Warmly settled in Granada, virtuously fighting off the desire for more red wine, players seek to spend wisely, buying buildings to put down within their developing Alhambra palace, fully described at Alhambrapedia
They need money of course. This is available in four different currencies – Macedonian, Persian, Venetian, and English. The money’s used to buy up buildings, of which there are six different types: including pavilions, gardens, and towers. These vary in cost, with the more expensive ones tending to be both more numerous and higher scoring.
Whilst money is available to players at every turn, it’s not always available in the currency they most want: nor so much as they’d like 😢
Players can become richer (even if not so rich as they’d like) but their opportunities to buy buildings is less predictable. At any one time there are four buildings on the market: one in each of the four currencies. You can only buy if you’ve got enough money in the currency that the vendor wants for the building.
Another thing that affects a building’s desirability is its walls. Having walls around the real Alhambra is essential (there’s nothing new about gated communities). In this game, the longer the unbroken wall, the more likely that points will be scored.
Points come from getting your property developer’s hands on the right kinds of building, and constructing the longer continuous wall.
Long walls are a force to be reckoned with … 😂
On a player’s turn, they may do just one of three things.
1 .. take money from the open money market ~ how annoying that somebody just took the dosh that you were wanting!
2 .. purchase a building from the building market and either place it in their developing Alhambra or into a reserve area for use later. They can they wait to put it down when they can see that it will score more points, or open up opportunities for further development.
If they buy for exactly the right price, their business acumen is rewarded with the right to immediately take another turn.
If they overpay, they don’t get any change!
3 .. undertake construction or reconstruction works within the Alhambra using buildings that had previously been placed in reserve.
Players with the most buildings in each of the six building types in their Alhambra score in each of the scoring phases, and points are awarded for the longest external “wall”.
Scoring pops up mildly unpredictably at two points during the game, and once at the end. Interestingly, the weighting of scores grows each time, so players may sometimes try to change their tactics. At all times, players can see exactly what scores what.
Oh! The numbers on the buildings’ tiles show what their price was – not their points value or anything like that.
Expansions have been devised
- can be learned quickly
- very little setting up
- fun and replayable
- a definite degree of opportunity for strategy
- some luck of course, in what money and buildings turn up
- if playing at BGA online, read the words at the top 👍