• Rants & Raves
  • Flashback Friday - Lords of Waterdeep - Love it or Hate It? Do you Still Play It?

Flashback Friday - Lords of Waterdeep - Love it or Hate It? Do you Still Play It?

U Updated
Lords of Waterdeep

Game Information

There Will Be Games

Lords of Waterdeep was declared the most divisive game of 2012 here on the site.

It could also have been called the most written about and discussed game. All the articles we have on it are listed towards the bottom of it's page in our directory here: Lords of Waterdeep

So what do you think? Do you love it or hate it? Do you still play it?

There Will Be Games Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep
Shellie "ubarose" Rose  (She/Her)
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Plays boardgames. Drinks bourbon. Writes code.

Articles by Shellie

Lords of Waterdeep
Shellie "ubarose" Rose
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Articles by Shellie

Log in to comment

Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #280821 31 Aug 2018 10:09
I still really like it. It’s very direct and it has a good mix of simplicity and dimension. I know a lot of folks didn’t like it because it has the D&D brand and it isn’t all hur hur dice rolling pow pow and it isn’t “dripping” in cheese dick fantasy narrative, but it’s a great design that is still fun to play. I like it betttr with 3-4 than with more and I like the expansion on board. The IOS game is still worthwhile too.
ChristopherMD's Avatar
ChristopherMD replied the topic: #280824 31 Aug 2018 10:39
Still like it. It's a go-to game with a particular group when we want to play something we all know the rules to. I very much prefer playing with the expansion. I customized my set by setting up the decks/buildings for the expansion instead of taking things out randomly. Also bought those 3D printed meeples to replace the cubes. Probably the only time I've bought something, other than paint, to pimp out a game.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #280830 31 Aug 2018 11:39
It’s so funny thinking back to how the cubes were such a “political” thing in games...it was funny to joke about (“Cube Confusion” and all that) but some people were serious about not playing games with cubes. Like a purple cube representing a wizard is any less abstract than rolling a die to resolve a conflict between two minis or chits that represent ARMIES.

I guess it’s the same with the weird hatred some people have for worker placement...as if that mechanic is less descriptive or more abstract itself.

Those two things and this crazy notion that all games should generate a sweeping dramatic story that you never forget for the rest of your life are why it was so divisive, I think. Stupid “Ameritrash” dogmatism.
ChristopherMD's Avatar
ChristopherMD replied the topic: #280831 31 Aug 2018 11:59
For what its worth, I ended up preferring the cubes because they're easier to pick up. Even with the meeples we still call them by color so I "take an orange" not "recruit a fighter". Still I already have them so we do use them. Kept the cubes though so can always go back.
Ken B.'s Avatar
Ken B. replied the topic: #280832 31 Aug 2018 12:29
Still like it, still have it, but I think I'd rather play Champions of Midgard these days. That may just be a phase, we'll see.
Legomancer's Avatar
Legomancer replied the topic: #280834 31 Aug 2018 12:33
I still like it a lot. I think it's a stellar design, one that a lot of games could learn from. There is a definite goal, and explaining the rules is a simple matter of showing how each one gets you to that goal, with no "except for" or "unless". You don't have the nonsense you get so often in WP games where the first part is just a race to get extra workers so that the first few turns are scripted. And I think the expansions add to it without taking much away. It has one single design flaw, in my opinion: that the mandatory quests are printed landscape instead of portrait like the other Intrigue cards.

That said, it's a hard sell for my group, because many of them are now in the "it's a bad game" camp because it doesn't have epicycles and separate tracks for everything which can be manipulated and other such modern convolutions.
ecargo's Avatar
ecargo replied the topic: #280835 31 Aug 2018 12:49
I still enjoy (and own!) Lords of Waterdeep. It doesn't get played often, but when it does, it's still a solid and rewarding experience. Bonus points for it being something I can play with family.
Jexik's Avatar
Jexik replied the topic: #280836 31 Aug 2018 12:55
Never enjoyed it. I dislike it because it is stupid and shallow. Buy buildings. Fly under the radar so you don't get hit with the mandatory quests at the wrong time. That's the entire strategy. It might work out, it might not, and either way it'll be forgettable and decided by some arbitrary number of points. It's not fun. It's not a great design. It's derivative garbage with pasted on artwork. Worker placement is not an interesting enough mechanic to bother being introduced to - it's just picking stuff with severely limited options. I'd much rather play something more interactive in that time frame like Catan or Small World. If I'm going to play an optimization exercise, give me RftG or 7 Wonders over this ANY DAY. Both of those games are more interactive than Lords of Waterdeep too, FWIW.

This and Stone Age can go bore each other in Middleweight Euro Limbo. I can't imagine a situation in which I'd ask to play this. Tell me about your day or your cat before you ask me to play it. This isn't some Ameritrash posturing either... I'll play Dominion or Power Grid or a number of other games (like Alchemists or Dungeon Lords in the genre) that fall into the Euro camp, but these low to middleweight ones I just don't get. Ugh.

It's the Taco Bell of board games. "The family likes it. It's predictable. It reminds me of things that I like. I probably won't get poisoned."
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #280840 31 Aug 2018 13:23
I won't play Lords of Waterdeep. I work long hours every week as an accountant, so I refuse to waste my free time on boring eurogames, even when a D&D theme is slapped on the mechanics. And I live in Minnesota, so I already encounter lots of passive-aggressive behavior and don't need more of it in the form of a worker placement game. Except for Sons of Anarchy, where my workers get to punch or shoot your workers.
Colorcrayons's Avatar
Colorcrayons replied the topic: #280842 31 Aug 2018 13:39
I used to enjoy it. Not a fave, but the GF at the time adored it so it was a way to actually get to play a game she enjoyed immensely with her instead of trying to wrangle her into one of my faves.

