Lords of Waterdeep successfully tries to appear as a Eurogame. It revolves around worker placement on a board showing a host of loactions in the City of Splendors. True to this type of game, each location offers only space for a limited number of meeples. After all workers have found a place to work, the results are evaluated.
A worker will grab resources or perform some other action depending on the space it's on.The goal is the fulfillment of so called quest cards, for which you have to deliver a given set of resources. The finished quests in turn grants victory points and possibly special abilities you can use from that point on. Most of the quest cards are open for grabs so you have to be fast enough with your collection of resources to fulfill them before another player does so.
Up to now we're talking about a typical european worker placement game of which there are literally dozens on the market. Why would you want to play Lords of Waterdeep, instead? Perhaps because it's acutally a good game. It's fun to play and offers great replayability because the quest cards offered are selected randomly. Locations, people, and names taken from Waterdeep sources are just icing on the cake, though. The strong themeing American games are known for is restricted to names, persons, and locations represented in Lords of Waterdeep. Don't expect a game to tell a story.
My rating isn't better because of two problems:
Expansion syndrom: The expansions for Lords of Waterdeep have some problems. They add more stuff to the game, but at the same time increase the randomness. The Scoundrels off Skullport, e.g., introduce skulls as a new game element. There are strong spaces on the new game board, giving you lots of resources but also a skull. These skulls are a problem for the final tally. So far so good, but some of the new quest cards reference the skulls, too. If you're lucky you might go for skulls and gain a quest card lessening there negative effects. If you're not so lucky, this card will never turn up. In the first case you will probably win the game, in the second one most definitely not. And this important question hinges on the random drawing of a card.
Expensiveness. Yeah, I know, you in the US have ways to get the game for a huge discount, but have a loock at the suggested prices: $50 for the basic game, $40 for the expansion. And don't forget the extra set of beautiful meeples especially made for the game. The basic game is ok, with the expansion it becomes fun. But $90 for a fun game? This costs Lords of Waterdeep another star from my rating.
Lords of Waterdeep is based in the Dungeons and Dragons world of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Unlike other, less successful board games released by Wizards of the Coast over the past few years that are also set in the D&D world (eg, Wrath of Ashardalon and Conquest of Norrath), this game is pure euro. And even if you are ambivalent about euro board games, this one will convice you otherwise The concept is simple: Each player takes on the role of a lord of Waterdeep - one of several actors who essentially controls the politics and economy of the City of Splendor (as Waterdeep is known). To increase their influence, they hire adventurers to complete quests on their behalf. For example, you might hire a few rogues to infiltrate one of the many guilds composing Waterdeep's market economy. The more quests you complete, the better you do in the game - the player who completes the most (and most valuable) quests, wins.How the Game Plays:Game play blends the theme with the mechanics seamlessly. The game plays over eight rounds, and each round players take turns assigning their agents to different buildings. Each building procures the player something, but most commonly a collection of adventurers. Adventurers come in four flavors: clerics, rogues, fighters, and wizards (in other words, classic D&D archetypes). After assigning agents to a building and collecting its benefits, a player can complete one quest per turn. To complete a quest, you must return a certain type and amount of adventurers to the general stock. In conclusion you earn victory points - and sometimes gold and more adventurers, or even advantages that last throughout the duration of the game.This is essentially the game play. A few other elements can be thrown in, such as: Game begins with several basic buildings that allow players to procure all necessary resources: the four types of adventurers, quest cards, money, and intrigue cards (more on this in a second). But players who visit the Builders' Hall can also build a new building for that turn. This creates more spaces and resources for players to use and collect, and also provides a benefit for whoever built that building: whenever another player assigns an agent to that building, the owner receives a reward, as well.Intrigue cards allow players to strategically complicate other players more directly than simply blocking one another when assigning agents to buildings. Occasionally they allow you to steal adventurers from other players, while other times you can force them to complete a quest before moving on to their own, more lucrative quest cards. But most importantly, when you play a quest card, you do so by assigning an agent to Waterdeep Harbor. At the end of each round, everyone who assigned an agent here, that is, played an intrigue card, gets at least one more turn to assign agents to buildings. This mechanic forces players to be in each others' faces.Finally, at the start of the game, players receive a Lord of Waterdeep card that indicates their particular character. Each character is typically associated with a specific type (or types) of quest cards. For example, a lord may be associated with both Skullduggery and Piety. For each quest of that type you complete, you earn bonus points at the end of the game. And that is about it. I highly recommend you pick this game up for Christmas. Boardgame Geek gives this game a whooping 8 out of 10, which is pretty much the standard of excellence in some of the best board games.
