FTW Staff Picks - Saboteur 2
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Designer: Fréderic Moyersoen
Player Size: 2 to 12 Players
Game Length: 45 minutes
For fans of: Avalon, Werewolf, Coup: Reformation
Saboteur 2 is the extension of popular big group card game, Saboteur. Contrary to what its name may imply, it's not a full-fledged sequel as you do require the original to play it. But for an expansion it adds a lot of major changes and allows for newer ways to experience Saboteur. Most notably, it allows for 2-player games and extends support to full 12 player matches. Playing Saboteur always felt like an experience that was almost perfect. With Sabotuer 2, all of that promise is fulfilled and realized.
In Saboteur 2, players dig to reach gold or to sabotage the other players from reaching it. Each player is assigned a role at random at the beginning of each round. New to Saboteur 2, there are expanded roles that form two separate teams of diggers. Along with teams, come new path cards that contain coloured doors - allowing access only to members of that coloured-team. There are also other roles that play unique with different conditions on how to score gold. The game still plays as the original did, going until either the gold is reached or there are no more cards to play. At the end of 3 rounds, players tally up their gold and the richest player is declared the winner!
Looking at the added roles, it's easy to see a correlation to the changes made from The Resistance to Avalon. It's always more fun when you feel like you're playing a distinct role as opposed to generic good guy/bad guy. The new Action cards provide some new opportunities to gain gold and block other players from gaining any for the round. It feels tightly balanced as there are now fixes to multiple problems that were in the original. Gold distribution is handled better, and there's ways for players to repair their gear easier. And with the increased deck-size, the game incentivizes burning cards quicker to maintain its pace. It's an all-around improvement to the Saboteur experience.
Saboteur 2 offers the simplest solution to a 2-player variant: it plays using the same rules for every player count from 2 to 12. There's no difference. All cards and roles are included. There's enough in the game to round out and balance as it progresses. The two players can even begin on the same team, and reach a conclusion that is different. Some expansions can feel optional or bloated. But after playing Saboteur 2 its difficult to imagine ever going back to just the basic version of the game.