As you learn to play FAZA, you might encounter a rule you’re unsure about, or maybe you’d like to see one of the concepts shown in greater depth. In any case, contact us and we’d be happy to clarify any rules and hear more about your experience playing FAZA.
If you want a print PDF version of the rules, download the rules in PDF. The same content that’s in the PDF is also below with added videos and imagery.
- Team Phase
- Faza Phase
FAZA is a cooperative science fiction board game for 2 to 4 players navigating a post-apocalyptic city. In order to save your city from the Faza, your extraterrestrial occupiers, your team will need to destroy their three motherships.
Your team, called Faction Zeta, has eight characters, possessing different skills within one of four areas of focus: tactical, medical, technological, and political. Faction Zeta will utilize the unique skills of each member to fight for final victory over the Faza.
Gameplay is separated into 2 repeating phases: the Team Phase and the Faza Phase. During the Team Phase, you and your team will work together, communicate regularly, and develop a strategy to take down the Faza Motherships. During the Faza Phase, your enemy will try to injure you, thwart your plans, and overwhelm your team to force you to lose.
Your team wins if you defeat all 3 Faza Motherships. Your team loses if:
- Any player on your team dies.
- All Faza Rebels have been removed from the board.
- No more Drones can be placed on the board.
- All Outposts have been Fazaformed.
Icons to Aid People with Colorblindness
Since Faza relies so heavily on color, we’ve added four icons to help people with colorblindness connect their player color with the color of the board tiles.
These four icons are placed on the board tiles, player cards, and character cards. Red is a crosshair symbol, green is a pill bottle, blue is a microscope, and yellow is a microphone.
Setting up the Game
Step 1: Separate Cards
Begin by separating out the different cards from each other and place them in separate stacks: 18 Faza Cards, 24 Player Cards, 8 Character Cards, 24 Square Board Tiles, 3 Mothership Cards, and 1 Reference Card titled The Faza Phase and Mothership Combat.
Step 2: Set Up Board Tiles
Shuffle all 24 board tiles with the orange, or Fazaformed, side facedown. Then, lay them out in a grid that’s 4 tiles wide and 4 tiles tall, and place 2 tiles at the center of each side (See video or diagram). The orientation of the tiles and where you start placing them does not matter, as the final layout will always be randomized.
Step 3: Set Up Faza Pieces
- Place Motherships and Drones:
- Flip the number 1 tile over to reveal the Fazaformed side. Then place the Blue Mothership (blue die) on the number 1 tile with the #3 side of the die facing up. This represents the Mothership’s health. Place 3 Drones (orange cubes) on the same tile as the mothership and add 2 Drones on all adjacent orthogonal tiles.
- Place the Green Mothership (green die) on the number 11 tile (do not flip) and add 3 Drones to it. Then add 2 Drones each on all adjacent orthogonal tiles. Set the Mothership’s health to 3. If motherships start near each other, Drones add together up to a max of 4.
- Place the Red Mothership (red die) on the number 21 tile (do not flip) with 3 drones, then add 2 Drones on all adjacent orthogonal tiles. Set the Mothership’s health to 3.
- Mothership Cards: Place the three Mothership cards (Carrier, Destroyer, and Fazaformer) near the board and in alphabetical order. Place the Movement Tracker (thin orange disk) on the Carrier card.
- Faza Cards: Shuffle the Faza cards and place them facedown in a stack near the mothership cards. These will be drawn when attacking motherships.
- Reference Card: Place the reference card titled The Faza Phase and Mothership Combat next to the Mothership cards. This will be used later to help you keep track of the Faza Phase and how to engage the Motherships in combat.
- Unused Drones: Place the remaining Drones in an easily accessible pool near the board.
Step 4: Set Up Faction Zeta
- Pick a Color: Everyone on your team picks their own color (area of focus): red (tactical), green (medical), blue (technological), or yellow (political). Each color comes with 2 characters, a deck of 6 Player Cards, and a matching color pawn.
- Pick Character: Once you have your color, pick between the 2 characters that come with your color. Flip the unused character card over to serve as a reference card for the remainder of the game.
- Place Pawn on Outpost: Place your color pawn on the board tile that matches your color and also has the word and symbol for Outpost. There are 4 Outposts in the game, 1 each on tiles 3, 8, 17, and 22.
- Place Rebels on Outpost: Place 2 Rebels (purple cubes) on the same Outpost tile as your pawn.
- Unused Rebels: Place the remaining Rebels in an easily accessible pool near the board.
- Set Player Cards in Numeric Order: You start the game with 6 Player Cards matching your color pawn. Place the cards in front of you in numerical order with the side showing the heart (healthy side) face up to help you keep track of your injuries, movements, and enhancements.
