Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Vegas Showdown» Forums » General

Subject: Vegas Showdown vs. Alhambra vs. Palazzo rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tim Rogers
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Although many may disagree I see striking similarities between Vegas Showdown, Alhambra and Palazzo, and was wondering which of the 3 everyone out there preferred (given that you've played at least two and can make a comparison).

As I see it, they all involve competitive tile purchasing, followed by strategic placement of said tiles. All 3 have rules about where and how you can place the tiles you just purchased. All feature an optional 'renovation' phase, and to some extent all score based on how cleverly you placed your tiles.

So that all said, these are my pros vs. cons of all 3, but I'd really like to see some other opinions.

Vegas Showdown:

Pros: Strong theme (the currency is poker chips!), competitive bidding system, plays well with 3 or 4, and a nice random (but non-game breaking) element in the event cards

Cons: Flimsy player mats and doesn't play that well with 5.

Alhambra:

Pros: simple rules, SDJ winner???, nice player mats (although somewhat unnecessary), neat scoring mechanic with the walls, and plays 3-6 all very well.

Cons: don't like the artwork, feels like the theme is tacked-on, 2 player variant is not very good.

Palazzo:

Pros: great components and artwork, competitive bidding system, elegant gameplay, plays well with 2-4

Cons: loses its appeal quickly with repeated play, can stagnate when players collect too much money and don't want to auction and doesn't play more than 4.

Now everyone else please chime in.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John W
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great thread.
I had always heard that Vegas Showdown took mechanics from (IIRC) Amun-Re, Alhambra, and Princes of Florence.
After playing Alhambra and PoF, my opinion is:

Vegas Showdown:
the player mats may be paper, but people are finding that they hold up quite well to play/use. People may prefer cardboard, but the simple fact is they wouldn't have fit in the box, since cardboard doesn't fold and the mats are larger than the box.
It also plays quite well with 3, 4, or 5 players. Many people feel the 5 player game is the best.

Alhambra :
Does not play 6 players at all, IMO. Haven't played 5 player, but I've heard it's almost as random and uncontrollable as the 6 player (rendering strategy moot). If you don't like the 2-player variant with the AI, then I gather it only works well with 3 or 4 players.
It's a nice game, but there simply isn't much there. Further, any strategy is crippled by the random tile-and-money-flipping which makes it too hard to plan/strategize. IMO it has an objectively worse purchasing system, since what I can get is dependant on my turn order.

VS solved that by having a simultaneous bidding round, and the decreasing price on rooms each round (and the fact that most rooms are overpriced the first round they come out) allows for careful planning.
And I'm just not a fan of the walls in Alhambra. Even when I win, it doesn't feel like I have that much control over their aggregate construction. VS has more plannable building lines, plus more viable reconstruction opportunities.

Princes of Florence :
Much worse of a auction and construction/layout game.
It may have other strengths, but in the ways you are comparing it to VS, VS wins in every way IMO.
PoF is simply not balanced well for 5 player, since the over-reliance on Profession cards and Recruiters makes a mockery of balance and multiple viable strategies.
Further, it has a weak building placement mechanic which seldom limits people or requires planning in comparison to VS.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Rogers
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like the winner is Vegas Showdown! I also prefer VS to Alhambra or Palazzo, but haven't tried PoF yet. I actually just came across a copy so now I'm keen to try it out and see how it compares. Definately agree with everything you say about Alhambra... although I dislike it equally with 3,4,5 or 6.

Thanks for the response!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Beckey
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My order of preference is Princes of Florence. Vegas Showdown> Alhambra> Palazzo.

Princes of Florence requires careful planning if players are interested in purchasing more than 3 buildings. Unlike Alhambra or Vegas Showdown, there is no renovate action in Princes, so all buildings are permanently placed on the board! Buildings also cannot be adjacent to other buildings (including the starting Palazzo) unless a player uses at least 2 of his/her 7 Auctions on Builders.

In a 5-player game of Princes, I would suggest performing all of your works. There is no winning strategy that does not include performing works! Keep in mind that the objective and theme of the game is to recruit profesionals in order to perform works. I would suggest reading some strategy articles found on BBG that cover basic strategies to Princes of Florence.



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Todd
United Kingdom
Manchester
England
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I vote for Vegas being better than Alhambra. The games may appear similar but I think they feel very different.

Ahambra was very dry and didn't seem to have any interaction, or planning. You had to buy what you could on your turn, because you couldn't predict what others would buy.

Vegas has a good dose of luck on it, but it's far more competetive and has more intersting decisions, and much better theme.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Flying Arrow
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
beckeykevin wrote:
My order of preference is Princes of Florence. Vegas Showdown> Alhambra> Palazzo.

