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Lords of Waterdeep Boardgame - Merric's Review

Great review! I was just looking at reviews on BGG, was a bit disappointed at what was there, and gave up to come here for other stuff. Surprise, exactly what I was looking for! (Are you going to post it at BGG?)

I was very worried that Intrigue cards would cause too much disruption: this hasn't eventuated. It's actually a really well-judged mechanic that adds a lot to the game.

This is the best news of all and what I was most concerned about. I don't mind "attack" rules if they're fairly minor in effect and don't create huge imbalances if one player decides to go after another due to a grudge or such, but I'd play a wargame if I wanted to spend my time attacking and defending.



First Post
Nice, meaty review.

One of the love/hate things about Euro games is that their design mitigates the capability of other gamers to attack other players (which inevitably leads up to ganging up on someone). Using intrigue cards to "slow up the leader", for instance, concerns me, because I know the tendency for someone to get flagged as the leader, promptly relegating them to the role of whipping boy, and often just allows someon else to walk the bases to victory. How evident is that here? Do the Intrigue cards seem mostly adverse to all rival players, or do they target individuals?
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Eternal Optimist
Do the Intrigue cards seem mostly adverse to all rival players, or do they target individuals?

There's a range of cards.

* Target the leader
* Aid you and another player
* Target everyone apart from you
* Aid you
* Aid everyone

Cards that directly target just one other player are fairly rare - mainly just the Mandatory Quests, which must be completed (for 3-4 adventurers) before the player can complete any other quests.

It's actually a very good selection of Intrigue cards. As I've become better at the game, I've been better at evaluating who is actually in the lead - looking at their uncompleted quests as well as their score.



Played two games this past Wednesday which were my only two plays. Had some thoughts while playing that were running through my head while playing.

*Note all the thoughts listed below are based on 5-player game experiences*

1. The docks (Intrigue card playing area): In both games most players ended up with a substantial handful of intrigue cards they never used because the docks didn't have enough spaces for each person to play one card a round. It seems to me the amount of dockspace should flux based on the number of players.

2. The lords cards: You are dealt a lord card which you keep hidden from the other players. All the lord cards (except one) are very slight variations on a theme (Add extra victory points for two different kinds of missions completed at the end of the game). There is no real impetus to try to figure out who the opposing lords are nor is there a bonus for figuring it out somehow other than you know what kinds of quests that person might prefer. I think trying to root out what lord is secretly backing what faction should be a part of a game called Lords of Waterdeep.

3. The factions: There are five factions in the game that have different colors associated with each. Other than the fact the City Watch is Black and the Harpers are green, the two factions are identical. Having each faction having something setting them apart would be more fun. For example the City Watch could convert hirelings to fighters or maybe a merchant faction could get some gold each turn for free. The actual power level is unimportant so much as SOMETHING to give each faction a different feel would be cool.

4. Other players quests: I am sure this is a by-product of 5 player games, but at no time during either play did I pay any attention to the quests the other players were trying to achieve. The difficulty in interfering with the quests in a major way seemed to exceed the gain of just speeding up my questing by using my turns to gain resources. It seems like a no brainer is always better to help me gain on 4 players with my action rather than just slow down one individual. Because I never felt a need to look at other players quests the game to me just felt like I was going at the game solo with a small random obstacle thrown at me once in a blue moon.

All of the above being said...the game was solid and pretty fun. We only had a couple of obscure rules questions pop up (The question "Can you build a building when all the building spaces on the board are full?" was asked on the literal last turn of the game with the answer meaning the difference between one person and another winning the game due to its one extra VP token). I would definitely play it again when given the chance and look forward to trying some new strategies the next few playthroughs.


PS My strategies in the two games I tried were called by me "Always grab quests mostly completed by the rewards of the quest you are working on" and "Try to amass as much gold as humanly possible". The first worked great the second was abysmal.