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  • Provide some initial simple/accessible single-player variations to Saboteur-style games without having to code in overly complex/non-trivial AI hand-card decisions to simulate “bluffing”.

  • Provide a simple + playable solitaire variants of Saboteur cardgame.

Simplify AI considerations by just considering only 1 card drawn from the Deck each time per character slot.

The main purpose of this is to minimize the AI considerations it’ll take to monitor a player’s entire hand and looking up a cumbersome priority list of actions.

Also, it keeps the player’s entire hand primarily his to work out and plan accordingly, so the player doesn’t have to worry about losing his cards to the opposition if he intends to save/use such cards for later, knowing that the saboteurs can’t steal them under normal cirucmstances.

Also, it works great with Saboteur-2 roles as well, adding a great deal of “color” to the game.


  • Pick either a Green or Blue miner if using Saboteur 2 deck. Hold on to the “Green/Blue-shirted” miner card in the Saboteur 1 deck to act as a reminder of which side you’re on.

  • If using the Saboteur 2 deck, it’s also recommended to include ALL the 4 saboteur cards from the Saboteur-1 deck as well to be shuffled with the rest of the role-cards. Having more Saboteurs in-game will make the game more challenging.


  • Start with 3 cards in the hand. For every character role card slot being opened in the round, draw a single card from the main draw pile deck to go along with it.

Game flow:

  • If the revealed character’s role belongs to you (ie. Saboteur-1 Miner or Saboteur-2 Blue/Green miner), you can take the card into your hand and freely use or discard any 1 of your 4 cards you are currently holding. This gives you the benefit of CHOICE.

  • Otherwise, if the revealed character’s role belongs to some other character, you are forced to play/discard the card according to the suggested AI (artificial intelligence) rules below.

Can’t see table fully of 6 columns? View in HTML format

Card drawn / by: Miner of different color Saboteur Boss Geologist Profiteer
Path Play only to get closer to gold (only if reachable without opposing color door) Play only to get further from gold Play only to get closer to gold Play only to get further from gold Draw another role-card from remaining deck and assume role.
Path with Crystal Play only to get closer to gold (only if reachable without opposing color door) Play only to get further from gold Play only to get closer to gold Play it as long as it’s possible, placing it to further delay a path closest to gold, else play closest from start ladder Draw another role-card from remaining deck and assume role.
Dead end path Discard Play to block area closest to gold Discard Play to block area closest to gold Draw another role-card from remaining deck and assume role.
Path with door of different color Discard Discard unless got usable dead-end Treat as regular path Discard Draw another role-card from remaining deck and assume role, but treat as regular path ignoring colored door.
Break item Use on first active Saboteur Use on first active Miner Use on first active Saboteur Discard Discard
Jail Use on first active Saboteur Use on first active Miner Use on first active Saboteur Discard Discard
Repair item Use on first disabled Miner of same color Use on first disabled Saboteur Use on first disabled Miner of any color Use as personal shield in order to stay active throughout every round. Discard
Collapse Destroy last dead end path closest to gold (only if reachable without opposing color door) Destroy the recently last non-dead end path built by any miner/boss Destroy last dead end path closest to gold Discard Discard
Map Discard Discard Discard Discard Discard

Comments on the AI rules

  • In the event a drawn card can’t be played by the AI slot, it is discarded.

  • Note in particular how the selfish “Geologist” is particularly unique, allowing him to automatically use a REPAIR card on himself to act as a “shield” that forces him to remain active in play within his slot throughout every round. You have to manually remove the shield by using a matching-icon “Break item” card on him. This makes the Geologist not to be underestimated, even though he doesn’t directly attacks other miners and there are only 2 of them in the role deck, they can delay the game significantly.

  • Note how the “Boss” is immune to sabotage (break items/jail). However, there is only 1 boss in the deck so he’ll only appear occasionally, and he doesn’t care about Green/Red in such cases. As a boss, he will protect the welfare of his Miners regardless of their color.

Other rules

  • Status card ailments that make player slots “out-of-play” are non-stackable.

Improving strength of Saboteurs

There’s a tendency for all/almost-all Saboteurs to be locked down out of play later in the game (unable to rescue themselves) due to the lack of a 4 card-hand that the Player character has.

Some rules to make saboteurs more competitive:

  • Any AI-discarded Repair cards that match the icon state of any currently disabled Saboteurs can automatically “heal” that Saboteur and remove that disabling card at the end of the round. This allows Saboteurs to have a better chance of returning back to the deck to remain active throughout the game.

  • Elite Saboteurs (3 cards from Saboteur-2 out of the total of 7) could exist and have the ability to shield themselves with a Repair card (assuming there are no other Saboteurs to rescue) in order to remain active every round.

Include 9 + 1 (permanent miner) player.

This makes the game slightly easier, but also more fun because you’re always ensured the ability to at least play/discard a card from your hand every round, adding more player involvement in the game instead of waiting for your Blue/Green miners to appear.

