Q: What if I want to deliberately target the Expendable Crewman with my Laser Pistol / Phaser?

A: First, note that Ensign Smith is the Star Trek: Original Series Fluxx, version of the Expendable Crewman, and Tasha Yar is the Star Trek: TNG Fluxx equivalent. They all work the same in terms of having the “power” of impulsive self-detrimental tendencies.

Also note that Star Fluxx has the Laser Pistol, while the Star Trek Fluxxen have the Phaser, and that they work ever so slightly differently. The Laser Pistol can only target a Keeper if afflicted by an Attaching Creeper, and the Phaser can only target a Creeper, so you can only target the Expendable Crewman (or analogue) directly if they have a Creeper attached to them.

However… since the Expendable Crewman is known to jump in the way of a laser beam endangering any other Keeper, you could pursue an insidious plan whereby you target some Creeper-attached-to-a-different-Keeper belonging to the player who has the Expendable Crewman. The Expendable Crewman will then leap into the fray to protect the other Keeper which has a Creeper attached, unwittingly becoming the victim themselves.

While the Phaser can target Creepers that don’t attach, note that no Expendable Crewman worth their salt would take action to protect a stand-alone Creeper, so you’ll still be limited to attacking Keeper-Creeper combos if you’re trying to dispose of an Expendable Crewman or analogue.

So, while you can’t necessarily target the Expendable Crewman (or analogues) outright, it’s absolutely still possible to do it on purpose within these parameters.

Q: Does the Expendable Crewman protect against a Keeper being copied by the Holographic Projector? Or being given an attaching Creeper during Creeper reassignment?

A: The Keeper being copied is in no danger from the Holographic Projector, so the Expendable Crewman’s power is not triggered. Yes, the Holographic Projector says that it’s as though the Keeper is in another player’s possession… but it’s not, really. It’s kind of like stealing… but it isn’t. The Keeper will never actually change hands or be destroyed, which are the things that trigger the Expendable Crewman.

Likewise, attaching a Creeper to a Keeper does not actually cause it to be destroyed or change ownership either, so no Crewman intervention. The Expendable Crewman’s power is not a blanket protection against EVERYTHING…

Note that Ensign Smith is the Star Trek: Original Series Fluxx, version of the Expendable Crewman, and Tasha Yar is the Star Trek: TNG Fluxx equivalent.

Q: If Sonic Sledgehammer is played, and I have the Expendable Crewman, must that be the Keeper I discard?

See this question in a video!
Our Friend The Expendable Crewman, Part 1

A: It depends. Were you the one who played the Sonic Sledgehammer, or was it an opponent? The Expendable Crewman’s power only triggers when someone else is taking or eliminating one of your Keepers. If you’re the one choosing a Keeper to get rid of (even just from a Keeper Limit) you’re not required to get rid of him.

Remember, it’s the person playing the Sonic Sledgehammer who gets to decide what Keeper everyone discards, including themselves. So if they are the one with the Expendable Crewman, they’re not required to discard that Keeper; they can get rid of whatever they want. However, if it’s someone else who has the hapless red-shirt, they have to choose for that player to discard the Expendable Crewman, even if there’s something else they’d rather that player lose.

To sum up, thematically: Your Expendable Crewman is only reckless when you’re under attack, otherwise, he’ll reliably go (or stay) where you want him to.

Q: Does the Expendable Crewman have any effect when someone with the Teleporter plays Beam Us Up?

A: Not so much. From the person who has the Expendable Crewman, they’d first have to take the Expendable Crewman, clearly, but since they get ALL Beings, they don’t stop there — they take any other Beings that person has in play as well. So really, the Expendable Crewman can only protect you when a single card is being taken. It provides a buffer… but that buffer is only one card deep, as it were.

Q: Does the Expendable Crewman protect against the Scientist’s power, even though the Scientist can’t steal the Crewman?

See this question in a video!
Our Friend The Expendable Crewman, Part 2

A: Yes. The Expendable Crewman is a real martyr/idiot/klutz who jumps/falls into the line of fire, gets beamed away somewhere (or killed or whatever) whenever someone moves to take any type of Keeper, no matter what the stated action or power that causes that Keeper to be taken or destroyed.

Imagine this scenario:

As your Scientist is attempting to lure the Energy Being into his trap, the clumsy (and terribly unlucky) Expendable Crewman just happens by, accidentally stumbling into the trap, and is captured by your Scientist instead of the Energy Being. You get the Expendable Crewman instead of the Energy Being. Reset your trap and try again next turn…

Or… Red alert! Someone is trying to beam your Energy Crystals right out of the engineering room. Your Expendable Crewman (always first into the fray!) leaps towards the beam… and is sucked up by the would-be thief (some opponent’s Scientist).

Q: If I’m using my Laser Pistol to shoot another player’s Keeper-with-Creeper, and they have the Expendable Crewman, what happens?

Does this negate the Laser Pistol power (as the Expendable Crewman has no Creeper attached)
Do we discard the Creeper (attached to a different Keeper) and the Expendable Crewman?
Do we discard the Expendable Crewman only?

