When comparing Lords of Waterdeep vs Heroscape, the Slant community recommends Heroscape for most people. In the question“What are the best board games?” Heroscape is ranked 18th while Lords of Waterdeep is ranked 34th. The most important reason people chose Heroscape is:
The game includes all kinds of well-designed figures, a various terrain tiles, and a bunch of different terrain accessories that make up the big 3D landscape. The characters are a blend of fantasy, sci-fi, history, mythology and all kinds of other genres. Terrain tiles can range from grass to swamp, to lava, to snow and other types. What’s more, they can be stacked on top of one another to create hills.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Gameplay grows more complex over time
Limited options are available at the beginning of the game. There's only a few pieces in play along with quest cards that give simple, concrete goals. However, gameplay grows more complex as buildings are added and new quests become available. For example, where to move your agents, which opponent to interrupt by playing intrigue cards, and which kind of quests you focus on are goals that will shift and evolve as the game progresses.
Pro Quick gaming sessions
Each game is only eight rounds and can be played in an hour or two.
Pro Dungeons and Dragons in reverse
Based on DnD lore, but you're the one setting quests instead of going on them. It's fun to feel like a powerful Lord ordering your agents around and making them complete quests for your own benefit.
Pro Easy to teach new players how to play
Within a few turns, even new players should be able to understand the basic mechanics. You move your agents around the board, complete quests with them, and get points based on the difficulty of the quest. Whoever is able to gain the most points by the end of the 8th round wins. Thanks to the simple rules and the game's easy-to-understand nature, this makes it very approachable for all skill levels.
Pro Intrigue cards add a huge element of player interaction
The player interaction aspects of Lords of Waterdeep stem from the aptly named Intrigue cards. By moving your agents to a special area of the game board, you are able to bring one of these cards into play. They let you do such things as steal money or resources from other players, force your opponents onto a mandatory quest, sabotage their current quest in progress, or even temporarily bend the rules of the game. Choosing which opponent you're going to sabotage and how you're going to do it can result in plenty of in-game interactions with your fellow players.
Pro Fun to mess with your friends
While completing your own quests, you have the opportunity to sabotage your opponents' quests with disruption cards. This makes it harder for them to complete their quests and even steal their money/resources. There are also mandatory quests that can be forced onto your opponents, which means they must complete that quest before they can take on any new ones. These can lead to many humorous and interesting moments with your friends as you attempt to prevent each other from progressing in devious and devastating ways.
Pro Great presentation
The game board is sturdy and the pieces are colorful. Even the currency comes in the form of cardboard Waterdeep coins which really help sell the D&D theme. The rule book is loaded with pictures and illustrations. Overall, everything is presented very nicely. There's even a handy plastic mold to neatly put everything away when you're finished playing and keep everything in good shape.
Pro Good design
The game includes all kinds of well-designed figures, a various terrain tiles, and a bunch of different terrain accessories that make up the big 3D landscape.
The characters are a blend of fantasy, sci-fi, history, mythology and all kinds of other genres. Terrain tiles can range from grass to swamp, to lava, to snow and other types. What’s more, they can be stacked on top of one another to create hills.
Pro Play time decided by the players
The play time highly depends on the scenario chosen and the size of the playing surface, but since the game encourages customization, players are free to choose a scenario that's easy and quick to play through and construct a smaller battlefield to accommodate it, for example, "last team standing " on a small surface.
Pro Can be built to fit any group
Heroscape can make both a decent 1v1 or 2v2 tournament and a massive party attraction. Although the game is best balanced to be a game for 2-4 players, if you have more sets you can create a map that can potentially scale up to any group.
Moreover, all ages are welcome, so it can be a great family game as well.
Pro Simple rules
This is one of the games that fits the description of “Easy to learn, hard to master” quite well.
