Dungeons And Dragons Delves Into Forgotten Realms With New Strategy Game

A sneak peek at the box art for the upcoming Lords of Waterdeep board game

Don't worry, Dungeons & Dragons fans, Neverwinter knows it isn't the only city in the Forgotten Realms. In March 2012, Wizards of the Coast will be sending players south to Waterdeep in a new strategy board game that has more euro roots than anything we've seen from D&D before. Need proof? The game comes with 130 wooden cubes.

From the Wizards of the Coast website:

Waterdeep, the City of Splendors—the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force!

Lords of Waterdeep is a strategy board game for 2-5 players. You take on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf, earning rewards and increasing your influence over the city. Expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions on the board, and hinder—or help—the other lords by playing Intrigue cards to enact your carefully laid plans.

This game includes the following components:

  • Game board
  • Rulebook
  • 5 card stock player mats
  • 121 Intrigue, Quest, and Role cards
  • 130 wooden cubes, pawns, and score pieces
  • Wooden player markers
  • Card stock tiles and tokens representing buildings, gold coins, and victory points

Aside from the brief description and components listing, that's all we know about Lords of Waterdeep. It's a game worth looking forward to, though, simply because Waterdeep's quality will be quite telling for the future of Wizards of the Coast board games. After breaking in with the D&D Adventures line last year, it seemed that the success of these board games took Wizards of the Coast a bit by surprise. They've been quite active in that space ever since, but up until now, it has all felt like a reaction to Castle Ravenloft's brisk sales.

The company quickly followed up on Ravenloft by releasing two additional D&D Adventures titles, while also dusting off a shelved wargame design that would become Conquest of Nerath. The next title they publish should represent WotC's full effort to design a game for an audience they now know a whole lot more about. Rather than risk a misstep at this crucial juncture, they cancelled the co-op dungeon crawl Dungeon of Dread back at Gen Con, leaving all eyes on Lords of Waterdeep. A few lucky fans have already gotten the chance to play its early incarnations, and the response has been positive, but we'll just have to wait and see what March 2012 brings.

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