Lords of Waterdeep Tips and Strategies

How to Own Your Friends at Lords of Waterdeep

Image © Playdek.

So, you want to take over Waterdeep, huh? It will be no easy task. After aligning with a secret mentor, your agents will comb the city for adventurers to carry out quests, sabotage your opponents with subterfuge and intrigue. Lords of Waterdeep is a fun game, and if you need a little help getting the better of your opponent, these tips should help improve your game.

One of the fun aspects of Lords of Waterdeep is how it plays out differently each game. There is no one perfect strategy because each game you will have a different mentor and be focused on different types of quests. This means you'll have to devise your strategy after the game starts. And this only gets more intriguing if you are playing with the expansions. 

Lords of Waterdeep Tips:

Focus your quests. The game starts with the unveiling of your lord, which usually means a bonus for quests of two different types. These are the type of quests you will want to concentrate on during the game. It can be a good strategy to focus most of your attention on just one type of quest. So if you get Durnan the Wanderer, who gives a bonus for Commerce and Warfare, you might concentrate on Warfare, which will mostly use fighters to carry out the quests. 

Some quests are better in the beginning. The first thing you should do is assess the quests you get in the beginning and what quests are available on the board. Some quests are better the earlier you solve them, such as a quest that gives you a reward every time you complete a task. 

Buy a building early on in the game. This is similar to completing those special quests. You get more out of buildings the earlier you buy them, so they are most valuable in the first few rounds of the game. If there is a building that grants adventurers of the same type you'll need completing quests for your Lord, buying it in the early rounds can mean more quests completed by the end of the game.

Always calculate victory points. Ultimately, victory points are the key to winning. Adventurers are worth one point, and you get one point for every two coins. You can use this formula to calculate which quest gives the best bang for the buck. If a quest requires 4 adventurers and 4 coins, it has a cost of 6 victory points. If it only gives 8 victory points, you only gain 2 points for completing the quest. If it grants 8 victory points and 2 fighters, you effectively gain 4 points for the quest.

Sometimes, doing a quest outside of your Lord bonus is worth it. This goes hand-in-hand with calculating victory points. Some quests have a low cost with just a few adventurers needed and grant a fair amount of victory points, so if you see a quest that requires a wizard, a thief and a fighter and grants 8 points, don't worry about your Lord bonus, just go for it.

Selling adventurers can be a good deal. If an opponent plays an Intrigue card offering victory points for adventurers, this is usually a good exchange. You get more victory points than the adventurer or coin is worth. But watch out for the hidden catch. While you are gaining more victory points than those adventurers are worth, your opponent is getting them free of charge, so they are gaining victory points as well. And they are also getting closer to solving a quest. 

Always pay attention to your opponents. That deal of 4 victory points for 4 coins may be worth it towards the end of the game if the person giving you the deal is way behind in overall victory points. You'll also be asked to give resources to an opponent after playing certain Intrigue cards. Knowing which type of quests your opponents are going after can help you pick the best player to receive those resources. For example, if an opponent is completing Arcana quests, you don't want to give him a wizard!

Focus on the big payout in the last few rounds. The first rounds of the game are great for completing quests with non-victory-point rewards, such as a plot quest that grants extra victory points upon completing more quests of that type. But at the end of the game, you want to go for those 20 and 25 point rewards.

Cascading quests is the fastest path to victory. Not all quests give just victory points, some give you back adventurers. Completing a quest that gives you four warriors and using those warriors to complete a second quest is a great way to rack up a lot of victory points. This is much better than completing that first quest and not knowing what to do with all those warriors.

Don't forget about Waterdeep Harbor! Playing Intrigue cards is a great way to get "free" resources. Remember, you get to reassign that agent at the end of the round, so you are not giving up resources to play the card. You might not get the resource you are after, since another player might go for it after you play your Intrigue card, but you will get something out of it. If you need to complete a quest, go for those resources at the start of the round, otherwise, playing an Intrigue card might be the better move.

Quests, quests, quests. It is a game of quests, and the player with the best quests will often win. The "Reset Quests" option in Cliffwatch Inn can be a powerful move if you don't see a good quest on the board and don't like those you have in your hand. Remember to calculate those victory points to locate the best quest, and remember to count your Lord bonus in the calculation.