1. Place the Game Board in the center of the table.

2. Shuffle the 7 Action Plaques and place them in a randomized row in the area above the Market Action Track’s 7 slots (top of the board).

For a 2-player game, plaques should be flipped to their side.

3. Give each player a Leader Mat. Players may choose a Leader, or be dealt one randomly. For your first game, we recommend using these Season 1 characters:

5-players: Uhtred, King Alfred, Guthrum, Aethelwold, Brida

4-players: Uhtred, King Alfred, Guthrum, Aethelwold

3-players: Uhtred, King Alfred, Guthrum,

2-players: Uhtred, Aethelwold

Return unused Leader Mats to the box.

4. Players now compare the Initiative Numbers, next to the Starting Region on their Leader Mats. Give the Conflict Token to the player with the lowest initiative. This player will choose which Region to have the first Conflict (see Phase 2: Conflict). Give the Succession Token to the player with the second lowest initiative.

5. Place Leader Mats in each player’s Play Area. Then based on that Leader, give each player:

Place all unused Character Figurines to the side of the game board. Return unused Leader Cards, Affinity Markers, Allegiance Markers, and Player Screens to the box.

6. Based on the information on each Leader Mat, players then:

Place their figure into its Starting Region.

Flip the Allegiance Marker to its Starting Allegiance, and place the Allegiance Ring to that side around the figure’s base.

Place Starting Action Tokens behind their Screen.

Place 4 Affinity Markers on the Starting Affinity positions.

7. Separate the 4 types of Army Tokens: Danes (), West Saxons (), Mercians (), and Northumbrians (), into four separate piles next to their matching Army Pools on the right side of the board.

Add armies into each of the 5 Regions on the board by reading the icons under each Region’s name and adding the corresponding armies.

For armies: place 5 Danes, 1 West Saxon, 1 Mercian, and 1 Northumbrian into the Drawbag (8 total), draw 1 randomly for each . After this, return the Drawbag to the box.

8. Separate the Victory Point Tokens (), Action Tokens (), 5 Peace Tokens () into separate piles nearby.

9. Place the Invasion Token on the Prepare for Invasion spot in the lower right of the board.

10. Place all other Allegiance Rings not being used by players to the side of the game board.

11. Place the 2 Strength Markers on the “zero” space of the Conflict Region Track at the bottom of the board.

12. To set up the 2 Decks of Round Cards:

Gather all the Round Cards into separate decks (with backs marked with ‘I’ and ‘II’).

Remove all Hero Cards (marked with icons) from each deck.

Of the Hero Cards, remove any that match Leaders that players are using, returning them to the box.

From what is remaining of Hero Cards, without revealing, select 3 random Round I Hero Cards and 3 random Round II Hero Cards and shuffle them into each respective deck. Return the rest to the box.

Finally, place each deck onto their matching spots at the top right of the board.


Place the Momentum Marker, Locked Marker, and 1 additional Allegiance Marker nearby. Flip the Momentum Marker like a coin to set its side.