$10.00
The complete Alhambra
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Recommend
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Alhambra is a nice light game of buying and placing tiles to create the highest-scoring city. The placement rules are very relaxed and consider only the city wall, and players are competing for majorities in different building types.

As is typical for a Spiel des Jahres winner, quite a few expansions have come out. Slightly unusually, each of the boxed expansion sets contains four separate mini expansions which can be combined individually.

I'm trying to figure out how people think of the different expansions, which ones they really like, and which ones are safe to mix with others. Please follow the polls, thumb your favourites, and add any explanations in the comments!



I won't, for the moment, include any of the name-similar but gameplay different other games.

Remember. Each poll covers just one mini-expansion, not the whole box!

Other sets of BGG polls on the best game expansions can be found here
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1. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:308]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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This is where it all starts, a SdJ winning game.
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2. Board Game: Alhambra: The Vizier's Favor [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Vizier's Favour



In this mini expansion, everyone is given a Vizier tile which allows them to leap in and take an extra turn after anyone else's turn (including their own). They only get to do this once, then their vizier tile remains flipped until they spend a whole turn to unflip it.

On it's own this isn't so useful, but if particular cards coming up for sale are important to you (for example with the bonus cards), this can be the best way to grab the exact tile you need.

Poll: The Vizier's Favour
1. Is this an essential expansion for the parent game?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      65 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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3. Board Game: Alhambra: The Vizier's Favor [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Bureau de Change



This expansion adds a handful of exchange cards which are distributed in the money deck and can be drawn instead of money when they appear face up. A player can discard one of these cards to pay for a building in a combination of two currencies.

Poll: The Bureau de Change
1. Is this an essential expansion for the parent game?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      59 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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4. Board Game: Alhambra: The Vizier's Favor [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Builder's Huts



This expansion adds builder's huts tiles. These are placed in stacks next to the board and can be taken and placed in the player's city instead of a standard turn. They have no value but double the value of adjacent buildings of a matching colour so they count as two buildings during scoring rounds.

Poll: The Builder's Huts
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      52 answers
Poll created by thepackrat
 
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5. Board Game: Alhambra: The Vizier's Favor [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Bonus Cards



This expansion adds secret bonus cards. These are dealt out to players at the start of the game. Each card depicts a single tile. If a player has placed the matching tile, the card counts for an additional tile of that colour.

Poll: Alhambra: The Bonus Cards
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      50 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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6. Board Game: Alhambra: The City Gates [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The City Gates



One of the key placement rules in Alhambra is that all new tiles placed must immediately be reachable by pedestrians from the central fountain. The city gates cards become available through the game and are taken instead of a normal turn. A player with a gate card can add a wooden gate on top of two back-to-back walls on a just-placed tile to create a new pedestrian path through the walls.

Poll: Alhambra: The City Gates
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      47 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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7. Board Game: Alhambra: The City Gates [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Diamonds



The diamonds cards are added to the money deck and form a fifth currency. They are picked up as normal and can be used to buy tiles. Diamonds cards cannot be mixed with other currencies but they can be used to buy any tiles in any currency.

Poll: Alhambra: The Diamonds
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      47 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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8. Board Game: Alhambra: The City Gates [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Characters



The Characters are 10 cards which give the players special rule-breaking abilities. 6 are mixed into the money deck at the start of the game and are auctioned off when they first appear.

Poll: Alhambra: The Characters
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      37 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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9. Board Game: Alhambra: The City Gates [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Camps



The camps are another form of bonus tiles. They are bought like normal tiles but are placed on the outside of the city walls. During each scoring round, bonus points are given, 1 per city tile in line with the camp.

Poll: Alhambra: The Camps
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      41 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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10. Board Game: Alhambra: The Thief's Turn [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The City Walls



The City walls expansion contains a number of black wooden sticks (new city walls) and cards. The cards are mixed in with the money deck and are laid out as they become available. A player may take any displayed city wall card as a normal action and add the exact walls shown on the card (with orientation) to any tile in their Alhambra or reserve. This can be useful for constructing the longest wall.

Poll: Alhambra: City Walls
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      31 answers
Poll created by thepackrat
 
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11. Board Game: Alhambra: The Thief's Turn [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Thieves



The 12 thief cards depict a scruffy footpad and a particularly currency. They are dealt out to players at the game start. Between any two player's turns, a player can discard a thief card from their hand in order to take any face-up money card in the matching currency.

Poll: Alhambra: Thieves
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      33 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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12. Board Game: Alhambra: The Thief's Turn [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Change



The change expansion adds coins in each of the four currencies which are kept in a bag. Whenever a player pays too much for a building or other bought item, they receive one random currency coin for every two money they overpaid. Coins are kept face up in front of the players and can be used during any transaction as money, then are returned to the bag.

