Alhambra board game
Alhambra board game
Number of players:
An exciting, fast paced building game that requires a strategic balance to make sure you don’t construct too many of one building addition. A must for any would be landscape gardeners!
The game and gameplay
The Alhambra is a real fortress-palace located in Granada (now part of Andalusia) SE Spain. It was initially constructed by the Moorish rulers of the area on a previously built 9th century citadel in the mid 14th century, but then became a Christian palace in the 16th century.
It therefore has a mix of Middle-Eastern and European architecture and no overall design due to the many building phases. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The game gets you to compete to make the “best” Alhambra with just the right amount of seraglios, gardens, arcades, pavilions, chambers, and towers. Each addition costs a certain amount of money paid in one of four currencies and on top of that you need to make sure all the additions fit into place within an outer wall.Each player starts with a starting tile showing the famous lion fountain (a big central fountain connecting to four other small ones) and your Alhambra awaits construction.
You also start with a random amount of currency made up of the four different currencies and in the middle of the playing area there is a building market showing building tiles (some with outer wall edges) that are on sale for a particular currency.
On a player’s turn, they have one of three options: Get more money (from a face up pile), buy and position a building tile, or redesign their Alhambra. There is an additional rule that if you can buy a building tile for the exact money in the proper currency, you can continue to take your turn.
The game proceeds until one of the scoring cards (A) is drawn to replace one of the money cards taken. Points are then awarded to the player with the most seraglios, gardens, arcades, pavilions, chambers, and towers individually at that time (halved if there are two players with the same number). Additional points are awarded for the amount of continual outer wall edges each player has.
Play then continues until the next scoring card (B) is drawn. This time the player with the most seraglios etc. gets points as does the player with the second most (but not as many of course!). Points again are awarded for the size of outer wall of each player.
When the building market cannot be restocked the game is over and the third and final scoring round takes place. The players who are first, second, and third in the numbers of seraglios etc. built all get points and the outer wall total is also included.
Pros and cons
This game is very easy to pick up and play. The game play is simple without being boring and I have had many successful classes using this as a teaching resource with children aged 9-15.
The Alhambra board game is an unusual and engaging design and will be a hit with your crowd.