1. Place the Game Board in the center of the table. For a 1-4 player game, use the side of the board with the “1-4” in the upper-left corner. The reverse side of the board with the "5-6" requires the Order & Chaos Expansion.
2. Each player selects a Faction and collects its Faction Components:
A. Place the Capital City (C.C.) Board in each player's area.
B. Collect the 20 Units and 8 Constructs (3 C.C. Levels, 3 Towers, and 2 Vessels):
i. Place the Units and Vessels below the C.C. Board under, or near, their corresponding slots. This is considered a player's "supply."
ii. Place the Towers and C.C. Levels to the left of the board near their corresponding slots.
iii. From the supply, place 2 Serfs and 1 Warrior into the Courtyard at the top of the C.C. Board.
C. Place the 3 Hero Cards near the right side of the C.C. Board. Leave enough room to place future Spell Cards in the 3 slots designated for Scribed Spells.
D. Place the 2 Action Tokens into the Courtyard at the top of the C.C. Board.
E. Place 3 Resource Tokens (1 Ore, 1 Mana, and 1 Food) onto the "2" space of the Resource Track (note the Watermark images of the Resource types).
F. Collect a complete set of 7 Tactic Cards (each listed "X of 7").
G. Place the Score Token off the board next to (but not on) the “1" space on the Score Track, designating a starting score of "zero".
3. Shuffle the Spell Cards and place the deck face-down near the top of the Game Board. Also designate an area for a face-down Discard Pile nearby. Then, deal 1 Spell Card to each player to be placed in their "hand," also referred to as a player's "Spell Library." Always keep cards in your Spell Library secret from other players.
4. Take 3 Resource Tokens (1 Ore, 1 Mana, 1 Food), which have not yet been used, and while cupped in a player’s hand, drop tokens out one at a time. The first token to fall, is placed on the “4" space of the Tax Track (bottom left of the Game Board), the second on the “3,” and the final on the “2.” This determines the starting Tax Track values.
5. Give the youngest player the First Player Token, or choose who starts the game using any other method. You can also download our Heroes of Land, Air & Sea mobile app which provides a randomizer for selecting the starting player.
6. Players next decide on which Continents to place their Capital Cities. Starting with the player to the right of the first player (with the First Player Token) and going counterclockwise, players place their Lv. 1 C.C. Construct in a Capital City Region on a Continent adjacent to another player's Continent, except for the first player to choose, who may choose any Continent to start on.
Note: There is only 1 C.C. Region per Continent and therefore each player will have their own Continent to start. Once all players have chosen where their C.C. will go, the game is ready to begin.
7. Shuffle the Exploration Tokens face-down, and then place them face-down onto Regions on the Map:
A. Land Regions, except for where a player's Capital City is present, receive 1 (brown) Land Exploration Token, except for Swamp Regions, which receive 2 Land Exploration Tokens.
B. Sea Regions receive 1 (blue) Sea Exploration Token, except for the center Sea Region (with the image of the Octopus, and if playing with the expansion, the second center Sea Region with the image of a Sea Serpent), which receives 2 Sea Exploration Tokens.
C. Any unused Exploration Tokens are returned to the box without being revealed.
Note: In 1-2 player games, 1 of the 4 continents, chosen by the player(s), will not be used and is not accessible by players. No Exploration Tokens should be placed on this continent. Regardless of player count, all Sea Regions are accessible and should receive Exploration Tokens.
1-2 players: 3 Continents
3-4 players: all 4 Continents
5-6 players (using the Order & Chaos Expansion): all 6 Continents