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New Revised Card Game - Mountaineers

This is the game I used to call Crab Tactics. It has evolved a considerable amount, so I decided to create a new entry for the game here.

For the print-and-play cards and rulesheet required for you to try this game on your own, click here.


Players: 3 - 5
Time to Play: 30 minutes
Luck (1 = none, 5 = completely): 3
Skill: (1 = none, 5 = perfect information): 4


It's a rock-climber's race to the peak as you out-guess your rivals and skillfully choose cards from identical hands. Each turn, players play cards from their hand - simultaneously revealing the first, then one player at a time chooses and reveals their second card of the Round. Watch out, though... players who show matching cards don't earn points for them, and maneuvers such as Bomber and the double-handed Tak-Tak are the ultimate gamble. Are the gains worth the risk?

After at least one climber earns 50 points, the player with the highest score wins!


Each player has an identical mini-deck of 15 cards. There are cards numbered 1 through 9, and various Special Effect cards. The final card of the set is the Lead Climber token, and is given to the selected first player.

Players start a Round by drawing a hand of 3 cards, then they must draw the top card from their deck and place it face-up on the table in front of them. The Lead Climber draws an additional card to their hand at the start of the round, so their hand limit is 4 cards.

Starting with the Lead Climber and moving in clockwise order, each player must select and reveal a second card from their hand until all players have done so. To end a Round, scores are recorded and the Lead Climber token is passed to the player with the current highest score. Be sure to update the player tokens on the scoring track.

Players may discard any remaining cards in their hand (though it's not required), each player discards the cards they played into their own discard pile, then start the next Round. Remember: the Lead Climber has a hand limit of 4 cards, and the rest of the players have a hand limit of 3.

Limited "table-talk" is permitted, but no specific details about a player's non-revealed cards, hand, etc. may be discussed. Also, if a player has no cards remaining in their draw pile, they shuffle/mix the cards currently in their discard pile to create a new draw pile. Players -never- share or pass cards between one another.

Different cards and their effects are listed below.

  • Number cards: a number card on the table adds its value to that player's score, as long as it matches no other card revealed in that Round. These cards have a "climber" icon in the upper-right corner.

  • Bomber!: A player who reveals Bomber may either add 5 points to their score for that round, -or- discard it and play any Number card from their hand and score it regularly, instead. Bomber is a "bomb-proof" Unblockable maneuver and provides a guaranteed 5 points for the round, but it can be traded in for a higher-scoring Number card in some cases. This card has a "pick and shovel" icon in the upper-right corner.

  • Tak-Tak!: a player who reveals Tak-Tak may also play a Number card during that Round. If a Tak-Tak is the second card played, then you may follow-up this card with a Number card and score it regularly. The Tak-Tak is worth 10 points, but can be blocked by a duplicate Tak-Tak. This card has a "hand" icon in the upper-right corner.

  • Belay!: a player who reveals Belay must also play a Number card during that Round (either before or after the Clip In). The player of a Belay scores only the lowest non-duplicated Number card played that Round. If there are no non-duplicated Number cards played during that Round, then the Belay player scores 0 points. This card has a "coiled rope" icon in the corner.

  • Clip In!: a player who reveals Clip In makes all the cards they've played that Round unblockable. Note that if you play a Clip In card along with a Number card, you will always score points for that Number card, but anyone who has played that same Number won't score it unless they too have played a Clip In. This card has a "carabiner" icon in the corner.

  • Sabotage!: a player who reveals Sabotage will "steal" one point from a player on one side of the table next to them and then steal two points from a player on the other side of them. This will likely reduce the points earned by those other players, but no player can earn fewer than 0 points (so you don't have to worry about "negative" points). If duplicated, then this card earns the player 0 points for the Round. This card has a "falling rock" icon in the corner.


Once any climber earns at least 50 points, the climbing race ends, and the player with the most points wins the match.

If there is a tie, the players involved must play an additional round to determine the true climbing champion.

Rules for "tournament" and "cooperative" versions of Mountaineers are in development, so stay tuned...!

Have fun...!!!



I did not play it, but had some thoughts.

I like the retheme.

