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Subject: Are certain quests and buildings not worth the cost? rss

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Eric Bridge
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I won my first 2 games of this - both of them 3 player.

But last week we played our first 5 player game and I got CREAMED (didn't even get 100 points - last place).

In that game I did 3 things that now I am thinking were just plain dumb. In the first or second round the "lieutenant" quest came up, and I decided to take it. But because that quest requires so many resources, and resources/adventurers were fought over so much, it was not until maybe the 5th round when I finally got him. So I got maybe 4 more placements out of it, and ZERO points for that quest.

I also took the quest that once completed gives you an adventurer of your choice at the start of each round. That was nice, but it was also at the middle of the game, so again I maybe got 4 resources this way, and another quest whose completion gave me zero points.

Lastly I used the ambassador once to get an extra agent and placement for the next turn. Nice for the next turn, but it ended up a waste on the turn I placed an agent there.

Furthermore, the "1st place" advantage for player 1 on the first round seems huge, and I don't feel that a couple extra gold for other players sufficiently compensates them. One of those players needs to waste an agent placement to take that token from someone. (They do get an Intrigue card as a consolation prize). But say, for example, that in a 5 player game, player 5 hates going last and takes the first place marker. How much has that really hurt player 1? Hardly at all, because now they are going SECOND. This just seems odd to me.

So the question is - when should a person go for these quests and spaces, and when should they just forget it? Thanks for your advice.
 
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Dale Moore
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Getting the quest for the lieutenant wasn't a mistake, but maybe focusing so hard to complete it was once you realized everyone was fighting for the same resources. No quests should come at the expense of filling regular point quests.

I hope to play many intrigue cards so getting an extra one is not a mistake unless you never play them.

The Ambassador spot is important If there is something that you absolutely need and it's imperative that you be first to get it. It's not an extra move it is delaying one to the start of the next round.
 
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The Lietenant quest is nice. However, it does seemed "balanced" in some way of sort. In one of our 4p games, some1 was able to get it ASAP and complete it before the start of round 3. He did good, but came in 2nd place, 17pts behind the winner, so I guess it seems moreso psychological than OP.

I'm also pondering some of the quest choices too. At this point, I do know...
--try to get quests that snergize with each other...
E.g. Heal Fallen Gray Hand Soldiers gives you 6 figters as part of its reward. Your next quest should ideally make use of those newly obtained fighters, as you won't need to spend extra actions procuring new adventurers, for the effiency of it.
--if you're paying attention, you may be able to figure out what quests your opponents get bonus VP for. Try grabbing them from Cliffwatch. If you also get the 4 bonus VP from the same type of quest (e.g. Arcana), it's extra pts to you, but not him. Heck, even if you don't finish it, it denies him extra VP. If you have nothing good to draw from there, then go for stuff that others seek
--Also grab stuff that people are already set up for (e.g. many clerics, consider denying quests which take clerics)
--I'm starting to think that if I flush the face up quests at Cliffwatch Inn and STILL don't get a matching type, I may have been better off just cutting my losses and get a type that still suits my resources and decent amount of rewards.
 
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Chad Miller
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Both Recruit Lieutenant and Defend the Tower of Luck are highly situational. I wouldn't say they're never worth doing, but there are times I think it is correct to decide as early as Round 2 that you're not going to do them.

Re: Turn order, I think I might agree with you in the specific case of 5-player. Note that 4 player->5 player is the only jump where the number of meeples doesn't decrease, but the board size stays the same, so it was probably near impossible to balance both.
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Paul W
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SlebRittie wrote:
Both Recruit Lieutenant and Defend the Tower of Luck are highly situational. I wouldn't say they're never worth doing, but there are times I think it is correct to decide as early as Round 2 that you're not going to do them.


I'd agree. For example, recruit Lieutenant requires 5.5 basic action to obtain and complete. Since you're gaining an agent that plays immediately before the harbor agents, the value of each of his placements is going to be close to 1 basic action. Thus, you really need to complete that quest by round 3 for it to be worthwhile, maybe round 4 if you have a Warfare lord.

Regarding the Ambassador...again, what you're doing is trading a pick in the current round for the first pick in the next round...it's not gaining an action, but it is trading up the value of one. The trick is figuring out how long you can wait to take it...the later you take it, the more benefit you get, but the more likely someone else is to snag it.
 
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I'm not sure the lieutenant quest is ever worth it, unless you get it really early. So far, it has proved ineffective in our games anyway and the player who did it has never won.

