Tranquility is a card game where you set sail for paradise, but not everything that you do in the game will get you there. Tranquility is a cooperative game where players work together to fill in the sea with island cards. Each island card has a number and players need to place cards in spaces so that they go from lowest to highest. If players complete the grid with cards, they all win the game, but its not always easy as you will also be discarding cards when you place cards next to others. Also, players can’t communicate with each other, so planning becomes more intuitive and less of a conversation or planning. Tranquility is published by Board Game Hub, and brought to us in the USA by Lucky Duck Games who also brought us Small Islands.
What’s in the box?
- 80 Island cards
- 5 Start cards
- 5 Finish cards
- 20 Stormy Seas expansion cards
- 2 Reference cards
- 25 Border cards
- 3 Rulesheets
How’s it Play?
A grid is setup so that you and your team fill in a 6×6 grid with island cards with one start and one finish card. You all win if you complete this grid and all lose if any single player can no longer play or discard any cards. All island cards and finish cards are shuffled together and split between all the player randomly, then each player is given a start card which is shuffle into their own deck. Then the player with the least amount of cards in their deck goes first.
Players take turns one after another, starting with the first player and moving clockwise. Players continue until the game is either won or lost. On your turn you will take 1 of 2 possible actions. You will either play and card or discard 2 cards. After doing your action you must then draw back up to a hand of 5 cards from the top of your own draw pile.
Play a Card:
Select an island card from your hand and place it anywhere in the grid following the placement rules. Cards must be placed so the grid ascend in numerical order starting at the bottom left going to the top right. This will go along the bottom row left to right, followed by the next row left to right and moving up each row always going left to right. If the card is placed next to an existing card in the sequence, you must discard the number of cards face down from your hand equal to the difference between the numbers shown on the 2 cards. When a card is placed between 2 cards, you get to pick which card to take the different from, most likely discarding the least amount of cards. But you can never play a card if it requires you to discard more than 4 cards.
Start Cards – When you have one of these in your hand and one has not yet been placed out, you must play that start card as your action this turn. This card is not placed within the grid but on the bottom left corner of the frame. When this card is placed out, a total of 8 cards between all players need to be discarded. This is the only time players can discuss home many cards they want to discard, but players can never give specifics of their cards. If playing 2 players, each player will draw 2 extra cards before discarding the 8 cards.
Finish Cards – You can only play a finish card once the grid is complete. If its played out before any player runs out of legal moves, everyone wins the game. These cards can also be discarded using normal rules, but there are only 5 of these in the game, and one needs to be played at the end for you to win.
Discard 2 Cards:
This option makes you discard any 2 cards from your hand either because you cannot legally play a card or because you choose to. Cards are discarded face down in front of you, and neither you not anyone else can look through these discord piles.
End of the Game – If you complete the grid with the finish card being last, you all win. You all lose if any player cannot take a legal action to their turn. This could be because they can’t play a card into the grid because it doesn’t fit numerically or because the player doesn’t have enough cards to discard in order to play it, or they have 1 or 0 cards left ini their hand at the start of their turn.
After you start winning the game together with the normals rules, there is variants and each has a different level of difficulty.
Ultimately this is a type of game you need to be in the mood to play. You will soon find certain strategies as a group to help you win. The game will take some concentration, especially at first. But when you know the game and find the different strategies that help you to do well, then it becomes a more relaxed type game to play.
The game reminds me of games the rely heavily on who you play with, like the mind, or the game. If a player doesn’t participate and doesn’t care about doing well, the rest of the team struggles because of it. But when everyone is interested in playing, and all players are trying, it becomes a very cool experience as you are all going toward a goal and there is almost not talking about the game, so its like everyone’s minds are trying to sync together while many times you are talking about other things that also connect you all together.
I wish the boarder cards were more easily identified so you can setup the game a little easier. But ultimately we enjoyed the game. Remember that a checker pattern is a decent strategy to use mixed with placing cards that are close together down, if there is a big gap, make sure that there are 2 cards next to the one you place, and the card you place is closer to one or the other card. The game is a puzzle that needs everyones attention and once everyone understands the puzzle, your chances of winning go way up.
You can grab Tranquility at your FLGS!
Images Courtesy of Luck Duck Games
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