The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Lords of Waterdeep

Another entry in the “Worker placement” genre, Lords of Waterdeep gets many  details right while providing plenty of randomness via the Intrigue (“Take That!”) and Quest cards. You earn the bulk of VPs via Quest cards, but these range from those that provide minimal VPs but big benefits to the 25 VP card (our winning score was ~130). You collect cubes to spend on VP cards.

More disturbingly, the quests come in four flavors and most players get a bonus for each of two types they score, which is hidden. So if Players A, B and C all want Warfare quests and player D wants Arcanum, odds are that player D will have less competition.  Now, this is a 60-90 minute game with lots of randomness, but that strikes me as too much.  On the other hand, it makes it a fine game to play with the Boy & Wife, (who both liked it).

If you don’t mind randomness there’s nothing objectionable here.

Rating — Indifferent.



Written by taogaming

July 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Posted in Reviews

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  1. Don’t forget the building bonus card. It’s the only secret bonus that doesn’t have to do with incentivizing quest types. We call it the “cylon” card. I’ve only played a couple of times, so it’s unclear to me how effective it is when the other players know it’s a possibility, but when they don’t it’s much better than the alternatives.


    July 2, 2012 at 3:10 am

  2. I have been enjoying Lords of Waterdeep quite a bit. I will mention a caveat though – we play without the Mandatory Quest cards and without the Builder Lord. Although in the last few games we put the lord back in, and even scoring 30 points off of it, it did not confer a game win.

    I was originally concerned about the possibly uneven distribution that you refer to, where multiple players are after Arcana and only 1 player wants Commerce for example, but in practice it just didn’t pan out to be a problem. By way of example, in a 3 player game we played, John shared 1 goal with Mandy and the other goal with myself. Mandy’s and my 2nd goal were not shared with anyone. This would appear to put John at something of a disadvantage, but in fact he won the game, and by a fairly large margin.

    The extra bonus for doing a quest “of your type” is only 4 VP, and is by no means insurmountable by simply getting synergistic quests, or quests for which you have the cubes. In several games recently I won handily, completing only 2-4 quests of “my type” while opponents completed 6 or 7 quests for which they got the bonus.

    Long story short, don’t put too much stock in that 4 point bonus. Obviously it’s better than NOT getting a bonus, but you just have to factor in the 4vp when making your choices, and it’s not always critical to only score “your” flavor of quest. That’s been my experience anyway.

    Seth Jaffee

    July 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

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