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Subject: Waterdeep with all the trimmings rss

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Merric Blackman
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I'm currently working on a review of Scoundrels in Skullport, which has taken entirely too long to assemble. It's 95% of the way there now, and mainly just needs some polishing and arranging some photos for the review.

In the meantime, I've got this report of a game we played recently using both parts of the expansion: Undermountain and Skullport. The two parts complement each other really well. Undermountain gives you bigger goals to match, and Skullport allows you to get extra goods. However, are you sure you want to risk the corruption?

This game was played with Dave and Jesse, who have played Lords before but never with the expansion. This was my first with both parts of the expansion together.

Dave and Jesse began by taking a corruption apiece when using the spaces in Skullport - Jesse took the extra rogues and fighters from the Slavers' Market, whilst Dave took the gold, quest and intrigue cards from the Hall of the Voice. I built the first building of the game - the quite mundane Hideaway, which Jesse promptly used.

I was playing Brianne Byndraeth (Arcana + Skullduggery) and my initial quests were pretty good, including the massive Break into Blackstaff Tower - requiring one priest, 7 rogues, 2 wizards and 6 gold for a 40 point pay-off. The others thought so, as they hit me with an early Mandatory Quest (Unveil Abyssal Agent - requires a wizard and a priest and nets an intrigue card draw).

Yes, I'm using a die in place of the last 3 corruption tokens - the box had fallen off the seat during the drive in and tokens had gone everywhere and I didn't feel like looking for the last three before the game started. I've found them all now!

I had taken Castle Waterdeep to be assured of being able to build first in the next turn - as well as taking gold from Auroras - and used it to build the first new building of this game: Cryptkin Faciltations. It would give anyone who used it 3 rogue, 5 gold and a corruption (and would give me 3 gold when they did). For a Skullduggery Lord, it was fantastic to have in play. It also lay unused in the first turn it was in play. Was I playing against priests?

Dave built the third building of the game, The Three Pearls (exchange any 2 adventurers for any 3 adventures) and we all breathed a sigh of relief: getting the rarer adventurers was going to be a lot easier. Meanwhile, I was using every trick I could find to put new buildings into play, whilst Jesse likewise spent some time with the buildings.

One thing was certain: Jesse didn't mind gaining some corruption. He also had a couple of good plot quests, and was gaining 2 gold whenever he took a rogue, and could retain the services of one adventurer whenever he completed a quest.



Halfway through the game, I hadn't yet completed a quest! The scores were Jesse 43, Dave 33 and Merric 3. The question was whether my preparatory work would pay off.



The answer is: yes, it would. And in a big way as I completed Threaten the Builders' Guilds (require 2 fighters, 4 rogues, 2 wizards and 10 gold for 13 victory points and put all three buildings in the Hall into play at no cost), and then Break Into Blackstaff Tower. The board was now overflowing with buildings and I'd reached 62 points - equal with Jesse and 7 points in front of Dave. Corruption was now at a -6 penalty, and Jesse had a lot of it, whilst Dave and I had none.



With that many buildings in play, gaining cubes was no longer such an issue, although wizards and clerics were in much shorter supply than fighters and rogues. Dave used an Intrigue card to place some corruption on valuable buildings - we'd have to take it if we used them - and also gave me another mandatory quest. I used one of the new intrigue cards to flip it back to him: thank goodness!

The game ended with some pretty big scores on the board. Jessse was on 146, I was on 114, and Dave on 92. Corruption stood at a -6 penalty - how much would this affect Jesse? Well, quite a bit. Dave and I had no corruption, but Jesse had 8: a -48 point penalty.



The final toting up of Lord bonuses found me gaining a 36 point bonus from the nine skullduggery and arcane quests I'd completed. Oddly, despite the amount of rogues on offer, it had been mostly arcane quests for me. Jesse had Halastar Blackcloak and gained a bonus for every Undermountain quest and building he'd completed or constructed - enough for 28 points. Dave had Larissa (and would have dearly loved my number of buildings - he'd allowed me to keep first player too often in the early game) and scored only 24 points. (My score with Larissa would have been 42 points!)



Final Scores:
Merric 145
Jesse 128
Dave 116

Those scores are pretty close, considering the scale on which the game was played - and the lower score of Dave could be attributed to his misplays in the early game, while Jesse just couldn't get rid of quite enough corruption. Is the game good with both parts of the expansion? Yes. Incredibly so. It works very well with either part, and really well with both together. The main reason I wouldn't use both is just because it makes the game longer by about 20 minutes (from 60 minutes to 80 minutes with 2-4 players).

There'll be more games of Lords of Waterdeep with Scoundrels of Skullport in the future - and, in the next day or two, I hope, my review!
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Ian Toltz
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Quote:
Waterdeep with all the trimmings


So much wood. I don't know how easy it would be for you to get nicer tokens for the adventurers (D&Deeples or acrylic tokens), but surely you of all people must have some minis to replace the agents?
 
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Greg Goodman
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Good review! Well, good run through anyway. I went from being very excited about playing this to very VERY excited.
 
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Craig Liken
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Looking forward to your review. We are also enjoying the expansion - so far have only played Skullport part.

Interestingly the 2 games we have had have been ridiculously close. A two player game with my brother ended with a one point victory to me - he had Xanathar and I had one of the regular base game Lords. We also had a 3-player game last weekend, which was my wife's first go with the expansion, which also ended up very close. I ended up tied with my brother (and won the countback on gold) - my wife was only 3 points behind.
 
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Merric Blackman
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Asmor wrote:
So much wood. I don't know how easy it would be for you to get nicer tokens for the adventurers (D&Deeples or acrylic tokens), but surely you of all people must have some minis to replace the agents?


I like the wood! Although I certainly have enough minis to replace the agents, I'm very fond of the meeples.

At some point I'll probably get myself some D&Deeples, but it hasn't been a high priority.

Cheers!
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