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Subject: Alhambra for Fiance? rss

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Andrew L.
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Lawrence
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Hello all,

I finally found a game for my fiance to play: Carcassonne. We have gotten a few of the expansions for it, and she and I both find it enjoyable, even with two players.

Recently, we have become a little bored with this game. We also love to play Citadels, but that is with a few people.

In my research on BGG, I have come across Alhambra. To me, this looks like a good step up from Carcassonne and Citadels, but I don't know anyone who has this game that I could borrow to try before I buy.

Am I right thinking that Alhambra would be good for us, since we like Carcassonne and Citadels?

To recap:

We both like Carcassonne and Citadels.
I can handle medium weight games, where she is okay with light-medium.
Needs a little strategy, but not too much.
Needs to be quick (1.5 hours tops)
Is Alhambra a good match?

Thanks for the help, and if you have any other suggestions, they are always welcome.

-Drew
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Ed Browne
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Terre Haute
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I think Alhambra would be a great pick for you. It is the one game my gaming and non-gaming friends both like to play. I highly recommend it if you can get it at a decent price. I thought it was out of print...

It's fairly light and has some strategy to it plus is more different every game than Carcassone after a few plays. And your strategy has to be different according to how many people are playing. Be warned, though. It is recommended for at least 3 people. It has a 2-player variant that I like, but some others don't.

Also if you have 3 players, it's hard to go wrong with Settlers of Catan. But I don't think it has a 2-player variant at all, although it has a card game version I haven't played for 2-players.
 
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EGG Head
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You can try both Alhambra and Cities (a Carcassonne like game)
for free here http://www.boiteajeux.net
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Art Vandelay
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100 Mile House
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yes i would say alhambra would work for you. Similar with the placement of tiles, but has different interaction than carcassonne since each player plays in their own play area. plus there are some good expansions available if you ever wanted to add more depth to the game
 
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Ian Klinck
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Yes, it sounds like Alhambra would work well for you.
 
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Eric Knauer
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Carcassonne (I like) and Citadels (strongly dislike) have quite different mechanics so it’s hard to recommend a game with those as examples since there’s not much overlap in game play. I consider Alhambra a good “gateway” game that isn’t too confrontational or brain-burny. Other games to consider in this category include the Ticket to Ride series and Catan. The Hanging Gardens is a slight step up from Alhambra and will give you that “puzzly” fix that you get from Carcassonne. Others I'd recommend looking at:

Oregon
Thurn and Taxis
Stone Age
Vikings


Mission: Red Planet and BANG! are two games that might be of interest if you like Citadels.
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Mandi Garlock

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I agree as well. Every person I've taught Alhambra to has enjoyed it.

FYI, most don't know that Carcassonne and Alhambra are designed after real cities in France and Spain. If you check them out on wikipedia, there are some incredible photos. The tiles from Alhambra are designed after specific buildings in the city. Pretty cool!
 
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Dennis Leung
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Alhambra is a nice step up from Carcassonne. It still has the tile placement aspect, but it combines that with sort of a tile draft---you have to compete with the other players to buy the tiles that you want. People with the most of a certain tile type score more points. Some tiles also include wall segments and you also gain points for building the longest wall---but the wall also works against you by confining your palace, so it's a nice balancing mechanism.

We find that it works pretty well with two players. There is a dummy player, but it's more of a tile dump that you can buy tiles for to keep them away from your opponent, which gives it a little more interaction and strategy. We haven't played with with more than three, but I can see it starting to bog down with many more players and it being harder to control what's going on.

The artwork is not as nice as Carcassonne (in my opinion), but it is nicer in real life than in the pictures here.
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Manisha DS
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Yes, Alhambra is a good choice. It's easy to pick up and has the cards and tile laying aspects. I love it as a 2p game because it allows you to work cooperatively against the dummy or strategically use the dummy against your opponent.My husband and I always enjoy playing it.
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You might also look at Goldland (the person who has Goa on eBay is also selling a copy, that I would have bought if I had not just gotten it in a trade). You add tiles a bit like Carcassone, but the difference is each tile gives you items and/or requires items to pass through. If you succeed in the most of a certain type of challenge, you get the bonus tile for that challenge, a bit like in Settlers (longest road, etc). It's got great tiles and bits.
 
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Pete Lane
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Alhambra is excellent, but I've heard that it's not quite as solid as Carc when it comes to 2 player. I would highly recommend Finca for you both. It's bright, quick, easy to learn, scales well, and plays very nicely with 2 players (which for my wife and I is a rarity). The strategy is also top notch as it changes for each play due to random setups!
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Rich Farrington
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I made the same transition you are considering. I bought Carc with the Inns and Cathedrals expansion at the same time (The BGG reviews have cost me a lot over the past year). I since bought Traders and Builders, too. Our family likes Carc (my wife especially, and she's not the game enthusiast I am).

I got Alhambra next, as well as the City Gates expansion at the same time. It is a nice variety, building your own Alhambra instead of the shared city of Carc, and I think there is a similar level of complexity (light to medium). It would be hard to say if liking Carc will lead to liking Alahambra, though. I like both but prefer Alhambra. My wife prefers Carc.

Since you asked for other suggestions also, I will mention San Juan. A couple weeks ago I got it in a trade. It plays easily in 45 minutes and is a huge hit with my wife. This says a lot to me. You might want to read the reviews and check it out.

Rich
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Mark Jimenez
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(My apologies for referring to threads without actually linking them)

There's a thread that a user prefers Palazzo as a tighter 2 player game than Alhambra. My partner and I have played Palazzo and like it. Alhambra for 2 player relies on a dummy 3rd player, which is a turn off for some, but others actually embrace it and make it part of the game strategy.

I was on the fence for a while. In the meantime, I received California at the last BGG.con, and we enjoy that. At least one thread has made the mechanics comparison to Alhambra (being more complex).

With both of these fence pushers, the final nudge was caused by the recent release of the Alhambra: Big Box. For the price, I just could not resist. I get the Alhambra, plus all expansions, with tons of options I can mix and match (I am set/completion crazy, plus I like options).
 
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Darren Dew
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Sure! I just got done introducing my VERY non-gaming wife to Alhambra and she really enjoyed it! Played it a second time before the weekend was out!

Others might be: Thurn and Taxis, Metropolys, and Arkitechton.
 
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Manchuwok
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Stone Age
I would recommend Alhambra, but I second Stone Age as an even better choice.
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