Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lords of Waterdeep

Well, the Swords and Wizardry game did not go off as planned tonight because we did not have enough people show up at start time, but it actually turned out for the good because we played Lords of Waterdeep instead. Lords of Waterdeep is a board game based on the classic D&D setting, the Forgotten Realms. Waterdeep is one of the most famous cities in that world, having been passed by Baldur's Gate in the '90s for name recognition.

But don't worry if you aren't into dungeon crawlers, because Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement euro game in disguise. And don't worry if you don't like euro games, because it is fast paced, with a lot of interaction, and a lot of fun. There is no trading logs and bricks in for castle parts for the king in exchange for victory points here, you are gathering a band of adventurers to take on quests.

In Lords of Waterdeep, you have a limited number of workers to place each round and you have to choose between placing them in buildings that will let you recruit different kinds of adventurers (cleric, rogue, fighter, wizard), build more buildings, get money, get quests, or get intrigue cards to stab other players in the back. Each quest you collect requires you to gather a certain number of each type of adventurer to complete it for victory points. You can build new buildings that have better payout in adventurers per worker placed there.

The game is a lot of fun because you never have enough workers to do all of the things you want to do in one round, and you are constantly making meaningful, tough choices. The game stayed tight all the way through, and even though I pulled out to a decent lead a few times, the other players were able to catch back up. At the end, I finished in second by one point, very exciting.

While the game is not super thematic, it is pretty thematic for a worker placement game, and you do feel like you are gathering adventures and stabbing each other in the back. The theme is not quite as strong as in Yedo or Manhattan Project (other worker placement games), but it is a much easier game to learn.

Overall, a great game that I will certainly be picking up in the future.