E’s New Favorite Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep (and Scoundrels of Skullport Expansion)

lordsofwaterdeepFor someone who is dating an award-winning board game designer, I have to admit that there aren’t many board games that get me excited enough to want to play over and over again. I’m picky. Party games? Too goofy. Heavy games? Too many things to remember. Light games? Fun, but not enough to think about. That leaves a pretty small slice of board gaming that I enjoy.

I love Lords of Waterdeep.

A Vivid World and Story

Attention was given to developing Waterdeep, its lords & ladies, and their quests. While it’s not an RPG, you do have a sense of purpose as you play. You’re recruiting adventurers to help complete quests on behalf of your lord or lady. Maybe your Lord wants you to build a ton of buildings or your Lady wants you to complete as many Piety quests as possible. Either way, you have your marching orders and Waterdeep will bow to you!

Balance

I do not enjoy playing games where winners and losers are established early in play. (Remember childhood games of Monopoly when you tried to go bankrupt just so you could leave the table?) With Lords of Waterdeep, your strategic ability will help you push ahead of the competition, but there’s always the wildcard of the Lord or Lady’s bonus at the end of the game.

Replay Value

Because you draw a different Lord or Lady card for each game, you get to develop a different strategy for each game. Likewise, your friends have also drawn different lords and ladies, so they won’t be playing the same either. Adding one (or both!) expansions also shakes up the game in new and exciting ways.

Expansions

Scoundrels of Skullport has two complete expansions that can be used individually or together (with modified rules). The Undermountain expansion is pretty standard: new Lords, new Quests, new Intrigue cards, and a new neighborhood with places to pick up adventurers.

Skullport adds a new mechanic: corruption, which is represented by blue skull tokens. At the end of the game, corruption is worth negative points. However, the spaces and cards that give you corruption are also more powerful than average. More money. More adventurers. And just a teeeeeeeeensy bit of evil. You can totally clean up your act later… or can you?

Crafty Additions

To minimize the retail cost of the game, Wizards chose to go with colored cubes to represent the adventurers. For those folks who want something a little more… adventurous, here are some super cute options being made by fans:

Snapdragon Games on Etsy has these amazing polymer clay adventurers. My favorite detail? They’re racially diverse!

Danny Perello on BoardGameGeek has made more traditional Euro-style meeples.

Danny Perello on BoardGameGeek has made more traditional Euro-style meeples.

Epicycledesigns on Etsy has polymer clay adventurers, too. I like how the cleric looks skeptical.

Epicycledesigns on Etsy has polymer clay adventurers, too. I like how the cleric looks skeptical.

The App: Coming Soon from Playdek!

At the Night with D&D event at GenCon, Wizards announced their collaboration with iOS developer Playdek. Lords of Waterdeep will be coming for the iPad very soon and I will be among the first to buy it.

How about you?

Have you played Lords of Waterdeep yet? What do you think?

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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