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4.9 out of 5 stars72
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on 23 October 2012
I ordered this game after reading all the reviews I could find, still I was surprised. We played two games so far and plan on playing many more. Here the breakdown:

1) Components 5/5
Everything is high quality. The box looks great, everything fits well together on the inside... easy to transport without creating a chaos, cards are easy to take out of the box. So far the best layout of any box I saw. Neat and tidy.

2) Setting 3/5
AD&D, Faerun, Waterdeep... so far so good. Decent art, nice flavor text, the whole game fits nicely into the setting. Still, we call the purple cubes "purple cubes" and not "Wizards". While everything is perfectly faerun-ish, it simply does not matter. They are cubes as in resources and you never see them as Rogues or Priests. The setting is there, but does not matter. Even the quests simply turn into "I need 2 white and 5 orange to get 9 victory points" without even a hint of "I send my adventurer on a quest!"

3) Game Setup 5/5
This is awesome. Setup for a new game takes about a minute alone, then you are good to go. After the game it takes slightly longer to put everything back in... but in comparison to your average game, still very fast.

4) Gameplay 4/5
As all the reviews will tell you: It is a very "simple" worker placement games with no fancy rules. There is nothing new or innovative in there which makes it stand out. However, this is exactly what makes it stand out. After reading the manual, it took me about two minutes to explain it (literally!) and we could start playing.
I have to remove 1 point here, because of how streamlined gameplay is. I reckon after a dozen games or in a more competitive environment, you want this to be more complex than it is. You look at the game and you see so many possibilities to expand it... yet there is nothing. Don't get me wrong, this is the weak spot and the strength of the game. It works great with very very simple rules.

Overall the game has some luck (starting cards you draw), but the gameplay itself never feels like you are taking a gamble. It plays fast, everybody is either planning his next move or executing it. No boredom.
The end is also very open and you usually don't know who wins until the last turn.

Bonus: It plays very well with 2 players, but I suggest having 3 or 4.

5) Fun / Summary
I can only recommend this game to anyone who likes board games. Quick setup, easy to learn - Good for a quick game that is not going to on for hours. High quality components alone are worth the money.
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on 6 April 2012
I have to say straight off that those of you expecting a D&D game with figures and monster slaying, will not want to buy this game. However if you want a different side of D&D then this is an excellent game. Many folk have complained that this is just using the D&D logo and waterdeep name to get you to buy it. They are missing the point, there was always more to D&D than exploring tunnels and killing monsters and this game adds to the products out there already. In fact I think it adds a lot to the board game side of D&D.

OK lets have a look at the game. Basicaly you have to build up your resources until you have amassed sufficient points to become the Lord of Waterdeep. This you do by sending agents out into the city to collect quests or visit buildings that will give you more resources. You can also build your own buildings and if another player enters them you get rent/reward in the form of a resource. (I should say here that the resources you need are followers or adventurers ie: wizards, clerics, fighters etc. though they are coloured bricks and we never refer to them as a fighter its always I need a Black block to complete this quest. Now this doesnt detract from the game in my opinion it enhances it, I can concentrate more on the game than looking at pretty figures.)

You also need to think ahead to work out what you need to complete your quests, it is often a case of taking a small reward now to gain a larger reward later. Also you are randomly given a Lord card and this will tell you what benefit you gain at the end of the game. It can be something like gain 4 victory points for each building you own, and this can make a person who seems to be losing the overall winner and this part of the game i like. Just because someone thinks they are ahead and a sure fire winner dos'nt mean they are. It adds to the overall game by keeping your interest to the end.

Another part of the game you cant ignore is the intrique cards, these can allow you to benefit in a small way as a one off or maybe you will get a large reward but you have to give the other players a small reward to claim it and that can give them a big advantage later on. So you need to balance your needs out with thiers. Small gain now for a bigger one maybe later?

Overall this game is a lot of fun, it encourages interaction amongst players, some forward thinking is needed and an overall stratergy needs to be played if you want to be succesful. In the games we have played so far the person who has won has only won by a point or two and this encourages people to play again.

