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Sabotage is a stealth tactics game for two teams of two players each that plays in 45 to 60 minutes. One team, the Spies, is trying to infiltrate the volcano fortress of the other team, the Villains, and deactivate their Doomsday Machines, which will soon destroy the world.

The Villains, armed to the teeth with deadly weapons and gadgets, seek out the Spies and wish to neutralize them. The Spies, however, have plenty of gadgets and tricks of their own.

The two teams are separated by a screen, and each team has its own map of the volcano fortress. Both teams move in secret on their own map board. The Villains must rely on deduction and prediction to stop the Spies. The Spies, however, can do little to the Villains, and must rely on stealth and deception to outwit them.


  • 1 Screen
  • 2 Map boards
  • 4 Player boards (2 Villain, 2 Spy)
  • 24 Starting action tiles (4 sets of 6 each)
  • 40 Advanced action tiles (8 sets of 5 each)
  • 8 Character overview cards
  • 8 Character miniatures
  • 6 Doomsday Machine miniatures
  • 4 Generator miniatures
  • 20 Device tokens (8 Villain, 12 Spy)
  • 26 Enemy markers
  • 16 Dice
  • 12 Doomsday cubes
  • 8 Generator cubes
  • 4 Slide cubes
  • 15 Modify cubes
  • 34 Unlock markers
  • 10 Walls
  • Rulebook


  1. As a group, choose 2 players to play the Spies and 2 to play the Villains. Seat the teams on opposite sides of the table.

  2. Each player takes 4 dice, a player board of their team, and the following 6 starting action tiles:

    • Spy: Move & Scan (*3), Earpiece, Hack, Parachute
    • Villain: Move (*3), Generator, Motion Detector, Stun Gun
  3. Secretly, each Spy chooses a Spy character, a nd each Villain chooses a Villain character. Once everyone has chosen, everyone reveals their characters and takes their matching character miniatures.

    To help you choose, you can look through their advanced action tiles, and you can reveal a tile to show which character you chose.

  4. Each player places their character's 5 advanced action tiles above their player board, with the one Tier 1 tile on the left, the two Tier 2 tiles in the middle, and the two Tier 3 tiles on the right.

  5. The Villains collect 24 enemy markers (12 light blue, 12 dark blue), and the Spies collect 2 enemy markers (1 of each).

  6. Each Villain places 6 unlock markers on the 6 Unlocks spaces on 1 their player board. The Spies collect 22 unlock markers.

  7. Each team collects the following pieces on their side:

    • 2 Character overview cards matching the enemy characters
    • 2 Modify cubes
    • 4 Generator cubes
    • A matching set of 10 device tokens (TNT, Trip Laser *2, Honey Pot, Hologram x2, Reflector x2, Virus, Beacon)
  8. Each team takes a map board (either side-doesn't matter) and places 5 walls, 3 Doomsday Machine miniatures, and 2 Generator miniatures on it, as shown in the setup diagram to the right.

  9. The Spies add 4 doomsday cubes to each Doomsday Machine miniature on their map.

  10. Place the screen to block sight between the teams.

  11. Place 4 modify cubes and 4 slide cubes to fill the Hit track, and place 7 modify cubes to fill the Hack track, both on top of the screen, as shown in the setup diagram to the right.

  12. Each Villain places their character miniature on any room without a Generator. (The Villains may start in the same or different rooms. The Spies start with their miniatures off the map).

Intro Game

If you're new to Sabotage and want an easier, shorter game, you can play the Intro Game. To play it, change these setup steps:

  • Step 4: Return all the advanced action tiles to the box.
  • Step 7: The Villains return all their unlock markers to the box.
  • Step 11: Place 3 modify cubes and 3 slide cubes on the Hit track, and place 4 modify cubes on the Hack track, both on top of the screen, as shown in the diagram below.

The Spies now win at 5 hacks, and the Villains now win at 4 hits. The Spies now only use unlock markers to increase Swagger. The Villains do not use unlock markers.

