Components

  • 1 main game board
  • 10 plastic boats
  • 50 crew member cards
  • 5 plastic treasure chests
  • 5 player boards
  • 1 Dive Site Board
  • 120 Victory Point tokens
  • 15 Wreck tiles
  • 1 Diving Bell pawn
  • 31 plastic gems
  • 1 cloth bag
  • 6 starter bonus tokens
  • 7 Captain's Log scenario cards

Setup



Place the main game board 1 in the middle of the table. Shuffle the 6 starting Wreck Tiles (with a yellow buoy printed on the back) 2, place one facedown on each of the six square diving sites on the game board (marked with the same icon), and then flip them faceup.

Discard the empty tile. Shuffle the 9 advanced Wreck Tiles (with a red buoy printed on the back) 3 and place one facedown on each of the remaining diving sites on the game board.

Place the Dive Site Board, the Diving Bell and a supply of Victory Points (VP) tokens next to the game board 4.

Put 2 silver, 2 gold, 2 red, 2 green and 4 purple gems on the indicated space on the game board. This is the supply area. Put the remaining 19 gems (4 black, 4 blue, 7 silver, 3 gold and 1 red) in the cloth bag.

Pick one of the 7 Captain's Log scenario cards and place it next to the game board, below the supply area 6. If this is your first game we suggest you play the Troubled Waters scenario. In later games, either pick a card at random or play with your favorite one.



These cards consist of additional or modified rules that apply only to the 4 Sunken City dives (the Tiles with a compass rose symbol in the center).

Each player chooses a color and takes:

  • 2 Boats in their color (put them in the harbor 7 on the game board).
  • A player board in their color (put it in front of them).
  • A starting crew (4 cards in their color 8 ) into their hand.
  • A treasure chest.

All unused Starting Crew Member cards are removed from the game.

Shuffle the deck of 30 additional Crew Member cards. Place the deck facedown below the $4 slot 9 on the game board. Flip the 4 topmost cards one at a time and place them faceup on the row beginning with the $1 spot.

This is the Market. If any of these cards show a colored gem with a "+1" symbol, take a matching Gem from the Supply area and add it to the bag.

Pick a starting player at random. Then deal Starting Tokens 10 to the players in clockwise order: 0 to the starting player then 1 / 1 / 2 / 2. These can be used either as discounts when hiring extra crew or to allow an extra movement when sailing.


Object of the Game

In Deep Blue, you are competing in an immense under- water treasure hunt. Your objective is to score the most Victory Points (VP) by leading dives on Wreck Tiles, by bringing treasures up to your Boat, and by using your crew's ability during the dives.

The hunt is divided into a lot of smaller dives. You can't join them all so you'll have to decide wisely and benefit from your fellow players' turns.


Game Play

The starting player goes first. Play then proceeds clock- wise around the table. Each player takes one turn until someone has dived on the fourth and final of the Sunken City Tiles, which triggers the end of the game (see below).

On their turn players must do one of the four possible actions: Recruit a Crew Member, Sail, Rest, or Dive.

Note: every time you have to play one (or more) card from your hand, place it faceup to the right of your player board so that the other players can see it.

At the end of your turn, or when the dive you take part in is over, place these cards facedown on the "rest" area of your player board. Your facedown cards pile is open information to you, but not the other players.




Recruit a Crew Member

You recruit one Crew Member from the Market. Play enough cards from your hand with the Cash icon to pay the price indicated on the game board above the card (from $1 to $5). Take the Crew Member you just recruited into your hand.

Crew members will allow you to score bonus points during the dives, protect yourself from hazards, or travel further when you perform the Sail action (see below). Some of them have a second icon (Cash or Propeller): you can play a card for either effect, but not both.

You are only allowed to hire one new Crew Member per turn. If you pay more than the hiring cost (for example, by playing a card that is worth $2 for a $1 crew member), the difference is lost.

Finally, shift the three remaining Crew cards in the row towards the $1 spot and flip over a new card that goes to the $5 spot. If the card you flipped has a colored gem with a ''+1" symbol, on the bottom of the card, immediately add the Gem, taken from the supply area, to the bag for the rest of the game.



Refresh the Market

You may also pay $4 to immediately discard the entire market, place 4 new Crew Member cards faceup on the row beginning with the $1 spot, and then take any one card from the new Market for free.

Remember to replace the Crew Member you recruited with a new one as described above. Also, add Gems to the bag for all the new cards you flip. The Gems previously added by the now-discarded Crew Members stay in the bag.

Note: There is no hand size limit. You may hire as I many Crew Members as you like during the game.


Sail

Play one or more Crew Member cards from your hand with propeller icons. Then move your Boats the number of spaces on the game board (following the routes) equal to the number of revealed propeller icons.

You may use part or all your sail movement and allocate it however you like - on one Boat or divided between the two. Movement is never blocked so you may move through a Wreck Tile, hidden or revealed, without stopping.

When all sailing is done, check where your Boats ended their movement and apply the following.

  • On a faceup Wreck Tile - Place your Boat on one of the empty colored scouting spots (each scouting spot may host only one Boat). You scouted the area so you will have an advantage during the dive here (see Dive below). If all the scouting spots are already occupied, place the Boat on the blank space in the center of the tile.

  • On a facedown Wreck Tile - Flip the Tile, leave it on the board, and put your Boat on one of the colored scouting spots of your choice, if available. Note that you only discover a new Wreck Tile that you finished your entire move on, never by moving through it.

  • On a Navigational Buoy or an empty diving site - Nothing happens.



Note: a player can place their two Boats on two different scouting spots of the same Wreck Tile and therefore benefit from both advantages.

When you perform the Recruit or Sail action, you may use your Starting Tokens as either Cash or as a Propeller bonus.

Each token is worth 1 and you can use them alone or along with playing cards. Remove the Tokens from the game after use.



Rest

Shuffle all of the cards in the Resting Crew area of your player board. Then draw the 5 topmost cards into your hand.

You are allowed to take this action even if you have only one or two cards in the Resting Crew area.



Dive

You may only take this action if you have one or more of your Boats on a Wreck Tile.

If you have Boats on two different Wreck Tiles you must decide which one you want to dive at. You only have to be present on the Tile to take this action, having your Boat anchored on one of the scouting spots is not necessary.

When you take the Dive action, you become the dive leader and initiate the following:

Rush to the Diving Site

The dive leader takes the Diving Bell pawn and places it next to the Wreck Tile they want to explore.

All players who have Boats on neighboring sites (i.e. exactly one move away) may rush and join the dive by moving their Boat(s) to the dive site for free.

Start with the dive leader, who could bring their second Boat over, and then continue clockwise around the table. Place the rushing Boats in the center of the tile: they cannot move into scouting spots even if some are vacant.

All players with at least one Boat on the Wreck Tile automatically take part in the dive - and may score VP as explained below.

Dive for Treasures

The dive leader takes the Dive Site Board and the cloth bag. Make sure all Gems have been returned to the bag from the previous dive.

Then, they blindly draw Gems out of the bag ONE at a time (slowly, to allow the other players to see what is drawn) and place them on the Dive Site Board.

After each drawn Gem, the dive leader must decide to end the dive, or continue. If they draw too many black or blue Gems they may be forced to end the dive and lose all treasures. The leader must draw at least one Gem before ending the dive.


Important: Other players cannot end the dive because they follow the dive leader's decision. They can play cards to score VP or protect them from hazards (see below) but cannot decide how far to push their luck.

Red, Gold and Silver Gems represent treasures that divers can bring to the surface.



Green Gems represent mysterious arti- facts and Purple Gems represent antiquities; they are both worthless, except for players who can play the associated Crew Members (occultists and archeologists). When drawn, put these Gems in the center of the Dive Site Board.

