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Saboteur» Forums » Rules

Subject: Question on game balance rss

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Troy Ma
United States
Bellevue
Washington
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I want to start by saying I love this game but there may be a balancing problem.

we use to play with 5p with the rules in the booklet but the saboteurs lost every game!
To account for balance, we:
1. moved the center goal card 1 space back
2. allowed saboteurs to wake up at the beginning of the game to look at each other
3. manually removed the an extra dwarf card to ensure there's the max allowed saboteurs each game.

As a result, dwarfs still won every game!

This past weekend, we played 10p games with the above adjustments and the saboteurs won every game. So it seems like with less people, the sabs can't win even with every beneficial variant but with large groups, the balance swings the other way.

Any ideas on balancing?
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Tommaso Franco
Italy
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Never had such problems with 5 (or odd numbers in general). Are you playing with 2 sabs out of 5 p always? Then it sounds strange: it is one of the highest ratios of sabs you get in the game (40%). I believe you may be missing something from the rules. Couple of things that come to my mind:
- Are you aware that any dwarf can fix tools for anybody else?
- Are you aware that if the mine collapses (special card) then you can't go on digging on the other side until you fix the tunnel again?

A minor adjustment that we do is to take 2 maps out of the deck (for 5p) but it won't change the game much.

It could be groupthink. Do sabs reveal themselves from the very beginning?
 
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Julius Andrikonis
Lithuania
Vilnius
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Yes, Saboteur can be very unbalanced sometimes. As earlier suggested: buy Saboteur 2, which solves the problem by adding different roles and dividing the good dwarves into blue and green teams.
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Laurence Parsons
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Old enough to know what's right
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I think you are playing it wrong, based on your statement "Dwarfs still won every game".

This is not a game of dwarfs vs saboteurs. "The Dwarfs" don't win, the player with the most gold wins. If the dwarfs are playing co-op and all celebrating a "win", then the player who has worked this out and is somehow managing to place the last tunnel each time must be laughing his way to the bank. Every dwarf should be playing for himself. Yes, there is a degree of co-op, but placing the card that lets someone else finish the tunnel is not a smart move.
Once your group realises this and the dwarfs get more selfish, the saboteurs will come back into the mix.
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Jay Shaffstall
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Also, play with competitive scoring, where only gold diggers with unbroken tools share in the gold at the end. You get a rush of loyal dwarfs breaking tools near the end.

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Troy Ma
United States
Bellevue
Washington
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we certainly played correctly with the above rules.

I just bought saboteur 2 so I don't have to deal with this anymore ninja
 
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Nat Li
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Too many variables that cannot be gauged, like player skills and luck of the draw, but the game should work fine.

For myself, I always remind everyone that this is NOT a team game: the ONE with the most total gold AFTER 3 complete rounds WINS.

Also:
1. Remove all the 3's from the gold deck. Use only 1 and 2.

2. When rewarding the good guy, draw only 1 card more than the number of surviving good dwarves.

3. The other thing I do is everyone at the table MUST have all their gold revealed at all time for other player to count. If everyone is still conscious about being THE (one) winner, it should get interesting in the third round.
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