Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tribed and tested

This day may be better remembered for the positive results from N. Ireland, Scotland, and Republic of Ireland, but for us it will be remembered for the day that the Lords of Waterdeep expansion came to the table!

But first, a little background. There were six of us at Sam’s: the host, Ian, Martin ,Katy, Adam and myself, and we began with a little light introduction in the laid-back form of Take It Easy. A simple of where cruel fate twists the knife in your back in ever more amusing ways. Especially with our habit of calling out various words, bingo-style, of certain topics.

However, for a while, it looked as if there may not be a game at all. But Sam’s artistic skills came to the fore and he fashioned a remarkably faithful copy, allowing the game to progress unhindered.

But perhaps the most amazing part of the evening was that Martin realised the missing tile was 5-2-8 at exactly 7.55 (ie, five to eight). Amazeballs!

The first round (with Sam as caller, and the topic was “clothes”) was close: only 77 points separated first and last. But the second round (Ian as caller, topic: punk, rock and grindcore bands) had people grinding their teeth and cursing the heavens in frustration. Not Adam, though, who came first in that round, as he had in the first. In the last round (caller: Adam, topic: condiments and sauces) he was second after Martin, but by then, the win was sown up.

Adam 527
Sam 452
Andrew 421
Martin 419
Ian 334
Katy 330

After all that, we split into two. Adam, Martin and I went for the cluster of analysis paralysis that is Five Tribes, while Ian, Sam and Katy chose Lords of Waterdeep with the new expansion. Of course, this expansion allows six players, but Martin would not be shaken from his belief that anything D&D related is as much fun as shaving with a cheese grater, so we had to split into two groups of three.

We set up, and Adam was told the rules. We played and we pondered. Adam noted that this game has pauses long enough for a comfortable toilet break. Martin said that was a weakness of the game just as I was saying that it was a positive part of the game. Despite our contrary opinions on the game, Adam cruised serenely (if a little baffled) to a win, having got a multiplier for his yellow meeples, and plenty of goods. Martin went for djinns, and I didn’t specialise in anything much.

Adam 191
Martin 160
Andrew 136

The game ended with Martin deciding that, after several attempts, he really didn’t like it. Adam admitted himself bemused by the whole process, while I thought I’d like to give it another go or two before I decide if I like it or not.

Lords of Waterdeep Plus was still winding up, so we played Love Letter as a nice little filler. Adam said he wasn’t a fan since he didn’t understand the strengths of each card and how to play them. Nevertheless, he and I raced into a 2-2-0 lead over Martin in the first four rounds. Then Martin declared he’d win three in a row and take the win, and he came close. The score was 2-2-2 when Martin foolishly decided to compare hands with me when I had the Princess. Victory!

Andrew 3
Adam 2
Martin 2

And so LoW+ ended. I’ll leave it to them to describe how the expansion changed things. The only difference I noticed was hearing the occasional reference to “dirty skulls”.

San 173
Katy 149
Ian 131

Then, since we were six, we decided on a final game of Tsuro. Martin claims that Tsuro is all luck, but that’s just a bluff. Everyone knows it’s a game of skill and bluff. I had no chance, stuck between Adam and Martin, so I was out first. Katy followed soon after and then Ian, Sam and Adam all converged on the same square with Ian doing the decent thing and killing them all off at once. This left Martin as the winner.

1. Martin
2= Sam
2= Ian
2= Adam
3. Katy
4. Andrew

Sam claims top spot on the form table, with Adam in second.

Sam 2 1 2 1 1 7
Adam 2 2 1 1 3 9
Martin 1 2 2 4 2 11
Andrew 4 1 3 3 2 13
Katie 3 2 6 1 3 15
Joe 3 3 1 3 5 15
Ian 2 3 5 4 2 16
Matt 1 3 2 5 5 16
Stanley 4 1 5 5 5 20
Hannah 2 5 5 5 5 22

And on the Lords of Waterdeep division, Sam sees himself on top on points and the medal table. Gonz takes points ratio with a record that probably won't be broken for some time. Steve lurks menacingly on the division, threatening to overtake me, despite having only played half as many games.

Wait! I almost forgot: we have a Tsuro division, too. And what a cosy love-in it is. Adam wins the medal table, Sam wins on points and we have joint winners on points ration: Quentin and Anja.


  1. The expansion for Lords of Waterdeep - Scoundrels of Skullport (stop sniggering Adam) is actually two expansions in one - there's Undermountain and Skullport. You can play with both but Skullport sounded more interesting to me.

    There's a little extra game board (Skullport) that has three extra buildings on. They're extremely rewarding - one gets you two fighters and two rogues, another gets you two adventurers of your choice and a third gets you an Intrigue card, a Quest card, and five gold. But each building also furnishes you with the aforementioned dirty skulls - every time you go there you pick one up, and at the end of the game skulls count against you. How much depends on how many skulls have been taken collectively during the game.

    There are ways to get rid of them - I think we all returned some skulls - but what made the expansion interesting to me at least was the new pack of Quests you got to play with. There were a heap of plot quests and Ian completed a quest that got him 20 points, ten gold, but also three skulls. The down side was that I won by virtue of completing two 40-point quests. I hope there are different paths to victory than just that one.

    Overall though I did like it. Great to play Take It Easy again too.

  2. The Waterdeep expansion did change the game a bit, the flow of cubes (sorry, adventurers!) into and out of your inn seemed higher, cubes were easier to amass and gave a different rhythm to the game.

    The new quests shook things up the most, some requiring relatively few cubes (adventurers!) but penalising you with skulls, others seeming relatively expensive but offering a large number of cubes as part of the reward. There are possibilities to use the rewards of one quest to help complete another, which seemed to work well for Katy towards the end of the game.

    I did enjoy the expansion, but I was disappointed at the lack of owlbears.

    Cheers folks!