Puzzle for January 2017

The Game: Lords of Waterdeep

by Marcy Morelli, Puzzle Editor

About the Game

Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game for 2-5 players which was released in 2012. It has become a standard at open gaming events and tournaments.

Players gain points or resources through completing quests, constructing buildings, playing intrigue cards or having other players utilize the buildings you have constructed. At the end of 8 rounds of play, the player who has accrued the most points wins the game.

Your position

You are playing: Red


Your Lord is: Khelben Arlinsun who rewards Arcana and Warfare.

Your buildings: None

On hand you have:

  • Four Intrigue cards, two of which are mandatory quests
  • 5 money
  • 2 white cubes and 1 orange cube

About the Game

You are playing a 4 player game, currently in the 5th round

Black has completed four quests, two of which are plot quests

Blue has completed one quest, which is a plot quest

Green has completed three quests, none of which are plot quests

Current score:

  • Green: 39
  • Red: 36
  • Blue: 20
  • Black: 20

The situation:

With your first agent, you have played on the middle slot of CliffWatch Inn, and collected your Intrigue card. You are deciding which quest to take.

Since your lord card rewards Arcana quests, you are looking at the two available Arcana quests and trying to decide which to choose.

Expose Red Wizard’s Spies requires one white cube, one orange cube, four black cubes, and two money. It pays out 20 VPs and an intrigue card.

Explore Arghairon’s Tower requires one purple cube, two black cubes, and two money.  It is a plot quest which gives an immediate reward of 6 VPs, but also lets you draw an intrigue card whenever you play a purple cube.

Do you choose?

  1. Expose Red Wizard’s Spies
  2. Explore Arghairon’s Tower

Discuss your rationale.

For more about the game, view the BGG page at: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/110327/lords-waterdeep

All images copyright Wizards of the Coast

6 thoughts on “Puzzle for January 2017”

  1. Markus A on BGG comments:

    I’m going with 1 as it gives more points right away and we’re a bit too far down the line for the other card to give me more benefits over time.

  2. Michael Cathro on BGG comments:
    I would also go with Expose Red Wizards’ Spies. My reasoning is that the Red player has the white and orange requirements already. For the first quest, they need 2 black and 2 purple. The other option requires the 2 purple as well. So, for 2 black, they can get 14 extra points. With both Blackstaff Tower and The Grinning Lion Tavern open they have the chance to get one of the three placements they need. Even if both those spaces are taken, the building that allows you to use another spot that has an opponent’s piece on it should be available. Having this building in play makes it easier to get the other resources needed next round as well. If the other three players take all of those spots, Red could still get 6 victory by taking the building that has it accumulated on it.

  3. Yes, that was my situation and that was the solution I went with. A turn earlier it probably would have gone the other way, but it was just a little too late. Even then, I debated the issue internally for about 5 minutes (unusual for me!).

  4. Thanks for all the comments on our first puzzle.

    There are a couple of factors to consider here. Explore Arghairon’s Tower is a plot quest card, and generally these are very valuable to have. This particular card supplies an extra Intrigue card and having many Intrigue cards to choose from will be helpful. However, this plot quest card is kind of restrictive – you only get the free Intrigue card when you take an action that provides a purple cube. Since we are more than half way through the game, this may not be as useful as it would have been early in the game. On the other hand, it does provide a few points and it doesn’t require many resources, so you may be able to complete it quickly.

    Expose Red Wizard’s Spies requires more resources, and it will likely take you a bit longer to obtain the resources. When you complete it you will get a huge boost in score. And you certainly don’t want another player grabbing it and getting those points.

    Could you get them both? Certainly possible. But no guarantee that the second card will be there later to take.

  5. So, what happened in the actual game?

    After quite a bit of thinking, the Red player went with Red Wizard’s Spies. He was able to complete it but it wasn’t quite enough to win though. The final score was:
    Green 139
    Red 136
    Blue 120
    Black 120

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