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.
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!
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.
What are some unique features/mechanics your game features?
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.
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.
What is your favorite part of the game?
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.
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.
Where can we keep up with the game?
You can see it on Kickstarter:
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.
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.
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.