I'm not an enormous boardgames fan, although I enjoy them well enough when I do play them. I've played this with experienced boardgamers and with people not too familiar, and I found the beginners and the pros seemed very much on an even field. The game starts simple and ramps itself up at just the right speed so that everybody's skill level is enough for the complexity of that stage of the boardgames. Highly recommended.
Unanimously, all three Lords who played this session of Lords of Waterdeep had a great time, and were all very impressed with not only the appearance and look of the game, but how fun and balanced it was for everyone at the table. The game plays pretty fast with three players – 2.5 hours total including unboxing – although I daresay it might be a bit longer with more players We were also just learning the game for the first time, so maybe it plays even faster with experience? But regardless, the game was just an awesome play experience, and I certainly would love to see more board games of this caliber coming out from WotC, using the wonderful worlds of D&D to inspire even more challenging and fun games.
I love this game. It is probably the least-difficult Worker placement game that I have come across that isn't TOO simple to enjoy. It is one of the games I classify as a 'gateway game' along with Settlers, Ticket to Ride, and Munchkin.
This is a great game to play with 1 to 4 more people. The expansion pack is extremely useful. Some of the cards can be pretty "mean". If you are cool with that -- no worries. If you aren't then I suggest going through the quests and intrigue cards and removing the few that cause people to get upset in your group.
Lords of Waterdeep is easy to learn, yet it is complex enough to be enjoyed during quite a few sessions. It plays quite fast and smoothly. The fluff on the quest cards adds a nice touch and the production value is good. Two minor negative points: In my opinion the game could use a little bit more (optional) complexity. I don't know how good this is addressed in the expansions. And it could use a few more options to actually interact with your opponents. Mandatory quests are a nice feature, but they are about the only means to hinder your opponent and if you're not lucky enough to have them, it can feel a little bit like everyone is playing their own game with little interaction.
I have a lot of board games and this one is one of the most played. It's very appealing to casual players and seems to have the right balance of depth and simplicity. It's also lovely to look at and very well presented.
Okay, the theme is paper-thin on this one, but the game itself is very solid. But if it wasn't for the superficial theme, I'd probably never given it a try, so it serves its purpose... The only thing keeping me from giving this 5 stars, is that it gets a bit stale after ... quite a lot of plays, actually. The expansion is very much recommended if this gets played a lot.
I would have personally preferred Baldur's Gate, over waterdeep for the setting of this game, but being in the realms was good enough.
Quick and easy gameplay combine with just enough tactical complexity to hold the attention of this fantastic game that bridges the casual "normie" and more intense "nerdy" crowds pretty well. A daunting rules-set is quickly and easily explained by veteran players, and this game can be shared with children, older parents, and even strangers. Chasing cubes and watching people complain when you take what they want add a visceral feel to this game, and watching your token race around the board makes that sense of accomplishment visible to all the players.
Anecdotally, I have demoed this game for a lot of people to an overwhelmingly positive response. Shallow gamers praise it for being deeper than monopoly, and deeper players love that black cubes are rogues, and build imaginary adventuring parties waiting for their turn. The expansions slot in pretty good, and corruption feels like it should have been a core component from the beginning.
I put it on my shelf at home, I keep it on my shelf at the shop, I spend my time to play it with people that have not, and with my friends on my personal time. If there is a better endorsement of a game, I haven't heard it.