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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
Lords of Waterdeep was awesome, and Scoundrels of Skullport makes it even bigger, better, and crazier, like the original game on steroids. You get two expansions in one: Undermountain and Skullport. Both feature 3 new Lord cards, 3 new basic building locations (each on a separate small game board), a ton of new buyable buildings, plus a huge amount of new quest and intrigue cards. Skullport includes a Corruption mechanic that penalizes your end-game points by the number of Corruption tokens (blue skulls) you have vs. how many remain on the included Corruption Track (also on a small game board). You gain Corruption by using the awesome new buildings or completing some of the crazy new quests. Corruption is easy to gain but hard to get rid of (ask any politician, lol), but the game includes a number of ways to get rid of it a bit at a time (such as through using certain buildings, completing certain quests, or playing certain intrigue cards). Corruption management is vital. Don't worry about it early, but be sure to start cutting back by mid-game and reversing the number whenever possible.

This expansion also includes a 6th player faction, The Gray Hands, and an extra agent meeple for each color with optional rules to play a long game where everyone starts with an extra agent (you must use the long game rules when playing with 6 people). There are also caravan tokens which stand in for large numbers of adventurer cubes in case the supply runs short. In a 3-player game, this only happened once, but I can see it being necessary with 4-6 players because you will gain a lot more adventurer cubes a lot faster using either or both expansions.

Tried playing a 3p long game with both expansions, and it tripled the game time to almost four hours, but it (mostly) flew by. Part of the length was because we were learning the new rules and freaking out over the expansion's super-powered new stuff, partly chatting, and one of the players suffers from "analysis paralysis" big time, with the other two having milder cases. Pretty sure the game would have only doubled in length if we were less chatty and more familiar with the expansions.

Some of the new stuff seems like it might be underpowered or overpowered (and we don't like half the new Lords, including Xanathar who makes your Corruption penalty less, or Halaster Blackcloak and Sangalor who only score by buying their expansion's buildings and completing its quests, which get diluted when using both expansions). Compare those lords to the one who lets you score 6 pts. from any 1 quest type of your choice, or 5 for each 10+ pt. quest you complete). There are several ways to play 2-3 or even more intrigue cards per turn, and that really slows the game down and feels unfair and overpowered to the rest of the players. That said, both my opponents in the 3 player game I mentioned had the ability to play multiple intrigue cards per turn and I still beat them by hardly playing any intrigue cards. I focused on Corruption management, going from a high of 7 to only 1 at the end, which was only worth -4 pts. to me (instead of -28 pts), and solving as many double digit pt. Piety quests as I could (including a 40 pt. one) to get my Lord bonus of 6 pts. for any 1 quest type of my choice.

If you combine both Undermountain and Skullport in the same game, you have to remove 12 buildings, 30 quests, and 25 intrigue cards from the base game to accommodate all the expansion stuff. That'd be fine--once--but the rules want you to do it every time you play by randomizing which base set bits are removed. I'm not sure I can imagine only playing with one set after trying both, so maybe the best solution in this case is just to yank all the crappiest stuff out of the base set once and never use them again. Also, when the game is prepped for using both sets next time, neither the new storage tray or base set hold the combined buildings and cards properly, resulting in unsightly sprawl with loose cards floating around and a bunch of buildings having to be split between both boxes--which sucks.

Nitpicks aside, I do love this expansion, and you get a TON of stuff to freshen up the game that will keep you going for months. It's a great value and a lot of fun. It's so big and crazy, I'm not sure what the designers can do for the next expansion, but I'm looking forward to finding out!

UPDATE #1: Decided after another game using both expansions at the same time that it's just too swingy, too super-crazy, and unpredictable. And the Xanathar lord is broken and guaranteed to make you lose the game, so I've thrown that card out until it gets an official fix. Tried a game using only Undermountain, and that played much more like the regular game, only reasonably souped-up. Game time was increased to about 2 hours, nothing crazy like the 4 hours using both expansions. And I completed four 40 point quests! Will try using only the Skullport expansion next and update my review if necessary, but for right now, I'm advocating you restrain yourself from trying the mega-game and just do Undermountain first, then Skullport, then maybe try to combine them once just to see what that's like. But I think the expansions were not really meant or balanced to be used together.

