You will attempt to find your paradise island on the good ship Tranquility. To do this you will need to fill the entire 6x6 sea grid with Island cards (which are numbered 1-80) and have played one Start and one Finish card. You all win if you complete the grid, and have placed a Start and Finish card, living out your days in an island paradise. You all lose if a single player can no longer play or discard any cards (see Section 4) causing the ship to be lost forever.
Overview of play
You may NOT communicate with other players except when discussing the Start card (see below).
You all take a turn, one after another, starting with the first player and then moving clockwise around the table. Play continues in this fashion until the game is either won or lost. On your turn you must take one action by doing one of the following:
A) Play a card; or
B) Discard two cards.
After taking an action you must draw back up to a hand of five cards by taking cards from the top of your own draw pile (unless your draw pile has run out, in which case continue playing until the game ends).
A) Play a card
You select an Island card from your hand and may play it anywhere in the grid providing you follow these rules: 1. Cards must be placed so that the grid ascends in numerical order from bottom-left to top-right, first moving along the bottom row from left to right, followed by the second row moving left to right etc. 2. If the card is placed next to an existing card in the ascending sequence (even if they are on different rows) then you must discard the number of cards face down from your hand equal to the difference between the numbers shown on the two cards e.g. placing a ‘5’next to a ‘3’ will mean you must discard two cards.
If a card is played between two cards, you discard cards equal to the difference between the card you played and one of the cards to either side, whichever result is the lowest. You may not place a card if that would require you to discard more than the four cards remaining in your hand. You may not discard cards from your draw pile.
There is one start card per player added to the deck. If you have a Start card in your hand, and one has yet to be played, you must play that Start card as your action this turn. The Start card is not placed within the grid but in the bottom left-hand corner of the frame. When a Start card is played you must discard a total of eight cards between you. You may discuss how many cards each of you is willing to discard but not specifics about what is in your hand or where you might wish to play cards in the future.
Note: this is the only time in the game that players can communicate. After discarding all players draw back up to five cards. If the Start space has already been filled the remaining Start cards have no purpose and may be discarded using the normal rules.
You may only play a Finish card once the rest of the grid (plus a Start card) has been completed. If this card is played before any player runs out of legal moves then you all win the game. Finish cards may be discarded using the normal rules but beware: there are only five in the game! You cannot win without a Finish card being played.
B) Discard two cards
You may discard two cards rather than playing a card either because you cannot legally play a card or because you choose to. To do this you must place two cards of your choice from your hand, face down, in front of you. Note: we advise keeping this discard pile messy so as to easily differentiate from the draw pile
You all win if the active player successfully plays a Finish card after the grid is complete. You all lose if any player cannot take a legal action on their turn. This could be because they can’t play a card into the grid, either because it doesn’t fit numerically, or because the player doesn’t have enough cards to discard in order to play it, or you have either one or zero cards left in your hand at the start of your turn.
Guidance for Communication
Strictly speaking, Tranquility should be played in silence. Ultimately, however, players may create their own rules of communication or may simply choose to take the opportunity to discuss other aspects of life.
There are extra rules to make Tranquillity more challenging:
- Sea Monsters -- You can choose to have three, four or five sea monster cards shuffled into to the deck. These allow you to destroy an island card previously played from the board, removing it and the sea monster card from the game -- but watch out! You can't play the Finish card until all players have played their Sea Monsters in their hand of cards! You also cannot discard Sea Monsters, they MUST be played to get them out of your hand!
- Jagged Rocks -- When jagged rocks is selected, one row is considered as temporarily impenetrable so no cards may be placed into it. The selected row has the jagged rocks card on the left hand side. After each turn the jagged rocks card moves to a different row. There are two game modes for jagged rocks: Automation - the new row is selected randomly. Manual - players choose which row to move the jagged rocks card to after playing a card but before drawing up. The Jagged Rocks card must be in a row with at least one empty space in it before. In manual mode if you choose not to move the Jagged Rocks card, you must instead discard two cards. The Jagged Rocks card is removed from the game once four rows have been completed.
- Islands --To make the game harder you can select to remove between 4 and 12 randomly selected numbered island cards from the game. You still have the same number of start and finish cards as in a normal game.