As a small thematic adjustment, could you start associating cards with routes? So if two players tried to take the same route (play the same card) same time, they would not both fit, so they go nowhere (get no points). There may be a better term in than route in climbing jargon.

Could you make the lead climber card a different shape or size to ensure that it doesn't get shuffled into the player deck?

Looking forward to seeing the co-op version.

Good luck with your game.


I appreciate the positive comments, Fri! Thank you. :)

Some responses:
- Sure, I think I ought to change the "Number Card" to "Route Card." It makes sense and does fit with the theme.
- Regarding the Lead Climber card, I think the easiest thing to do with the current form factor I'm working with is to turn the text sideways.
- Regarding the co-op version, there will be a few extra cards added and the score track implemented for this to work. It's all coming along, though in fits and starts.

I like the NEW theme

But I haven't read through all the details. I know it's not a LOT... I'm just a bit LAZY these days. I've got a MOUNTAIN of PRESSURE on my HEAD! Ha ha. True.

And I got "BAD" News today ... Well I guess that's how I classify it. My BANKER is retiring at the end of January. She is leaving the Bank and as of yet there is no replacement. She was a great advisor and offered "honest" suggestions about rates and investment choices. Her leaving is going to fill a "Who is not leaving their position to climb the ladder" and "Will be a Financial Advisor for many years to come"... I've dealt with circulating staff at another institution and it sucks. She will be missed I'm sure by a LOT of her clientele.

Anyhow... Back to your game. I dig the NEW theme. There is a certain ARTISTRY in Mountain Climbing... I would definitely RESEARCH that more because it is more that just CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN. There are all kinds MOVES and such ... I was briefly interested in the SPORT. But it's not something you do ALONE. You NEED a climbing partner even when doing things INDOORS too. Unless you are climbing a CAVE (indoors) but a WALL generally requires a partner to hold the rope while you scale the wall.

All this useless information (I guess). Will it have anything to do with your game... IDK. ATM I'm just frazzled with all the crap going in my life. A bunch of stuff (like a dark cloud looming over my head)... Some real-life bad-shit too (like a double-homicide, three heart attacks only one survivor, etc.) Been tough on my morale. Plus it's been cloudy as all "November" with Freezing rain and ice hard like a rock.

Anyhow. @Fri seems to be interested so I'll let him work with you. Cheers!


Yep, it sounds like you have an over-full plate and plenty of drama to address, quest! No need to feel obligated to review the rules, play a match, etc. Just putting this out there for anyone who's curious and has the time.

I hope you weather your storms and don't come out all wet, man. :)

Small Update

The game and cards are updated to version 1.1 . Changes listed below.

  • "Lead Climber" card now more distinctive, in an effort to avoid confusion.
  • All references to "numbers" and "Number Cards" now changed to "Routes."

Thanks again to Fri for the suggestions. :)

It's just that I've got a bunch of things to work on...

And I'm waiting on a Video for "Crystal Heroes" (CH). I've got "PoA" which I have kept you informed and openly discussing the issues there too. I have "TradeWorlds" (TW) and the UK, EU & ROW fulfilment... And I'm working on how to get some sales for that product. I just wrapped up a SURVEY (the form) with the help of Stan (over at OLG) and yeah that looks super good... Just waiting on the darn VAT Tax Number...

So I'm pre-occupied with all those matters...

And still a bunch of DRAMA in my life (with people having tragedies and ailments) it's been a *rough* few Months (Since November). Like my Landlord died from a Heart Attack... He survived the condition but died in the hospital, his body was not strong enough to survive the attack and post-attack. I spoke with his son and he was very emotional too... It's been hard on the Family.

That's only 1 of 3. My Aunt also had a Heart Attack and had a stint put in and survived the Heart Attack and surgery... She was out within a week and is like a beast!

A semi-distant relative (well distant for me) died from a massive stroke... He was my Cousin's Husband's Brother's Wife's Brother. We never got to spend time with him and his wife. That side of the extended Family would celebrate with their parents while our side celebrated with a more mixed crowd (our side of the Family), basically the Parent's and immediate relatives. The wife found the husband dead at home when she returned home later that day. He was in his forties (they had no children).