It also provides a fail-safe in case ALL of your blue/green miners are “out-of-play”, though that is highly unlikely.

  • A permanent “Slot-0” Miner character (representing you/your hand) can be included among the 9 slots as the very first player, simulating a 10 player game.

  • When a Saboteur plays a drawn sabotage card on you (Jail/Break item on “Slot-0”), you can no longer play any path cards on your hand, but can still play action cards as per standard Saboteur rules. Once you have a status ailment (Jail/Broken item), the Saboteur AI considers other revealed Miners first (in ascending order from Slot-1 onwards..), but if he can’t find any suitable target to “disable”, he’ll stack the status ailment card on you.

Using dead ends and collapse cards for more interesting maze layout results.

  • Play with Saboteur 1 set of cards which includes the dead ends.

  • If a card with a dead-end is drawn at any given time after the player draws an “okay” card that wasn’t used against him, they have to be automatically placed to block the path that is closest to gold.

  • If a dead-end card manages to be placed down onto the map, the card is treated as a “non-okay” card that was used against him.

  • If a Collapse card is drawn at any given time after the player draws an “okay” card that wasn’t used against him, the Collapse function as per normal , destroying the last placed non-dead end card. The collapse is treated as a “non-okay” card used against the player.

  • However, if the player drew that Collapse card after drawing any “non-okay” card used against him, he is able to keep the Collapse card for his own use and the Collapse card is treated as “okay”.

With the following rules above, a player’s hand can often contain dead-end cards at times (which he can freely discard), and occasionally collapse cards which he can retain as “good” cards in case he needs to clear those dead ends. In other cases, he’d probably have a better chance detouring and finding other ways to reach any of those gold zones.

There can be no consecutive “bad” collapses or consecutive dead ends or dead ends/collapses occurring simultaneously with other bad cards being triggered, controlling the “difficulty” accordingly.

Spatial movement along tiles will result in further discarded “unknown” cards from deck.

  • Include a Dwarf counter on the map representing the actual miner.

  • Assume a certain grid per walking path square or per card rectangle.

  • Since a path-card must be played each time, the time it takes to deploy that card as a result of moving the Dwarf counter to that adjacent location (for building the path) is taken into account.

Some movement rules can involve:

Any excess moves will cost time.

  • Player has a total of 3 movement points. Each card space moved uses 1 movement point.

  • For every 3 card spaces moved from the current starting location of the current Dwarf counter, discard 1 card from Deck, without looking at it.

  • Using/discarding a card(if possible) costs 2 movement points.

  • You can only move 1 card space(+1) together with deploying/using/discarding a card (+2) without costing any extra discarded cards from deck. You did not exceed 3 movement points in such a case.

  • Anytime you exceed >3 points as a result of conducting any card action via usage or discarding (eg. move 2 card spaces (+2) and execute card action (+2) = 4) you need to discard 1 card from the Deck faced down as a penalty.

  • The starting location is recalibrated to the current Dwarf counter location anytime a card is being discarded/drawn from the Deck.

Intended result:

  • Realism. Tactical style game.

  • Weigh the time cost between dumping a path card further behind (making for a “safer” dig at the cost of discarding more cards from the Deck), versus dumping a path card closer to the gold.

  • Sometimes forced to have to back-track along the map in order to “dump” a card, and make the return trip back.

  • Much more challenging. Plan where the Dwarf counter should station to have the best balance between dumping cards if required and progressing onwards. Plan a walking sequence of multiple card placements.

Arcade game variation:

  • Include a real-time stopwatch timer that requires more “quick-thinking/quick-running” and quick card handling, and the actual real time taken to complete the game is factored into scoring as well.


At 1 movement point toll:
“We cannot move further unless you hand me over a (known) selected card to use/discard, or sacrifice 1 (unknown) card from the deck!”

  1. Give selected card from your hand to use/discard.
  2. Sacrifice 1 faced-down unknown card from deck

If option 1 is used, guards can move up 1 cards from current position, which is now the new position. This happens whenever something is built, used, or discarded form your hand.

If option 2 is used, guards will stay put but let you move 2 steps beyond current position until you “call them”, or move beyond the 2 steps to the next step area, in order to automatically call them to “fall-in” on the zone that you exited from.

  1. Call guards to move up in order to fall-in on your new position.
  2. Call guards to move up in order to build something new at your position.
    Or automatically call guards to fall-in closer when you exit out beyond the 2 extra steps.


  • You have a guard follower behind you.
  • Anytime you move up beyond >3 steps from your current position, the guard will fall in behind you at that position. This results in minus 1 unknown card sacrificed from deck with the new guard follower post position updated.
  • Anytime you build or discard a card at a position >1 step from guard follower post position, it will also result in minus 1 unknown card sacirificed from deck together with the card that you used/discarded from your deck.