Be warned though an expansion is planned, but they do tell you this in the rules book. As for the rules book it is simple and has lots of illustrations to make things easier to understand. The production values on the whole game are extremely high. I only wish other games companies would have such high standards. The rules book even tells you where to place everything in the game tray. Everything has a place and it fits perfectly.

Would I say it was a valued purchase? YES!
Will I play this game again and again? YES!!
Is it fun to play and easy to learn? YES!!!
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on 21 March 2013
Lords of Waterdeep is a strange breed of game. The game mechanics of a 'Eurogame' mixed with the theme of 'Dungeons and Dragons'. Amazingly it works brilliantly!
After mistakenly ordering it from a company based in the US (Which still had the cheapest price inc delivery.. go figure?!) I was chuffed when it turned up early and on the same afternoon that a load of mates came to stay. Played it as a five player game and it worked superbly, loads of fun and the victory point mechanic meant that even if you were losing you could still stay involved and enjoy it.
Played it a few times since and it plays equally well with 2 players as it does with 5.
It's easy enough to learn. VERY easy to teach when you know it. Plays well with however many people you have (up to 5 until the expansion later this year) And will get loads of table time for a long time!
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on 29 December 2015
Got this for Christmas and so far have only played it with 3 people but all of us thoroughly enjoyed, regardless of who won.
The basic mechanic is that each round (8 rounds in total) the players place their agents one at a time at different locations on the board; these locations each give varied benefits. You are trying to gain the 'adventurers' you need to complete quests, as these give you the points you need to win the game.
Completing quests is really the aim of the game (these give the most victory points), but there are a lot of options for how to play and where to put your agents which makes this a lot of fun. With smaller numbers a good amount of quests were achieved but I could see a larger game with more players putting quite a squeeze on resources neccesitating different approaches.
To further mix the game up each player has a secret character card which will give them bonuses for achieving certain things at the end of the game, so you never quite know what score people actually have. Furthermore, a good number of different character, building, intrigue and quest cards makes for excellent replayability and different decisions to make every time. There are never enough agents and never enough rounds!
This is a great 'worker placement' game which, which shouldn't be negatively judged by its location within the Dungeons and Dragons universe; if anything, this provides it with a rich mythos to help tie the whole thing together with confidence. Really enjoyable stuff, as soon as you finish you'll want to go again!
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on 19 April 2016
Outstanding game! Excellent with 4 or 5 players, but also perfectly playable with 2

The first thing to note (which is a sad indictment of me) is that the insert for the box is outstanding.....everything fits in its little pocket. Its so satisfying! Sorry

Okay Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game. The little cubes are meant to represent thieves and soldiers n stuff, but what they actually represent is little cubes of different colours. Its okay, every card shows them as little coloured cubes, so its all fine.

There is a score track around the outside of the board which gives you an idea of who's winning/losing, but depending on which character you've chosen to be and how many quests you've completed leaves you with lots of hidden points, meaning that someone who looks like they're in last place can win the game when the final scores are tallied. This means that all the players stay engaged unitl the end of the game (unlike the monopoly style game where its clear quite early on whose winning/going to win and the other players just have to put up with a slow plod to defeat).

The game is simple to learn, has a lovely D&D theme and a beautiful board. The components are high quality and that box insert....
Sorry I'll leave it.

Buy the game. Gamers will love it and non-gamers will too. Oh they did this on Tabletop (Youtube) so if you're not sure watch that for an idea of what to expect.
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on 5 April 2014
I'd heard only good things about Lords of Waterdeep and upon playing it the first time- it met all of my expectations.
The turn based resource gathering felt almost like Settlers of Catan without the need for trading.
The game is PERFECTLY balanced with players never more than a few points away from each other- if a single player is far ahead, it's not likely to last long at all.
I find it just as fun with two players as I do with four and would highly recommend it to all table top gamers looking for a fun game.

One extra point, while it is a D&D game, you do not need to have played D&D to thoroughly enjoy Lords of Waterdeep.
It simply uses the same locations and some similar creatures in its descriptions. It's all for flavour text.
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on 8 December 2015
Purchased this as a birthday present for my brother and we loved it.

The gameplay is similiar in many ways to Agricola and is based around resource management but rather than attempting to develope a farm you use your resources to complete quests and score victory points.

