G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:
The newest expansion for Alhambra is the third one and is titled "Die Stunde der Diebe". As in the first two expansions, there are four new variants that can be used as single variants or can be mixed with other variants. So there is now a wide variety to modify the original game.
- The first variant is Wechselgeld ("change"). Whenever a player buys a building with more money than necessary, he draws change coins (one coin for two overpayed money units) out of a bag. As the normal money cards these coins have a specific colour and can be only used to buy buildings of the same colour. Unlike the money cards, coins are stored visible to all other players.
- Diebe (thieves) are dealt out at the beginning of a game. Depending on the number of players, everyone gets 2-4 thieves. Thieves are brought into play at the end of a players turn. They allow the player to steal a money card from the board with the same colour of the thieve. A player can play as many thieves in a turn as he wishes. If two player wish to collect the same money card, the player nearest to the active player (clockwise) may play his thieve first. Of course thieves can only be played once and are taken out of play afterwards.
- Der fliegende Händler (flying merchant) is a variant that gives victory points at the end of the game. Each player gets a market place and places it adjacent to the starting tile. Besides he puts three merchants with a specific colour on this market place. If he now buys a new building and puts it on the place of the market place, he may transfer one of the merchants on the new building and take a new merchant provided that the merchant and the building has the same colour. At the end of the game the merchants on buildings are counted. Depending on series the player gets his victory points. A series is made of merchants with different colours. The more colours are in a series the more valuable it is.
- The last new variant is Die Mauern (walls). 8 new wall cards are mixed with the money cards at the beginning of the game. If one of these cards is drawn during the game, it is placed beside the board. This gives the players another choice of action. Instead of buying a building or taking a money card, the player in turn can take one of the open wall cards. He then places one or two wall elements at the edge of his palace as it is shown on the wall card. These new walls are treated like the normal walls printed on the buildings.
With the third expansion of the Alhambra game, the owner of all expansions has a lot of variants that can be played. As it was in the former expansions, the mechanism of the original Alhambra remains the same and the variants introduce only minor changes in gameplay. The new expansion is has about the same quality as the other expansions (to my mind the first one is slightly weaker than the others), but it is more a matter of taste which expansion is the best for a player. The expansions can be mixed with each other and an individual Alhambra game can be put together. In my opinion the maximum number of variants in a game should be two; otherwise the game becomes too confusing, especially if you don't play it very often.