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Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport - Board Game Box Shot

Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport

| Published: 2013
Expansion for Lords of Waterdeep

Two New Expansions for the Lords of Waterdeep Board Game!

Scoundrels of Skullport adds two new expansions to the Lords of Waterdeep board game – Undermountain and Skullport – inspired by the vast dungeon and criminal haven under Waterdeep. Players can choose to include one or both expansions in a Lords of Waterdeep game. The expansions also allow the addition of a sixth player.

The Skullport expansion adds a new resource to the game: Corruption. The Undermountain expansion features bigger quests and more ways to get adventures. Scoundrels of Skullport also includes new Lords, new Buildings, and set-up materials for a sixth player.

User Reviews (6)

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Professional Reviewer
I play black
Silver Supporter
128 of 135 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“The Wild and Dark sides of Waterdeep”

Following up on the success of Lords of Waterdeep, Scoundrels of Skullport is a two-part expansion that increases the maximum number of players to 6 and offers very different ways to enhance the base game. One expansion, the Undermountain introduces increased use of intrigue cards as well as complex and extremely rewarding quests. The other, Skullport explores the darker side of the game and adds a key new element to the game – Corruption. While the quality of the two expansions is not even, the package as a whole provides a solid addition to the base Lords of Waterdeep making a great game even better.

How it works

The expansion, slightly smaller than the original Lords of Waterdeep, allows you to add either one of the new modules (Undermountain and Skullport) or both of them at the same time. Each of the modules comes with a new auxiliary board that provides additional spaces for agent assignment, new set of buildings, quests, intrigue cards and three new Lords cards with victory conditions specific to the expansion.

You can either pick one module to add and shuffle in all the components, or add both at the same time, discarding a certain number of cards from the base game to keep things manageable. In order to play with both expansions at the same time, you have to use the “longer game” option that increases the duration of the game by giving each player an extra agent right off the bat and making it possible to play with 6 people instead of 5.

To accommodate the increased player count, the game includes a new faction (Grey Hands) with 6 agent meeple as well as an extra meeple of colours in the base game.

The game with both expansions in takes roughly 30 min longer than the base game, clocking in at 1.5-2 hours. This time requirement increase moves it squarely into the “feature game” territory in terms of length and complexity.

What it changes

The two options provided by new modules are very different.

The Undermountain is most reminiscent of epic-level campaign in a Dungeons & Dragons world. The stakes are higher. The abilities are higher. There are crazy quests that award you with 40 points (the base game maximum was 25). Intrigue cards fly left and right as new locations make it easier to both acquire and use these. An interesting new mechanic has players assign extra resources to different spots on the board so that the next time the space is used – it yields something extra in addition to the regular rewards. Ultimately, it adds variety but also creates a sense of wild swings in game balance.

The Skullport module adds two new boards. One contains the new action spaces, all of which provide much higher rewards than those in the base game. The setback is that these actions also saddle you with Corruption – a new negative resource represented by small blue wooden skull tokens. At the end of the game the players are penalized for each Corruption token, they have and the penalty size depends on how much corruption was accumulated by players as a group.

The corruption mechanic adds a strong new dimension to the gameplay. New cards and buildings allow you to both get rid of corruption by repenting your sins or donating to charity or to take on more corruption for short-term rewards. The game benefits from the change as players consider whether it is worth getting their hands dirty to get ahead – it adds another layer of strategy to the already rich base game.

In conclusion:

This expansion has a unique effect. First – it is not a mandatory addition (unlike Wizard’s Tower for Castle Panic). The base game, balanced and quick still stands strong as a worthy offering and sometimes you will want to experience just that, especially when playing with new players.

Adding just the Skullport expansion turns it into a new game – one with more risk management, darker tone and slightly more backstabbing. It is richer; more involved and requires a bit more of an investment of time and concentration.

Finally, throwing in both new modules at once creates this epic-level experience with a ton of options and things to consider. It lasts a reasonably long time and ventures far from the compact format of the original, but offers an even more variable and exciting gameplay.

The weakest part of the expansion comes in the form of only adding the Undermountain expansion. Without as significant of an addition as the Corruption mechanic, it feels cumbersome, adding complexity without the reward and throwing things off balance. Pass on that option.

As a whole, if you enjoyed the base game and it left you wanting more – this double expansion is a must buy. It provides you lots of flexibility in how you want to enjoy this fantastic game.

If you enjoyed this review please visit Altema Games website for more reviews and other board game materials:

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Cooperative Game Explorer
Amateur Advisor
Gamer - Level 6
128 of 137 gamers found this helpful
“Undermountain and Skullport: A study in risk and corruption”

What is there to say about Lords of Waterdeep that hasn’t already been said? It is a solid game with good gameplay mechanics and lots of variability to the style of gameplay that you can choose. It’s hard to imagine improving on the current game model…and yet, here comes Scoundrels of Skullport, which adds more gameplay mechanics and more Lords, and allows for the addition of a sixth character to the game. Is it an improvement? Yes, across the board.

So what makes Scoundrels of Skullport so special? Well, first off, there are two expansions in one. Players can choose to add the Undermountain expansion, the Skullport expansion, or play with both in tandem. Both expansions include new boards to attach to the original, and both boards include new places that characters can sent their Agents in order to acquire resources. Even adding just one of the expansions increases the options for characters to pursue their goals, avoiding some of the problems with locking down locations that have one hard-to-find specific resource. However, I don’t foresee many people playing with just one expansion, when both together make the game so much fun.