UPDATE #2: After playing just the Skullport expansion, I have to say I'm not that fond of it or its Corruption mechanic. Undermountain is way more fun. Not that Skullport doesn't have good stuff, just that a lot of it is overshadowed by Corruption. I've decided to just streamline the base game and the expansions and weed out all the inferior or overpowered stuff (including anything that gives or removes Corruption), mixing just the cards and buildings that are the most fun. Some of these cards and buildings never get bought or played, so what's the point of bothering with them at all? Still others are possibly broken and OP, like the Yawning Portal (4 gold cost building that gives the user 2 cubes of their choice and the owner one and basically hands them the game if they get it early enough), or the Undermountain building (name escapes me) that lets you play three Intrigue cards. And all the new cards that let you steal people's buildings are unfair and create more hard feelings than fun. That still leaves a ton of good stuff to choose from. I'm knocking my rating down to four stars after having played with this set for about a month. It's not balanced well enough, and I hate that expansion games can take so much longer to play. The game isn't deep enough to support more than 60-90 minutes of play time.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2013
My husband and I love Lords of Waterdeep. This is by far our favorite two player game so we were pretty excited when the expansion came out. The new quests, intrigue, and building cards are great. Adds some new fun ways to play. I do find that the new lords are pretty biased though. Some of them are shoe-ins to win the game and others are almost impossible. My husband and I are busy discussing the ways we can modify these new lords to make them more fair in game play. I'm sure other people have been thinking the same.... But other than these new lords, the new game play is fun!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
Scoundrels of Skullport adds to the original Lords of Waterdeep in almost every conceivable way. Both expansions included (Undermountain and Skullport) add quite a bit of new material to the game, namely new quests, intrigue cards, building cards, and the Corruption mechanic. The new Lords, however, are pretty hit or miss to me, with most being boring and one being quite broken. The ability to play either a long or traditional game adds a lot of depth as well, and the ability to integrate a 6th player is most welcome.

The new rules inset does a good job explaining how to integrate one or both of the included expansions, and also includes a pretty detailed errata which answers most questions that naturally come up during the course of the game.

I really wanted to emphasise how awesome Corruption truly is in this expansion. It makes you feel dirty and well, corrupt, to pursue such unrestrained power in the context of the game. It seemed that each game I played with the Skullport expansion was a sheer rush for all players to obtain as much Corruption (and other resources, too, of course) in the early game, and the later portions of the game everyone was definitely managing their corruption and trying to get rid of it (if possible).

This expansion is definitely enjoyable and it's difficult to even think of playing the base game without the expansion now. Well done, WOTC.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2013
The game play itself is great. I was just surprised at the careless quality control. The game requires you to mix cards from the expansion with the base game. But the new cards are of an ever-so-slightly different size and can make shuffling feel awkward. They're also printed upside down, which isn't a huge deal during the game, but when all is done, you then need to separate out the expansion again. Each expansion card has a tiny little icon that is hard enough to notice as it is, but combine that with a deck where the cards are facing every which way because the upside-down expansion cards make it impossible to maintain any sort of order, and separating the cards gets really annoying. The types of quests are also sometimes different colors than in the base game. If they're following the same design as the original, the cards should have been the easiest things to get right, but they completely botched them. But I'd say still worth your time because it is a good game. I just will dock a star for the stupid cards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I love the base game of Lords of Waterdeep - what a great intro game with awesome theme and as a bonus - easy to teach and learn. I was really excited for this expansion to come out to such a beloved game. Sadly, this expansion was disappointing and I've owned it over a year now. I can honestly say this expansion makes my group of friends not want to play Lords of Waterdeep at all. Not only does it add significant length to the game, but it's just not very interesting, or game changing. I like that there are two different expansions in the box, and you can chose to play with one or both at any given time. I must admit, there are a few really awesome new Lords (which was much needed since Larissa Neathal was clearly overpowered in nearly every base game we'd play.) I think that perhaps there is a bit more added strategy in that in one of the expansions, there's tokens you take that can neg you points. The other expansion just offers larger quest cards and buildings. The board game collector in me will never give this expansion up, but I can say it's not essential to your enjoyment of Lords of Waterdeep.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2014
LoW the base game has been the *most* popular and replayable board game. It's good enough to play /w 2 people or 5 people.

