As a lover of Dungeons & Dragons, and since I have loved all the Wizards of the Coast boardgames hat have been released so far, getting Lords of Waterdeep was pretty much an instinctive reaction more than an informed decision.
When I did the unboxing video, the feeling was pretty good. The production values are excellent with very few glitches. However, that’s nothing to do with the way a game plays, I have to admit, and I had to wait a while before I had the chance to play it.
Also is an Euro game and I’m not the greatest Eurogames lover. But I had to have a go. I just had to.
You can see the components in the video, so I won’t go too far into describing what the components are all about, but I’ll say that the board is lovely, the meeples (Lords) are chunky and easy to manage, the little coloured cubes are that, just cubes, the tiles are very lovely and the insert totally rocks. Oh, and the rules are very clear and easy to follow!
Talking about the rules, the game is *seriously* easy to play. Roughly, at the start of the game you choose one of the Lords of Waterdeep. Depending on what lord/lady you choose, some of the quests you complete will give you more money. Every turn you place your Lord Meeple in an area of the board. That will grant you resources, in the shape of cubes, which will allow you to complete quests that will give you points. You need those to win the game.
You can also get some money. You can use that money to buy buildings. Buildings will give you different resources when you place your Lord Meeple on it, but it will also give the owner a reward every time anyone else uses the building.
The quest cards give you the amount of resources you need in order to declare the quest completed and obtain the points. The more difficult the quest is to complete, the more points you get. Pretty simple.
Then there are the intrigue cards. They’re the ones that allow you to annoy the other players whilst getting some goodies for yourself. For example they’ll make you take resources from your opponents, make them discard them… All very pleasant stuff as long as it doesn’t happen to you.
The gameplay is super-fast. It is a short game with a fair amount of strategy and game replayability. Even the first time one plays, it doesn’t take more than a couple of rounds to get the rules and play quickly. The number of decisions to be taken is big enough to give you all the chances you need to do something useful, but not so many that you’ll see a lot of analysis paralysis.
For beginners this game is perfect. I had never played it and I finish second. The most experienced player who played with us ended up the last with fewer points than anyone else. To me that’s that sort of games that gives inexperienced players a good chance to do well against more experienced players and that’s a good thing.
All in all, a well carried out theme, simple rules, fast gameplay and great components make this the sort of game I’ll have no problem getting out when I have to play with my friends on those evenings when we want something different.
This is a keeper!