However, the expansion ruined it for me. I really don't know why. But I do regret the day I paid money so that I would never want to play a game again that I somewhat enjoyed. I've never had a pretty decent expansion actually ruin my enjoyment before, so it's just a weird thing for me.
southernman's Avatar
southernman replied the topic: #280845 31 Aug 2018 13:51
I played it once and wasn't impressed by mechanics or any theme, so unimpressed haven't played or looked at it since. Obviously not my type of game but plenty of others are so I know I'm not missing anything.
Ken B.'s Avatar
Ken B. replied the topic: #280848 31 Aug 2018 14:10
Calling it the "Taco Bell of Boardgames" is actually accurate and fair. What that statement means to you depends a great deal on your opinion of said Taco Bell, heh. For me, sometimes a quasi-meat burrito hits the spot.
Jexik's Avatar
Jexik replied the topic: #280851 31 Aug 2018 14:47

Ken B. wrote: Calling it the "Taco Bell of Boardgames" is actually accurate and fair. What that statement means to you depends a great deal on your opinion of said Taco Bell, heh. For me, sometimes a quasi-meat burrito hits the spot.


I live in a small midwestern city with at least 30% Mexican population. I can get my al pastor or carne asada with onion and cilantro for a good price and have them look funny at me if I don't order in Spanish. Tres is the word for three, and Spanish for tacos is tacos.

I just don't see anyone getting excited about Lords of Waterdeep. For as many accolades and as high praise as it gets, you'd think there'd be more people out there that love the game.
boothwah's Avatar
boothwah replied the topic: #280857 31 Aug 2018 15:25
I don't dig WP games....but if i have to play one it would be LoWD, because of the venue that I'm most likely going to play it - with friends and spouses of friends that aren't hardcore gamers - It's simple enough to catch on very quickly, and doesn't drag on too long.

I'd never drag it to the table, but I wouldn't pitch a fit it was what we were playing.
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #280863 31 Aug 2018 16:38

Ken B. wrote: Still like it, still have it, but I think I'd rather play Champions of Midgard these days. That may just be a phase, we'll see.


This.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #280868 31 Aug 2018 17:27

ChristopherMD wrote: Still like it. It's a go-to game with a particular group when we want to play something we all know the rules to.


I'll probably be playing this tomorrow for exactly this reason. I go to a larger game group event about once a month or so, and Lords of Waterdeep is one of those, "Everyone knows it, and likes it okay" games.

I think also, it is a sociable game. It's not particularly challenging, so people can socialize while playing. If someone walks by and starts chatting with you, it's not going to break your train of thought or bother other folks at the table. And it has a tiny bit of begging and pleading, and tiny bit of screwage, which keeps everyone laughing.
Jexik's Avatar
Jexik replied the topic: #280870 31 Aug 2018 17:42
I'd rather play something like King of Tokyo in that case then. Or Monopoly.

I think there's just this weird spot for me where a game has low luck AND low skill, where I just don't enjoy it. It just makes me wonder why we're playing a game at all.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #280871 31 Aug 2018 17:48
Die, Waterdeep, die!!!
Jexik's Avatar
Jexik replied the topic: #280872 31 Aug 2018 17:50
I think we're alone on this one. Best we can get on our side is, "meh, not my mug of dwarven ale."
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #280874 31 Aug 2018 18:08
I enjoyed it well enough. It’s a genre I enjoy with a few, very notable exceptions, and it’s a great entry point to worker placement. The expansion, while it doesn’t improve the game to the point where you might love it if you didn’t before, is still very good and is a must have if you do enjoy the game.

However, it will never be the worker placement game I go for if I feel like playing one. Especially if you want that fantasy dressing and a better feel for fighting monsters, Champions of Midgard with both expansions is _THE_ best worker placement game, period. The base game isn’t any heavier than LoW and the expansions truly set the game into the stratosphere.
barrowdown's Avatar
barrowdown replied the topic: #280876 31 Aug 2018 18:22

Jexik wrote: I think we're alone on this one. Best we can get on our side is, "meh, not my mug of dwarven ale."


I'm with you. I find LoW super-bland and exists at the "why play?" level of game where it feels like a boring activity. As you said earlier, not random enough to just have fun at the wacky hijinks and not skillful enough that you need to pay any attention to it.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #280877 31 Aug 2018 18:33

boothwah wrote: I'd never drag it to the table, but I wouldn't pitch a fit it was what we were playing.


Hyperbole aside, I don't pitch a fit either. I just tell people, "I'm just going to watch." Then after they have been playing for a few minutes, I silently drift away to play a game at another table or read up on current events on my phone.
stoic's Avatar
stoic replied the topic: #280878 31 Aug 2018 18:35
I have it and still play it. I don't bother with the expansion. It's easy to teach to newbies.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #280889 31 Aug 2018 21:14
Would play Argent instead every time.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #280891 31 Aug 2018 21:30

Gary Sax wrote: Would play Argent instead every time.


Me too, but with this group Lords of Waterdeep is my shield against being roped into playing a point salad, cube squasher about pickles and milk.