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Subject: Review after multiple plays rss

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Andy
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Introduction

Saboteur is a quick and easy cardgame for 3 to 10 players. It's light and fun with a semi-co-operative style of gameplay, in which most of the players work together to tunnel through a mine and find the gold. It's only semi-co-operative however, as there is a traitor element... the saboteur(s).

At the beginning of each round the players receive one of the dwarf cards, indicating whether they are a good dwarf, or a saboteur. The mix of good and saboteur dwarf cards varies according to the number of players, but there is always 1 more than the total number, so that you're never quite sure exactly how many players could be saboteurs!!


Components

As stated earlier, this is a cardgame, and consists of three decks of cards, as well as a few spacial cards.

The main deck of cards are the map/action cards, which players use on their turn to either extend the tunnels, or to perform some other action.

Next is the deck of gold nuggets, which is used to distribute victory points at the end of each round.

Finally there is a deck of 11 dwarf cards... 4 of these are saboteurs and the other 7 are good dwarves. Only in a 10 player game are all dwarf cards used, otherwise you must refer to the table in the rulebook to determine how many of each will be needed.

The additional cards are the ladder, marking the start of the tunnel, and three endpoint cards.. one depicting gold and the other 2 just showing rocks.

The cards are very nice, with lovely graphics that totally fit the theme of the game... however they are a little on the flimsy side compared to some game cards.


Gameplay

The gameplay is pretty simple, with players taking it in turns to play a card (or discard) and then draw a card. if the draw deck is depleted, players continue to play until all cards have been played or discarded.
The two types of card play are

1. playing map cards to the tunnel network... these must all be played in the same orientation, but can be rotated 180'... the cards must connect to existing tunnels and must match on all sides on which they connect to other cards.
2. playing action cards... these consist of cards to break or fix your tools, or those of your fellow dwarves. Cards to cause cave-ins and remove map cards, or cards to allow you to look at the hidden end points.

As well as the card play, there is also a meta-game of trying to work out who amongst the players are good or evil dwarves, and this often invokes quite a bit of table talk, as accusations fly around the table, based partly on card play, but also on speech and body language as well...this is where the game really shines, as there is a lot of interaction between the players, and it can be a lot of fun.


End of the Round and Scoring

A round can end in two ways... either the good dwarves connect to the gold, or the saboteurs prevent this with the draw deck and hand cards running out.

If the cards run out before the gold is reached, the saboteurs win and each get a fixed number of gold nuggets.
Otherwise, if the players connect to the gold, all good dwarves share gold cards equal to the total nubmer of players.

Note there is also an official variant (which we always play), where good dwarves that have broken tools at the end of the round do not receive gold if their side wins... this adds a lot more to the meta game, as often quite innocent dwarves have their equipment broken because they have already won "too much gold".

Three rounds are played and the total numer of gold nuggets won by each palyer is added up to determine who is the overall most successful dwarf.


Conclusion

Overall I think this is an absolutely brilliant, light and fun game for people who are up for having a bit of a laugh. It's a great filler, or it's perfect for ending the gaming session.

Personally I won't hesitate to play a game of saboteur during a games session, and it has gone down really well with my work games group that would previously only play Mah-jongg.

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Taj Mahal, anyone?
Switzerland
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Re: Saboteur: Review after multiple plays
Excellent review, Andy. This is the review I would have written if my English weren't so poor.
The variant, which can't be found in the German Amigo Edition, must have been added by Z-Man Games. And it's a good one as it makes for an even more cut-throat experience. cool
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Andy
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Re: Saboteur: Review after multiple plays
Thanks for the compliments.
You're right the variant isn't listed in the Amigo edition, so it must be from the Z-Man edition.
 
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Teik Chooi Oh
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Great review Andy. Checked it out after my first game of this at your place. Will indeed put it on my must-buy list. Am always on look-out for decent filler games and games for up to 10 players and this one suits both!
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