Princes of Florence requires careful planning if players are interested in purchasing more than 3 buildings. Unlike Alhambra or Vegas Showdown, there is no renovate action in Princes, so all buildings are permanently placed on the board! Buildings also cannot be adjacent to other buildings (including the starting Palazzo) unless a player uses at least 2 of his/her 7 Auctions on Builders.

In a 5-player game of Princes, I would suggest performing all of your works. There is no winning strategy that does not include performing works! Keep in mind that the objective and theme of the game is to recruit profesionals in order to perform works. I would suggest reading some strategy articles found on BBG that cover basic strategies to Princes of Florence.





In 5-player Princes, one player gets the opportunity to perform an extra work due to the number of profession cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Brown
United States
Macon
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vegas Showdown blows away Alhambra and Palazzo. Princes of Florence is a pretty close call. VS is more interactive, but also has more randomness.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My view:

POF > Alhambra > Vegas Showdown > > > Palazzo

The first three are all games I'm happy to play, though of the three I consider only POF to be a great game. But the difference between Vegas Showdown and Palazzo is much greater than the difference between POF and Vegas Showdown.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Alleman
United States
Denver
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vikings also fits this category. I like the "veeples"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vegas Showdown is my favorite of those of these types of games that I have played (Alhambra, basically, being the other one, though there are probably a few other oddballs I've played that might be similar, but none of the other "biggies" in the genre). It's brilliant. It should be in the top 100, if not the top 50. It's a shame it's not, I think.

The theme is integrated perfectly, even in more subtle ways such as the fact that some thematic "gambling" (hoping for certain event cards to come up, or hoping for certain building combos to come up at certain times, and choosing your present actions based on those hopes) can either pay-off big or clobber your plans depending on what happens.

The inclusion of the mini "economic engine" mechanic in the game is also nice, and it's great that the engine is much more forgiving of "mistakes" than similar engines in things like Saint Petersburg or Puerto Rico. One ill-timed move in Vegas Showdown will not kill you like in other games.

I also really like the constrained bid amounts, which make planning a little more concrete and also allow new players to properly judge the value of the things they're bidding on (something very hard to do in most auction games your first time playing the game). Just a wonderful bidding experience.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Burt
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
I have only played Palazzo and Vegas Showdown, but I would always rather play VS then Palazzo. Palazzo's theme makes baby Jesus cry.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stven Carlberg
United States
Decatur
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like all these games.

"Theme" - Who cares? So you've got poker chips while you pretend to build rooms in a casino. This makes a "great theme"? Not in my book. You could just as well have had donuts while you pretended to build a magnificent bakery complex.

But the point is, it works fine as it is. It's a good game, not too hard to understand on first playing, and with some interesting challenges whether you're way ahead or way behind.

Princes of Florence is a good game, too. Not the same game as Vegas Showdown despite similarities. Here you benefit more from long-term planning and get more out of finessing the details. Experience is a great teacher in this one, and the game's aficionados will beat the newbies every time.

I like Palazzo more than most people. I think the key to enjoying this one is to understand that the eventual goal, the building of the buildings in the correct floor order, is really extremely simple. The auction process, which may look complicated at first with its four rotating sales floors and the three different currencies, is really pretty simple, too, once you understand exactly how it's being conducted. I think Palazzo underwhelms a lot of people because they think they're going to get a big, complicated game, and what they really get is a little, relatively simple game. But I like it because it's such a slickly constructed little game which -- as the author of the thread pointed out -- does play well even for 2 players.

Alhambra is okay, but I prefer Stimmt So!, the game it was based on. In Stimmt So! you don't have the wall-bulding activity at all. You just buy stock and get an extra-turn benefit from having exact change. Fast and fun. Alhambra slows things down and works okay, but is not a big favorite of mine.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
VS blows the other two games away. PoF, that others have mentioned, is also a great game, but enjoyable in a different way. The reasons I don't care for either Alhambra or Palazzo is that the turn sequence can often deny you an important build (someone else gets to do it first) whereas in a game with auction mechanics, if you have enough dough at the right time (a big if sometimes), you can generally get what you want. I like games that offer the players lots of choices, and VS fits the bill much more than the other two, which I never bought and play very, very infrequently, as opposed to my dog-earred copy of VS that sees alot of play.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sebastian Sohn
United States
culver city
CA
flag msg tools
Check out my class: https://www.canvas.net/courses/game-design-concepts
badge
How are you today?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1) Palazzo -- scales well, excellent 2 player
2) Vegas Showdown -- good game
3) Alhambra -- OK
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Davis
United States
New Concord
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To me, the big advantage that VS has over Alhambra and Palazzo is that the tiles you're building actually do something!! Then you have to choose, do I up my income now and get points later, or grab these points while they're cheap? Also, you have to plan ahead a bit for what prestige buildings you're trying to get. Not only that, you have the ability to plan for them!!! The more I play this, the more I like it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.