Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mark's #26: Stimmt So!

Ever heard of Alhambra? Yeah, yeah... that's the game that won Spiel des Jahres a couple of years ago, right? Right.

Notice it is NOT on this list. That's because Alhambra is a bad re-design of the much better game, Stimmt So! While there are some good additions to the rules about money (both the way you get starting cash & the way you pick up cash in the game make more sense in Alhambra), the two major game systems work against each other in ways that make the game more random & difficult to control, not less.

In Stimmt So!, you're playing Acquire with a different (aka much faster) way to develop stock value. If someone is winning, you can target them by buying the stock they need. In Alhambra, you also have to consider if the "stock" you buy will fit into your city because of the walls. So, if you need to target a player, you may well have to sacrifice WINNING THE GAME in order to do so, because you can't fall too far behind in creating long walls... and you can't waste too many buys with tiles you can't use. Sheesh.

As well, Alhambra is slow & tedious with 5 or 6 players... while Stimmt So! actually shines at this number. It's a fast, furious, dare I say "fluffy" stock market game that hits my sweet spot.

Yes, Alhambra fans, I realize that the expansions may have made the game better... but why did we have to wait for the expansions to fix what was broken by redesigning the game?!



Anonymous Dave VA said...

Harsh words indeed. While I agree with you that Stimmt So is a better game, I still find that we play Alhambra more often. This is in part because it's one of Theresa's favorites. She likes the addition that the wall brings to the table. I know better than to argue with her about a game she'll play!

8:43 PM  

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