Saturday evening, my wife, brother-in-law, and I played Lords of Waterdeep with just the Skullport expansion. I knew I was somewhat screwed when I got the builder lord (and I was right), but I did my best. I enjoy the corruption mechanic, allowing you to get some really good resources at the cost of potentially losing points at the end of the game. However, there are so many quests and buildings that either return the tokens to the track or remove them from the game, in a low player count game it seems like there’s no real threat of being stuck with more than one or two, and often none.
My wife started out a bit behind, but soon bypassed the two of us and won the game with 184 points. Brother-in-law was at 160, and I brought up the rear at 131. Still fun, but I wish I had had a different lord. I’m sure I still would have lost, but at least I could have put up a better score.
On Sunday, my wife and I tried out one of my new games from Christmas, Arboretum. It took her a little bit to grasp the scoring and how the paths work, but even with the initial confusion, she managed to win our first game, 22-16. We played again, and this time I managed to pull off a win, 23-19. We both think it’ll be a more interesting game with at least one more player, as then you really don’t know who has what cards, whereas with just two players, as the deck gets thin, you can more and more likely guess what your opponent is holding, which may have you writing off certain species or heavily investing in others. Still a great game, very cutthroat due to the necessity of having cards in your hand to qualify for scoring. I like it!