Spiel des Jahres: Alhambra

For various reasons we have not made as much progress on our Spiel des Jahres quest as we might have liked so I’m pleased to announce that we played a legitimate SdJ game last night.  However, it should be said that this only happened because Mr.P injured his back so badly that he had to go to hospital in an ambulance the previous night and this resulted in a venue change.  Seriously, the things some people will do to play a board game 😉

I don’t have much time to write so this overview will be brief.  The aim of the game is to build your own Alhambra (basically, a palace or fortress), thereby scoring you game-winning points.  I won’t explain all the details as other people (Wiki, BGG) have already done this more comprehensively than I can but I will say that it gives you a lot to think about during the game and you have to keep a few plates spinning mentally.  For me, it requires a teeeensy bit too much thought to make this as enjoyable as other games (as I like to chat and relax too much for the level of concentration needed to win) but as there are only 3 main ‘moves’ you can make on a turn, even when there is some indecision the game still moves at a good pace.  One thing which we all found annoying was the fact that the currencies use colours (and a small shape) and two of the currency colours (green and blue) overlap with two of the tile colours so you’d say “I’ll take the green 9” and there’d be confusion as to whether the person was referring to the currency or the tile.  Nothing major, but something that could be improved if you were designing this again.  However, a massive plus of this game is that it can be played with not just 4, or even 5, but 6 people.

Of course we must have the obligatory photo of the winner… a very happy Mr.J

Alhambra winner - Mr.J

And, last but not least, here are the scores – making Alhambra are current joint highest scorer!

Alhambra scores

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