Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Open Lord Intrigue Card from Lords of Waterdeep

If a player is used to play Lords of Waterdeep prior to the expansion, this card will initially appear to be extremely Overpowered (OP). I've been a victim to this card twice and still do not quite have a solution to this. Both times played in the second round. Basically this card prevents players from using attacking intrigue cards on the wielder (OL - Open Lord).

After thinking over the game, I find that this card seems OP because it changes the dynamics of the game once it is played. Because now everyone has to share in the responsibility in preventing the OL from taking too big of a lead. Similar to the affects of IO or Wisp from DOTA, or playing against the score leader in Hearts, the card game. So to prevent the OL from winning is very difficult if you are playing with selfish players or new players. Revealing the lord is not a huge drawback because around Round 3 or 4, you have a pretty good idea which lord each player has anyways.

Two Players

To me this card is extremely OP for two player games because I did not have another player to play with. This means that I cannot play the attack intrigue cards at all which is a good percentage of the cards. That means that I will waste a lot of moves getting cards I cannot use. At the same time, because I cannot play them, I cannot use the Harbor which essentially gives you another half agent to an extra agent because you can replay him later. In two players, there are lots of open space and the intrigue cards give you the resources that you can attempt to block. At least with a third player, you can play the attack cards on someone else. This then leaves you with utility cards where half of them also benefits someone else, like two resources and give one to your opponent. Of course in two players, there is only one other opponent. I was completely crushed in this game. This was also the very first time I played this expansion so I did not know any of the new cards or mechanics.

Three Players

The second time we played with three players. We both still lost but it was much closer in score but really required both of us to "gang up" on the OL. By ganging up, we just used utilities between the two of us and avoided using attack cards. We had the building that let you discard intrigue cards which also helped. What hurt me was that I was the building lord which I had to spend half the game just getting the castle rook to have first dibs to the buildings, and of course the unfortunate luck to not getting quests that gave me buildings.

Conclusion

I feel this card is still overpowered but would like to play against it a few more times to get a better feel. But it definitely changes the game play once it is revealed. There are probably some lord combinations where it does not work very well like the building one.

On the rest of the expansion, I feel like there are a lot more intrigue cards that benefit the wielder without any penalties. At least in the original, the benefit was about an extra move like getting the same resources as if in another spot or take extra resource while giving something to someone else. There was one that just gives control of a building. Taking one that has a cost of 8 is basically stealing someone else's two turns for not even 1 turn... which basically means a 3 turn swing.

I am still split on the new mechanics. The corruption is interesting, and underworld quests cost a lot more (of course for more rewards).