Flashback Friday - Alhambra - Love It of Hate It?

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13 Sep 2019 11:40 #301692 by ubarose
We can quibble over whether or not Alhambra deserves to...

Alhambra, winner of the Spiel des Jahres 2003, is considered by some to be one of the "Big Three" German style family games that propelled Eurogames to the forefront of hobby gaming. The other two being Settlers of Catan and Carcassone.

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13 Sep 2019 11:58 #301693 by quozl
I played this once or twice when it was new. So boring!

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13 Sep 2019 12:39 #301695 by Shellhead
I think that I played Alhambra once back in the day, when a couple of my friends were all into the Eurogames. Those days are a bit of a blur, because all of those low-interaction games with drab themes tend to leave only trace memories.

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13 Sep 2019 13:03 #301700 by Michael Barnes
Ha ha, I remember this was hard to get for a while- a SDJ winner in 2003 without an English edition or US publisher.

It’s a good game, it has that vintage Sackson/Randolph kind of feeling. Not sure if it was really SDJ material and in retrospect it seems like one of the lesser SDJ titles. Never played any of the expansions.

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13 Sep 2019 13:17 #301701 by jpat
It's mildly entertaining. It's sort of like El Grande only in the sense that it has a big-box version and a lot of expansions but they're rarely if ever played, it seems like. It has a fun spatial and tile-orientation element and an interesting thing going on with the money, but it's like a lot of these games 20 or so years into the board game renaissance: it'd be perfectly fine to play, but there's also no particular reason to.

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13 Sep 2019 13:36 #301703 by RobertB
It was a big hit at the game club when it came out. For me, it was merely okay. I'd buy it for $5 at a garage sale, but I wouldn't pay full price for it.

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13 Sep 2019 13:56 - 13 Sep 2019 13:59 #301705 by Sagrilarus
Jeeze. I really like Alhambra. It's one of my favorite Euros, especially when played naked (i.e., no expansions). There's two or three different factors in every decision that are all in opposition with each other, it's relatively quick and easy to teach. For the genre I think this one hits on all 8.

The expansions just add glop to the mix, a bunch of additional options that take the edge off the game. Unfortunately the only way to buy it now is the "Big Box" version which means everyone is paying double what they should be.

This was an early Tanga buy for me. Remember Tanga? It's what everyone hated before there was Kickstarter.

Yo Sagrilarus, Oct 16, 2006 at 10:47 PM

Thank you much for your purchase from Tanga.

You will soon be the recipient of 1 The Palace of Alhambra and your order number is 61. The order has been received on Mon Oct 16 19:46:07 PDT 2006 and your credit card has been charged $15.99. Your order will typically ship out within three business days so thank you in advance for your patience and your undying love.

If you can’t stand it any longer and want to track the status of your order every other minute, you can login to the My Account page by going to www.tanga.com . From there, check your order history and click on the tracking number to virtually trace your product to your home.

If there are any problems with this order or any discrepancy, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. immediately so we can try to straighten it out. However, in the event that you have ordered a hot product and it has sold out, trying to change the quantities at this point will be tough so you may not like the answer you receive (i.e. No!)

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I paid $15.99 for this game. Those were the days.
Last edit: 13 Sep 2019 13:59 by Sagrilarus.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Msample

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13 Sep 2019 14:29 #301706 by Vysetron
Yeah, I don't get the hate. I've only ever played base Alhambra but it's perfectly fine. The currency system in it is pretty great, actually.

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13 Sep 2019 14:32 #301707 by Chobabot
I found it to be boring and my wife HATED it. She found it to be too constrictive.

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13 Sep 2019 14:48 #301708 by WadeMonnig
I can't say we still play it (the original version) BUT we'll bust out the dice game version for some easy to digest
YAHTZEE riffing fun.

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13 Sep 2019 15:45 #301711 by Shellhead
To summarize this thread:

Alhambra in 2004: rate it a 10, even top ten.

Alhambra in 2019: a weak 7.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ubarose, WadeMonnig

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13 Sep 2019 17:16 #301713 by mc
My partner got me this game as a present, an incident which made me start putting lists together. I didn't ask for this, it's boring, and the theme makes no sense, were my main thoughts.

Over the years I've come to appreciate it though. It's far from my favourite game but I'm happy enough to play it. It's a tight little system - exact money, playing for the majorities. I've looked at the expansions and most seem to dilute it, although with the kids we play with a "Vizier's purchase" house rule so once a game they can reserve a tile and save the despair, but that's as far as you'd want to go, I think.

Granada, with it's less set scoring has always interested me but I've got no desire to chase it up.

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13 Sep 2019 17:59 #301714 by Msample
Tanga, where bad games went to die, LOL.

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