Once all players have assembled their forces, there are still a few steps to go through before the battle can begin.
STEP 1: REVEAL FORCES AND ESTABLISH THE FIRST PLAYER
All players reveal their completed forces. Then, each player rolls 2d6 (reroll ties). The player with the highest total result gets to choose who will be the first player. When playing with more than 2 players, the player with the next highest total gets to choose who will be the second player, and so on. Each player turns the combat dial of each of his or her characters to the starting position. The starting position has a click number marked “1” and/or is the click to the right of the starting line.Once a character’s combat dial has been turned to its starting position, players can turn the dial only when directed to do so by a game effect, such as taking damage or healing.
STEP 2: CHOOSE MAP AND STARTING AREAS
The first player chooses the map where the game will occur. After the first player chooses the map, the player to his or her left chooses the starting area—an area of squares inside a purple boundary line—where he or she will set up his or her force. If there are more than two players, continue clockwise around the table until everyone has chosen a different starting area. In two-player games, the chosen starting areas must always be on opposite sides of the map. If either player’s force will not fit within the purple lines, all starting areas increase by one row and one column but can’t overlap another player’s starting area. Starting areas can be extended until each player’s force will fit in their respective starting area.
STEP 3: PLACE CHARACTERS
The first player places all of the characters on his or her force on the map in his or her starting area. The player to the first player’s left then places all of his or her characters in his or her starting area. If there are more than two players, continue clockwise around the table until all players have placed their forces in their starting areas. You will constantly pick up your characters during a game to look at or turn their dials; you may want to mark the square your character was in so that you always return it to the correct square.
Once Steps 1–3 are complete, play begins with the first player.