Variable Map Setup

The teams can set up the map in new ways by following these rules.

Collect 5 walls, 3 Doomsday Machines, and 2 Generators. Starting with a random team, each team takes a turn placing a wall, Doomsday Machine, or Generator on the map until all of these pieces have been placed.

Doomsdays Machines and Generators cannot be in the same room, and they cannot be in adjacent rooms (sharing edge) unless a wall separates them. Walls cannot be placed to surround a room (including map edges).

Game Play

The game is played over a series of rounds, and each round is divided into four phases:

  1. Roll Dice
  2. Plan Actions (n II. Execute Actions
  3. Clean Up

Phase I: Roll Dice

One Villain rolls their 4 dice and declares which numbers they rolled. Each other player rotates their dice to match the rolled dice.

Throughout these rules, we often use the term declare. This means you must announce something so that every player hears you.

Phase II: Plan Actions

Simultaneously, the players place action tiles and the proper dice on their player board, planning the actions they will execute in the next phase.

Everyone plays this phase simultaneously. (Uses of "you" in this phase refer to any one player).

You can play action tiles from your hand onto the action spaces on your player board from left to right. This is called planning an action.

To plan an action, you'll often need to place one or more dice on the tile, as shown in its bottom-right corner:

  • X: Place one die showing exactly the number X.
  • X-Y: Place one die showing a number in the range of Xto Y.
  • sum X: Place any number of dice whose sum is exactly the number X.
  • pair: Place two dice that showtme same number.
  • no die: Place no dice.


  • Each die can only be placed on one tile per round.

  • At the start of the game, each player can only place up to 2 dice on actions per round. (If you wish, you can place the 2 dice you don't wish to place on the "+ die" spaces on your player boards). Spies can place more dice by increasing their Swagger, and Villains can place more dice by activating Generators.

  • You can only plan an action that you could execute. (For example, you could not plan a move that moved you into a wall).

Phase III: Execute Actions

One by one, the players perform the actions they planned.

First, the Villains choose one Villain to go. The chosen Villain executes all of their planned actions, one by one, from left to right.

A planned action must be executed if possible, even if undesired.

After the first Villain has gone, the other Villain goes. Once both Villains have gone, the Spies choose one Spy to go, and then the other Spy goes.

Phase IV: Clean Up

Each player returns all of their executed action tiles to their hand, their placed dice to their player board, and any unlock markers not yet placed to their team's supply.

Then, start the next round!

Executing Actions

To execute an action, you do the following:

  1. Declare it, if needed.
  2. Target it, if needed.
  3. Resolve it.

Declare Action

Whenever you execute an action, declare what is on its speech bubble.

Do Does Not Declare This Action.

(Do not give any information about the tile to the other team).

Declare The Name Of This Action.

(If they wish, the other team can request to look at the tile).

Declare exactly what is written in the quotes.

(Do not give any other information about the tile).

The Acrobat first executes Move & Scan. He will move to the right, as planned, but only needs to declare "scan", as written on the tile. Once he's done with Move & Scan, he executes Virus, which shows that he does not declare it, so he says nothing.

You must declare exactly, truthfully what's in the speech bubble. You can't lie about it or say something different for tactical advantage. For example, you cannot declare that you're using Thermo and then say, "Whoops, I mean I'm scanning". Unless it's a honest mistake, of course.

Teammates can talk and even whisper to each other in any way they like. You don't need to tell the other team anything you're doing unless prompted by the rules. Of course, if whispering constantly doesn't feel fun, you can decide as a group to only talk at normal volume.

Target Action

Your action specifies whether it targets your room, another room, or multiple rooms. If it targets multiple rooms, the tile will show the pattern of rooms it targets. You can rotate this pattern in steps of ninety degrees.

The square with a star shows the room of your character, and the other colored squares show the rooms affected by your action. If the square with the star is colored, the action also affects your character's room.

Chantico is executing the Flashlight, which she can point in any direction to reveal the next three rooms in a straight line.

If you declared your action, declare all of the rooms you are targeting. The effects of actions cannot cross walls unless explicitly noted.

