General Information:
Manufacturer: Uberplay Entertainment (US) /
                        Queen Games (Europe)
Author: Dirk Henn
Design: Christof Tisch
Number of Players: 2-6
Age: 8 years plus
Time: 45-60 mins.
Year: 2003

Spiel des Jahres 2003: Spiel des Jahres
Deutscher Spiele Preis 2003: 3. Platz
Deutscher Spiele Preis 2003: Essener Feder


Deutsche Spielerezension

Game Components:
6 starting tiles - 54 building tiles - 1 building market - 1 scoring board - 12 counters -
108 money cards - 2 scoring cards - 6 tile reserve boards - 1 bag - 1 rulebook

Famous mastercraftsmen from all over the world have come to Spain to build one of the most famous buildings of the world: The Spanish palace of Alhambra. The players are the master builders who want to demonstrate their skills and so they employ all the mastercraftsmen. With craftsmen from all over the world their is just one small problem: They all want to be paid in their own currency......

Before the game begins each player gets a starting tile and a tile reserve board and places both in from of him/her. Each player chooses a colour and gets two counters in that colour and places one on the starting tile and the other on the scoring board. The building market is but in the middle of the table. The building tiles are put in the bag and one player takes - at random - 4 building tiles and places them on the building market, starting with the 1.  Each player now gets his/her starting money: Shuffle all the money cards and deal cards to each player. When a player has got cards worth 20 or more "points" in any currency he/she does not get any more cards. After each player has got his/her cards take the 4 cards from the top of the remaining money cards and place them - face-up - next to the draw pile. Then divide the draw pile into 5 roughly equal piles. Put the first scoring card in the 2nd pile and the 2nd scoring card in the fourth pile. Then re-order all the piles into one single draw pile. The player with the fewest cards begins to build his/her "Alhambra".

The game is played in clockwise order. Each player makes his/her turn before the next player goes on. In his/her turn each player can choose one of the three options below:
Important: If a player has paid the exact amount he/she may now perform his/her extra turn. He/She can choose any of the three options above. That may lead to the perfomance of another turn. After all building tiles from the building board have been sold the player is definitely about to perform his/her last turn. Replace the tiles on the building board only when a player has finished his/her turn.

Scoring: The first scoring rounds take place when the scoring cards are drawn from the money card draw pile. According to the first scoring card the player who owns the most buildings of the 6 different types gets points according to the scoring card. When the second scoring is drawn the player with the most and the player with the second-most get the points. The third scoring takes place at the end of the game. Then the player with the most, the second-most and the third-most buildings of each type get the points.
In the case of a tie players share the points. Tiles on the reserve board do not count. After each scoring all players get points for their longest uninterrupted wall. For each segment the player gets 1 point. Players do not get any points for internal walls.

The game ends when there are not enough tiles left to replace the tiles on the building market after any player has finished his/her turn. The players who have got the most currency in all of the four categories now get the remaining tiles from the building market. In the case of a tie no player gets the building tile. The players may add those tiles to their Alhambra. The players now score points for the third time (see "Scoring"). The player with the most points is the winner of the game.

The rulebook contains special rules for two players.

(Troudi 05.08.05)

Further Information:
- Homepage of Queen Games
- Homepage of Uberplay Entertainment

Troudi says 8 out of 10 points:
"Alhambra" is a very good game. The rules are easy to explain and understand, the design is nice and the game mechanism is very interesting. Often it's quite difficult to decide whether to buy any building tiles or to keep your money and get some more money cards. Then you'll may be able to buy a tile in the next turn and pay the exact amount to the bank - if no other player does so before. Paying excatly certainly is a good thing but isn't any other player - who goes first - interested in the same tile? That's exactly what each player has to decide upon in the game. Only interaction is amiss in the whole game concept. Each player builds his/her own Alhambra. Try out the game with only two players: The rules makes use of a fictional third player (called Dirk) and the game becomes more tactical. All in all: "Alhambra" is a very good game and suitable for all groups of age and game interest. Even players who do not like long rules and explanations will be able to enjoy the game. "Alhambra" was a very good choice as a "Game of the Year". There are several expansions for the game and even more are forthcoming. "Alhambra" shouldn't be missing in any collection of games. One further achievement of the game is the quite low price: In Europe you'll get it for app. 20 Euros, the US-price is app. 35 Dollars.

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