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Alhambra creator returns to the classic series with a roll & write spin-off

Scroll & Write.

Return to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains to construct a medieval marvel in Alhambra: Roll & Write, a dice-rolling spin-off game from the designer of the original, Dirk Henn.

The first entry in the series, Alhambra, is a construction game wherein two to six players compete to see who can build the most impressive complex. By hiring the right stonemasons, horticulturalists and other skilled individuals, players can embark on a variety of building projects to expand and improve their Alhambras.

However, workers expect to be paid for their services - and in their own currency - so players need to acquire the right amount and currency in order to acquire a new building for their Alhambra. Should a player pay for their building with the exact amount of money required, they can even take another turn straight afterwards.

The ultimate goal of the original Alhambra is to build as many of the six different types of buildings in the game, with additional points awarded to players who has the longest external wall in their complex.

Alhambra: Roll & Write is an upcoming game wherein players roll dice in order to construct the various buildings in their Alhambra. Unlike the original game, Alhambra: Roll & Write does not involve acquiring currencies or paying for building, instead, players must decide which buildings on their sheet to construct.

Each turn, players roll a set of yellow and blue dice three times, crossing off the building at the intersection of those two numbers every time. Players then roll their dice one more time before placing them on their player-sheet. The starting player then rolls a separate set of dice, and using that result, can either cross off one of their buildings or take a coin for each building already completed - coins can be used to reroll die for one or cross-off a building for three.

The starting player then passes on the dice they placed on their player-sheet to the next player, with all subsequent players needing to make the same decision they made.

Scoring in Alhambra: Roll & Write is determined by whether a player has managed to construct enough of the different types of building on their sheet. Any player that has managed to come first, second or third in any building category receives points, with the player holding the most points becoming the game’s winner.

Alhambra: Roll & Write board game layout

Besides designing both Alhambra and Alhambra: Roll & Write, Henn is also known for creating Shogun - one of the best board games of the modern era - in which players each assume the role of Daimyo controlling one of the warring states of Sengoku Japan. Henn also designed the 1997 train board game Metro.

Alhambra: Roll & Write is being published by Queen Games, the company responsible for releasing Kingdom Builder - a game in which players strategically place settlements in order to earn gold - and the quick board game Escape: The Curse of the Temple, which is receiving its own Roll & Write spin-off later this year.

The Kickstarter campaign for Alhambra: Roll & Write is currently live until July 12th, with a pledge of $25/£21 getting a copy of the core game that’s estimated to arrive sometime in December this year.

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Alhambra: Roll & Write

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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.