Lords of Waterdeep was pretty great, wasn’t it? Designed from the ground up to hit that sweet spot that would appeal to both newcomers to the worker placement genre and cardboard veterans alike, it saw widespread success for good reason. Anyone who said they didn’t like it was almost assuredly a walking diaper. A used walking diaper.
Tyrants of the Underdark is looking to replicate that success. It’s even set in the same place, at least broadly — Skullport, the shady locale from the Lords of Waterdeep expansion, registers as a tiny blip in Underdark’s sprawling, uh, Underdark. This time, however, the target is deck-building games. And not just any deck-building game, but the chimera sort that splits your time between shuffling your cards and waging war on a map.
Besides lauding its phenomenal box, I never really got around to talking about Lords of Waterdeep, the labor administration simulator set in D&D’s City of Splendors. For what it’s worth, it was probably my favorite worker-placement game — scratch that, it was the one that bored me least. Even with its ever-evolving city, myriad quests, and cutthroat intrigue, it remained a solid “pretty good” with me. That’s probably why I never wrote about it. You folks don’t
pay me read Space-Biff! for chatter about how a game is perfectly decent and it’ll appeal to a certain type of person; you want the latest gossip about my recent engagement to Archipelago or why I plan to bury Mage Tower in the backyard guarded by the corpse of my reanimated pit bull.
So it was a pleasant surprise to discover that Scoundrels of Skullport, the recent expansion for Lords of Waterdeep, takes a game I wasn’t particularly excited about and transforms it into something that’s really rather good.