I picked up Lords Of Waterdeep on a recent visit to my FLGS.
I had planned to buy it when it first came out but it was too early in my journey into the 2nd Chapter so I ruled it out.
When I learned that the expansion Scoundrels of Skullport was coming out I knew that the core game would be re-released to coincide. When I also heard that Lords was going to be showcased on TableTop I decided to order it before it went out of stock.
So what is Lords Of Waterdeep? Well it’s a number of things to different people.
At it’s core it’s a board game set in a fantasy realm where players take on the roles of Lords (hence the name) who watch over the city of Waterdeep looking to impose their dominance over all that happens there.
Yeah ok so what does all that mean? As a Lord you look to recruit adventurers to complete Quests to provide you with “victory points”. These essentially reflect your influence and status in the city.
Along the way you can purchase buildings to enhance the availability of resource (such as adventurers) and you also get involved in the Intrigue of the city. You see in Dungeons & Dragons terms, the city of Waterdeep is quite famous. It’s one of the key landmarks of the Forgotten Realms setting for D&D.
As I’ve said previously D&D and me go way back but the published settings have never been that big a deal for me (with a few exceptions). My connection to Forgotten Realms is more through PC video games like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights than it is through the tabletop game but all the same it’s a rich fantasy setting worth exploring.
So what about the game itself? Well I’ve only played it once but I have to admit I thought it was excellent. Indeed it’s been well praised across the internet as a very well constructed game which I think took a number of gamers by surprise. Not because Wizards/D&D are synonymous with poor quality products, more because those products are usually more designed to promote D&D itself e.g. Wrath Of Ashardalon
What different about LoW from other D&D setting based games is it’s a game first and the setting is overlayed on to it. Yes there are plenty of references to things in the D&D FR setting but those ADD to the game rather than take away from it.
So, as a purchase it’s already achieved it’s principle status of being played and I might end up playing it again at my next gaming night. More than that though I can see it being used as an “intro” game as part of my objective to introduce more people to proper board games.
Just need to give it a few more plays before I succumb and buy the expansion!