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Subject: Uncanny likeness to Alhambra? rss

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Thom Hall
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We picked up Suburbia a couple weeks back and so far all the games played have been with 2 players. The one thing that keeps coming back again and again is the likeness to Alhambra. Am I confused? Somebody tell me it's not just a hex shaped variant and there is more depth I am missing!
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Mikko Saari
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I don't really see any connection between Suburbia and Alhambra; the thought has never crossed my mind before you mentioned it. Yes, there are some superficial similarities, but the actual game play isn't at all similar in my opinion.
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skars wrote:
We picked up Suburbia a couple weeks back and so far all the games played have been with 2 players. The one thing that keeps coming back again and again is the likeness to Alhambra. Am I confused? Somebody tell me it's not just a hex shaped variant and there is more depth I am missing!


What are you talking about? Beside putting tiles into you own tablet, I see little resemblance between the two games.
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Thom Hall
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eunoia wrote:
skars wrote:
We picked up Suburbia a couple weeks back and so far all the games played have been with 2 players. The one thing that keeps coming back again and again is the likeness to Alhambra. Am I confused? Somebody tell me it's not just a hex shaped variant and there is more depth I am missing!


What are you talking about? Beside putting tiles into you own tablet, I see little resemblance between the two games.


So you don't buy tiles from an open market in both games?
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Thom Hall
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msaari wrote:
I don't really see any connection between Suburbia and Alhambra; the thought has never crossed my mind before you mentioned it. Yes, there are some superficial similarities, but the actual game play isn't at all similar in my opinion.


Yeah perhaps the similarities are just superficial. Strip away the theme and I think you will find pretty similar games. I like suburbia much more than Alhambra in the number of choices offered, but in the end the depth of reward for planning seems about the same.
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David Goldfarb
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Alhambra is basically a stock market game. You're trying to gain majorities. There's no equivalent to that in Suburbia at all; Suburbia is about building an engine.
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James Cheng
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skars wrote:
eunoia wrote:
skars wrote:
We picked up Suburbia a couple weeks back and so far all the games played have been with 2 players. The one thing that keeps coming back again and again is the likeness to Alhambra. Am I confused? Somebody tell me it's not just a hex shaped variant and there is more depth I am missing!


What are you talking about? Beside putting tiles into you own tablet, I see little resemblance between the two games.


So you don't buy tiles from an open market in both games?


Ok, let's see.

Player takes turn. check.
They buy tiles from a market. Wait, there's four different market with four different currency in Alhambra. Suburbia only has one currency, and one market. There's extra cost to some of the tiles.
You put the tiles you brought in your tablet. che...wait, in Alhambra, there's restriction on where you can place your tile. You can also choose (or forced to) put the tile you just purchase aside.
You then get income. Wait, you don't get any income from Alhambra the turn you build stuff...
You then score point. On wait, you don't score point in Alhambra every turn...

There's many different and only very minor similarity. If you're trying to talk about the depth of strategy, talk about the depth of strategy.
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Brent Mair
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Alhambra and Suburbia are both games in which you take turns.

Wait, is this thread a bet to see how many different people will answer?
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Oddly, both of mine came in a box. Except for the Suburbia expansion.
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Stefano Castelli
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skars wrote:
We picked up Suburbia a couple weeks back and so far all the games played have been with 2 players. The one thing that keeps coming back again and again is the likeness to Alhambra. Am I confused? Somebody tell me it's not just a hex shaped variant and there is more depth I am missing!


Two completely different games, actually.
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Thom Hall
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eunoia wrote:
skars wrote:
eunoia wrote:
skars wrote:
We picked up Suburbia a couple weeks back and so far all the games played have been with 2 players. The one thing that keeps coming back again and again is the likeness to Alhambra. Am I confused? Somebody tell me it's not just a hex shaped variant and there is more depth I am missing!


What are you talking about? Beside putting tiles into you own tablet, I see little resemblance between the two games.


So you don't buy tiles from an open market in both games?


Ok, let's see.

Player takes turn. check.
They buy tiles from a market. Wait, there's four different market with four different currency in Alhambra. Suburbia only has one currency, and one market. There's extra cost to some of the tiles.
You put the tiles you brought in your tablet. che...wait, in Alhambra, there's restriction on where you can place your tile. You can also choose (or forced to) put the tile you just purchase aside.
You then get income. Wait, you don't get any income from Alhambra the turn you build stuff...
You then score point. On wait, you don't score point in Alhambra every turn...

