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Subject: Lords of Waterdeep vs. Yedo for non-gamers rss

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Daniel Fish
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I have been eyeing (beholding?) Lords of Waterdeep for a long time and was on the verge of getting it when I recently learned about Yedo.

I have a little worker placement experience (I enjoyed Stone Age, didn't like Caylus as much), but I mostly play with "non-gamers" - or at least with players whose main exposure to games beyond Settlers is through me, and have never played a worker placement game. We typically play games that last about an hour, although I am increasingly interested in pushing that limit longer.

I'd been thinking about getting LoW for awhile, but have been concerned about 1) the theme not appealing to my friends, and especially not to my wife 2) LoW seems like it could be too simplistic

I REALLY like what I've seen about Yedo so far and it has supplanted LoW in my mind almost immediately.

1) Which do you recommend overall?
2) Is Yedo too long/complex to play with non-gamers without Worker Placement experience?
 
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Juan Mejia
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I have LoW and the expansion and was looking into Yedo but opted out because of how similar they are.

Yedo is the longer game so if your wife and friends aren't huge gamers they might get a little tired of it, Lords is shorter but there's the option of a longer game with the expansion which I honestly can't recommend enough.

If you have a game store nearby where you can try them I'd say give both a shot and see, but I think LoW is friendlier to a new player.
 
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Jacob Bazar
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Lords of Waterdeep is easier to explain. Yedo isn't that much more complicated but my experience with non-gamers is that you have 10 minutes to explain everything and complete the first turn before they start losing interest. Given that, Lords of Waterdeep is the clear choice.
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Evan Dunn
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Yedo is a much better game. It depends on how your group is.

Let's pretend you are introducing your friends to ice cream sundaes when they haven't really ever had one before. Do you give them a fantastic sundae that's got a lot of artisan toppings, or do you break out a pint of Ben and Jerry's that's got some fudge already in it and call it done?

Well, it will break down to if they like sundaes or not.
 
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Chris Puram
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I think based on your description, this is a no-brainer. LoW is for sure the better choice. It's a little bit easier to teach, strategy is easier to grasp quickly, there's a lot less going on in terms of gameplay, and it's not nearly as tight in terms of resource management. It's also not as potentially brutal or confrontational as Yedo can be. It's also half as long.

Having said that, I think Yedo is an awesome game for the right kind of gamer and I would personally rather play Yedo any day.
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quietcorn wrote:
Yedo is a much better game. It depends on how your group is.

Let's pretend you are introducing your friends to ice cream sundaes when they haven't really ever had one before. Do you give them a fantastic sundae that's got a lot of artisan toppings, or do you break out a pint of Ben and Jerry's that's got some fudge already in it and call it done?

Well, it will break down to if they like sundaes or not.


But even if they love the fantastic sundaes, they may get full after an hour. Are you going to force them to continue eating?

I say you push them off the deep end, and go straight to Dungeon Lords. With the expansion.
 
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Evan Dunn
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I just think that we all have these ideas of what games are good for beginners, and those ideas push bland games in front of people who might be really impressed with a fantastic game.
 
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Jonathan White
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quietcorn wrote:
Yedo is a much better game. It depends on how your group is.


I disagree. Yedo feels like a bloated version of LoW, and all that bloat does is make the game longer than it needs to be. Especially for non-gamers, I can't recommend LoW enough (as long as you don't think the theme will turn them off). Also, as others have said, you can go over the rules to LoW much in much less time than Yedo.
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Jordan Booth
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I think LoW will be a little better to introduce worker placement because it uses the basic version of the mechanic without any new flare. Yedo puts a little twist on it where you may be using a worker to complete a mission but not removing it right away. This is unique to Yedo as far as I know and so may be a more advanced concept you want to save for when your group is asking for more.
 
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Jason Preder
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28green wrote:
quietcorn wrote:
Yedo is a much better game. It depends on how your group is.


I disagree. Yedo feels like a bloated version of LoW, and all that bloat does is make the game longer than it needs to be. Especially for non-gamers, I can't recommend LoW enough (as long as you don't think the theme will turn them off). Also, as others have said, you can go over the rules to LoW much in much less time than Yedo.


Although I agree with others here about LoW being the obvious choice, I don't really agree with the above statement about bloat separating the two. As someone with decent exposure to both games, I would say the real difference between the two is the extreme amount of potential randomness of Yedo. In my opinion LoW is a straight forward worker placement, and there isn't much variability. Anyone with half a brain can figure out what your hidden objectives are after 2 rounds, although it is made slightly more challenging by the expansion. Yedo on the other hand introduces many more "take that" scenarios, which many people, especially non gamers, really hate. Many gamers who even enjoy worker placement hate "take that" cards and situations in their game as well.
Me, on the other hand, have grown tired of the predictable nature of LoW, and prefer the randomness or unpredictable nature of Yedo. I actually prefer the theme of LoW more, but to be honest, the theme of both games just barely shines through anyhow, unless perhaps you are reading all the flavor text of the missions in Yedo.
 
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Daniel Fish
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To give a little more info:

* I am not an epic collector so I probably will only ever own one of these two games. So starting with Lords of Waterdeep and then later getting Yedo if LoW is a hit is not likely.

* I definitely like some randomness in my games (for added replayability as well as for excitement - i'd rather play backgammon than chess)

* My group and I like some direct confrontation/attacking

How long does it realistically take to play a 4p game of Yedo with at least one new player?
 
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Rob Steward
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I had hoped Yedo would "fire" Lords of Waterdeep (which I have been sort of lukewarm about).

Surprisingly, Yedo fell flat for us for a combination of two reasons: there's nothing really to build and the game takes quite a lot longer. In Lords of Waterdeep, different buildings come out each game--in a different order--making for a bit of variety and replayability. Yedo doesn't really have anything comparable... so the available actions in Yedo are basically the same all-game, every-game.

