Before playing, resolve the following steps:

  1. Gather Forces: Each player places their ships and upgrade cards on the table in front of them. For each ship that has a shield value, charge limit, or Force capacity, place the corresponding shields, , or above the ship and/or upgrade cards. Each player assigns ID markers to each of their ships.
  2. Determine Player Order: The player with the lowest squad point total chooses who is the first player. Otherwise, randomly determine the first player.
  3. Establish Play Area: Establish a 3' x 3' (91 cm x 91 cm) play area on a flat surface or use a playmat, such as the Fantasy Flight Games Starfield Playmat. Then players pick opposite edges of the play area to be their player edges.
  4. Place Obstacles: In player order, players take turns choosing an obstacle and placing it into the play area until all six obstacles have been placed. Obstacles must be placed beyond range 1 of each other and beyond range 2 of each edge of the play area.
  5. Place Forces: Players place their ships into the play area in initiative order from lowest to highest initiative, using player order as a tiebreaker. Ships must be placed within range 1 of their player edge. When a ship with a turret arc indicator is placed, the player rotates the arc to select a standard arc. Each ship with a turret arc indicator may rotate its indicator when the ship is placed.
  6. Prepare Other Components: Shuffle the damage deck and place it facedown outside the play area. If the players have more than one damage deck, each player uses their own deck. Then the supply of range rulers, templates, dice, and tokens is created near the play area.


  • If a card has the "SETUP:" header, this effect is resolved during the appropriate step of setup.