Friday, March 27, 2009

RB Game of the Week: Alhambra

On Twitter there's a convention called "re-tweeting" where you literally re-post what somebody already said. I figured I could take that concept and use it to re-blog what was said over at That's what's up with the weird title.


Another fun game to add to our list is Alhambra. This game is good for 2-6 players (though David and I have never played just the two of us, not sure it would be as fun) and takes about an hour to play. It's another excellent German board game and won the Spiel des Jahres in 2003.

The rules are pretty simple but like most games it takes playing a full game to understand some of the strategies. Everyone starts the game with a city fountain and $20 or more in currency. During your turn you can either take money, buy a city tile, or move a tile on/off your board. There are seven building types and you score points by having the most of a color at each of the three scoring times in the game. You also get points for having the longest continuous wall. The walls are what gives most new players the most trouble as they can really make it hard to play additional city tiles. You can only place a city tile in your Alhambra if you can walk to it.

There are four city tiles up for sale at the beginning of each turn, one in each of the four colored currencies. If you pay the exact price for the city tile you get another turn. If you overpay you don't get any change and your turn is done. Kind of a bummer, but if you really want a tile you better jump on the chance before someone else buys it! We played Alhambra earlier this month with our friends James and Jessi so I had a chance to take some pictures of the game and not borrow some from which I'm sure you're all appreciative of!

This photo shows David's Alhambra. He won this particular game so study up on his "stairstep" city tile placement strategy. It's a good one!

James is buying one of the four city tiles on his turn. There are four currency cards to choose from if he didn't want to buy a city tile, and if there are several small amounts you can take multiple currency cards as long as the value equals 5 or under. Helpful for paying in exact amounts and getting a second turn!

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