All in all a great purchase. The board and counters are all great quality with some very good artwork. The box also has very neat compartments in which to store all the components. The board actually pops in to the top of the plastic storage compartment creating a lid so the pieces do not go everywhere when the box is moved. Clever design.
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on 6 October 2014
I'd been looking for a good Fantasy/Sci Fi boardgame for myself and my partner to play that we could set up quickly and learn within a couple of hours. This evening we played our first game and really enjoyed the feel of it. Essentially the scope and strength of it is contained within the cards (Quest and Intrigue). This gives it a different variation each time and makes every game different from the next, as well as allowing you to adopt various strategies. The presentation is lovely with a sturdy box and nicely illustrated board etc printed on heavy textured card. The price for the quality of product is exceedingly good.
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on 4 March 2015
Overview
Set in the famed Forgotten Realms, the city of Waterdeep plays host to some of the most powerful families in the world. Each vies for power through the employment of heroes to complete a myriad of quests, while endeavouring to derail the ambitions of their rivals.

Lords of Waterdeep places the player in the role of family head, recruiting heroes by visiting the many establishments throughout Waterdeep and sending them on quests. These quests take numerous forms, and require varying completion conditions. Similarly, each quest offers a different reward, as players vie to finish the game furthest along the victory track.

Gameplay
Lords of Waterdeep is a turn based, resource gathering game that sees players vying to gather sufficient gold and heroes (Fighter, Cleric, Rogue and Wizard) to complete quests acquired from the Cliffwatch Inn. From the outset, players take on the roll of a Lord of Waterdeep, each with their own bonus point conditions that come into effect at the end of the game. These conditions generally, but aren’t limited to, award bonus points for the completion of specific quest types (arcana, commerce, piety, skulduggery and warfare), providing an added level of rivalry as players compete to take on the limited quests available.

Player interaction isn’t limited to such passive ‘blocking’ moves, however, as special Intrigue cards allow them to directly affect the progress of their opponents. Such cards allow players to force opponents to discard heroes, or ensure that their resources are tied up in the completion of relatively meaningless quests. With the limited resources available throughout the game’s eight turns, such moves can seriously hamper a player’s plans.

Components
Lords of Waterdeep is undoubtedly a beautiful game. The game board is sturdy, and the tavern cards are sufficient for their purpose. The game does require quite a bit of space to play, as each player needs room for their tavern cards, completed plot quests, active quests and Lord card.

Similarly the game tokens are well produced and make of wood (player pieces, resource cubes) or thick card (Gold) while the Intrigue and Quest cards are standard fare. The game box provides excellent storage, allowing for unused resource cubes to be kept neat as the game is being played.

Worth Playing or Not?
Definitely worth playing. There’s enough to Lords of Waterdeep to ensure that each time it comes out of the box, player’s will have a different gaming experience.
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on 14 January 2015
Great game-play linked with beautiful quality game components and board. It really is a game I would expect to pay £40-£50+ so at this price it is a bit of a steal.

Quick to learn. Fun to play.

As mentioned in many of the other reviews the D&D link is used to provide 'flavour' and provide some lovely artwork topics for cards (if you like fantasy that is), however, the game is really a resource management game where you have a certain degree of interaction with your rivals through placement of your minions and the intrigue cards that you can play.

Relatively short time to complete so you can easily have two or more sessions at a sitting.

There was also quite a variety to each of the games we have played in terms of which buildings and quests were available at the beginning of the game along with the secret mission focus of each of the players. The hidden goals/bonuses for each of the players was the one area where I thought there could have been a bit more imagination shown, however, the games did seem very well balanced so I imagine the games designers might have disturbed the balance if they had tried to be too imaginative on that front.

I was particularly impressed with the thought and care that had gone into the moulded storage areas for each of the game components which means that everything is on hand for quick set up the next time you wish to play the game.

A couple of the reviews mentioned simplicity as a good but potentially limiting point about the game so I have gone out and invested in the well reviewed expansion for the game - Scoundrels of Skullport but have yet to play it. Hopefully this expansion would counteract the one potential weakness of the game.

All in all - a great addition to any board-game collection in terms of playability - along with the fact that even when you lose you have had fun in the process. One of the few games where everyone had a smile on their face as they - regretfully - had to put the game away.
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