Astronauts wanted! Scientists say there is a mysterious ninth planet located at the edge of our solar system. But despite all of their efforts, so far they have been unable to provide substantial evidence of its existence.
Join this exciting space adventure to find out if the theories are just science fiction or if you will discover Planet Nine.
In this cooperative trick-taking game you need to complete 50 different missions. But you will only succeed if you can work together as a team. To master the challenges and achieve your mission, communication will be essential - but in space, things can be more difficult than you expect ...
- 36 Color cards
- 4 Rocket cards
- 5 Large reminder cards
- 36 Small cards
- 10 task tokens
- 5 radio communication tokens
- 1 distress signal token
- 1 commander token
Object of the Game
The Crew is a cooperative, mission-based trick-taking game. You win together, or you lose together - only if each of you is successful, and you help each other, will you be able to complete the missions and win the game.
Your journey spans 50 different missions, each with a unique win condition, which you play through consecutively as a cohesive story. But you can also play the missions out of order if that is your preference. The missions can be found in the logbook at the end of this rulebook.
You will probably not be able to play through this adventure all at once. Therefore, it is best to get together on several different occasions to play through all of the missions.
The first few missions rarely take more than five minutes to complete. However, later on, you will need more time for each individual mission, as they get progressively harder.
All of the cards are distributed to "The Crew" (the players), and then, in turn order each player plays one of his or her own cards face up in the middle of the table. This playing of one card by each is called the "trick".
The player who places the card with the highest value wins the trick, but only if that player has followed suit.
There are five card suits: pink, blue, green, yellow, and rocket cards. Following suit means that each player must "follow" the suit choice of the first player; i.e., you have to play a card of the same type. Only if you do not have a card of this suit may you play a card of a different suit.
However, the trick can only be won with cards that have followed suit. The card with the highest numeric value in the designated suit wins the trick. A trick that has been won is set aside face down. You may only take a look at the cards from the trick won most recently.
During a trick, there is no mandate to play a specific card. If you have multiple cards that you can play, you may play a low card, even though you would have been able to win the trick with a higher card. In other words, you are not forced to win the trick.
The rocket cards are trump cards. This means that they always win the trick, no matter which other cards are in play.
During a color-suited trick, a rocket may only be played if a card in the color suit cannot be played. If a rocket card is played first, this will establish the suit and must be followed if possible. If several rockets are in contention, the one with the highest value wins.
The following examples show which card type (or suit) has to be played - i.e., which card was first played in the trick:
The green 3 establishes the suit. 5 is higher and thus wins the trick.
Because even though 9 had the highest value it did not follow suit
The yellow 8 and 6 were played following the suit established by the first card played, the yellow 2.
8 is higher and thus wins the trick. and thus cannot win.
In The Crew, it's always about the right players winning the right tricks. You're really going to need to coordinate to accomplish the mission.
An important rule in this game is that you cannot talk about the cards in your hand. You are not allowed to show, say or suggest to other crew members which cards you have.
But there is a possibility of communication in the form of radio communication tokens. Each of you has one radio communication token, which can be used exactly once per mission.
It may be used at any time before a trick, but never during it. If you fail in a mission attempt, you may, of course, use it again during the next attempt.
If there are task cards in the game, you must first divide them among you, before you can communicate.
The blue 3 was played. 7 is higher and would win the trick.
However the card is a rocket card, and rocket cards are trump cards, so it wins the trick.
The first card played was the 3 of rockets. As such 2 and 4 both played rockets as well.
The highest rocket in the trick is the 4; therefore it wins the trick.
If you want to communicate, take one of your color cards and put it face up in front of you so everyone can see it. This card remains part of your set of cards, so it can be played in the normal way.
The only difference is that every other crew member now knows you have this card as well. Then place your radio communication token with the green side up on the card to give your crew members even more information:
- At the top, if it is your highest card of this color.
- In the middle, if it is your only card of this color.
- At the bottom, if it is your lowest card of this color.
One of these conditions must apply; Otherwise, you are not allowed to choose that card to communicate with. Rocket cards may never be communicated!
6 cannot be communicated, as it is neither the highest nor the lowest, nor is it the only yellow card in the hand.
The rocket may never be communicated. All of the other cards can be communicated.
The placement of the radio communication tokens may not be changed if the statement is no longer correct. For example, a communicated "highest" card may become the "only" card during the game. Nevertheless, the radio communication token may not be moved.
After placing a card and radio communication token, take one of the reminder cards into your hand. Its purpose is to remind you that your communicated card is still on the table. If you play it, you can put down the reminder card again.