- White Dice: Place the 4 white dice near the board and ready to use for combat against Drones. They are NOT used for movement.
Starting the Game
After the board is set up, you start the game by using player cards to move or enhance dice rolls. During the Team Phase, there is no turn taking between you and your friends; instead, you take turns simultaneously. Anyone on your team may use a player card at any time. For example, you may use one player card, your friend may use two player cards, and another friend may roll dice to combat Drones all at the same time because all movements, enhancements, and injuries will be tracked with your player cards. Your team is encouraged to use player cards in any order that is advantageous to your group strategy. After all your player cards have been used, the Faza Phase begins.
If this is your first time playing, we recommend your team focus on defeating drones to gain points, which can be spent to recruit rebels. These rebels will then let you damage the Motherships and eventually defeat them.
You may perform any of the following options in any order and as many times as you are able during the team phase:
- Use a player card to choose to move your character pawn OR enhance your dice rolls during combat. Rotate your player card 90 degrees after using it.
- Engage in combat by rolling dice to combat Drones on your tile. You may roll dice without using a player card, because injuries will limit how many times you will be able to engage in combat.
- Use a skill on your character card.
- Spend points (1 point = 1 defeated Drone):
- 1 point before rolling dice to increase lowest die rolled by 1.
- 2 points to recruit 1 Rebel, which must be placed on any Outpost.
- 6 points to flip a Fazaformed tile that you are on so long as there are no Drones on it.
You and your team will continue the team phase until there are no more player cards, skills, or attacks you can possibly perform. At that point, the Faza Phase begins.
Player Cards: Tracking Movements, Enhancements, and Injuries
Player cards provides you with two possible choices as illustrated on the top and bottom of the card. Once you perform a choice provided by the card, you have used the card. Rotate the card 90 degrees to keep track of your used cards.
You may use your cards in any order. Once a card is used, you cannot use it again until after the Faza Phase is over. At the end of the Faza Phase, you may rotate all your player cards to their unused position. Remember, cards should be rotated, not flipped over. Injured cards remain injured.
Combat Enhancements and Injuries
A typical combat encounter against Drones looks like this:
- Engage: When you are on the same tile as a Drone (or group of Drones), you may engage in combat at any time by rolling the white dice. As long as you haven’t been killed from injuries, you may continue engaging in combat.
- Roll: Roll 1 white die per Drone on the tile.
- Enhance: Before rolling dice, you may choose to enhance your dice roll by using one or more player cards to help guarantee victory. You may use shields, rayguns, and bazookas individually or together. Enhancements only affect the next set of dice that are being rolled. Remember, a player card is not required to roll dice; player cards only enhance the dice.
- Roll Dice: Roll 1 white die per Drone on the tile.
- Gaining Points: A roll of 4 or more means you have defeated a Drone. Remove 1 Drone per successful die roll from the board and hold on to the orange cube to keep track of your Points.
- Sustaining Injuries: A roll of 3 or less means you have failed to disable a Drone, resulting in 1 injury per failed die roll. You must flip over your lowest numbered player card from the healthy “heart” side to the “injured” skull side. Injuries are sustained in numeric order, starting with the number 1 card and moving to the number 6 card. This will keep track of your injuries.
- Rebels Take Damage for You: If there are Rebels (purple cubes) on the tile with you, they will take damage for you before you receive any injuries. Rather than flipping over a player card per injury, you will remove the Rebels from the board for each potential injury (i.e. 1 Rebel instead of 1 injury, 2 Rebels instead of 2 injuries). Place these rebels back in the pool of Rebels.
- Dice Effect: Notice that some board tiles and player cards will affect (add to or subtract from) your dice rolled in combat. You may have more than 1 dice effect depending on the tile, player card, and skills being used. You may use more than one player card to affect a single attack. These dice effects apply to all white dice and are always calculated from the tile you’re attacking from.
You move your character orthogonally, not diagonally, from tile to tile by using your player cards. Some cards will allow you to move more than one tile and even across the board. You may not leave a tile if there are any Drones on it. There is one exception to this rule – the Scout has a skill allowing him to leave tiles with Drones.
From engaging in combat, you may sustain injuries from the Drones you attack. If you do, you will flip over the lowest numbered healthy player card to the injured side. If the healthy player card you’re flipping over is unused, you flip it over and keep it in the unused position. The injured side of the player card will also give you a few more choices.
If your player card has already been used and is still healthy, you flip it over and keep it in the used state. You may not use this card until after the Faza Phase.
Healing form Injuries
To heal an injured player card, you must travel to any outpost. Once there, you may choose to heal any injured player cards that are unused. Flip it to the healthy side and rotate it 90 degrees. When using the injured player card to heal, a choice is made, which means you rotate it 90 degrees to the used position. The freshly healed player card will be ready to use after the Faza Phase is over.