The basic gist is quite simple - in their turn the player chooses an army card, moves the pictured figures and attacks with the figures. Movement is done based on the “Move number” on the card and attacking is done by rolling the attack dice based on the “Attack number” on the card. Players alternate turns until the game is over. The win condition is chosen by the players
There are a few more detailed mechanics, but they are very easy to understand, because they link to the physical aspect of the game. For example, an enemy is in line of sight if the figure is "able to see it" from its position - if there's a huge dragon figure behind a mountain and its head is poking out, then the soldier further back on the hill has line of sight. Another example - if a figure physically can't fit somewhere, then it can't move to that tile - a dinosaur figurine won't fit under a small bridge over a river, so it can't go there.
The basics of the game are not hard at all, the rules are simple enough even for children, it’s suited for ages 8+.
Pro Great customization possibilities
The game offers a lot of customizability both in terms of playing surface and the game itself.
Since the playing surface is fully customizable, you can either create it from instructions (found in the game guide or online) or arrange the construction pieces however you want. Because of this every game can be different in some way – you can, for example, relocate a hill, place a river and do much more.
Though the game offers a scenario booklet with some basic scenarios, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and make up your own objectives, manipulate some of the rules or add house rules.
Pro Well-made materials
The game materials have a relatively high production quality.
There’s no need to worry about game components not being able to sustain normal wear and tear or an accidental drop here or there - the hexagonal pieces and the painted character figurines are made out of durable plastic. The character figures are also quite flexible - bending swords, legs and hands of figures doesn't leave a lasting problem.
The paint job of the pieces is also well done and paint won't wear off even when rigorously scraped.
Pro Active community
Despite the printing of the game being discontinued in 2010, there’s still a very active community at https://www.heroscapers.com/ that are keeping the game alive. There are forums for custom units, local gaming events, online Heroscape games and more.
Since sets and accessories tend to cost a lot of money, some dedicated fans even banded together to create https://www.allthingsheroscape.com/, offering a selection of, as the name suggests, all things related to Heroscape – figures, terrain sets, expansions, etc.
Pro Can be visually impressive
Some fans of the game have even gone out of their way to design huge and beautiful battlefields, spanning many tables. A lot of great creations can be found on the internet - some examples.
Pro Fun to set up
The setting up of the game is another game itself and it makes for a good family / friend activity. It could be compared to LEGO construction – you attach the hexagonal pieces together to create whatever playing surface you want or just follow an instruction.
The pieces smoothly link together and don’t accidentally come apart, so there's no need to worry about a small accident ruining your hard work.
Since the playfield is quite big, everyone can join in creating the landscape. Some people could even get more excited to play while seeing the battlefield grow and imagining how fun the nearing game could be.
Con Not enough winning strategies
The main objective is to gain as many points as possible by having your agents/workers complete quests. There's not much in the way of strategy due to this one win condition. In almost all cases, the game will simply be won by the player who can tackle quests the most efficiently while dealing with anything their opponents throw at them.
Con Might not appeal to veteran gamers
The game systems are rather plain and basic, and it doesn't bring much new to the genre. It may not be appealing to veteran gamers as the gameplay is not very deep when compared to other similar games.
Con Can cause arguments
Having to plead with your friends not to interrupt your quest flow can result in many arguments. Having an opponent play an intrigue card on you, especially the mandatory quest card, can completely ruin your chance at winning. It's easy to get frustrated with other players, especially if you feel like you're being unfairly targeted or teamed up against repeatedly.
Con Takes up a lot of room
The landscapes tend to get quite big and, unfortunately, there is no convenient way to store the tiles and character figures unless you spend some extra cash on boxes or other forms of storage.
Con Long set up and take down times
Depending on the scenario, the setup might take as long as the scenario itself. A basic setup could take anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. This is because of how big the playing surface can be and how many pieces and accessories it consists of.
The sets, expansions and accessories tend to cost a lot of money mostly due to the game being out of print since 2010.
Con Out of print
The game has been out of print since 2010.
Con Inconsistent theme
The terrain is customizable enough to create a running theme, but units are more difficult. Some people might enjoy the idea of heroes from all kinds of genres clashing in one big game, others might be thrown off by historical characters like samurai and cowboys battling alongside werewolves, robots or vampires.