Resolve Action

Many actions fall into a few general types:

  • Villains and Spies both have move, build, and passive actions.
  • Spies also have hack and scan actions.
  • Villains also have reveal and attack actions.

We will describe these action types first, then describe the other actions you start the game with.

  • Move

    To plan a move, place the die showing the direction you will move in. (You can only place 1 die on it, so you cannot move diagonally).

    To execute a move, move your character miniature to the adjacent room (sharingan edge) in the planned direction.

    You cannot move through walls unless explicitly noted, and you cannot move into the board edge.

    A room can hold unlimited pieces.

  • Build

    Build actions are always marked with Build under the action name.

    To execute a build, take the matching device token and place it in your room. If that device token is already on the map, you can pick it up and place it again.

    • If the tile says Build Anywhere, you can place the token in any room, ignoring walls.
    • If the tile says Build Adjacent, you can place the token in your room or any of the four adjacent rooms (not crossing walls).

    The effect of this token is given on the tile.

  • Passive

    Passive actions are always marked with Passive under the action name.

    Once you unlock an action tile with the Passive keyword, place the tile by the side of your player board. This action does not fill an action space and always gives its effect to you, even outside of your turn.

  • Scan (Spies)

    To execute a scan, do the following:

    1. Declare your current row, column, or quadrant as the scanned area. (The Thermo action allows you to scan any row, column, or quadrant).

    2. The Villains declare the name and room of each Villain, and the number of cubes on each Generator, in the scanned area. This effect is not blocked by walls.

    3. If this scan found a Villain, both Spies gain 1 unlock marker from their supply, unless that Villain was already scanned this round. (Each Spy must add the unlock to their Swagger track or advanced action tier).

    Strategy Tips

    You can scan the same area more than once-it will not give you more unlock markers, but it will help to hide how you're moving.

    You can track enemy characters and devices with the enemy and device markers.

  • Hack (Spies)

    To execute a hack, do the following:

    1. Declare the rooms hacked. (For your Hack tile, you hack your room).

    2. The Villains declare the room and name of each Villain device token in the hacked rooms. Return these to the Villains. (Removed devices can be placed again later).

    3. The Villains return 1 cube from each Generator in the hacked rooms back to their supply. (The Generator is now inactive. It becomes active again when it has 2 generator cubes).

    4. Take 1 cube from each Doomsday Machine in the hacked rooms and give it to the Villains. (They place the cube on the matching Doomsday Machine on their map as a reminder).

    5. For each Doomsday Machine hacked, take 1 modify cube from the Hack track and give it to the Villains. If the Hack track has no cubes to remove, the Spies win the game.

  • Attack (Villains)

    Attack actions are always marked with Attack under the action name.

    To execute an attack, do the following:

    1. Declare the rooms attacked.

    2. If the attack destroyed any walls, the Villains declare them. Remove these walls from both maps. Such attacks only destroy walls between attacked rooms.

    3. The Spies declare the room and name of each Spy and Spy device token in the attacked rooms. Return these to the Spies. (A removed Spy cannot execute any planned actions this round, and they must plan Parachute as their first action on their next turn).

    4. For each Spy hit, take 1 modify cube and 1 slide cube from the Hit track and give them to the Spies (see Modify and Slide, page 6). If the Hit track has no cubes to remove, the Villains win the game.

  • Reveal (Villains)

    To execute a reveal, declare the rooms revealed. The Spies declare the name and room of each Spy and each Spy device token in the revealed area. Then, each Spy loses Swagger down to the next red line (see Swagger later on this page).

Other Starting Actions

This section describes the other actions that the players start with. Though you will gain more actions throughout play, they all build on the action types introduced in this chapter.

  • Motion Detector (Villains)

    To execute Motion Detector, choose and declare any row, column, or quadrant. The Spies declare the number of Spies in that area. (The Spies do not declare their rooms or their names).

  • Earpiece (Spies)

    Move your teammate once. (Do not declare the direction they moved).

