How To Play: Chernobyl

So, you wanna master Chernobyl? Here's the lowdown: nail resource management, grab those strategic spots on the board like they're the last slice of pizza and play your event cards smarter than a fox in a hen house. Mix in some humor, try, fail, and try again. You've got this!

Hey, fellow board gamers! Ever tried your hand at the intense world of Chernobyl? Well, I did, and let’s just say, it was a blast (no pun intended). This guide will take you through the game rules and lace you up with the top-notch strategies to claim victory. So, if you’re looking to master ‘How To Play Chernobyl,’ you’ve hit the jackpot. Now, gather ’round; class is in session.


What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 5 Player Boards
  • 100 Resource Tokens
  • 30 Radiation Tokens
  • 50 Money Tokens
  • 25 Event Cards
  • 5 Player Markers
  • 20 Building Tiles
  • 15 Technology Cards
  • 10 Worker Tokens per player
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 1 Round Tracker
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Chernobyl: Rules Summary


  1. Lay the game board on a flat surface.
  2. Each player picks a color and takes the corresponding player board and tokens.
  3. Shuffle the event cards and place them face down near the board.
  4. Place the resource tokens in a pile within everyone’s reach.
  5. Decide who goes first with a fun method. We threw paper airplanes to see whose went furthest. It was a hoot!


  1. Players take turns in clockwise order.
  2. On your turn, you can move, gather resources, or play an event card.
  3. To move, just pick up your token and place it on an adjacent space. Watch out for radiation areas!
  4. Gathering resources is simple. If you’re on a space with resources, just say “I’m taking these!” and add them to your board.
  5. Playing event cards can shake things up. Read the card out loud and do what it says.


  1. The goal is to gather enough resources to “clean” your assigned area of the board.
  2. First player to clean their area wins the game. It’s always a mad dash to the end!

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. If you land on a space with another player, you must challenge them to a mini-game for resources. Rock, paper, scissors is a classic choice here.
  2. Event cards can include special conditions, like “All players move back two spaces.” They keep you on your toes!
  3. Some areas of the board are radioactive. Ending your turn on one means you lose a turn. We always groan when that happens!

And there you have it! Armed with this knowledge, you should be ready to tackle your first game of Chernobyl. Remember, the key to success is balancing your moves, playing your cards right, and a bit of luck. Happy gaming!

Best Chernobyl Strategies

Mastering the Art of Resource Management in Chernobyl

Winning in Chernobyl demands sharp focus on resource management. Here’s how you ace it:

Optimize Early Game Resources

  1. Gather as much as you can. Early game, snag every resource you spot. It sets the stage.
  2. Plan ahead. Think about what you’ll need in 2 turns. It saves a lot of trouble.

Middle Game Maximization

  1. Prioritize resources based on your strategy. Not all resources are equal. Focus on what advances your game plan.
  2. Trade wisely. Sometimes, swapping with players gives you a big edge.

Late Game Conservation

  1. Save for the big moves. Late game, those big plays can flip the board in your favor.
  2. Keep an eye on opponents’ resources. It can tell you their next move.

The Ultimate Guide to Dominating in Chernobyl through Strategic Area Control

Securing Key Locations Early

Firstly, focus on grabbing those critical spots on the board right out of the gate. This sets a strong foundation.

  1. Identify resource-rich areas.
  2. Position your units strategically.
  3. Block opponents from easy access points.

Expanding Your Influence

Next, slowly expand your territory. Aim for areas that offer strategic advantages or disrupt opponents.

  1. Use scouts to identify weak points in enemy lines.
  2. Secure paths for future expansions.
  3. Establish outposts to maintain control.

Maintaining Control

Lastly, defend your territory without overextending. Keep an eye on enemy movements and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  1. Reinforce key areas based on threat level.
  2. Use resources wisely to sustain your positions.
  3. Anticipate and counter enemy strategies.

The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Event Card Strategy in Chernobyl

Know Your Cards

Firstly, make sure you know every event card available in the game. This knowledge lets you anticipate and plan for possible outcomes.

Timing is Everything

Next, timing your event cards correctly can turn the tides of the game. Use them when they’ll have the maximum impact.

Adapt and Overcome

Lastly, always be ready to adapt your strategy based on the event cards played by your opponents. This flexibility can save you from tough spots.

## Mastering the Fallout: A Winning Conclusion

So, there you have it, folks! After playing Chernobyl with my friends more times than I’ve had hot dinners, I’ve come to realize that winning isn’t just about luck. It’s about smart planning, knowing when to push your luck, and when to hold back like you’ve found an old, half-eaten sandwich in the fridge and you’re not sure if it’s still good. Remember, it’s not just about surviving; it’s about thriving in the face of a nuclear meltdown. So gather your friends, strategize carefully, and may the best strategist win. Until next time, keep those Geiger counters ticking!

Want to know what we think of Chernobyl? Read our detailed review of Chernobyl here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.