It wasn't until I moved back to GA that I started playing "eurogames" or board games beyond the Wal-mart, Target, roll-and-move board games. They have different aspects, and do many different things. And since I that fateful day when I jumped in and played a board game about dwarves searching for loot inside a big ole volcano on that random Tuesday with two fellas who have become very close friends, I've been collecting a lot of them, and finding a lot more support for these more intricate games. I joined a once a month, all Saturday gaming group that I WISH didn't do things on Saturdays so I could go again. I found and started following Wil Wheaton's youtube show, Tabletop. And on that show, I learned of the Lords of Waterdeep. And bought it last Monday. And played it for the first time myself last Wednesday.
It is fantastic.
Almost as fantastic as Wil Wheaton giving Felecia Day the most dancing The Fingers ever, censored by two owlbears.
The basic idea is that you are the secret lords of the fantasy city of Waterdeep. You are the land owners, society shapers, economy makers, and quest givers in a fantasy world filled with fights, clerics, thieves, and wizards. You send your agents about the town to buy real estate, coerce adventurers into your tavern, get quests that may or may not match your character's particular interests, and pass them out. You also bribe others, plan prison breaks, and sample the wares through intrigue and underhanded dealings.
In a less "fluff" description, the game is a worker placement + resource allocation game. In that, you have a limited number of options to do on the game board, and must prioritize what you want to do, as well as try to take advantage so that your opponents will not be able to stop you from doing what you need to. From there, you also collect resources, the adventurers, and then send them on their quests so as to get victory points.
The game is beautiful in every way. Beautiful art, immersive names, all the little bits are well shaped and different looking, even the storage for the box is beautiful and well designed. It is also not a difficult game to grok. Our group, none of which who had played it, but all generally game savvy, had it figured out without too much prodding by anyone, by the third round. And the game actually ended up fairly close and fairly well scoring for the first time playing, with 3 people in the hundreds (that means that wrapped around the game board's point tracker once). It was very fun, with a lot of variance already inherent in the game to allow for lots of new ways to play even within its own skin without its two expansions. I cannot recommend the game enough.