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Subject: dusting off an old favorite for a double session rss

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Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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About a year had passed since our last round of Alhambra. This had been a favorite of mine when we first received it, and I had been pushing to play for a few months. Finally, my family gave in, and we played. I went with a basic strategy - if I could afford the tile and it fit, buy it. I went for high value currency cards unless I saw one that would give me an exact purchase. The other two players favored the exact purchase strategy for the most part. After the first two rounds, one of the other players was in 1st, I was close behind in 2nd, and the other player was way behind due to some short-sighted planning. As a result, the last place player had acquired a large amount of currency cards heading into the end of the game.

On the last turn of the game, the last place player bought a tile exactly, dumped it in the reserve, and then used the bonus turn to make an exchange. Things suddenly opened up. Because this player had been stockpiling cards, she was also able to win the 3 remaining tiles at the end of the game and place all of them. The points generated off this one turn were enough to vault her from "way behind" to just one point behind the winner. I finished in 3rd/last, just 2 points behind the winner, still trying to comprehend what just happened.

This exciting finsh prompted a rematch. In this round, I was less concerned with winning and more concerned with testing the limits of the exact purchase strategy. I decided that all of my purchases would be by exact amount only. In terms of number of tiles purchased, my "exact amount" strategy didn't seem to have an impact on my performance compared to the first game. Unfortunately, I ended up with a very short outer wall, which prevented me from remaining competitive.

The "come from behind" player from the first game was so happy with her use of the reserve, she decided to use it more this time around. In fact, she used the reserve a bit too much and ended up with three tiles stuck in the reserve at the end. Still, a VERY long wall gave her a respectable score. In the end, the same player won both times by purchasing a majority of tiles exactly and using the reserve a minimal amount.
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Brian Foster
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Kirkland
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What an excellent session report! I like the way you not only describe how the games played out, but you also mention the tactics used by the different players.

We just started playing Alhambra with different expansion modules and that made us like it much better.
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Dan C
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Thanks for sharing the session report - love this game as well. One possible rules violation:

Quote:
the last place player bought a tile exactly, dumped it in the reserve, and then used the bonus turn to make an exchange.


Just checked the rules to make sure:
Quote:
It is only right at the end of your turn – i.e. after any
redesigning you may have carried out – that you add
the building tiles you have bought to your Alhambra or
place them on your reserve board. You can add the
newly bought building tiles in any order you wish.


So the player can't exact-buy a tile and use it in an exchange on the same turn.
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Matthew Cordeiro
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Good catch! Thanks for the heads up.
 
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