvania.  The Sultan and triple crest can go back across the Danube and raise new armies. 

I could storm the Castle at Targoiste to the right.  Dracula hasn’t moved yet though.  This will weaken me and leave me vulnerable to a strike from him later. 

I don’t want to take the hit.  I’m the only one left with an army around here!  But on the other hand, we have to start wearing him down.  We can’t beat him head on but we have to start chipping away at him, so that he will collapse by turn 4. 


This is just an example to illustrate some of the tough decisions in this game.  Note how the dynamics would play out in a real multiplayer game.  In this case, the Sultan is there.  I could strategize with him and the triple crest on what to do.  The Sultan could even order me to make the move HE wanted if I disagreed.  He could even take all my Troops and send me back to Rumelia to raise a new army.

 

If you are off on your own, the decision is all up to you.  You also CAN’T consult your teammates for help.  Communication is against the rules.  What if I forget about some stupid rule and make a real bonehead move?  Yes, I’ll look like an idiot but I have a good excuse!  I forgot and nobody was able to tell me. 

Even better, when I make a really bad move, my ‘smart’ team mates are liable to groan and howl.  Guess what?  That’s “communication”.  Dracula gets penalty Re-Roll tokens for that. 

Maybe my move wasn’t the greatest but they just cost our team penalties.  Which is worse?            

Cooperative Asymmetric Betrayal

 

Do you win by backstabbing and betrayal?  What is the new Dracula game like?  Risk?  Diplomacy?  It comes from these roots but it has some very key differences.

 

-Not player elimination. If you get whacked by Dracula, you just go raise a new army.
-Cooperative. You work as a team to take down Dracula.
-Asymmetric. A real player actually is Dracula. It is a pretty extreme situation. Dracula is outnumbered 6:1.  Both sides have very different armies and must adapt very different tactics. 
-Epic player interaction.  In most games like this, the best path to victory is to betray some other player.  In Dracula, you can have some form of backstabbing and betrayal but player interaction is much more subtle and interesting.

You have to work as a team. Dracula can easily trash 1 player but there are 6 of you. Nobody wants to go first but somebody has to. You have to start wearing him down.

The fun thing is that you can’t ‘communicate’ unless you are in the same area. So you have to make a plan before the game and execute it without talking. So in a way, you can ‘betray’ the team by not following the agreed upon plan and running off to do your own thing. Does that help bring down Dracula or hurt?

You can also kind of mess with other players by taking their troops! So let’s say your army gets whacked by Dracula. You have to go all the way back to Rumelia to recruit a new army. OR you just wait until other player’s troops flee from Impalements. Then you can go round up their stragglers and form a new army. This is much quicker but your team mates won’t appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

Muslims Invade Europe to Slaughter Christians: The Board Game

Given current political events in Europe, does this game go too far?  Yes, Halloween is approaching.  It’s time for board games and vampires.  Dracula, Transylvania and Castles.  Yes, yes, yes!  Desperate Christians in Europe resorting to brutal terrorism to defend themselves against a massive invasion of Muslim armies intent on subjugating the insolent infidels.  Wait, what?

Impalements along the border

Yes, we are talking about Dracula.  The historical Dracula:   Vlad Tepes -The Impaler.  This Cooperative board game, now on Kickstarter, takes the historical approach to Dracula.  One Dracula player tries to defend Romania from 6 invading Muslim players.  Those odds are pretty bad.  Outnumbered 6:1, how can the Dracula player ever have a chance?

Dracula has the home field advantage.  There are Castle Sieges, fierce battles and difficult mountainous terrain.  Dracula is a better leader and has a better army.  If that is not enough, he can always resort to Impaling people. 

Yes, Dracula can Impale the Muslim invaders.  Dracula can Impale the dead and even his own people, just like the historical Dracula did.  I’ve always found the historical Dracula much more horrific and scary than any Hollywood movie.  These were brutal times.  The blood soaked deeds are unfathomable.

It often feels like our world is full of growing division, tension and violence.  Had this come out in the 80s or 90s, hardly anyone would have batted an eye.  The history being so far removed, this game would have been received as pure fantasy. 

Today, it doesn’t feel like fantasy.  It has a very uncomfortable, ‘modern’ feel.  Maybe this is what we find so disturbing.  It’s not so much about the game and the past.  It’s about the future.  Is this where we are headed?  A dark and brutal future where the West fights with Islam over the control of Europe?  All roads seem pointed in this direction now.  Is there anything anybody can do to stop it? 

Therein lies the real horror.    

Dracula Strikes

Ok, so Dracula is outnumbered 6:1. 
How can this possibly be a game?
AND
How does the game work?  Movement / Combat?

The best way to answer these questions is to show you an example of a move and a battle:

 

End of Turn 2   

Dracula’s situation already looks hopeless.  Targoiste has fallen and another Muslim army is approaching Castle Dracula.

Dracula’s better HQ has allowed him to move last. He starts with only 4 troops. Each player can spend 3 Movement Points (MPs) during their turn.   

 


 

Dracula Recruits new 4 new Troops with his first MP. 

 
 


For his 2nd MP, he moves down into the mountains.  Only Dracula can move into and through mountainous areas.  

 
 

He moves into Targovistie with his 3rd MP.  This starts a battle.
 


 

The Muslims can only group in 2s.  Dracula can group in 4s.  Each Group must first successfully Search before they can join the battle.  Muslims must roll 2 or less, Dracula:  4 or less.  


Dracula’s first Group fights the 2 Muslim Groups in the battle.


 They both take losses:


Dracula’s 2nd Group can surprise attack Muslim Groups that failed their roll.  


This means the Christians fire 1st! The other Muslim Groups do not participate in this round. They can attempt to search again at the beginning of next round.


After a 2nd round of combat, the surviving Muslims retreat to Pitesti.  Dracula’s army is reduced to 4.


For Turn 3, Dracula uses his HQ to jump ahead and move first!  He spends his 1st MP to recruit new Troops in Targovistie.  


Next, he moves back up into the mountains.  


Finally, he descends out of the mountains to strike at his next victim.  

The armies here are exactly the same as the battle at Targovistie.  The outcome is very likely to be just as disastrous for the Muslims.  

2 Muslim armies destroyed in 2 turns.  Only 4 more to go!  


Additional Dracula Tricks

  • Castles:  Dracula can also defend in Castles, forcing the Muslims to either lay Siege (costing time) or Storm the Castle in an assault (costing lots of troops).  
  • Impalement:  Dracula can also Impale the dead and even his own Troops.  Muslim Groups entering an area with Impalements must role a morale check.  Groups that fail, run away!  Leaving only the brave to face off with Dracula in battle.

    Next you’ll be wondering how the Sultan’s team could possibly win!!