OBJECTIVE OF THE CREW: Complete missions as a team by play cards to the trick
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 players
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking, cooperative
INTRODUCTION OF THE CREW
The Crew is an award winning trick taking card game that is typically played with 3 or 4 players. This game is incredibly popular and has seen its lion’s share of coverage by the gaming media. This instruction set is going to focus on the seldom talked about 2 player rule variant for the game.
In the Crew, players work together to complete 50 missions. Each mission has its own requirements, usually requiring players to complete a predetermined number of tasks. In this game, communication is extremely limited, and players are not allowed to talk about their hand or discuss decisions.
40 PLAYING CARDS
The deck includes 36 color cards and 4 rocket cards. There are five colored suits, and the rocket cards are the trump suit for the game.
5 REMINDER CARDS
A player adds a reminder card to their hand after using a communication token
36 TASK CARDS
Task cards represent the cards that must be captured by certain players. Most missions require a certain number of tasks to be completed.
There are 10 task tokens, 5 radio communication tokens, 1 distress token, and 1 commander token. Tokens are used for communication and task arrangement.
The Crew for Two is played using a third player strawman hand named JARVIS. Thematically, JARVIS is an artificial intelligence used to help complete missions. The mission commander will make all decisions regarding how JARVIS plays.
To set up for a two player game of The Crew, temporarily remove the 4 Rocket from the deck. Shuffle the remaining 39 cards and deal seven face down in a row. Next, deal seven more face up on top of the previously dealt row. These two rows represent JARVIS’s hand.
Shuffle the 4 Rocket back into the deck and deal out thirteen cards to each player. Each player should have a communication token placed green side up and a reminder card nearby. Place the distress signal tokens face down in the center of the playing space.
Shuffle the task cards and place them face down nearby along with the task tokens.
Whichever player is dealt the 4 Rocket is the commander for the mission. That player receives the commander token. The commander will begin the task selection, will lead the first trick, and follow any special rules detailed in the mission. The commander will play for JARVIS, determine its tasks, and where its location in turn order. The non-commander player is not allowed to discuss the commander’s decisions.
When playing cards from JARVIS, only the top cards are available for play. Once the trick is complete, any facedown cards are turned face up.
There are 50 missions for players to complete in this game. Although players can play missions out of order, it is suggested that play begins with Mission 1 and continues in sequential order. This is especially true for players new to trick taking games. There is also a storyline throughout that is told by completing the missions in order.
Each mission has a predetermined number of tasks indicated by the task number. Draw that many tasks from the shuffled task deck and place them face up on the table. The rest of the tasks are removed from play until the next mission. Task cards represent the playing cards that each player will be responsible for capturing.
Beginning with the commander, each player chooses a task from the selection. Task selection moves clockwise around the table. There might not be enough tasks for each player to have an even amount. The Commander also decides which tasks JARVIS will take. Later missions will change how tasks are chosen or distributed. Task cards are kept face up in front of the player to whom it is assigned.
A task is completed once a player captures a trick with the matching playing card in it. When a task is done, turn that task card over. It is possible to complete more than one task per trick. Once all of the tasks have been completed, the mission ends in success. Players can reset and start a new mission. If at any time a player is unable to complete a task, the mission is a failure. Reset and try again. The playing cards AND the task cards are collected, shuffled, and redealt.
THE FIRST TRICK
The commander leads the first trick. Following players must match the color if possible. If they cannot do so, they are allowed to play any card from their hand. Whoever plays the highest card in the color that was led captures the trick. That person leads next.
Remember, the commander decides the turn order for the other player and JARVIS. The commander also plays for JARVIS during each trick. If JARVIS wins the trick, the commander chooses the robot’s next lead.
Each player has a communication token that can be used once per mission attempt. Communication tokens must be used before a trick begins. To use it, the player chooses one card from their hand and places it face up on the table in front of them. Placement of the communication token upon the card expresses certain things. If the token is placed at the top of the card, it communicates that this card is the highest card the player possesses in that color. Middle placement says it’s the only card on that color. Bottom placement communicates that it’s the lowest card possessed in that color. These are the only three things that may be communicated. The token should be placed green side up. Once placed, it cannot be removed. Once a player uses their one communication for the mission, they must turn their token red side up.
The card used to communicate is still part of the player’s hand. It can be played at any time. The player who is communicating should add one of the reminder cards to their hand. This will keep them from forgetting their card that is on the table.
After cards and tasks have been distributed and before any communication happens, a player who does not believe they can complete their mission may activate the distress signal. This allows players to choose one card and pass it left or right. Rocket cards are not allowed to be passed. The direction must be agreed upon by all of the players. Once the distress signal is activated, it stays on throughout all of the attempts for that mission.
As players continue to play, the missions will become increasingly difficult with new conditions that must be followed. Multiple tasks will be assigned and completed in a specific order, communication will become prohibited or limited, and more decisions will fall upon the commander’s shoulders.
The Log Book provides a wonderful way to document your play-throughs and scores. Up to six different groups of players can play and record their progress.
Once all the tasks or requirements of a mission have been completed, the mission is won.