And then Wayne & his wife (Store Manager/Part Owner of a Collectibles store - I would buy sleeves, deckboxes, Pokemon Cards, trade Tim Hortons Hockey Cards, etc.) were killed by their son in a stabbing to death of both the Father and wife. That's some crazy and freaky ordeal. I don't know all the details but except that the parents were killed by their son. Another tragedy.

The days have been GRAY too... Very little sun, an ice-storm and a ton of more snow too... It's been hard on the morale everything that's been going on. I hope that things become more positive towards the end of January and the next few months. IDK.

Anyhow... That's just the way things have evolved. Sad but true.

Rule book critique plus

Fourth paragraph should start with "players", instead of " player". Also you missed a capitalization of "round", in this paragraph.

You need to include an explanation of the tie breaker for determining Lead Climber.

The paragraph starting with "Limited" should be broken up an joined with the previous two paragraphs. The first sentence should go in the paragraph starting with "Starting". The rest should go into the paragraph starting with "Players". Basically keep all the card playing info in one paragraph an all of the hand/deck maintenance in another.

I would recommend adding some language,that says if no player is over 50 points play another Round.

Under "Winning thr game" you should change "any" to "at least one" like in the summary.

Are discard piles face up? (Like most deck building games). It is not specified in the rules. Face up discard piles have leak information, especially when a player chooses to discard a card. This information leaking is no necessarily a bad thing.

The numbers in the lower right of your cards should be rotated 180 degrees.

Good luck with your game.

Right-Side-Up Numbers

Fri wrote:
The numbers in the lower right of your cards should be rotated 180 degrees.

Hahahaha! Oh, what an amateur mistake I made. :)

It's since been fixed. If anyone wants cards that are actually legible, you may want to download the most-recent version.

@Fri: again, thanks so much for the feedback! I'll be updating the rules this week and should have a revised version posted by this weekend.

Name idea

Hello ... While I have not gone through all the rules, I did have something that I wanted to contribute: Another name:

Peak Performance

What I like about the name is that it is more suited for Climbing Lofty Peaks. And the "Performance" is a mix between an "Event" and its Success. Combined it spells out Mastery in Climbing... The climber tries to reach the Peak, he's in the shape of a lifetime to reach the Peak FIRST (50 Points), etc.

I checked and AMAZINGLY there is no Mountain Climbing Game using this name.

If you don't like it... That's ok too. I'm just offering you something to think about and see if this is a more "enticing" name for your game.


Note #1: Performance can be "to perform" or the act of making an Event (Orchestral Performance) and "Peak Performance" means at the top of his/her game or a Event taking place at the Peak of a Mountain.

Again if you don't like it... No worries. Just thought I could contribute to this thread with something relevant and not related to RULES.

Added Score Tracker, etc.

Just a brief note to let you all know I've added a score tracker to the PnP download page. Follow the "click here" link in the original post to download it.

A few other notes: - Working on a revised version of the rules. The most significant change is that the basic version of the game needs more than 50 points for a complete game (would you believe I limited it to 50 points just because my playtesting score tracker had only 50 point markers on it?!?!?! ). The next rules revision will detail this.

  • Details on the various game modes:

    • Single Competition: this is the one-off multiplayer game. Players attempt to reach the peak of the mountain first, and attain the highest score.
    • Tournament: Each player has a turn as Lead Climber for a round that ends after 50 points. Medals awarded for performance in each round. Player with the most medal points at the end wins the match.
    • Expedition: Cooperative version of the game. Includes an Event Deck of 12+ cards that manipulate player decks for the round. If all players become too separated on the score track or don't make it to the peak before the Event Cards are exhausted, they're lost in the snowstorm...!
    • Lightning Mode: uses the tie-breaker rules and only the Route cards for play. Awards medal points based on scores. After finishing one round per player, the player with the most medal points wins the match.
    • Sherpa Mode: included a modified player deck, and extra medal points for landing on the flags along the Score Tracker. The player with the most medal points at the end wins the match.

My schedule has run away from me lately, and I hope to have the updated rules sheet available next weekend with all these different game modes included.

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