Fleet is a card game where players seek the most victory points by purchasing fishing licenses, launching boats, and hiring captains to gather fish.
The game is played in rounds of five phases each. Each phase is played in turn order. At the end of a round the starting player token is passed to the next player and a new round begins.
Phase One: License Auction
Players may purchase a fishing license from the license auction, using the boat cards from their hand as cash. Other players may attempt to out bid each other. The license is then placed in front of the winner.
Phase Two: Launch Boats and Hire Captains
Players may launch a boat from their hand (matching a fishing license they own) by selecting it and paying (discarding) the launch cost using other boat cards from their hand as cash.
Players may then hire a captain by placing a boat card from their hand face down on any of their available launched boats.
Phase Three: Fishing
Players gain a crate of fish from the supply on each of their captained boats that is not already at capacity (4).
Phase Four: Processing and Trading
If able, a player may process one crate of fish per boat for later use. A player may then trade one crate of fish from their processed supply for a boat card.
Phase Five: Draw
Players draw two cards and discard one of the cards just drawn.
The game ends when either
- there are not enough license cards to completely refill the auction after Phase One, or
- the supply of fish crates runs out during Phase Three
In either case the game will end after Phase Three of that round. If the fish crates run out, all players still receive credit for fish crates due to them.
At the end of the game players score Victory Points (VP):
- +VP for all purchased license cards
- +VP for all launched boats
- +1VP for each fish crate on launched boats (not processed)
- Bonus VP from King Crab licenses
- +2VP for each Gone Fishin' card in hand (if applicable)
The player with the most VP wins. If tied, the player with the most launched boats wins. If still tied, then the player with the most fish crates on boats wins.
Boat cards in a player's hand can be used in many ways. They can be discarded as money, launched as a boat, or played upside down as a captain. The money value is shown as a number of coins in the bottom left. The cost to launch and victory points earned are shown in the upper left and right, respectively. And any boat can be used to captain any other boat.
The deck includes 20 of each Shrimp, Lobster, and Processing Vessel and 12 of each Cod, Tuna, and King Crab.
Each fishing license not only allows a player to launch that type of boat, but it also provides a special bonus. These bonuses improve as players acquire additional copies of a license. There are four (4) of each license ("common") except the Pub and King Crab, of which there are three (3) ("premium").
- In a 4 player game, all licenses are used.
- In a 3 player game, two common and two premium randomly selected licenses are removed during setup.
- In a 2 player game, six common and three premium randomly selected licenses are removed.
- In all cases, premium licenses are shuffled into the deck so that cannot appear before the third round.
Each Shrimp license grants the player a discount on all future purchases.
|1||$1 off every purchase|
|2||$2 off every purchase|
|3||$3 off every purchase|
|4||$4 off every purchase|
During the Launch Boats phase, the Cod licenses allows a player to launch one additional boat and gives a bonus draw. Cards are drawn after launching boats is complete (before hiring captains), and only if the player launched at least one boat.
|Any||May launch 2 boats|
|1||+1 card (if launched)|
|2||+2 cards (if launched)|
|3||+3 cards (if launched)|
|4||+4 cards (if launched)|
During the Hire Captains phase, the Lobster licenses allows a player to hire one additional captain and gives a bonus draw depending on the number of captains a player has. Cards are drawn after hiring captains is complete.
|Any||May hire 2 captains|
|1||+1 card for 1-3 captains
+2 cards for 4+ captains
|2+||+1 card for 1-2 captains
+2 cards for 3-6 captains
+3 cards for 7+ captains
During the Draw phase (V), the Tuna license allows the player to keep and/or draw additional cards. Additionally, if required to discard, the player may discard any card in hand instead of only those just drawn.
|Any||May discard from hand|
|1||Draw 2, keep 2|
|2||Draw 3, keep 2|
|3||Draw 3, keep 3|
|4||Draw 4, keep 3|
Processing Vessel License
The Processing Vessel license is required for a player to participate in the Processing and Trading phase. Each license gives an additional draw bonus during trading.
|Any||May process and trade fish|
|1||+1 card from trade|
|2||+2 cards from trade|
|3||+3 cards from trade|
|4||+4 cards from trade|
N.B. A launched Processing Vessel is not required to process fish, just the license. Once purchased any boat can process fish.
The Fishermen's Pub is worth 10VP. It has NO boats or other bonuses.
King Crab License
There are three different King Crab licenses. Each gives a different bonus at the end of game worth up to 10VP.
- +1VP for every 3 fish crates on boats
- +1VP for each captain
- +VP for different license types. There are seven (7) types; all King Crab licenses count as the same type. See table:
Gone Fishin' is an optional feature taken from the Fleet: Arctic Bounty expansion. It allows players to Go Fishin' instead of buying a license at auction. If a player passes the auction phase without buying a license they receive a Gone Fishin' card. These cards have a value of $2 for future purchases, but they are not boats and cannot captain. At the end of the game any Gone Fishin' cards still in a player's hand are worth +2VP.
The game designer recommends playing with Gone Fishin' enabled. It generally smooths out the game, especially in early rounds where money can be tight.