How To Play: Claustrophobia – Setup, rule summary and strategy

This Claustrophobia guide covers everything from understanding hero abilities and effective resource management to mastering exploration strategies. It includes tips on map familiarity, securing crucial resources, and planning strategic escapes. By prioritizing resources and using actions wisely, you'll be well-prepared for game night success with friends.

Hey there, board game fans! So, you’ve decided to tackle the dark, creepy tunnels of Claustrophobia, huh? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re breaking down not just the nitty-gritty of the game rules but also laying out the top-strategy tips to help you beat those nasty demons. Ready to become the ultimate underground warrior? Let’s get started!


What’s in the box

  • 36 Tunnel tiles
  • 5 Hero miniatures
  • 6 Demon miniatures
  • 10 Troglodyte miniatures
  • 2 Dice sets (red and black)
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 25 Room cards
  • 10 Event cards
  • 5 Character sheets
  • 20 Wound markers
  • 15 Action tokens
  • 10 Object cards
  • 5 Special Ability cards
  • 1 Destiny die
  • 1 Compass rose

How To Play Claustrophobia: Rules Summary

Let’s break down the basics of Claustrophobia, so you can jump into the action with your friends. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the game, these simple steps will have you navigating the dark, monster-infested tunnels in no time. Trust me, if my game nights are anything to go by, you’re in for a treat (and maybe a scare)!


  1. Unpack all the game components. This includes miniatures, dice, cards, and the board pieces.
  2. Choose sides: one player controls the human explorers, while the other takes on the demons lurking in the depths.
  3. Assemble the game board based on the scenario you’ve chosen to play. Each scenario provides a unique layout and objectives.
  4. Place your miniatures on the starting positions as indicated in the scenario’s setup.
  5. Draw your starting hand of cards, and you’re ready to begin.


  1. Players take turns, starting with the human side. Each turn consists of several phases: movement, combat, and action.
  2. Move your heroes and monsters according to their abilities. Use the dice to resolve combat, relying on your strategy and a bit of luck.
  3. Play cards to gain advantages or disrupt your opponent’s plans. Timing is crucial.
  4. Keep an eye on the scenario objectives – they’re your main path to victory.


  1. The game ends when one side fulfills the scenario’s victory conditions. This could involve escaping, rescuing prisoners, or eliminating the opposition.
  2. Victory is not just about brute force; it’s about smart, strategic play and making the most of the cards you’re dealt.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Some scenarios introduce special rules that can change the flow of the game. Always read these carefully before starting.
  2. Event cards can throw unexpected challenges at both players, forcing quick adaptation.
  3. Heroes and demons have unique abilities. Learning and leveraging these can turn the tide of battle.

And that’s it! Keep these rules in mind, and you’ll navigate the corridors of Claustrophobia like a pro. Remember, each game is different, and part of the fun is discovering new strategies and surprises. So, grab your dice, gather your friends, and start your adventure. May the cleverest side win!

Best Claustrophobia Strategies

The Secret to Victory: Mastering Your Heroes

Winning at Claustrophobia hinges on understanding hero abilities. Here’s how:

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. Review each hero’s card closely. Spot their strengths for attack or defense.
  2. Identify weaknesses, like low movement. Plan to counter them.

Strategic Positioning

  1. Place heroes with high defense in front. They’ll soak up damage.
  2. Keep your quick movers in reach of key objectives.

Leverage Special Abilities

  1. Use abilities at the right time. Like healing when health is low.
  2. Combine hero abilities for powerful combos. Attack together!

The Secret Sauce to Victory: Mastering Resource Management

In any board game, especially in tight strategy games like Claustrophobia, managing your resources well is the key to unlocking victory. Remember, every choice counts.

1. Prioritize Your Resources

  1. Identify which resources are crucial for your immediate goals and prioritize them above others.

2. Efficient Use of Actions

  1. Actions are a resource too. Think ahead and use them wisely to gain a strategic advantage.

3. Save for the Future

  1. It’s tempting to use up resources for a short-term win, but saving some for critical moments can turn the game in your favor.

The Thrilling Path to Victory: Exploration Mastery

Know Your Map

First off, get cozy with the map. Every game, study it like it’s telling you secrets. Because, guess what? It is! The layout shapes your strategy.

Scout Smart

  1. Send out scouts wisely. Don’t just wander aimlessly. Think ahead, plan your paths.
  2. Use your fastest or sneakiest character for scouting. Quick in, quick out, that’s the motto here.

Resource Points

Then, there’s grabbing resource points. They’re like the golden tickets of the board game. Snatch them up quick, but don’t overextend. Your enemies are waiting for that mistake.

Escape Routes

Finally, always have an escape route. Things can go south real fast in this game. Always plan a way out for your team.

Seal the Gates, Heroes!

Well, folks, we’ve gone through the ins, outs, and underground of winning at Claustrophobia. Hopefully, you’ve had a laugh, picked up some tips, and are ready to face those pesky demons with a bit more confidence. Remember, each game is a new adventure. So, grab your dice, rally your friends, and let’s keep those demonic forces at bay. Until next game night, keep those strategies tight and your spirits high!

Want to know what we think of Claustrophobia? Read our detailed review of Claustrophobia 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.