  • Generator (Villains)

    To execute Generator, place 1 generator cube on a Generator in your room. Each Generator can hold up to 2 cubes.

    A Generator with 2 cubes is active. (For each active Generator, each Villain may place 1 more die during the Plan Actions phase).

  • Parachute (Spies)

    To plan Parachute, place your character miniature, lying down, on the room you will enter. While lying down, your character cannot be affected by the Villains' actions. If you are planning Parachute, you cannot also plan actions that let you hack this turn.

    • If your Spy is not on the map (during the first round or the round after being hit by an attack), you must prepare Parachute first.
    • If your Spy is on the map, you cannot plan Parachute.

    Planning Parachute requires no dice.

    To execute Parachute, stand up your meeple and declare either half of the map your Spy landed in (top, bottom, left or right).

Unlocking Actions

You can unlock advanced action tiles by filling your action tiers at the top of your player board.

When you fill an action tier with unlock markers, choose one action tile of that tier, take the tile into your hand, and remove the other tile from the game. (As a Villain, you can plan the chosen tile immediately). You must unlock tier 1 before tier 2 before tier 3.

Villains, you can place dice to unlock actions instead of planning actions. Place a die that matches a space on your player board that has an unlock marker on it, take the unlock marker there, and place it on the leftmost empty space of your action unlocks.

Spies, you unlock action tiles in the same way by placing unlock markers you gain from scanning Villains.

Hit and Hack Tracks

The Hit and Hack tracks on the screen show how close the teams are to winning. At the start of play, they are filled with modify and slide cubes.

Whenever a Spy is hit by an attack, the Spies take 1 modify cube and

1 slide cube from the Hit track. If the Hit track has no cubes to remove, the Villains win the game.

Whenever a Doomsday Machine is hacked, the Villains take 1 modify cube from the Hack track. If the Hack track has no cubes to remove, the Spies win the game.


A team collects modify cubes as the other team gets closer to winning. Each team starts with 2 modify cubes.

During the Plan Actions phase, you may place a modify cube on a die to increase or decrease its value by one, without declaring it. A "1" can be changed to a "6" and vice versa. You can modify a die multiple times by placing multiple modify cubes.

Slide (Spies Only)

The Spies collect slide cubes as the Villains get closer to winning.

During the Execute Actions phase, before or after executing an action, a Spy may spend a slide cube on your player board to move once, without declaring it. A Spy can move multiple times by spending multiple slide cubes.

Swagger (Spies Only)

Filling your Swagger track lets you place more dice each turn during the Plan Actions phase, as follows:

  • Second space filled: You can place 3 dice.
  • Fifth space filled: You can place 4 dice.

However, each time your Spy is revealed, remove unlock markers from your Swagger track down to the nearest red line to the left. Each Spy can only lose Swagger once per round.

Action Clarifications

Acrobat's Virus: You can build the Virus on the same turn as you use an action that says you cannot hack again the same turn.

Hacker's Flashbang: If you hit both Villains, you only gain 3 unlocks, not 6.

Hawk's Smoke Bomb: Spies moving into affected rooms do not declare "scan".

Nadesh's Camouflage: The Spies still gain unlocks for scans that find Nadesh. Ophidian's Trip Laser: If you have multiple Trip Lasers on the map, ask about each room with a Trip Laser in any order you choose.

Ophidian's Freeze Ray: Spies do not declare if they are affected by Freeze Ray. Spies in a room affected by Freeze Ray or enter such a room cannot choose to move out of their room. However, Villain actions can still move frozen Spies.

Strategy Tips

As a Villain, you will be guessing and missing a lot. It's about deduction-listen to every scan made by each player.

As a Spy, try to keep your scans ambiguous. If you hack, get out of there. Use your Earpiece to move each other silently.

Villains with Tier 3 actions and both Generators running are powerful. Spies, keep those Generators disabled!

End of the Game

The Villains win once they have hit the Spies with attacks 5 times. The Spies win once they have hacked Doomsday Machines 8 times.

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