Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

- Die Tore der Stadt -


Author: Dirk Henn

Publisher: QUEEN GAMES 2004

Awards: none



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Due to the great success of Alhambra here now comes the second expansion for the successful Spiel des Jahres 2003 from Queen games. Like the first expansion, it consists out of four independent variants which can be included in the game as desired.

In the Town-Gates ("Die Tore der Stadt") the players have the new possibility to expand their Alhambra on the other side of the city-walls. At the beginning of the game six special town-gate-cards are shuffled together with the money. When one of these cards is drawn the player in turn can take this card instead of money. He then may use this card once to place a building card with the wall directly next to another wall without having contact to the palace. The connection is marked with a town-gate, so that the rule to reach all buildings by foot is still valid.

With the second variant a new currency, the Diamonds, are introduced to the game. Diamonds can be used instead of any other currency. Only one restriction is made: Diamonds are not allowed to be mixed up with the coloured money cards.

Camps ("Feldlager") are a new type of building and thus are mixed together with all other building tiles. They can be purchased just like every other building. They only can be placed with a bastion on their side adjacent to a town wall of a normal building card, or with a free side adjacent to another camp. In the evaluation phases the camps add one point for any building card that is in line with an arrow on the camp.

The last variant is probably the best one. 10 Character cards are mixed together with the money. Whenever such a card is drawn an auction phase starts in which the players bid clockwise. Of course, the player with the highest bid wins the card. Each character has its own advantages, some can only be used once and some bring a bonus at the end of the game. So - for example - there is one character giving the player the ability to exchange one building card at every beginning of his turn etc..

In my opinion this second expansion is better than the first one, because it allows the players to use the extras without using a normal action. The variants are more included into the game, because they are really part of the game. All variants are very easy to explain, but nevertheless they give the game really new aspects. Especially the characters can influence the game enormously.

Unless you are not really a big fan of Alhambra or are playing the game every second day there is no need to have both expansions, because the variety is so wide that you wonīt use all variants (in fact there is no need to use all expansions at once). Of course you are free to buy both expansions, but if you donīt have any of them, I would recommend to have the first look on the second expansion.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany