Each Car aboard this fabulous train has its own distinctive atmosphere and lends itself to a unique, specific action that the characters that stop in this Car between two cities can perform.
The only exception is the Club Car, which offers 2 different Actions once the Passengers waiting in Strasbourg and Wien have climbed aboard.
Each action takes a certain number of hours to complete, so the characters have to choose wisely which Car(s) to visit dur- ing each leg of their journey to Istanbul.
They cannot stop in a Car unless they have enough time left on their turn to accomplish the corresponding action. And they may never accomplish the same action twice during one turn.
A player who chooses to have his character stop in a given Car must also always ensure that he has enough Crime cards left in hand to legitimately initiate and complete the corresponding Action.
Here is the composition of the train:
There are 2 different possible actions in the Club car. If you have enough time (at least 4 hours) you may choose to pursue both courses of action, once each, either during the same stop or by stopping twice in this car during this turn.
Get a grip, young man!
Duration: 1 hour.
This action allows you to force one other player (or yourself, if you prefer) to immediately take back in hand, from his (or your) discard pile, all the cards of 1 Crime category of your choice.
Madam, please let me help you!
After helping this new passenger climb aboard, you strike up an interesting conversation...
Duration: 3 hours
This action may only be selected once new passengers have climbed aboard in Strasbourg or Wien. Pick a Crime card with the back color of your choice, from among those in the corresponding Passengers' stack on the board map.
If both sets of passengers are aboard, you may pick 1 card from either of the 2 stacks, but not both. The card you picked and looked at must then be placed face down on top of your own discard pile.
For many, nothing beats trading gossip over a good meal...
This action takes a number of hours equal to the number of players' characters you decide to share your meal with. If you invite 2 players to your lunch, this action will thus take 2 hours.
Ask the players of your choice (up to 4 in a 5 player game) to each show you one Crime card from their hand. For each player, specify the Crime category you want him to show you a card from.
This category must be different for each player you designate, and you cannot designate the same player twice in a row to try and see 2 different cards from his hand. Once you have looked at these cards, they go atop their respective owners' discard pile.
A snifter of brandy or a glass of fine claret may loosen a few tongues.
Duration: 2 hours.
Every player (except you) must simultaneously reveal 1 card of the Crime category of your choice to all players. This category is the same for all the players.
If a player has no card of that category, he reveals nothing (but still gets the benefit of seeing the other revelations). The revealed cards go atop their respective owners' discard pile.
You begin chatting with fellow passengers in the hope of getting to know them a bit more.
Duration: 1 hour.
Name a Crime category (Modus Operandi, Suspect, Motive or Location) and designate the player seated to your immediate left or right. That player chooses a card of the named Crime category from his hand, and passes it on to you.
Once you have looked at that card, place it face down on top of your discard pile. Then choose another card of the same Crime category from your hand and pass it onto the player seated on the other side of you.
That player now repeats the same process (i.e. looks at your card, places it face down atop her discard, and passes another card of the same category from her hand to the player seated on her other side, etc..). until all players have passed one card.
Note: If a player (including yourself) has no cards of the chosen Crime category in hand to pass on, he MUST pass the card he just received (after having looked at it), instead of placing it atop his own discard pile.
You enter into one of your fellow passengers' sleeping compartment, looking for important clues.
Duration: 1 or 2 hours.
This dangerous action carries a risk, in that it may fail to yield any new clue. Designate a player of your choice. This player takes the Miniature travel bag in hand and hides it in one of his two closed fists. You must now try to find which hand the bag is in.
If you guess correctly, you spend 2 hours rummaging through his affairs and gain one card of the Crime category of your choice, picked at random from among those available in his hand. Once you have looked at this card, place it face down on top of your discard pile.
If you fail to pick the hand that contains the bag however, you have lost 1 hour and must return empty-handed to your seat (or another Car of your choice, if you still have enough time left for another action)!
When the smoke clears all the pieces start to fall into place...
Duration: 3 hours
Ask any 2 other players to give you a Crime element card of your choice (the category must be the same for both players) from their hand.
Look at these cards, then place them face down atop your own discard pile. In return, give 1 card of your choice from your hand, back to each of these 2 players. After looking at it, they place the card they received atop their own discard pile.
Note: You must have at least 2 cards in hand to select this action. Otherwise, you must choose a different action.
Chatting with the Conductor
Duration: Free action
In addition to the above actions, the players must chat with the Conductor any time they visit the Car he happens to be checking on.
The Conductor moves throughout the train during the course of the game, as determined by the Conductor tokens revealed each time the Mystery Express reaches a new city.
There is one Conductor token associated with each Car and only 5 tokens that will be revealed during each game (from Paris to Budapest; once the Mystery Express enters into Istanbul, the Conductor gets off the train, regardless of the token present in Istanbul). This means that the Conductor will visit 5 different Cars throughout out the course of the game.
Chatting with the Conductor is a free bonus action that takes no time. However, the chat must occur after you take the action in this Car. If you don't have enough time left to perform the Car's action, you won't get to chat with the Conductor.
Select one of the 3 cards visible on the Conductor's spots. Look at it, and then place it atop your discard pile. Next, take a card from your hand and place it face down on the empty Conductor's spot. This card must come directly from your hand, not from your discards.
Note that even though you may stop in the Club car twice during a turn (once to perform each of the Club car's two possible actions, once the Mystery Express has passed Strasbourg), you will only be able to chat with the Conductor after your first Club car action, not after both.