Give each player Resource Tokens (Commodities and Population) as listed below. To speed up the process, count out 5 groups of 5 small tokens for every resource. Each player should receive 5 small tokens of each type, and any allowance above 5 should be made up with large tokens (shown as dots in the table below). AI then passes 3 Population Tokens to FF.

Commodity and Population Assignments

  UE SF FF Cr AI Black Market
Energy 20    ●●● 5 10            ● 10          ● 15     ●● 4x5E = 20
Water 5 10        ● 15          ●● 15       ●● 5 3x5W = 15
Food 5 10        ● 15          ●● 10          ● 5 4x5F = 20
(One large token per occupied Utility)
Population 5 5 8


5 2 Total Population


   Disaffected 0 0 2 0 0
   Spare 1 1 3 0 1


4 (3 mines, 1 military) 4 (1 energy mine, 1 farm, 2 military) 3 (2 farms, 1 military) 5 (4 water mines, 1 military) 1 (1 farm)


Default Cards (colour-coded by Faction).

Give players the following default Location Cards (indicated by letter-number pairs) and Skill Cards (indicated by # and a number). All Location Cards should initially be placed face-down. Skill Cards are public.

AI: E3, E5, #1, #6, #11
UE: B3, B4, #2, #7, #12
SF: C7, B8, #3, #8, #13
FF: D1, E1, #4, #9, #14
Cr: G6, H1, #5, #10, #15

Random Cards. After allocating the default Location Cards and Skill Cards:

  • Shuffle the Southern and Northern Hemisphere Decks separately
  • Give the First Fleet player one random Northern Location Card, face-down, and one random Southern Location Card, face-down. (The First Fleet player may study these two Cards).
  • Give the AI player one random Southern Location Card face-down. (The AI player may study this Card).
  • Turn one random Card from each Location Deck face-up in that deck’s discard pile.
  • Shuffle the Skill Deck and expose 10 random Skill Cards face-up. Discard the 3 Cards with the highest eligibility level. Discarded Skill Cards should be placed at the bottom of the Skill Deck, face down, without shuffling. The AI faction may choose discards in the event of ties.


Utilities. Place Utilities on the map as shown in the table below, with the standard (grey-bordered) side face-up for all Mines and Farms on the planetary surface, and the plain (textless) side face-up for the Solar Arrays at C11 and the Moon. For the two Water Mines on the Moon, turn the upgraded (blue-bordered) side face-up. Most players also receive a Shield Tile. Place the Fusion Reactor off the map, in front of the AI player.

Energy Mines Water Mines Farms Other Shields
B3 x2 (United Energy) Moon x2 (Cryos) Upgraded E5 (AI) Solar Array C11 (First Fleet) B3 (Level 1)
D8 (Second Fleet)
B4 (United Energy) G6 (Cryos) D1 x2 (First Fleet) C7 (Level 3)
C7 (Second Fleet) H1 (Abandoned) D5 (Abandoned) Fusion Reactor (AI) D1 (Level 2)
B6 (Abandoned) F2 (Abandoned) F9 (Abandoned) G6 (Level 1)
  F6 (Abandoned)   Orbiting Solar Array (Cryos)

Place two Civilian pieces (round discs coloured by factions) on each of the owned Mines and Farms, to indicate that they are occupied, but not on any of the 6 Utilities listed as abandoned. Solar Arrays are never occupied. Shield tiles may be placed under Utility tiles to save space; they provide protection to the entire grid space regardless of how they are positioned.


Skill Tracks. Place Civilian Pieces on the 3 Skill Tracks as shown. (These pieces are not part of the population).

  • Cryptography: UE, Cryos, 1st Fleet, 2nd Fleet, AI
  • Technology: 1st + 2nd Fleet, Level 1; UE + Cryos, Level 2; AI, Level 3
  • Military: UE + Cryos, Level 1; 1st Fleet + AI, Level 2; 2nd Fleet, Level 3

TIP: The Track positions match each faction’s default Skill Cards.


Orbits. Place the Cryos Moon on the blue orbital path at the marked orbital point above F8. Place one Starship token on the marked orbital point above E3, and another on the central zero-space of the Velocity Indicator (indicating that the Starship is initially stationary relative to the planet surface).


Starting Units.
Assign the 5 factions the following Military Units.

  • AI: 1 Infantry, 1 Bomber, 1 Mech, 1 Starship, 1 Missile Card (Skill Card #11)
  • UE: 1 Infantry, 1 Bomber, 2 Mechs
  • SF: 1 Infantry, 1 Bomber, 2 Fighters, 4 Mechs
  • FF: 1 Infantry, 1 Bomber, 1 Missile Card (Skill Card #14)
  • Cr: 1 Infantry, 1 Bomber, 2 Mechs

Players may keep their Military Units on their Population Mat until the Militarisation Action has been chosen, after which time they must be placed on the map in the factions’ home spaces. During placement, stacking Limits (5 Units per grid space) may not be exceeded, and players may not place starting Units on Location Cards.