Now, Yedo is much more beautifully produced (it's fantastic in that regard), and Yedo's theme is better and definitely comes through more than Lords of Waterdeep... but I ended up keeping Lords of Waterdeep and getting rid of Yedo.

However, I don't think Lords of Waterdeep is really a "complete" game without the Skullport expansion. It's just too short and simple for our tastes. But with Skullport (not necessarily also Underdark), we like it and are keeping it.

One last mini-rant to go with the rest... I've become very wary of expansions--and horribly wary of buying an expansion to "fix" a mediocre game--but Skullport has proved to be an exception to those two personal "rules".

Carry on.
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Jesper A
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It has to one of the two?

I think LoW is fine but a little too simplistic. Since you think the theme is off, I would say you should avoid it.

Yedo is more complicated (and a longer game). I took a look at your collection, and with the exception of Power grid, they are mostly lighter games.

I would look for something in between LoW and Yedo. Of course it all depends on what your non-gamer friends like. I have some of my own, and they likes LoW, but me... not so much after 4-5 plays.
 
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Matt Brown
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In terms of a gateway game, LoW is the clear winner. Easy to teach and shorter game time. The down side is it is similar to Caylus so the odds of you not liking it might be high. I've enjoyed it during my ten plays of it, but I'm also rather happy my preorder of the expansion is finally coming.

I get the origin of how Yedo became the sexy thematic WP pick when comparing it to LoW, but I don't know why it stuck. I'm easily looking at The Manhattan Project or Agricola as options as well. At least in TMP the mean factor of the game is through other players and not via random ways the game generates it like Yedo does.
 
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Jason Preder
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+1 for manhattan project. Mught want to check that out. Very thematic and has a little of everything, including direct conflict if desired.
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Jason Preder
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This is off topic, but if your group desires direct conflict and wants a thematic game, maybe check out Nothing Personal. Its the most thematic direct conflict game ive ever played and is quite easy to learn/teach.
 
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Gamer D

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I haven't played Yedo but Lords of Waterdeep has been very popular with everybody I've played it with, including a couple of people who had never played a worker placement game before. The intrigue cards give you plenty of direct interaction and the special buildings and ability to lock opponents out gives indirect interaction. Add in the expansion and you get the interesting Corruption mechanic having synergy with the high value Undermountain quests. Personally given that you're looking for a game for casual gamers this fits the bill nicely.

I should point out that an ioS version of Lords of Waterdeep is coming out this month as well. So if you have an iPhone or iPad you could download the ioS version and try it out before buying it, at least the base game. (Not sure what the plans are for the expansion in ioS.)
 
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Samo Oleami
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Yedo is a gamer's game and that's pretty definite. Lords of Waterdeep is for me a better nongamer friendly game than Stone Age because: more variety with different quest cards, some take that. LoW doesn't take itself seriously and that's why it's good. Now if you don't think the (thin layer of) theme will work I suggest simply not buying any of these two. If you want a nongamer friendly WP game with a more mainstream theme, you already have stone age.
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I was thinking The Manhattan Project as well. A good and quite thematic WP game. Even though LoW isn't that thematic the theme might put some people off. Manhattan Project has really nice artwork too which might help you with non-gamers
 
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Chris Puram
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sgosaric wrote:
Lords of Waterdeep is for me a better nongamer friendly game than Stone Age because: more variety with different quest cards, some take that. LoW doesn't take itself seriously and that's why it's good.


Stone Age is a great gateway game but one other reason LoW may be a better nongamer friendly game is the scoring. In my experience many nongamers don't like the fact that so many points are scored at the end of the game based on card bonuses which they hadn't entirely grasped the importance of, or at least how to properly take advantage of, during the game. This can be deflating at the end of the game when they go from first to worst which seems to happen frequently. In LoW you score your quest cards as you complete them so scoring is always more transparent.
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Jonathan White
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thefishman wrote:
How long does it realistically take to play a 4p game of Yedo with at least one new player?


To try and answer your question, our 4 player game took almost 3 hours. Keep in mind, it was everyone's first time playing but we are all experienced gamers.
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Chris Puram
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I can back that up. It took us close to 3 hours on our first game as well, again all with regular gamers. I think it would probably come in at 2.5 hours or possibly slightly less after the first play or so. I'd personally rather play one 2.5 hour game of Yedo than two 1.25 hours of LoW. But if time is an issue it can be an important consideration.
 
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Drew Hicks
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goldengamer wrote:
I can back that up. It took us close to 3 hours on our first game as well, again all with regular gamers. I think it would probably come in at 2.5 hours or possibly slightly less after the first play or so. I'd personally rather play one 2.5 hour game of Yedo than two 1.25 hours of LoW. But if time is an issue it can be an important consideration.


But would you rather play half of a 2.5 hour game of Yedo than a 1.25 hour game of Waterdeep?
 
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Chris Puram
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Actually a good question and the answer is yes. Basically I get more fun out of every minute that I'm playing Yedo than I do playing LoW. LoW is a good game and if I'm time limited, I would definitely go with it instead. By the way, I'm bringing it to the marathon tomorrow.
 
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Drew Hicks
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goldengamer wrote:
Actually a good question and the answer is yes. Basically I get more fun out of every minute that I'm playing Yedo than I do playing LoW. LoW is a good game and if I'm time limited, I would definitely go with it instead. By the way, I'm bringing it to the marathon tomorrow.


Awesome. I meant it as a serious question, too! Personally I think I'd pretty much rather finish ANY game than half-finish any other game (as long as the first game isn't just painful to play) but I don't think that's typical.
 
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