This expansion (which is really two expansions) makes EVERYTHING BETTER.

You get Skullport (new resource in the form of corruption/-points) and Undermountain (more intrigue, bigger quests) and new lords, intrigue, and buildings appropriate to the new mechanics. You also get a new color to add a new player.

We've primarily played Undermountain and it makes the game MUCH more forgiving when there's more players b/c it's harder to 'lock' a single player out of a key resource. My wife and mother in law don't like the idea of corruption (mom's a little religious/goody goody) so we haven't played it much, but based on reading through the buildings, cards, etc., it adds a lot more volatility to determining who wins in the end.

There's extra agents to play a 'long game' variant, which is nice (broke 200 points once o.O).

Some folks have mentioned issues with the first run (which I think i have). The quest cards are printed 'upside down' compared to the base game. Makes it easier to sort for us afterwards b/c we just sort based on orientation of the back of the card. There are icons on everything so you can easily see which expansion it belongs to.

There's a game mode that lets you play with both expansions, but then you remove cards and buildings from the original expansion, which can give you a lot of different synergies/combos compared to just playing with one expansion.

There are some really cool synergies/combos around certain quests, intrigue cards, and buildings. For example, mom completed a quest that allowed her to draw an intrigue card after she plays one and then there's another building that allows you to play multiple intrigue cards (I think 3) and another quest? I think that gives you victory points for intrigue cards. She literally couldn't use all the intrigue cards she accumulated, but it was pretty fun and cool since we had to change our strategy to try to prevent her from playing intrigue cards.

Finally, there's a intrigue card that allows you to 'steal' resources from an opponent, but then that player gets the intrigue card (so they can 'attack' you back later). The flavor text is: Cue Evil Laugh. So we made mom do an evil laugh everytime she used it, which is hilarious in and of itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
The base game is great, and I will always be up for a game. Waterdeep is a lush fantasy city, and as such, it attracts all kinds. Quests cover that range a bit, as do Intrigue cards, but it was still a bit lacking.

Scoundrels adds that extra layer of nefarious types, and allows borderline characters to dip that extra bit into the shadows. It's a must have if you want the full Realms experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2014
One word of caution: If you use either expansion, you have to mix together the items from the expansion with those of the base game, and then thoroughly remove them at the end. Also, the symbols for differentiating expansion items are not terribly visible, so you WILL miss some the first time through.
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on January 15, 2014
I ordered this item as a gift for my wife for Christmas, since we enjoy playing the Lords of Waterdeep game together and with our friends. The expansion introduces two new boards, a new faction to allow another player, and there are a host of new quests, intrigue cards, and buildings. There are several new Lords of Waterdeep as well.

We have played four games with the expansion since Christmas, and we are pleased. The addition of the Corruption rules with one of the expansion boards is very well thought out and adds an additional level of strategy. It offers a lot of resources, but if you aren't careful it can sink your chances of winning in the end.

The components are high quality, just like in the original set. As an added bonus, the expansion fits into the original box. If you take the black tray for the expansion out of the expansion box, it fits perfectly over the tray of pieces in the basic box. The expansion lid then fits over it, allowing both the basic game and the expansion to be in one convenient and well-organized box. We were very impressed.

If you loved the original game, this expansion is a great addition.
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on February 5, 2015
A must-have for fans of the base game, Lords of Waterdeep. This expansion comes with two "Modules", or ways to augment the base game. Each module comes with its own set of buildings, intrigue cards, quests, and lords. There are symbols on the cards to distinguish between "Base Cards/Buildings", "Undermountain Cards/Buildings", and "Skullport Cards/Buildings". Players can choose to play with both modules as well.

The Undermountain module adds a mini-board which provides 3 new locations. The quests involved with Undermountain usually take more resources to complete, but the rewards are greater.

The Skullport module contains 2 mini-boards, one with new locations, and one corruption tracker. Corruption is a new resource with this module. It can help, but it can also hurt.

The expansion comes in a nice box (unlike the base game) and if you remove the insert and put everything in baggies/containers, you can fit everything in the nice new sturdy box.
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