Poll: Alhambra: The Change
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      36 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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13. Board Game: Alhambra: The Thief's Turn [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Street Traders



The street traders are a series of wooden meeples that are played on a circular trader tile. Whenever the player builds a new Alhambra tile on top of the trader tile is it moved to a new location and one matching trader figure is moved onto the newly built tile. At the end of the game, players score points for having sets of different coloured traders in their Alhambra.

Poll: Alhambra: The Street Traders
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      31 answers
Poll created by thepackrat
 
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14. Board Game: Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Treasure Chamber



This expansion adds a new mini-board to the game. The treasure chamber board contains three rooms, each of which are stocked with four random chests (in the usual building colours). Players have another action available, to buy the 4 chests from one of the treasure rooms for 8 money in any mix of currencies. They they have to place the four chests on matching tiles in their Alhambra, max 1 per tile. Any chests they cannot place are passed around to the next player.

Chests have their own scoring system and are scored as a total number regardless of colour, with the player with the largest number receiving the most points.

Poll: Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      37 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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15. Board Game: Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Master Builders



Master builders add another type of special purpose currency to the game. Two master builders are given to each player and others are scattered through the deck. Each card can either be played as a value-3 card in the matching currency or discarded at the end of the turn to take another free remodel action.

Poll: Alhambra: The Master Builders
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      35 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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16. Board Game: Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Invaders



This extension gives the city wall a much more central role. After each scoring round, invaders will attack from one of the four compass directions. Players who have tiles exposed (not protected by a city wall) from this direction will lose an increasing number of points. Two scout cards are also available each round. If a player buys a matching building type with exact money, they can take the scout card and use it to secretly check the top card of the invasion stack.

Poll: Alhambra: The Invaders
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      35 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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17. Board Game: Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Bazaars



These are another type of bonus tiles with 3 colours indicated. THey are set aside available when drawn from the bag and may be purchased when available by any player but only for exact change. Their price is set by the value of the tile of matching colour on the market.

A bazaar gives up to 24 points in the final scoring round if tiles matching its three colour are placed around it.

Poll: Alhambra: The Bazaars
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      34 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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18. Board Game: Alhambra: Power of the Sultan [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Power of the Sultan

Sultan cards provide a way to take a building of a particular types for free as it is refilled into the market. The cards are mixed into the normal money deck and are left available next to the market when they are turned over.

A die is rolled when each card is first turned over and this determines what type of card this sultan card can affect. When buying a card (for 7 money) a player may choose to re-roll the dice and then change the Sultan card to match either the showing face or the one on the opposite side of the die.

Poll
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      25 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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19. Board Game: Alhambra: Power of the Sultan [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The New Score Cards



This expansion changes the way the 3 scoring rounds work. When the game is set up, a random order of the 6 bulding types is placed next to each scoring marker. This means that the building type in which majorities are most valuable changes in each scoring round.

Poll: Alhambra: The New Score Cards
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      25 answers
Poll created by thepackrat



 
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20. Board Game: Alhambra: Power of the Sultan [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Art of the Moors



This adds a complex system of hexagonal scoring markers which are awarded to players who have purchased multiple buildings with the same price. As players collect more buildings with this price, they have the opportunity to use a turn action to advance their scoring markers for any values of buildings they own multiples of.

Poll: Alhambra: The Art of the Moors
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      27 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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21. Board Game: Alhambra: Power of the Sultan [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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The Caravanserai



This extension adds Caravanserai cards which depict a tree of increasing currency values. These cards are only available for purchase after a player has four basic building types and get cheaper with more types placed. Each turn the player can move their marker one step up or to the side, and the card can be used for purchases in the amount and currency of the marker's current space. Players can have up to two of these cards.

Poll: Alhambra: The Caravanserai
1. Is this an essential expansion?

Yes! I would almost never play without it
It's okay, I play with it sometimes
No, it doesn't add anything or it hurts the game
It changes the game completely and that's kinda cool!
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

Yes! Combine them freely
Not really, some caution needed with interactions
No! This is expansion should be used on its own.
      25 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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22. Board Game: The Gardens of the Alhambra [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2208]
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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This very abstract tile placement game was originally called Carat, but was rethemed and added to the Alhambra series. In this game, players place random octagonal tiles onto a board in order to surround scoring buildings with a majority of their coloured flowers.

Poll: The Gardens of Alhambra
1. Is this a worthwhile addition to an Alhambra collection?
Yes! It rounds out the collection nicely.
I could take it or leave it.
No, It's a terrible game.
2. Is this thematically part of Alhambra?
Yes! A core part
Well, maybe. It has buildings.
No! Any theme is just pasted on graphics.
      16 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

 
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