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Lords of Waterdeep» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First Review, first time Played rss

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Jeff Hunt
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I have a habit of picking up games from the "Top List" and based on preferred reviewers liking the game. I had picked up Lords of Waterdeep (LoW) about 15 weeks ago, and then it sat on my bookshelf waiting for someone to play it.

*Note: My game group is composed primarily of married couples, so the games that play odd numbers sometimes have to wait a while to hit the table.

Prior to playing I watched a couple of demo videos on youtube - one from Wizards of the Coast and one other randomly selected video. For me watching a 'how to play' video shortens the learning process and helps me reduce the number of rules missed in the first play.

(Our game group has an unfortunate habit of getting a key rule wrong on the first play of many of the games we try out. The more complex the game, the more likely we are to get something wrong.)

This first play was with 3 people. My wife, a good buddy of ours, and I. Having watched the videos, setup was fast, the explanation of play was fast, and we only had to refer to the rulebook a few times to determine what to do in specific moments:

- Does an Ambassador work with the Accelerated Plans Intrigue Card?
- You CAN only solve 1 quest per turn.
- Heroes Garden does NOT allow you to complete more than one quest per turn.

(And thus you get an idea of how our good intentions can be foiled by our ability to misinterpret rules without careful reference.)

Having played Caylus many times, and seen the "Games retired by other games" thread where LoW pushes Caylus off the table for some people, I expected it to be fairly similar, and in some ways it was. Worker placement mechanics, and cube collection was similar, but I found there was somewhat less cut-throat, mess-up-your-neighbor play in our 3-way game of LoW. (I acknowledge that this would likely be different in a full 5-way game.)

For me this is neither a strength, nor a weakness. LoW feels different than Caylus, and I think would hit the table equally often for different reasons. LoW seems to move a little quicker than Caylus, with perhaps a little less analysis paralysis (...again, possibly a feature of a 3-way game).

It is a shorter game. Our 3-way games (we played twice) were about 90 mins and 70 mins each. I suspect a full 5-way game with experienced players would still be between 1.5 and 2 hours, making the game somewhat quicker than our 5-way Caylus games.

The replayability is good. We did not see anything like all of the quests or buildings in our two plays, so there will still be some new discoveries for us in subsequent plays, and then we get to move into the master tactician phase for the game, learning the little tweaks and tricks to play-order that help us eek out an edge over our opponents.

The materials were of good quality, though I'm going to have to sleeve the cards. They're nice and fairly durable, but I'm a stickler for sleeving my card-based games. Sleevign saves me angst when a drink is spilled, or something else happens. The euro-style bits were familiar and easy to manipulate. The board was good, with room for all the stuff we needed right on the board during play.

And the best part, my wife really enjoyed the game. She has walloped both my buddy and I in Caylus, Puerto Rico and Alhambra before, and while she didn't manage to pull out a win in the 2 games we played last night, both games had us all scoring withing 10 points of each other. I know she'd play it again, with the goal of beating us soundly - which I count as a meta-win.

For me, this game is a keeper, and I hope to see it played 5 or 6 times a year (when we're not groups of 6).

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Mark Raciborski
United States
Newport News
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Yeah, this is geat game, I was worried it was going to be a major league cut throat game but it isn't that bad at all, the main nasty card is that mandatory complete this quest card. I thought the game was going to be more complicated after watching the Dice Tower video but it is st8 forward and easy to learn. I do wish it would play one more player. I like it because it ain't hardcore Euro, it is Euro-ish, it ain't a roll the die/dice D&D, it is D&D themed, it doesn't take 4 hours to play.

Try Airlines Europe, I group it with LoW as a nice married couples gaming group game. The only thing I dislike is adding up the score at the end of the round, messy, still an excellent game.

The Castles of Burgundy isn't bad, a little solitaire-ish because you have your own estate you are building. The problem with it is the Icon overload. The BGG Icon cheat sheets in the file section helps with this. This one is more of a gaming group game. LoW or AE you could teach and play with that Monopoly crowd, TCoB is for people who are willing to invest a couple of games to get over that Icon hump.

Gee, BGG needs a "Married Couples" gaming group listing of games.

Play a game incorrectly the first time? Nah, we never do that.

PS, I wondered if you could play it with 6 via of adding your own five Agents and using the customs meeples from Danny ala Relax. He gives you five extra per group. The adventures meeples seem like what the game could run short of. Guess the gold coins might be a problem.
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