How do the expansions differ? Undermountain includes locations that feature drawing Intrigue cards, playing Intrigue cards, and getting adventurers of your choice. There are also new buildings and new quests to spice up the current base set, ones that exploit greater risk and reward than the originals. Skullport features locations that can offer a huge boost over normal locations, but also include a new resource: Corruption. Corruption is a resource that negatively impacts the score at the end of the game, and is generally undesirable. Moreover, the more Corruption is taken among players, the more it will impact the score.

Corruption works like this: There is a board that is included in the game to track Corruption. The board has penalty indicators that go from -1 to -9, and with each indicator, there is a location pool that contains a number of Corruption markers. Each location pool will start with 3 such markers, with the exception of the -1 pool, which starts with just 1. As Corruption is gained, it is taken in order from the board, following the path from -1 to -9, only progressing to the next pool when one has been depleted. When a pool is depleted, it changes the value of all Corruption markers to the spent value. For instance, if there is only one Corruption marker left in the -3 pool and it is taken, then all Corruption markers will count as -3 points towards the end score at the end of the game (unless, of course, the -4 pool is depleted after, in which case all Corruption markers will equal -4 points, and so on).

So why would anyone take a Corruption marker in the first place? Because you get a lot for it. All locations with a Corruption marker give you a strong incentive for taking them, and can enable you to complete quests faster for massive rewards. Take for instance the Slaver’s Market, which will give you 2 Fighters and 2 Rogues per visit, with one Corruption marker thrown in. That can be pretty tempting, all right.

There are new Intrigue cards and buildings which can help get rid of Corruption, but these are by no means assured to come up every game. In addition, there is a new Lord named The Xanathar that takes less of a penalty from Corruption than other Lords. This can make for an interesting metagame where players try to force other players to bear the brunt of a lot of Corruption by adjusting the Corruption track to have more or less of a penalty. This can open up other locations during the end phases of the game, and make an interesting finish for the end of the game.

Undermountain and Skullport work well together, in that the quests for Undermountain become more realistic with taking the benefits (and detriments) from Skullport. And getting more Intrigue cards from Undermountain can help to deal with the consequences of Corruption. In addition, using the expansions, either singly or together, doesn’t lengthen the time of the game by any significant amount; having more options on where to go and what to do seems to make the game feel more streamlined. The only detriment to having both expansions is the set-up and clean-up time with the new tokens, buildings, and cards, but the expansions ultimately make Lords of Waterdeep more fun and rewarding to play.

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Gamer - Level 9
Explorer - Level 6
Guardian Angel
105 of 147 gamers found this helpful
“2 new different ways to play the game.”

The scoundrels of Skullport expansion adds 2 new expansions to the game that have very different effects on the game. The basic changes for both expansions is the addition of everything you need to add a 6th player. Additionally, there is a new chart for the # of pieces per player if you want to play a longer game.
The 1st expansion is Undermountain. This adds some new Lords, buildings quests and Intrigue cards. The main effect is to vastly increase and encourage playing Intrigue cards.
The second (and to me more interesting one) is the Skullport expansion. This to adds new Lords, buildings, quests and Intrigue cards as well as a new game element involving negative points and represented by blue skull markers in the game. The second expansion gives the feel of a new game and has proven to be the more popular of the 2 expansions in my game groups. I do recommend that you try both expansions separately and then if you are feeling really adventurous there are rules for playing all of the game and expansions as 1 mega game. This has definitely added new life to the game for our group and I hope you will enjoy it to.

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I play yellow
Gamer - Level 4
101 of 154 gamers found this helpful
“Get this double expansion when you have 4 players.”

My wife and I were so glad we got this expansion, but we had played the base game with 4 to 5 players already. The base game gets cluttered quickly but the undermountain and Skullport open up Waterdeep wonderfully.

You can play with one or both (Skullport and Undermountain). If you play with both there is some set up you’ll have to walk through.

New Lord cards will help confuse the other players as to what Lord you really are.

Both boards (especially Skullport) will see the end scores for the players really soar. There is a reason why they included the cardboard chits to represent 5 adventures too. Some of the 40 point quests would take you almost the entire game to complete with just the base game.

These expansions have kept the scores close oin most of my games, just at a higher number!

Player Avatar
37 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“I won't play LoW without this expansion”

The original game is great, but somewhat basic. The new locations, corruption, buildings, and intrigue cards bring a lot more to the table.

I would suggest not playing the Xanathar, the Lord who get’s less taken off for corruption, until you’ve played with corruption though. It’s benefits can be misleading and you’ll need to understand how the strategy works to not lose horribly playing him lol.

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I Am What I Am
6 of 14 gamers found this helpful
“expansion that works”

This is an interesting one as it represents an expansion that both works and is not just a badly fitted suit that makes it appear as a cash grab.

The game dynamic it brings is both interesting and thoughtful, it makes it a fun game expansion and packs a lot of interesting aspects that change the games dynamics from a fairly complex game that is easy to get involved with and fun to play into a real tactical style game with new moves that allow you to play as a real villain and smarter style of play.


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