Saboteur is a 3-10 player game for ages 8 and up. For this game, the players take on the role of either gold diggers or Saboteurs. Gold diggers are searching for treasures, Saboteurs are creating obstacles. During the game you’ll create a maze of pathways going from the start card to the goal cards. You don’t know who’s on your side, so pay attention and there’s a good chance you will figure it out. If the Gold Diggers successfully make a path to the treasure they are rewarded with gold nuggets, and the saboteurs get nothing for the round. If the saboteurs are successful they get rewarded. The player with the most nuggets wins after three rounds.
Sort the cards by action, gold, path and miner cards. The rules list how many miners and saboteurs you will need for the amount of players.
Once you have the right amount of cards for your group deal one out to everyone. Then place it face down without telling anyone. The remaining card is placed out of the way until the end of the round. Shuffle the goal cards and put them face down on the table. Take the start card and place it face up on the table.
Shuffle the action and path cards and deal out.
- 3-5 players – 6 cards
- 6-7 players – 5 cards
- 8-10 players – 4 cards
Place the remaining cards in a deck pile face down on the table.
Place the start card face up then leave seven card width spaces before placing the three goal cards face down.
You are now ready to start with the youngest player.
How to Play
On you turn you can either add a path card, play an action card or pass, by adding a card to the discard pile. Then draw a new card.
Action cards are used to either help or hinder players progress. To use an action card, place it face up in front of yourself or another player. A player can have a maximum of three broken tool cards on in front of them at one time. Players cannot add to the path when they have a broken tool card in front of them. Don’t worry though, broken tools can be resolved with matching a fix tools card.
There’s two other action cards, Rockfall, when this is played that player can remove a card from the path and the map card, where the player who uses this card can take a peek at one of the goal cards.
The Path – A path card must always be placed next to another path card and fit with the cards that are already on the table, including the sides. The gold diggers are trying to create a path from the start to the goal cards. The saboteurs don’t want that to happen and try to prevent it and at the same time don’t want to be noticed. If the gold diggers manage to create a path to the goal card, the card is turned over. If there’s gold the round is over, if not the round keeps going.
The round is over if either the gold diggers have struck gold or if there are no remaining cards to be drawn and the saboteurs win. Gold is then handed out to the winners and the next round begins. After three rounds whoever has the most gold wins.
This thirty minute game has a lot going for it, there’s some strategy to going unnoticed while playing a path that best benefits yourself. The rounds are quick and you get to switch up your character so it doesn’t get stale. Plus the element of not knowing if other players are with you or against you is fun. There’s often times where you think you know who’s on your side but find out later they’ve been against you the whole round. It’s an interesting dynamic worth checking out.
Linked here is a how to play video reference for how to play that I found pretty handy.