Game Setup

Build a Map

See Building a Map.

Game Length

Time Tracking.jpg

Choose the number of rounds to play:

Intro: 8 Average: 10 Expert: 12

Factions has a long mastery curve. The more you play, the better you will become at keeping your heroes alive. Stick with 10-round games until you get good.

Place the defeat board. Place a victory marker on the turn “1” circle.

Choose Teams

Divide players into two teams: Psiclones (Black) and Skyhawks (White). You don't need the same number of players per team. Teams sit on opposite sides of the table.

Choose Heroes

Decide on the number of heroes per team:

6 for an introductory game

9 if either team has three players

8 otherwise

Shuffle the hero deck. Deal out your chosen number of heroes to each team, then deal six more to each team. Secretly look through your heroes and discard six. Reveal heroes once both teams have chosen.

Divide the heroes between the players.

So, deal 12 cards to each team when playing 6 heroes per team and 15 when playing 9 heroes per team.

There is no difference between your heroes and those of your teammates. You are playing cooperatively against the other team.

In your first games, don’t worry about choosing the right heroes. Just choose the cool ones.

Prepare Heroes

Line the hero cards face up in front of the owning player. Find the standee tile for each hero, attach it to a base of your team color, and place it on the hero card.

Draw loot

Many heroes start with treasure cards or gold. Look at the bottom right of each hero card for these symbols:

Starting Loot Gold.jpg

Give the hero the gold amount shown.

Starting Loot War.jpg

Draw cards from the War deck equal to the number shown.

Starting Loot Secret.jpg

...from the Secret deck.

Starting Loot Elite.jpg

...Elite deck.

Starting Boost.jpg

Begin with 1 Boost marker.

Look at the cards but keep them face down, tucked half-under the owning hero, unrevealed to your opponents.

Treasure Decks

Shuffle and place the War, Secret, and Elite decks all in a row.

Setup Treasure Decks.jpg


Turn over the top card of the War, Secret and Elite deck and place below the deck. This is the Market. Put the brown market tile next to this as a reminder.

Quest Decks

Each Faction key has a matching Quest deck with the same large faction symbol. Shuffle each and place as close as possible to its Faction key. Put the unused decks in the box.

Setup Quest Cards.jpg

Challenge Decks

Each team has a challenge deck. Shuffle and place between the teammates with room for a discard pile.

Setup Challenge Decks.jpg


The two Team White players sit on this side of the map.

They divide the eight heroes four per player.

They draw their starting cards, gold, and boosts.

They set their hero standees by their heroes.

They place the White challenge deck between them, with room for a discard pile.

They set each Quest deck near its Faction key.

They set the War, Secret, and Elite decks in a row and turn over one each for the Market.

They make the markers handy.

They place a victory marker on the “1” of the defeat board.

They set the stack of favor tiles to the side.