Back to good old Lords of Waterdeep! Let’s talk about the plot quests that are available in the game. Plot quests are quests that have an ongoing reward for the rest of the game after you complete them. Completing a few good plot quests can go a long way towards victory. I’ll talk about them specifically, but first a few general caveats:
- The biggest thing with plot quests is how early in the game you complete them; the earlier the better. The earlier you complete them the more time you have to use the benefit. Some are only good if done early, some are good right up to the very end, and most can be valuable or a waste depending on when you do them.
- As always with LoW, your strategy will depend on the number of players, whether the expansions are in play, and if it’s the long game or short game. Each of these factors will impact how useful a particular plot quest will be.
- If a plot quest is of your Lord’s type (e.g. a Warfare quest when you have Warfare and Piety) that’s a big help. Some of them are useless otherwise, while some are worth doing even if it’s not the correct type.
- As usual, I’ll be completely ignoring the Skullport expansion and looking at just the base game and Undermountain expansion.
- I’ll be mentioning how much quests are worth with numbers like +5 or +8. If a quest takes 6 resources to complete and you get 11 victory points for completing it, that would make it +5 (I think it would be nice if they would print that number right on the card so you don’t have to figure it out every time!). This can be important in trying to decide which quests to complete. Make every move count!
OK, with those out of the way, let’s jump right in!
There are five of these, one for each type (Warfare, Arcana, etc.) They are extremely valuable and when one shows up that is your type you should drop everything else and grab it. They give you +2 VP for every quest of that type you do; if you complete 5 or 6 quests of that type afterward that makes 10 or 12 bonus points. And they’re mostly a pretty good value by themselves, taking from 3 – 6 resources to get you 8 VP. And of course they’ll be eligible for the 4 bonus points at the end since they’re of the right type. So for as little as 3 resources you can get potentially 24 points or more! Great deal, and worth doing even on the last turn of the game.
Like the previous group, there are one of each of these for the various types. But instead of extra VP these get you extra resources. If you take the Piety version for example, from then on you will get a white resource whenever you take a new Piety quest (gold for Commerce, black for Skullduggery, etc.) I’ve never had good luck with these. A friend I play with a lot does really well with these, but I’ve never gotten them to work well. First off they’re not a great value by themselves; two of them are actually -.5 points! And it seems like when I do them I don’t get to use them very often. But like I said, I’ve seen other people use them well. Guess you’ll have to try them out for yourself and see what you think.
These three quests allow you grab extra resources: 2 gold whenever you take black, 1 orange whenever you take orange, or 1 black whenever you take gold. These are very nice and can let you build up a TON of resources. My favorite is the “get gold when you take black” because black is usually plentiful and gold is always useful. I’ve ended games with 40 or more gold thanks to that card. These are always pretty good, but can be situational; if they’re the right type for your Lord that’s helpful and getting them early is important.
These can be a lot of fun, especially when you have them both. One lets you take an Intrigue card whenever you take a purple, and one lets you draw and play an additional Intrigue card anytime you play an Intrigue card. I’m not totally sure how much these actually help you win, but they do make the game interesting. Combine them with the next card and you’ve really got something…
This quest has a reward of 0 (yes, zero) victory points, but from then on whenever you play an Intrigue card you get 2 points. You can rack up some serious VP doing this; I kept track one time and my friend got 74 points just from this card! And it has the added bonus of driving your opponents insane by constantly saying “Oh, and I get 2 points for playing an Intrigue.” This one is a lot harder to utilize in the base game because there aren’t as many opportunities to grab or play Intrigue cards, but if you’ve got the expansion in play then you’re good to go.
Speaking of zero victory points, this plot quest is also worth a big whopping 0 but it gives you the benefit of an extra agent for the rest of the game. More than any of the others, the lieutenant is situational. In a 2 player game you can get him super early (I’ve actually gotten him into play on Round 1) and he can be huge. But in a 4 player game it can take you so long to gather enough resources to use him that it’s not worth it. And of course if you draw him late it’s probably not worth it (although in a 2 player long game I’ve taken him pretty dang late, especially if I have Warfare, and have done alright with him). Even having good Intrigue cards you can use to gather the resources can make a difference in whether or not you decide to go for him.
This one sounds kind of cool at first, but upon closer examination it’s pretty mediocre. It’s a Piety quest that costs 5 resources. Once again you get a whopping 0 VP (and one resource of your choice) and from then on you get one resource of your choice at the beginning of the round. So if you use it on Round 4 you’ll come out even; you pay 5 resources and get 5 back eventually. This one can be OK, but I usually skip it. I’ll do it only if:
- My lord has the Piety type
- It’s early in the game (Round 3 or earlier ideally)
- I’m more likely to do it if it looks like resources are going to be scarce (i.e. lame buildings)
- I’m more likely to do it if I have the Piety bonus card (+2 VP for each Piety quest)
So it’s basically got to be a perfect setup to do this one. I’d say I skip it 80 or 90% of the time. One other problem is you have to actually remember to take the resource each round. That’s one thing nice about the app; it remembers all that kind of stuff for you.
OK, that’s half of the plot quests, I’ll stop here for now. Disagree with anything I’ve said here or want to add to the analysis? Please post a comment!
Part 2 will be up very soon, thanks for reading!