If, at any time, you have sustained six injuries (all six of your player cards have been flipped over), you die and your team loses the game.
- One for One: Points are gained by defeating Drones. One Point equals one defeated Drone. When you defeat a Drone, hold on to the orange cube to keep track of your Points.
- Spend: Once you’ve collected enough points, you may also spend your Points. See the back of your character card for a detailed list.
- Return: When you spend any of your Points, return those orange cubes to the pool of Drones to be reused in the game.
Rebels are Faza aliens that have joined forces with your team, Faction Zeta. They are represented by purple cubes.
- Four Rebels: There may only ever be a maximum of 4 Rebels per tile.
- Recruit Rebels: Spend 2 Points to recruit 1 Rebel and place them on any Outpost.
- Rebel Movement: The way you move Rebels is the same way you move your own pawn – by using your player cards. You do not have to be present on the tile with the Rebels to move them.Rebels may not leave a tile if there are Drones on that tile.When using a player card to move a group of Rebels, you may move all Rebels on a single tile or choose to move a subset of all Rebels on a single tile. However, the tile you are moving them to cannot hold more than 4 Rebels.When using a player card to move, remember that it applies either to you or the Rebels – it cannot apply to both. This means you must use two players cards to move yourself and then move a group of Rebels.
- Rebel Pool: Every time a Rebel is removed from the board, place them back in the pool of Rebels ready to be recruited again.
The Faza Phase always proceeds in the following order of steps:
- The Faza attack Rebels: If a Rebel is on the same tile as a Drone, remove 1 Rebel and 1 Drone from that tile.
- The Faza attack Players: If you are on a tile with a Drone or Mothership, you sustain 1 injury maximum.
- Drone On: Add 1 Drone to any tile with Rebels.
- Mothership Movement: Repeat equal to the number of players:
- Place Movement Tracker on next Mothership. After the last mothership, the tracker loops around.
- The Mothership with the Tracker activates as described on the Mothership’s card.
- End of the Faza Phase: You regain all used cards (but do not heal from injuries at this point, only regain used cards) and begin Team Phase.
Drones are the front line of the Faza and are represented by orange cubes, which are added to tiles based on Mothership movement, as detailed on each Mothership card.
The maximum number of Drones that can be present on a tile is 4. If a Mothership movement prompts you to add Drones to a tile already containing 4 Drones, no additional Drones would be added to this tile.
The Faza draw their Drones from a pool of Drones located near the board. If there are no more Drones left to place on the board, you will lose. Be sure to spend your points wisely and frequently to prevent your team from losing the game.
The three Motherships – Carrier, Destroyer, Fazaformer – are your main adversaries in FAZA, and are represented by 3 dice (1 red, 1 green, 1 blue). Each Mothership focuses on a different losing condition.
The Motherships are the only Faza pieces that move on the board. This movement is based on the numbers on each board tile and described on each Mothership card. They always move orthogonally, not diagonally. Multiple Motherships may also be on the same tile at the same time.
- Movement Tracker: Motherships move in alphabetical order from Carrier to Destroyer to Fazaformer. Use the Movement Tracker (orange disc) to keep track of which Mothership will move next. Every time the tracker is moved to a new Mothership, that Mothership immediately activates and moves. After the third Mothership, the tracker will loop around back to the first one.
- In Case of Ties: If a tie ever occurs (i.e. same distance to two different players), the highest numbered tile will always break the tie, and the Mothership will move toward that tile.
- Number of Movements: The number of Motherships that move on the Faza Phase is equal to the number of players. (i.e., in a 4 player game, the Movement Tracker will move 4 times, moving alphabetically from ship to ship).
Mothership Combat and Defeat
When you’re ready, you may fight any of the three Faza Motherships, in any order you wish. Read the reference card title Mothership Combat to know what to do before and during an attack.
A Mothership is defeated when its health reaches 0, which results in its card flipping over to the defeated state. The Mothership’s defeated state then lists a new set of effects that will take place.
Faza cards describe effects that might occur over the course of the game, and are meant to thwart players as they try to destroy the three Faza Motherships. A single Faza card is drawn during the Board the Mothership step of Mothership Combat. After you draw a Faza card, all players must pause simulateneous play in case they are directly affected.
A Fazaformed tile, the orange-tan side of the board tiles, is land that has been environmentally altered to resemble the Faza homeworld. For this reason, some of the Fazaformed tiles have a radiation effect that will injure you if you end your turn on these tiles.
If your team successfully defeated the Faza, the next time you start the game, increase every Mothership’s health by 1 and see if your team can still win.