When you do this, flip the radio communication token to the red side to indicate that you have already communicated in this mission.
Reminder cards look different from all other cards on both sides of the card, so your crew members can see that you have a reminder card in your hand.
Carry out the following steps before each mission:
Shuffle the 40 large playing cards and distribute them face down and equally to all crew members.
If there are three of you playing, one person will get one more card than the rest. After the last trick, the card that is left remains unplayed.
Each person puts a radio communication token with the green side up in front of himself or herself. Put a reminder card for everyone at the ready.
Place the distress signal token face down.
Shuffle the 36 small task cards and put them down as a concealed pile. Keep the task tokens handy.
In most missions you will have to fulfill a certain number of tasks. These tasks are indicated with task cards, which are smaller versions of the color cards.
Unless a mission dictates otherwise, crew members divide mission tasks among themselves. You can discern how many tasks there are by means of this symbol:
Take the specified number of task cards from the task card deck and place them face up in the center of the table. All other task cards are not required for carrying out the current mission. Now look at the cards in your hands. Whoever has the four rocket announces this and is the commander for the current mission. This crew member receives the commander token as a reminder.
Your commander will always be the first to choose a task card from the center of the table and place it face up in front of himself or herself. Then everyone else will take a task card.
Each crew member selects a task card one at a time until all the tasks have been distributed. Each player could get several tasks and not all players will necessarily have the same number of tasks.
In the first missions there are only a few tasks. Not everyone will have a task and the tasks are often played out quickly.
Tom has the rocket. This means he is the commander for this mission and will be the first to choose one of the task cards. He chooses the pink 1 , since he has the pink 9 in his hand and the pink 1 should be easy to win.
Julia and Daniel each choose a blue task. Caro only has the choice between green and yellow and decides ito play green.
Since there is still a task in the middle, Tom has to take it. Even though the remaining task card is yellow and Tom does not have any yellow cards in his hand, he still has to take the task card..
A task is fulfilled when a crew member wins a trick containing the playing card matching one of his or her task cards. He or she then turns the corresponding task card over, face down in front of himself or herself.
A crew member can also fulfill several tasks with the same trick. As soon as each one of you has completed your own tasks, you have completed the mission successfully and can start the next mission immediately. Upon the successful completion of a mission you should enter in the logbook how many attempts you needed to complete that mission.
If a player wins even a single playing card for which another player has the corresponding task card, you lose immediately and have to restart the mission from the beginning. For each new attempt, you reshuffle all the cards, deal each crew member new cards, and receive new tasks.
Once all the tasks have been distributed, the commander starts the first trick. And then for the remainder of the mission attempt, the person who won the previous trick always starts the next trick.
Some missions do not use task cards. During these missions, the commander will start the first trick.
As commander, Tom starts the game. He opens the first trick with his pink 9 and hopes to win the pink 1 . Julia plays a pink 5 in the trick. Daniel does not have any pink cards in his hand and therefore plays a card of his choice: the yellow 2 . Caro has a pink 1 and plays it in the trick.
Tom has the highest value of the pink cards played and thus wins the trick. His task, to win the pink 1 , is thereby fulfilled and he turns over his task card.
Information about the Degree of Difficulty
A well-intentioned piece of advice: Do not be under the illusion that the tasks ahead are always easy. You will find that with every game you get better and every setback improves your understanding of the processes and your ability to play the game.
In general, the 50 missions get increasingly more difficult as you progress. We therefore recommend that you play them in order. With four players, in the first mission alone there are over 42 trillion possible ways that the cards can be distributed and in later missions the number is even greater.
It can therefore happen that a mission proves to be surprisingly simple or unexpectedly difficult due to the card distribution. Accept that - the universe does not cooperate.
You may also experience a situation when looking at your (remaining) cards where you become convinced that you cannot accomplish the mission. Withhold the urge to communicate this to your crew members or to reveal your cards.
Far too often a detail is overlooked, forgotten, or too hastily judged. In such a situation, simply play out the round - it won't take long, and you may still emerge victorious.
Distress-signals for an Easier Game
When the going gets tough, you can count on the support of your ground team even when you're in space. At the beginning of each mission, after distributing all of the playing cards and, if applicable, task cards, but before any crew member communicates, you can send a distress signal to the control center on Earth.
In order to do so, decide together whether you want to make use of this assistance, then turn the distress signal token to its active side (satellite).