See this question in a video!
Our Friend The Expendable Crewman, Part 1
Our Friend The Expendable Crewman, Part 2

A: The Expendable Crewman’s powers take precedence over the Laser Pistol’s. So even though you aimed and shot the Laser Pistol at the Keeper/Creeper combo, the Expendable Crewman leapt (tripped?) into the line of fire, and was offed instead, leaving the Keeper/Creeper combo still there to be dealt with some other way. Note that in Star Trek Fluxx, Ensign Smith functions as the Expendable Crewman, and in TNG Fluxx, Tasha Yar has that power.

So, knowing this, you might choose not to even point the Laser Pistol in that direction, knowing that annoying Expendable Crewman is hanging around – but that’s up to you.

(Keep in mind that if you’re the one with the Expendable Crewman, AND the Laser Pistol or Sword, you’re free to target your own Keeper-with-Creeper, without accidentally hitting your own Expendable Crewman. If the shot is coming from within his own ship, he will dutifully follow directions, and stand aside, letting the attack go through. It’s only when outside forces threaten that he gets flustered or over-brave.)

Q: How does the Expendable Crewman work when Exchange Keepers is played?

[In Star Trek Fluxx, Ensign Smith has the same function as the Expendable Crewman, and in Star Trek: TNG Fluxx, it’s Tasha Yar]

A: It all depends on who has the Expendable Crewman, and who played Exchange Keepers.

See this question in a video!
Our Friend The Expendable Crewman, Part 1

If the player who has the Expendable Crewman is the one who plays Exchange Keepers, they can choose to trade whatever they want. It’s only when someone else is taking a Keeper away from you that they must take/destroy the Expendable Crewman.

If, on the other hand, your opponent has the Expendable Crewman, and you play Exchange Keepers, you’ll be getting that dork in the red shirt, no matter what you’re actually coveting in your opponent’s collection.

Think of it this way: he readily obeys his own captain’s orders, but he always seems to leap forward at the last minute when a hostile force demands hostages!

Q: The Captain has a choice of four Keepers he can steal, but one is the Expendable Crewman, does he have a choice, or must he take the red shirt?

To elaborate: The Captain can steal “Doctor, Engineer, Scientist, or Expendable Crewman.” The Expendable Crewman’s card states that any time a player takes away one of your Keepers, “they MUST take this one instead.” So, does the Captain have a choice or MUST the Captain take the Expendable Crewman first?

A: Well, The Captain can steal any of those cards, but they might not all be owned by the same player. You are only forced to take the Expendable Crewman if the person you are stealing from has that card.

So if Player A has the Captain,
and Player B has the Doctor,
and Player C has the Engineer and the Expendable Crewman

…then player A can take the Doctor from player B, but they cannot take the Engineer from C – they must take the Expendable Crewman instead.

Of course, if Player A takes the Expendable Crewman on their first try, then on their NEXT turn, they can take the Engineer if they want (assuming they still have The Captain).

Note that in Star Trek Fluxx, Ensign Smith functions as the Expendable Crewman, while in TNG Fluxx, Tasha Yar has that special ability.

Q: Why don’t Brain Parasites impair the Keeper? And if they don’t impair, why can’t the Doctor cure himself?

A: No. Brain Parasites don’t inhibit their host Keeper’s power, but in the case of the Doctor, he cannot treat himself. As the card says, he can only discard Brain Parasites if attached to one of your other cards.” Of course, if you have the promo card The Android Doctor, then he can cure the Doctor of Brain Parasites, and vice versa (the Doctor could cure the Robo-Doc). Like the Doctor himself, however, the Robo-Doc can’t cure himself either.

Here’s the full thematic explanation of why Brain Parasites don’t inhibit Keepers’ abilities, but they DO keep the Doctor from healing himself:

The reason is not due to the fact that he’s lost his curative powers. If you have Brain Parasites, then your every action will be subject to the whims of these aliens who have invaded your head. The Brain Parasites might WANT the Engineer to repair that computer. They might WANT the Captain to steal the Scientist. After all, they don’t want to do stuff that’s bad for their host, right?

But it simply doesn’t make sense for them to ever allow the Doctor to use his curative powers to evict themselves from his own cozy cranium. In fact, if there were multiple Brain Parasite Creepers in the game, the Brain Parasites would, logically, bar the Doc from curing anyone of Brain Parasites (which would effectively nullify the Doctor, since in this game that’s apparently the only curable disease in known space.)

PS: The real question in my mind is why the Brain Parasites don’t nullify the powers of The Expendable Crewman, since his “power” is that he frequently gets himself kidnapped or killed. Kidnapped is fine… I can totally imagine a scenario where the Brain Parasite might want it’s host to get stolen and taken to another ship (“Oh goody, we shall spread to a whole new crew!”). But one of the possible (though perhaps drastic) ways to get rid of an attaching Creeper is to destroy the host Keeper, and the Expendable Crewman’s power is to somehow step into the line of fire, even when he’s not the intended target. Maybe the “power” of the Expendable Crewman is just so strong that even having his mind controlled by an alien being can’t keep him from being a hot-headed klutz.