Some items that might help you stay organized are:
About 20 re-sealable plastic baggies
Eight rubber bands
Three small boxes to hold the creature figures
To start off, place the board on a flat surface. The total area will be about double the size of the board, approximately 4 feet by 6 feet. Divide the tokens into the plastic baggies: organization is key to the game running smoothly. The tokens can be combined however you choose, just make sure you know which tokens are in which bag. Divide the cards into their respective decks — if unsure, look at the back of the card. Next, separate the heroes and creatures. The heroes should fit into an average plastic bag, the creatures can be divided by color and put into the boxes.
When you're ready to play, have each player choose a character. For this article will we go with Brandon Lightstone. When people choose their character, make sure to keep the two factions even. If you have an odd number of players, someone can play two characters to even the teams. Make sure you pay attention to the character’s special ability found directly to the right of their picture. Each ability is different and can affect the way you play drastically. The other area to look at is the preprinted card area. Each character starts with some equipment to help them out. Each character has different items and abilities, so find the one best suited to your play style.
Next grab your class deck. In our case we will use the paladin class deck. To figure out which deck is yours, match the symbol next to the character’s name to the corresponding symbol on the class decks. Now grab a bag and book token and set them next to your card. Grab one of the small tokens with your character’s face on it. Place it on the spot on your card marked I. This is your level. As you advance your character you will advance up the sheet towards V. The other token with your character's face on it is used to mark your level on the board. Place it on the experience track. As you gain experience, this token will move upwards. When on or above one of the level spaces, you have gained that level!
Next grab health and energy points. To find out how many, look at your character sheet. The level one spot will tell you how many tokens you get. For Brandon Lightstone, we get 3 health and 2 energy. Now grab the figure representing your character. If you are Alliance, place your figure on the Southshore space on the board. If you are Horde, place your figure on the Brill space on the board. If you don’t know which you are, look at your character card. If it is blue you are Alliance, if it is red you are Horde.
As a group, decide which overlord you will be playing against. There are three to choose from, so read what each one does. Place their card on the side with the correct number of players, this information is in the lower left hand corner of the overlord card and reads either 4 or 6.
Now place the four different item decks adjacent to the board. Take three triangle item cards, two square item cards, and one circle item card and place them face up on the board in a stack on the “Merchant Deck” area. Each team takes their respective quest decks. Then give 5 gold to each character. Now each team draws the top 4 grey quests and the top green quest and places them face up on their side of the board. Place the creatures indicated on the quests, on their indicated spaces. The small number next to the creature picture is how many of that color are spawned. Add one of your faction’s quest tokens to any space occupied by a red or green creature. These are the objective of the quest. Now put the grey quests back in the box. These are only starting quests. Place the turn marker on the 1st turn space. Note: if you are not playing with Kel’Thuzad as the overlord, remember to remove the 5 Kel’Thuzad special event cards, they all have a prominent Kel’Thuzad symbol on them. Shuffle the event deck and place it face down next to the board.
Next week: Turn Sequence.
Fantasy Flight Games