I love playing board games, I mean I REALLY love playing board games. However, finding time to setup and play as well as getting together the right people can be a real challenge and doesn't happen as much as I'd like. Hence my wife and I have become addicted to playing board games that have been adapted for play on a tablet, specifically an iPad. I'd like to share my experience of our firm favourite, D&D Lords of Waterdeep (with others to follow).
The game is set in the city of Waterdeep, famous in the Forgotten Realms universe of D&D. You are one of the 11 Lords, with your identity hidden from your opponents, sending out agents into the city to do your bidding. Players take turns placing agents to occupy locations on the city map and generating resources which are kept in your 'Tavern'. These are in the form of adventurers (Warriors, Wizards, Clerics and Rogues), gold and additional city buildings.
Quests are completed by spending combinations of resources to earn victory points and other bonuses. Each Lord has a alignment with certain quest types and get bonus victory points, revealed at the end of the game. At the end of a round of play all agents are returned to the taverns and play starts again, each game lasting 8 rounds.
The mechanics of the game are simple to grasp but the tactics run very deep, decisions about what quests to choose and what your opponents are up to influence how the game develops and what matters to you, no two games are ever the same. The classic easy to learn, hard to master.
The game adds elements of secretive play with intrigue cards which can grant you a benefit, hamper your opponents or give you powers to change the game and lead to some very political decisions and...discussions.
The bonus of playing the game on the iPad is the addition of AI controlled opponents and pass and play feature which recaps every action since your last turn, keeping secret information hidden. My main concern with any AI is that it's often either completely stupid or knows EVERYTHING about the current game but a lot of work has gone into the AI decision making here. It's quite balanced and with the hidden information, you can never quite predict why it has made decisions until further into the game. The interface is very elegantly designed and mirrors the board game incredibly well.
We always enjoy playing a game with two AI and after easily a hundred games, still play it differently every time, even with the same Lords.
There are two expansions available and near limitless strategies to try and win giving it a ton of replay value. A game usually lasts us half an hour and can even be put down and picked up again, fits our lifestyle perfectly!
It's currently £4.99 for the core game and I would encourage any board game enthusiast to try it out, it's the best adaptation we have tried and provides hours of fun!