Speaking of warfare quests, in my opinion speaking generally, many of the warfare quests are not very good in terms of what you have to give up and what you get for them, I usually hate getting stuck with a lord who has warfare. On the other hand, I think some of the commerce and arcana quests have fantastic rewards, and to a lesser extent skullduggery, which has some good ones too but is more hit and miss.

There are definitely some quests that are lousy, in fact yesterday in one of our games we were talking about one in particular which I was saying may be the worst quest in the game, "Expose Cult Corruption". It's a skullduggery quest which you have to pay 5 cubes, one of which is a white cube, and you get 4 points and 2 white cubes in return. Just horrible in my opinion. That doesn't mean it couldn't be useful in certain situations however.

Another very situational skullduggery quest, similar to the lieutenant quest, is "Place a Sleeper Agent in Skullport", it requires 6 cubes, gives you no points, but is a plot quest that gives you 2 points every time you play an intrigue card. This is another quest only worthwhile if you get it early, and also plan on playing a lot of cards.

The Arcana quest, "Recover the Magister's Orb" is one of the best plot quest ones and is usually very good for anyone to grab, no matter who your lord may be.
 
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Chad Miller
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I found Expose Cult Corruption useful the last game I played, but it was basically the platonic ideal: I was the Piety/Skullduggery lord and there were zero buildings that produced clerics. More broadly, its usefulness depends largely on the scarcity of rogues vs. clerics since you're essentially trading 2 Grinning Lion activations for a Plinth activation and a small number of points.

I generally haven't felt disadvantaged with warfare. Fighters are slightly more plentiful than the other adventurers, and the Griffin Cavalry plot quest is positively nuts if you can get it early.

I don't think I'd ever play the Sleeper Agent one without an early Arcane Mishap (intentionally played when no one has wizards)
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Chad Miller
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btw OP you might find this thread interesting:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/800968/ranking-the-build...
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James Grider
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quinnox wrote:
I'm not sure the lieutenant quest is ever worth it, unless you get it really early. So far, it has proved ineffective in our games anyway and the player who did it has never won.


My comment doesn't have much to do with strategy, I guess, but in my second game (a 4-player game) I picked this quest up and completed it on the 6th round of the game. Got the use the Lieutenant for a whopping 3 rounds! For the 8th round I also had the Ambassador available to me, so I was the only player with 5 agents. I won that game. Perhaps I was already doing so well that wasting resources on a quest didn't hurt me that well? I'm not sure. Thought it was kinda fun having 5 agents to their 3 though.
 
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Derakon Derakon
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(Note the bump)

One thing I've noticed with this game is that it has an "inverse snowball" effect. That is, early actions are usually not worth as much as later actions (plot quests notwithstanding). That's because in the late game there's more good actions available, due to the addition of buildings. Of course this is counterbalanced to a degree by the players each having more workers to place, but I do still think that the player with the Lieutenant (who will thus always have the last placement before the Harbor agents get reassigned) will have more good options for his last worker in the late game than earlier on. Thus the Lieutenant does not have to pay for himself in a strict actions-for-actions sense. You're trading low-value early-game actions for high-value late-game actions.

Of course, if there are few or no good buildings available, then the valuation of the Lieutenant decreases. Conversely, if the Ambassador building is available, then the late-turn action could be used to secure an early-turn action, which might be quite valuable.
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D P
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ebridge wrote:

Furthermore, the "1st place" advantage for player 1 on the first round seems huge, and I don't feel that a couple extra gold for other players sufficiently compensates them. One of those players needs to waste an agent placement to take that token from someone. (They do get an Intrigue card as a consolation prize). But say, for example, that in a 5 player game, player 5 hates going last and takes the first place marker. How much has that really hurt player 1? Hardly at all, because now they are going SECOND. This just seems odd to me.


Player 3 could just as easily take the castle. It's a reasonable location to go to once you've played an intrigue card at the harbour. You get "first" and replace your intrigue card.
 
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Johan Lundstrom
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SlebRittie wrote:
Both Recruit Lieutenant and Defend the Tower of Luck are highly situational.


I would say that in both cases, the quest typically worth scoring on turn 4 (turn 5 if you get bonus points for it), usually not later than that, and usually very worth it before that. Obviously things like what buildings are in play matter, as well.

In two-player games when using the expansion, do not discount the value of sometimes getting two consecutive moves with the Lieutenant. It's quite common that you can put a cube on the board and then pick it up with the next move.

In general going first in the first round is best, and going last is second best (due to extra money). It's the ones in between that suffer in comparison.
 
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