Lords of Waterdeep: Get your toes wet with the D&D themed game.
This is a worker placement game with a fun theme. And when you throw in the expansion it really ups game play!
Theme: You are a powerful lord completing quests to gain control of the city of Waterdeep with the help of fighters, clerics, wizards, and rogues.
Specs: 2-5 Players. The box suggests 60-120 minutes play time. That's a pretty fair esitmate, including with the expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport. Scoundrels also increases player count maximum from 5 to 6.
Recommended for ages 12+. A game savvy 10 year old could play and the theme is not inappropriate. Not a beginner game, but lower mid-level difficulty.
Mechanics: Hidden roles, resource management, tile ownership, set collection, take that, worker placement, and turn order claim action.
Designed by Peter Lee and Rodney Thompson
Art by Eric Belisle, Steven Belledin, Zoltan Boros, Noah Bradley, Eric Deschamps, Wayne England, Tony Foti, Todd Harris, Ralph Horsley, Tyler Jacobson, Ron Lemen, Howard Lyon, Warren Mahy, Patrick McEvoy, Jim Nelson, William O'Connor, Adam Paquette, Lucio Parrillo, Dave Raposa, Richard Sardinha, Mike Schley, Andrew Silver, Anne Stokes, Gábor Szikszai, Matias Tapia, Kevin Walker, Tyler Walpole, Eva Widermann, Eric Williams, Matt Wilson, Sam Wood, Ben Wootten, and James Zhang
Published by Wizards of the Coast
At the start of the game you of course, set up the board. Each player selects their player color and takes the corresponding agents and player mat. Also, one player is given the first player marker. Each player is then dealt a facedown lord card. These cards grant bonus victory points at the end of the game if certain conditions (specified on the card) are met. Players are also dealt two quest cards that go face up in each player's active quest space, two intrigue cards facedown, and gold, the amount to each player being based on turn order.
Then players go around in turn order assigning their agents to an empty space of their choosing and taking the associated action. This might mean getting a new quest or intrigue card, playing an intrigue card, collecting gold, or recruiting adventurers to help you complete quests. There is also a space that allows a player to take the first player token. Allowing that player to be the new starting player in subsequent rounds...until the token gets stolen from them! After taking your action you may complete a quest if you can meet the requirements.
And so it goes until all players have placed all of their agents. Then they take their agents back, perform any start of round actions, then do it all again. The game goes on for 8 rounds. Final victory points are tallied and the new ruler of Waterdeep is declared!
The Scoundrels of Skullport expansion adds some new places for agents to go and a fun little twist with corruption! The more corruption a player has, the more points they will lose during final scoring. It can DEFINITELY leave a mark and impact the lead!
If you have an itch for D&D, but don't have the time, this is a fun way to knock out some quests in two hours or less! Or perhaps you've never played Dungeons and Dragons, but find it intriguing. This is a great gateway game to get your toes wet with the theme. And I can't recommend the expansion enough! The game is definitely fun on it's own, but the expansion adds such a fun element that we will never play without it again, even when introducing new players to the game!
Have you tried Lords of Waterdeep? What are your thoughts? What's a game you won't play without the expansion?