The award winning fantasy, dexterity board game

Have you ever been in the middle of playing some overly-complicated tactical dungeoncrawl boardgame and just felt like giving that boss monster a quick flick of the finger across the room? Well, Catacombs does away with the dice and the ‘roll to hit’ and gives you a bunch of wooden counters to flick merrily at each other.

It doesn’t completely jettison all the fiddliness of a dungeoncrawler though. There are player sheets, and spells, and special abilities and shot modifiers. But really it all comes down to the simple pleasure of flicking your hero piece into the skeleton and seeing it caroom off into infinity – well, against the handy cardboard wall that surrounds the dungeon room board, anyway. And the fun is helped along but a lovely bright and cartoony aesthetic from illustrator and designer Kwanchai Moriya.

The somewhat messy rules in my copy don’t help with mastering the extras, but there’s been numerous rules changes since then, and this rules summary and reference should be up to date and ready to help you on your way to monster-flicking mastery.

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Aug 2021 3.1 A few clean ups and minor typos fixed
Aug 2021 3 Updated to include the latest changes in v4.2 of the rules
Nov 2017 2.1 Changed stunned rules for new edition
Jul 2016 2 Added new rules and clarifications from v2 of the rules
May 2016 1.2 Fixes to main summary, added missing icons
Apr 2016 1.1 Added rule that Catacomb Lords aren’t affected by ice shots
Apr 2016 1 Original release


  • Damon Asher says:

    Excellent as always. Is this in sync with the new version of the rulebook?

    • I’m waiting on a list of changes from the author.

      • Thazdingo says:

        Hi Universal Head, thanks for your awesome reference sheets and all of the work and love you put into this, & sharing it for others. Elzra posted the following in their forums at

        “Here are the main changes to the base Catacombs Third Edition rules:
        – four pages added, two of the pages for the shot reference and sticker application instructions, two of the pages for spacing all the content optimally
        – significantly enhanced two column text layout
        – poison clearly identified as an advanced feature for experienced players
        – updated list of advanced cards including all related to poison
        – catacomb lords introduced earlier in the text
        – the first play scenario is now “static” to help users understand how everything works
        – each hero may start the game with five gold coins each (for inexperienced players)
        – new optional monster vulnerability rules
        – combo items can now be used when returning from a teleport (after that single melee shot)
        – the cost of curing poison at the healer was decreased from 4 to 2 coins
        – damage values for each shot are now summarized separately throughout the text for easy reference
        – the major omission that Catacomb Lords cannot be frozen was corrected
        – the major omission related to defensive properties on ability cards was corrected (this affected the use of the Paladin’s Imperial Armour in the Cavern of Soloth expansion)
        – numerous corrections and clarifications to the existing rules

        The Cavern of Soloth rules receive additional pages and a new layout.”

        Not sure if they plan on posting that on their main homepage as well, or if they will just leave it like that in the forums, so I thought I might just copy it.

        Thanks & best greetings,

  • magkve says:

    Got this to the table for the first time in quite some time, and I noted that you haven’t updated to the stun rules in the new rulebook. They greatly simplified/streamlined stun to just give you a debuff which until you are poked by an ally restricts available actions to just a single Rush shot.

    Stun Shot Modifier (blue):
    Shots with the stun modifier leave the affected hero temporarily able to only perform a single rush shot. Place the Stunned! card over the affected hero’s Rules card. On their turn, a player may only perform a single rush shot with a stunned hero until that hero is hit directly by any melee or rush shot from one of their teammates (including another stunned hero). Remove the Stunned! card when this happens.
    When the Battle Phase for a room ends, all stunned heroes return to normal and players remove all Stunned! cards.
    If a hero is stunned and has a familiar in play (see page 18), the player controlling the hero can still perform the familiar’s action. However, in the case of the Raven Familiar, no spells can be cast from its location while its owner is stunned.
    If only a single hero is able to perform their normal action(s) during the Battle Phase (the others may be dead, devoured or teleported), the effects of the stun modifier (and the bite shot, see page 22) on that hero are ignored.

  • Stephen Anstey says:

    Would be great if this could be updated with the expansions; the rules PDFs are now online. The game also desperately needs a list of how many of each monster there are so you can decide on which you want to place when picking as the dungeon lord. Can’t understand why that wasn’t included on the face of the cards.

    • Hi Stephen. I don’t have any immediate plans to update this with the expansions – I just don’t have time to keep track of every expansion for every game out there that I’ve covered. However, Steward and above level supporters on my Patreon page get a vote when it comes to deciding what I work on in the future. Cheers!

  • Damon R Asher says:

    I think there has been an update to the Summon Shot rules. The summoned piece performs a melee shot, and then its entire shot sequence. Makes summoning more powerful.

    • If you can point me to official confirmation I’ll update the summary.

      • Damon Asher says:

        Slowest reply ever, but here it is! From the latest Reference Manual, page 29, and also the shot reference:

        The indicated character is placed within 2.5cm (1”) of the performing
        character. The summoned character immediately performs a melee shot,
        then their full shot sequence. During following turns, the summoned
        character’s shot sequence is performed as normal

        Happy New Year, UH!!

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