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Subject: Alhambra, Cartagena, or Trias rss

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Mike Adams
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I have very little money to spend on games. It's sad, but true. So, despite there being many games I would like to have, I must choose carefully (and cheaply). I end up playing games with my kids and some friends so they have to appeal to that audience - not deeply analytical, just fun and less than an hour to play. We are plenty happy with Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan, we just could use more.

Currently I'm trying to decide what to buy once I have a little saved up for another game. The three I've narrowed the field to are similar prices with very different mechanics and I think we'd all enjoy them because of the main points listed below.

Alhambra - tile laying, not attacking others, no one feels bad

Cartagena - pirates, easy, pirates, stylish, pirates

Trias - dinosaur meeples, cool drifting mechanic

Any comments on why I should choose any one over the others?
 
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Goo
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Yorba Linda
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Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.
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Alhambra
I put Alhambra way, way, way over Cartagena. Cartagena is only a so-so game and the pirate them, for me, is very thin. If you want something just for the pirates, look elsewhere.

I don't know about Trias.

Alhambra is a fantastic game. I like it alot.


-goo
 
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Ed Sherman
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Of the three, I'd pick Alhambra
I like them all, but I like Alhambra the most.
 
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J
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Cartagena's not actually that stylish. And I don't like it much. It's too much about "stifling" -- making sure the guy after can't make a good (or fun) move. Maybe a 6, generously. Probably more like a 5.

Alhambra is a 9 for me right now, and will probably hit 10 if I play it more. I haven't had a chance to play with him yet, but I'd imagine my 8 year old brother would handly this game very well.

I haven't played Trias.
 
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Stephen Smith
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I have both Trias and Alhambra. I like Trias the most, but I get to play Alhambra more. Alhambra is a lot more accessible game in my opinion. While Trias can be played without being "deeply analytical", it certainly rewards and tends to lead to greater analytical play. There is a reason some people refer to it as a brain-burner.
 
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Colin Parker
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Cobble Hill
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If you're wanting to try Cartagena (actually, not bad) then you can play it online @ http://www.youplay.it
 
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Joshua Lobkowicz
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High Ridge
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of those...
trias is the only one I have. I think it is great un, but I think it is more strategic and anylitical than carc and settlers. If the others are lighter they might be a better starting point.
 
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Scott A. Reed
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Having played all three, I would order them

1) Alhambra - SdJ winner, and after one play, my wife clamored that I had to go out and get the game immediately.
2) Trias - a pretty good game, as Chaddyboy and Sodaklady will attest. Interesting drift mechanisms.
3) Cartagena - o.k., but I've had it for months and have only played it twice. Cartagena is also on BSW, so you could play it there to see if you like it or not.
 
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Peter Marchlewitz
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Same here...
I would agree with Scott. I have all three, and probably won't be teaching students in my game group at school Trias, although last year we played Alhambra...and they requested it again this year.
 
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Michael Campbell
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Excelsior
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Another vote for Alhambra...
...with the caveat that I do not own, nor have I played, the other two. Alhambra is my wife's favorite and my kids have never turned down a game. The other advantage to Alhambra is that it can play 6, although 4 is best.

Not to throw a wrench into your plans...but have you considered St. Petersburg? Another family favorite here. Medium complexity. No direct conflicts. Plays in about an hour.

I think there are some online versions to try out.

I think it sells for less than $20 at most online retailers.

Keep on gaming!thumbsup
 
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Mary Weisbeck
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Black Hawk
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Alhambra
As much as I like Trias, I wouldn't recommend it for "kids". I'm assuming they're 12 or younger, in which case they won't see the strategy and will probably find it boring and the rules finicky. Alhambra would be my choice for you, for the reasons many have already stated above.

Please let us know what you choose and how it went with your family.
 
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Justin
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i picked up the german version of alhambra for $12 at fairplay. might still be available elsewhere. for that it's a steal, and the game is totally language-neutral (just colors and numbers).
 
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Mike Adams
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Thanks
Thanks for all the comments. It looks like I'll be going with Alhambra. For myself, I would lean toward Trias, but I know it probably wouldn't get as much play with my kids and I need something that they can play as well. They're early elementary school age, so highly analytical games aren't their strength, yet. My son (almost 8) practically forced me to teach him chess when he just turned five. He's surprisingly good at it. He has a knack for strategy. But my daughter would feel excluded for now.

I think I'll go with Alhambra for now to tide me/us over until I push for Samurai for my birthday in a couple of months when it's just for me. I love that game.

Thanks again everybody.
 
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Mike Adams
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Done
Okay, I did it. I picked up Alhambra today. They had one copy at my local game store and the price was pretty good.

Tried it out this afternoon with the kids while my wife was out. I messed up the scoring for ties a bit, but it went great. We all enjoyed it very much and learned quite a bit from the first playing. Next time it should get really interesting now that we know what we're doing.
 
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