Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Alhambra» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Stabbed in the Back with a Dirk; An Alhambra Session with Two Players rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Testy Testerson
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was bored at work yesterday, so I figured I would call up a buddy of mine to play a game of Alhambra. Perks of working in a smoke shop, you get tons of downtime and none of the customers really care if you're playing games.

Andy and I have been playing board games a lot over the last two years, and our collections have finally reached a respectable level. Alhambra is the most recent addition. We picked up the Big Box on the advice of the proprietor of our LGS, and we've only played about 3 games up till this point. Suffice it to say, we're still learning the finer points of strategy.

We decided to try this game with the Diamonds and Characters expansions.

THE SETUP

Our shuffling must have been amazing, as Andy and I both get dealt some pretty great cards. I get a bunch of brown coins of high value, a blue, and an seven diamond! Andy gets a little larger an assortment of currencies, and a five diamond.

Dirk gets dealt his assortment of tiles, giving him two Towers, two Pavillions, one Arcade, and one Garden. I like Dirk having a couple of tiles in more than one color. It's nice to be able to tell which colors you can steer away from or make a quick grab from early on.

Starting out, I exact an Arcades with some of my brown coins, and grab an eight diamond. Not a bad first turn. Andy, really wishing that the diamond had been left behind, takes a few coins out of the middle to vary up his hand some more. Right off the bat it looks to me like he's planning on getting a lot of exact costs and keeping his options on currency open.

The next turn is pretty awesome for me. I manage to grab two more browns with my diamonds, putting me at three total, and then grab two coins. I'm pretty proud of myself until I see andy get a purple for exact and then a white with his diamond. It's nice and all that I managed to get a huge majority in brown right off the bat, but I'm a little nervous I'm going to give him the initiative later on.

The next few turns are fairly boring, both of us grabbing coins out of the middle until all of the sudden Andy tells me I'm going to have to pay attention. He exact costs a red district, exct costs two purples, and then grabs a nine coin out of the middle

This is bad. Andy now has a majority in the Towers, giving him a comfortable window of points in the future.

Over the next few turns we alternate grabbing a few coins and districts, nothing really jostling that much. It's then that I spring out, exacting three tiles, a white, a green, and a purple. I will never manage to take majority in purple, but my theory is that if I deny Andy some of them, I can maybe toss some purples at Dirk later on, keeping him from scoring as many points as he would like to.

It speaks to my idiocy that it isn't until a character that grants points for walls comes up that I realize Andy has an -enormous- wall. We are talking about 18 spaces already, and here I am with almost no money to outbid him for this character. I manage to push the bidding up to 15, but Andy is just too rich, grabbing the guy with 16.

I'm thinking I better get on building my wall, when, of course, a scoring round appears. Andy cleans up, leaving me in his dust. The score is 26 - 14.

AFTER FIRST ROUND

Between Andy getting his wall character and the end of the first round, I had managed to grab some coins. So when the beggar showed up (a character that lets you grab coins if you have less than 4), I was less than caring if I got him. I bid andy up to around 10, then gave up. Right after that, low and behold, another shows. This one gives you either 8 points, or lets you trade her for one other character at random. I get her, chuck her, and manage to take the wiseman in her place. This will let me count as having more buildings in one category per scoring round if I'm tied. Nice.

I spend some time trying to build up my wall, but I need a 3 walled building that's open at the bottom to really tie my walls together. So of course, right when it pops up, it's Andy's turn. I sweat it out as he hoes and hums for a minute or two, before he decides to grab some coins. I exact the red faster than I thought possible, and he sees what he missed. Our walls are now roughly equal.

After some more trading, the momentous part of the game occurred. We had been jostling about in majorities, but mostly had kept to our colors. I had brown, green, and white locked up, and Andy had blue, purple and red sealed. Ordinarily I think I would be ahead in that exchange, but I didn't have enough pieces in Andy's colors to give me the advantage over Dirk. So I come up with a plan.

Dirk has a lot of purple districts after last round, so when the last one to come pops up, I snag it. Andy looks confused until I throw it to Dirk, tying him with Andy for the majority. We dance some more, and then I grab a blue and a green, shipping both to Dirk. Andy realizes what's happened right as the next score card comes up. Dirk and he are tied for first in purple, tied for second in green, and tied for first in blue. With three tiles.

The last round comes fast, and I have a ton of cash in my hand. Not only do I grab two tiles on the last turn, but I get all of the remaining tiles off the board due to my enormous mitt full of cards. The last round is really just a repeat of the second, and I come out with the advantage.

Louis : 180
Andy : 153

FINAL NOTES
I have to say, diamonds are pretty sweet. They make the game noticeable more active, as they allow you to exact cost all of the most common numbers around. I would say I could play with them in almost any game.

Characters were a little strange, but I didn't think they were bad. I would definitely say they would work -way- better with more than two players since the bidding would be a little more impressive, but still. A fun addition.

Having only played one two player game of Alhambra before this, I never really realized how strong Dirk can be. In this game, he got me the win no questions asked. In the future, I will have to be sure that I steer away from a color of tiles if it looks like he'll be building them up. It's a wee bit too dangerous for someone else to just chuck the occasional one his way and lose you the game.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leber
Canada
Orillia
ON
flag msg tools
Yin
badge
Yang
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice report!

However, are you mixing normal currency and diamonds when purchasing buildings? Because that's the impression I got, and I'm pretty sure you must use all diamonds if using them to buy something.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, all currencies must be used alone.

Some of the wording has me confused. Some turns he talks about exacting, but other turns he talks about taking multiple tiles without mentioning exact payment.

I don't know what "grabbing coins out of the middle" means at all. You can only take one (or, multiples if they add up to less than 5, but they likely won't be beside each other).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, the scoring seems a bit wonky.

At the first round scoring, we know Andy had a wall of 18, the bonus character for walls, and the majority for purple.

Walls: 18
Character: 6 (18/3)
Purple: 6

That's 30 minimum already, and we still have 5 other colours to assign points to, and if he's tied or leading in a couple of them, he'll get 5 or so more points.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Testy Testerson
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, first session jitters, I will attempt to make everything more clear next time

@Andy Leber
No we didn't mix multiple currencies. We used only one kind of currency whenever we were buying tiles.

@Steven Duff
When I mentioned I was buying multiple tiles, I was implying I was exacting. Probably would have been more clear if I had stuck with one or the other.

Whenever I said we grabbed multiple coins, they were worth less than 5 in total. Maybe it wasn't shuffled very well or we just don't grab the lesser ones often enough, but it was pretty common for us to have a lot of little coins out there.

The scoring was my mistype. He ended up having 18 points from the wall, not an 18 length wall.

Thanks for the corrections though! I will probably be writing up another session tonight and I will attempt to make it more clear.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good to hear that you had it right.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Czarnecki
United States
Frisco
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There's a reason I call "Dirk" by "Dick!"
 
 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.