Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game which has been taking up a chunk of my time recently. Set in the Forgotten Realms city of Waterdeep, it has a Dungeons & Dragons theme, although D&D lore is not a necessary part of the game play.
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There are a limited number of spaces which under normal circumstances can only be utilised by 1 worker at a time. Gradually more can be bought and the players are given more workers to place. This creates a lot of pressure to sequence your plays correctly as well as to try and dick over your opponents.
Each player is allocated a Lord who may get a bonus for each Warfare (orange) and Arcana (purple) quest completed or Skullduggery (black) and Piety (white). Various combinations exist as well as more in the expansions.
There are 5 main resources in the game. Cubes of four colours which are available in differing ratios and gold. Different quests require different resources to complete. The other resources you can collect are quests to be completed – hopefully for your Lord specialty, Intrigue cards – like actions you can complete at set locations which can also, importantly, let you re-place those workers again later and Buildings which you can buy. Buildings are extra spaces on the board which workers can place to – and also giving rewards to the owner if someone does.
Quests come in 3 flavours: standard – trade resources for victory points, plot – have ongoing effects like bonuses every time you take a particular action later in the game, and mandatory – give to an opponent and they have to complete this rubbish quest before any good ones they have.
In a two player game it’s perfectly easy to go the entire game with only giving each other a couple of Mandatory Quests being the only interaction. In a 4 or 5 player game you have others vying for the same resources as you and it can be a bit more cut-throat.
The expansions also add more locations and with Skullport comes corruption. Take these negative victory point markers to gain extra resources – don’t mind if I do, it’s my preferred playstyle in games anyway.
So an awesome fun game which has ways to stop run away winners, has no early elimination and ways to sneakily catch up without anyone noticing. Can’t think of any ways to make this more worthwhile?
Well how about the best damn box a gamer has ever set their eyes on?
It has compartments for cards, which tilt. No more tipping boxes to get cards out. The cubes? They sit in inversed semi-sphered type things so you can scoop them out. The expansion box is not to the same high quality but still works in the same way.
Buy this game and crush your friends.