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Saboteur - card game

Players 3-10
Age range 8 and up
Playing time 30 minutes
Random chance Medium
Skill(s) required Tile matching
Hand Management

Saboteur is a mining-themed card game, designed by Frederic Moyersoen and published in 2004 by Z-Man Games.


Players are assigned either a "Miner" or a "Saboteur" role, and given a mixed hand of path and action cards, and take turns in succession playing one card from their hand (or discarding it) and collecting a new one from the draw pile.

Miners may play a path card in order to progress in building a tunnel from a special card which represents the mine start to one of the three special cards that represent possible gold locations (only one of which is effectively gold, but the players do not know which when the game begins as they are placed face down), while Saboteurs try to play path cards which actually hinder such progress (for example by ending paths or making them turn in opposite directions).

Either player can instead play an action card, which have varying effects such as blocking other players from building paths (breaking their tools, in the game's analogy) or unblocking themselves or other players (usually the ones they believe to share the same role of either Miner or Saboteur).

There are three rounds of play, where each round is concluded by either reaching the treasure or running out of action cards.


The game should be set up where the mine entrance card is separated by seven cards from the middle treasure card, and the other two treasure cards are either above or below, separated by one card each. Cards should all be placed vertically.

Each type of card should be mixed with those sharing the same back design (such as gold nugget cards with gold nugget cards and playing cards with other playing cards).

Depending on the number of people playing, the character pile should include both miners and saboteurs. Also dependent on the number of people is the number of cards each person should be dealt at the beginning.


A round ends either when a path is established from the start card to the gold card (in which case the miners win) or there are no more cards in the players' hands and no successful path was established (in which case the victory is awarded to the Saboteurs). Players in the victory role are then awarded some gold nuggets.

A game is composed of three such rounds, so the majority of the players have a chance at playing both roles. At the end of the three rounds, the player with the most gold nuggets wins.

Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy