May 19, 2024

#UnboxingDay! Vampyre from TSR

Michael Eckenfels, 15 June 2023 ~ #UnboxingDay

In the early 80s, TSR did things besides Dungeons and Dragons; they had a lot of board games out there as well. Some of them were in what I call the little plastic packs, which had a hole at the top in a tab so they could hang easily on retailer hooks. This, as well as a few similar titles like They’ve Invaded Pleasantville (which I also have) and Saga (which I do not have) brought back some memories of the time. (Yet, the prices of these things these days are not at all reflective of the 80s; I think these cost six dollars or so back then, and now, you’re lucky to find them for three or four times that price.

click images to enlarge

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The subtitle, ‘The Game of the Hunt for Dracula,’ makes it pretty clear what you’re up against here.

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Opening the clear box, which has a hinge at the bottom, a lot of stuff spills out. Being a 42-year-old game, it’s surprising to see it’s not completely punched.

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The rule book.

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These books are pretty clear and well laid out, though they lack in visuals like examples of play or other aids that we’re used to from games today.

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The first page of the rules speaks to how the designers wanted to keep their designs near and dear to the Bram Stoker novel, Dracula.

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Some travel tables. The game is not particularly complex and is very easy to learn.

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I guess it’s V o’clock somewhere!

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The back of the rule book, showing the year it was published and the old PO Box address of TSR Hobbies.

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The counters that were not punched yet are still surprisingly well stuck together, though that bit on the left is hanging on by a thread (guffaw).

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The map, in all its four color glory. Actually it may only be three colors. I guess they needed to save a buck or two. It’s not bad. It’s not pretty, but it’s not bad. I mean, this IS Transylvania; it’s not exactly a destination vacation paradise, right?

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On the other side is the interior of Dracula’s castle. This and the other side are used in the advanced game, but the basic game only uses the other side (the overland map).

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A close-up of the prime real estate itself. The red hexes I think indicate Very Bad Things can happen within them. It’s certainly not because of scorching real estate values.

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A close up of the interior. The skulls framing the entry to the Catacombs are just so inviting and welcoming.

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The other, punched counters.

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A close-up of some of these counters.

Just look at those nubs on the corners, just begging to be rounded…MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Err, well, the game sure does look interesting to me. My dad had this back when I was in middle school and I didn’t really play it a lot. I’ve been on a tear buying games he used to have and play, and this is but one of them thus far.

 


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With trembling hands and eager zeal,
I unbox a wargame with great appeal.
Countless components I behold,
Strategies yet to unfold,
In this box, a battlefield surreal!

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