There's many different and only very minor similarity. If you're trying to talk about the depth of strategy, talk about the depth of strategy.


Four different markets = four different tilesets in suburbia
Four different currency = Population, Income, Cash, Reputation in sub
Both games have tile placement restrictions
based on which expansions you are using from Alhambra you score in a bunch of ways at different times with tile interactions and multipliers based on the wall - in sub the tiles interact and multiply scores in a similar fashion as well as the goals pretty much flexing all those possibilities

You are right, they have a different sequence of play, a different tacked on theme, and some divergences on what portion of the play is emphasized. But the depth of play is quite similar as well as the core premise of getting lucky with tile choices and hopefully controlling the majority of markets (or public sectors) your opponents are not able to get a foothold into.

As I mentioned before, I think the variety of choices in suburbia are far greater than Alhambra bringing a more enjoyable experience for me but some tweaks were necessary for a 2 player game. Much like Alhambra, a couple tiles are far more valuable than their peers. In Alhambra its that darn pink palace with the Northern ^ Wall that everyone wants to complete their own section and in suburbia its the casino/pr firm


P.S.
I'm not trying to call your baby ugly folks, I am just trying to share some perceptions and ideas about a new game. Sorry if you received my comments otherwise...but really?

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skars wrote:
I'm not trying to call your baby ugly folks, I am just trying to share some perceptions and ideas about a new game. Sorry if you received my comments otherwise...but really?

You're right I'm wrong I should apologize

Oh - add punctuation marks, emphasis and ironic inflection as you see fit.
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Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
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skars wrote:
Four different markets = four different tilesets in suburbia
Four different currency = Population, Income, Cash, Reputation in sub
Both games have tile placement restrictions
based on which expansions you are using from Alhambra you score in a bunch of ways at different times with tile interactions and multipliers based on the wall - in sub the tiles interact and multiply scores in a similar fashion as well as the goals pretty much flexing all those possibilities


This is a real stretch. And this ignores lakes and (in the expansion) borders.

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You are right, they have a different sequence of play, a different tacked on theme, and some divergences on what portion of the play is emphasized.


Uh, the theme in Suburbia is not tacked on at all.

Quote:
But the depth of play is quite similar as well as the core premise of getting lucky with tile choices and hopefully controlling the majority of markets (or public sectors) your opponents are not able to get a foothold into.


1. You're only trying to get lucky with tile choices if you're bad at the game.
2. You're ignoring the least/fewest goals. Kind of a big thing.

Quote:
Much like Alhambra, a couple tiles are far more valuable than their peers.


If all the tiles were equal, there'd be no interesting decisions.

Quote:
In Alhambra its that darn pink palace with the Northern ^ Wall that everyone wants to complete their own section and in suburbia its the casino/pr firm


This is a classic novice claim. It's not true. If you want to spend $22 and -3 reputation for a late B stack Casino, be my guest. PR Firm is great, but I've seen plenty of people pick it up and lose anyway. It's about timing and being able to take advantage of it.
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Thom Hall
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enoon wrote:
skars wrote:
I'm not trying to call your baby ugly folks, I am just trying to share some perceptions and ideas about a new game. Sorry if you received my comments otherwise...but really?

You're right I'm wrong I should apologize

Oh - add punctuation marks, emphasis and ironic inflection as you see fit.


Obviously, you're not a golfer.
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Thom Hall
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bobcatpoet wrote:


Quote:
You are right, they have a different sequence of play, a different tacked on theme, and some divergences on what portion of the play is emphasized.


Uh, the theme in Suburbia is not tacked on at all.


You could take the city building theme out and play the game entirely based on the symbols and colors. This is a set collection game at its core.


Quote:

1. You're only trying to get lucky with tile choices if you're bad at the game.
2. You're ignoring the least/fewest goals. Kind of a big thing.

Quote:
Much like Alhambra, a couple tiles are far more valuable than their peers.


If all the tiles were equal, there'd be no interesting decisions.

Quote:
In Alhambra its that darn pink palace with the Northern ^ Wall that everyone wants to complete their own section and in suburbia its the casino/pr firm


This is a classic novice claim. It's not true. If you want to spend $22 and -3 reputation for a late B stack Casino, be my guest. PR Firm is great, but I've seen plenty of people pick it up and lose anyway. It's about timing and being able to take advantage of it.