Black and blue Gems represent hazards: sea creatures and oxygen issues respectively. When drawn, put them on the tracks on the sides of the Dive Site Board that match their color. The first black and the first blue Gem drawn (each dive) are a warning and have no effect.



Each time a blue or black Gem after the first of that color is drawn, all players still in the dive must defend themselves against that danger, or resurface and end their participation.

If a player resurfaces, move their Boat(s) off the Tile, next to it. They lose the chance to score the VP for Gems and can no longer play cards when new Gems are drawn. However, they will still score VP for the cards they played to that point.

A player can defend against the hazards by:

  • playing a matching blue or black Crew Member card
  • using a blue or black scouting spot

A player with a Boat in a black or blue spot on the current Wreck Tile may use that positioning once, instead of playing a black or blue card from their hand. They then put the Boat in the center of the Tile to indicate that the ability has been used.


The dive leader always defends against creature (black) and oxygen (blue) hazards first and then clockwise around the table. Players are not required to defend against a hazard, even if they had the matching protection card.

They may, for example, choose to lose the VP from the Gems and end their participation in the dive, to keep a protection card for later.


Note: a blue or black Gem must always be defended before doing anything else. For example, if a blue Gem is drawn as an 8th Gem, the player who wants to play their "x8 gems" Crew Member card will have to first protect themselves against the oxygen danger, and then, if successful, play their card.

Similarly, when the Troubled Waters scenario card is in effect on a Sunken City Tile and the dive leader draws 2 Gems, including one blue or one black, every player has to defend against the danger before taking advantage of the second (non-hazardous) Gem.


Playing Crew Member Cards

After a Gem is drawn, each player still in the dive, including the dive leader, may play one or more matching Crew Member cards from their hand to score VP that they will collect at the end of the dive. These VP are guaranteed no matter how the dive continues from here.

Some cards simply require one Gem of a specific color, some require several of a color and some require a certain number of Gems regardless of color (white Gem with a question mark), including black and blue ones. Drawing a single Gem can allow a player to employ two or more cards to score VP.


A Crew Member with this icon can be played during a dive once 8 gems have been drawn, regard- less of their color.



End of the Dive

The dive ends when the leader voluntarily decides to stop and all players still in the dive will score VP for the drawn Gems. The dive also ends when the leader cannot counter a black or blue Gem.

If the other players in the dive can defend themselves, they will secure the VP from the drawn Gems even though the leader will not, but the dive is still over.


Collect VP

  • VP From Cards

    (for all players who joined the dive)

    All players who played cards with VP during the dive may now collect those points even if they were later forced to resurface.

  • VP from Gems

    (only for players who stayed in the dive until the end)

    All players who were not forced to resurface will now gain the reward, depending on what was drawn from the bag (players do not score more VP if they have both their Boats present):

    • 4 VP for each red Gem (10 VP if you have a Boat on a red scouting spot on this Wreck Tile)

    • 2 VP for each gold (5 VP if you have a Boat on a gold scouting spot on this Wreck Tile)

    • 1 VP for each silver (3 VP if you have a Boat on a silver scouting spot on this Wreck Tile)

  • VP for Leading the Dive

    (only for the dive leader)

    Finally the dive leader collects the VP from the Wreck Tile (indicated in the center of the tile). They collect this even if they were forced to resurface.

All Victory Points are placed in the players' Treasure Chests and kept hidden from everyone else.


Discard The Wreck Tile

You can only explore a Wreck Tile for treasures once, regardless of how successful the dive was. Discard the Wreck Tile unless it was one of the 4 special Sunken City Tiles: those are placed on their dedicated areas in the bottom left corner of the game board.

Return all drawn Gems to the cloth bag.


End of the Game

When you place the fourth and final of the Sunken City Tiles on the dedicated area of the map, the Sunken City fresco is complete and the game is immediately over.



Players count up the VP from their treasure chests and compare scores.

The player with the highest total VP wins the game.

If two or more players are tied for the most VP, the player with the most Crew Members cards wins. If it is still a tie, players happily share the victory but vow to out-dive each other next time.


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