Then immediately circle the distress signal field of the current mission in the logbook. Each crew member now has to hand over one of his or her cards to his or her neighbor. Rocket cards cannot be passed on!
Decide together if you will pass the cards to the left or the right. Everyone has to pass in the same direction! Then the mission starts and follows the standard rules.
The distress signal token will remain active until you complete the current mission. No matter how many tries you need, at the beginning of each attempt you can pass a card to the left or to the right to a crew member next to you. Even if you don't use it, the token remains active.
Only when you start a new mission do you turn the token over again to inactive.
The use of the distress signal token will be noted in your score. After each successful mission, you will enter in the logbook the number of attempts that you needed to complete the mission. If your distress signal field is circled, you must increase this number by one.
Use this help at your own discretion. If you want your adventure to be a bit easier overall, you can use the help immediately on your first attempt. Each mission can also be completed without the use of the distress signal token!
Explanation of Symbols in the Logbook
In many of the missions, task tokens are used. Each token is then assigned to a task card. These specify the conditions for the respective card, that must be observed while fulfilling the task.
There are the following task tokens:
Violating the task order condition will immediately cause the mission to fail.
The task token does not mean that the task must be fulfilled in the first trick - it only has to be fulfilled first out of all the pending tasks.
It can happen that several tasks with task tokens are won by a single crew member in the same trick. If these task tokens are consecutive, for example, and , or and , both are considered to have been correctly fulfilled, regardless of which was played first.
The mission description shows how many task cards and which task tokens are to be used. If you are playing with task tokens, first place the indicated task tokens face up in the center of the table. Then draw the task cards and place them from left to right, starting with the first task token. No token may be assigned to more than one card.
The mission specifies to use three task cards as well as task tokens one and two.
Initially the tokens have to be placed next to each other.
Then the task cards are drawn and are placed next to each other, face up from left to right, starting with the first token.
The distribution of the task cards happens as previously described. If you take a task card, you must also take any corresponding task token.
Numbe3and arrow tokens both specify an order. Arrow tokens give you more flexibility in fulfilling your tasks than the number tokens:
This mission requires three task cards and task tokens one Musd two.
In this case, first the blue 6, then the green 3 , and finally the pink 1 must be won.
This mission requires three task cards and the first two arrow tokens.
Here the blue 6 must be won before the green 3 . Whether the pink 1 is won before the blue 6 , between the blue 6 and the green 3 , or is won after the green 3 , does not matter.
If your mission shows this symbol, your communications have been disrupted and you only have limited communication. When you want to communicate, place your card in front of you as you normally
would. It must meet one of the three conditions (highest, single, or lowest of the cards in your hand, in the color suit). You are not, however, allowed to place your radio communication token on the card.
Instead, flip it over to the red side and put it next to the card. The other crew members must now use their intuition to decide what information is being transmitted.
If a mission shows this symbol, your communication is completely interrupted for a short period of time. The number will tell you during which trick communication can begin once again. Until then, no crew member can communicate about a card. Starting from the named trick, regular communication rules apply.
In this case you cannot communicate during the first two tricks of the mission.
Starting with the third trick - in other words, directly before the third trick - you may start communicating again.
If a mission shows this symbol, your commander specifies another crew member, to take all of the displayed tasks. The mission is fulfilled when this crew member has completed all the tasks.
Your commander may not choose himself or herself and all the other crew members cannot influence his or her decision.
If a mission displays this symbol, your commander takes over the distribution of the task cards. Prepare the mission as usual, but do not place any task cards open in the middle of the table.
Your commander now uncovers a task card and asks each crew member in turn whether he or she wants to take on the task. It may only be answered with "yes" or "no".
Afterwards, your commander decides who actually receives the assignment. He or she can also choose himself or herself. Repeat the process until all of the tasks are distributed.
Note, however, that the tasks must be evenly distributed: At the end of the distribution, no one may have two tasks more than another crew member. If task tokens are in use, they must be distributed with the task cards; i.e., the first task token with the first task card, etc.
Tips and Advice
No communication is also communication. This means that often, you can directly attempt to win your tasks, when no one communicates.
Most of the time it is easier to win a card that you don't have in your hand. This is especially true for the low-value cards.
With rockets, you can easily win cards of a color you do not have in hand.
Don't forget that the four rocket always wins a trick, as it is the highest card in the game.
Being able to fulfill multiple tasks in one go is worth gold. Consider this when choosing your tasks.
If you only have the eight and the nine of one color in your hand, it is preferable to communicate the eight as the lowest card instead of the nine as the highest. So you can make it clear that you also have the nine.