Well, I already said I was a novice, but The PR firm is the tile I am specifically referring to and this is in 2-player circumstances as I haven't played 3+ yet. There are definitely other ways to achieve similar results as the casino but having removed both casino and pr firm we had a much more enjoyable match. It's just too wild a swing for one tile and honestly, the goal tiles can be wildly random as well. "Gee I just got dealt the opposite of the displayed tiles in a 2 player game" - immediately my opponent has a 10-30point potential gain over me.
 
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Mikko Saari
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skars wrote:
You could take the city building theme out and play the game entirely based on the symbols and colors. This is a set collection game at its core.


Show me a game where stripping the theme and playing entirely based on symbols and colors is not possible. I think the more interesting question is how much sense would that kind of process make.

In the case of Suburbia, the theme really adds to the game. The buildings have functions that fit in with the theme: they make sense. I suppose you could make the theme something else, but that would take lots of effort.

Now I know lots of games where switching the theme would take just about three seconds.

As Suburbia has a really well-fitting and deeply implemented theme, I find it rather odd you suggest it has a tacked-on theme. I think it's one of the most theme-heavy games in my collection, actually.
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I think there may be games more similar to Suburbia than Alhambra, and games more similar to Alhambra than Suburbia. I find it odd that you make that 'uncanny' comparison.
 
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Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
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skars wrote:
Well, I already said I was a novice, but The PR firm is the tile I am specifically referring to and this is in 2-player circumstances as I haven't played 3+ yet.


Again, I think you're giving one tile too much credit. Just played it 2P today and the PR Firm went unpurchased. It just wasn't worth the price.

Quote:
There are definitely other ways to achieve similar results as the casino but having removed both casino and pr firm we had a much more enjoyable match.


You should leave them in. If I have the lowest income/reputation goal (or if it's public), I absolutely want my opponent buying the Casino/PR Firm.

Quote:
It's just too wild a swing for one tile and honestly, the goal tiles can be wildly random as well. "Gee I just got dealt the opposite of the displayed tiles in a 2 player game" - immediately my opponent has a 10-30point potential gain over me.


This is a criticism I'd agree with. Suggest a house rule: If you draw two opposite goals, you get a mulligan.
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Mikko Saari
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Ted Alspach seems to agree with that, as the iOS version of Suburbia won't allow private goals that are opposites of public goals (with more than two players, that's a bit drastic in my mind as some would actually prefer having a goal that's opposite to one of the public goals, but in two-player games it's different).
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Bruce Murphy
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I also fail to see any point in Alhambra where the game tempo changes from payments-engine to VP engine. There's no meaningful spatial interaction in Alhambra beyond the wall which isn't strongly enforces unless you're chasing points anyway. Alhambra is just a simple tile-laying game on top of Stimmt So which is the key mechanism. Suburbia is quite a different animal.

B>
 
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I didn't get any Alhambra feel from my one play. I found it more reminiscent of Vegas Showdown.
 
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It reminds me of SimCity, but what do I know? Alhambra didn't, though.
 
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Thom Hall
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Well, I can see where I have made some unfair generalizations so I stand corrected. It could very well have just been some surface aspects that are similar that caught my attention.


I will say I do still think the theme is a little light but it's still pleasant. Thanks for the responses.
 
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msaari wrote:

Show me a game where stripping the theme and playing entirely based on symbols and colors is not possible. I think the more interesting question is how much sense would that kind of process make.

In the case of Suburbia, the theme really adds to the game. The buildings have functions that fit in with the theme: they make sense. I suppose you could make the theme something else, but that would take lots of effort.

Now I know lots of games where switching the theme would take just about three seconds.

As Suburbia has a really well-fitting and deeply implemented theme, I find it rather odd you suggest it has a tacked-on theme. I think it's one of the most theme-heavy games in my collection, actually.


There are loads of games where the theme has far more impact on the gameplay than suburbia. Antiquity from splotter for instance and that is a city building game as well.
 
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Mark T
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skars wrote:
We picked up Suburbia a couple weeks back and so far all the games played have been with 2 players. The one thing that keeps coming back again and again is the likeness to Alhambra. Am I confused? Somebody tell me it's not just a hex shaped variant and there is more depth I am missing!


Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I do see one glaring similarity - I can't win at either game! yuk
 
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