Wednesday, April 20, 2011


this one is an interesting little card management, tile-laying game based on the andalusian moorish castle, the calat alhambra. each player is building one of the may palaces that makes up the alhambra by managing placement of tiles, each worth a certain number of victory points during the game and at the end.

to acquire more tiles each player has to pay a cost for them in one of four denominations (depicted by 4 different colors, orange, green, blue, and yellow).

each turn, a player can take one of three different actions:
  •  draw a currency card. a player can take one card of a denomination above 5 and any combination of cards so long as the total denomination doesn’t exceed 5.
  • purchase a building tile. if a tile is purchased for the exact amount, the player then gets another chance to take an action. no change is given for tile purchases, so if a tile cost 5 yellow coins, and all you have is an 8 yellow coin card, then you pay 8.
  • rearrange or exchange a tile. players can move a tile from their reserve or to their reserve, or they can swap a tile between their alhambra and the reserve. the only constraint is that the new tile has to legally fit into the space of the tile sent to the reserve.
playing this game with me are jacob, jeff, and dave.

here is jeff looking dapper and debating the cost and placement of a tile...

..and here is dave contemplating his next action.

i like alhambra. It’s pretty easy to learn, game play is pretty straightforward, and it’s much easier to score than other tile-laying games like carcassone. i would recommend alhambra as a way to get new eurogamers to take the next step to something a bit more complex, but not overly so.

box image is property of queen games.  all other images property of little mens.

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