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Subject: 2006-01-17 Tuesday Night Game: Alhambra rss

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Nick Sparks
United States
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meeple Players = Brandon, Nick, Sean

gulp Coming off of a bad game...

We had just finished playing a game of "Go for Broke." We won't make that mistake again. We were looking for a game we could play in about an hour or so. Alhambra was it. I was interested to see how this would play because I had never played Alhambra with less than 5 people. I'd played with 5 or 6 players only.

cool Strategies Learned:

Some interesting strategies came into play in this game.

(1) Build up lots of cards and don't do anything else for a while. Then, clean house. Repeat. Brandon did some of this. Sean stated that he's considering doing this most of the way up until the first scoring round on the next game!

(2) Count to see how many you really need to dominate a category and then ignore any future tiles of that sort unless they help build your wall. I used this strategy a bit. I didn't ask, but I'm fairly certain everyone was doing this math, because it became obvious that no one cared as much about Manors after I had 4 (when there are only 7).

(3) Brandon seemed to be trying for the same diversification strategy that he used successfully in El Grande a couple of weeks ago.

(4) Towards the end of the game, we actually came close to running out of tiles while there was still a quarter inch stack of money cards. Brandon and I were both just picking cards at this point, hoping to have the most cards of multiple categories so as to "inherit" that last few tiles.

The Final Results:

Nick: 125
Brandon: 124
Sean: 96

Observations of 3 player game vs. 5 or 6 players:

(1) You can actually make it all the way around the table and have the tile that you were interested in still be there.

(2) The cities were larger and so were the outer walls. I can't really say whether this made it easier or harder. At times I think it did both for me.

(3) Less people to share all the points so we had a much higher scoring game. With the 5-6 player games, we wondered how someone would ever come close to the 120 point top of the scoring track. On this game, we actually lapped around to the beginning of the track.

(4) Less down time, unless I was staring off into nowhere (while still looking at the game table). That happened a couple of times. But for the most part, the game goes much quicker and less boredom hits.

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