Each player selects an nation to play.
Any nation from the Warmaster rulebook can be chosen and the same nation can be played by more than one player.
Each player receives a stack with the start unit-markers as listed on the nation table.
The players roll 2D6 each to determine the order in which they deploy their stacks. The player rolling highest is the first one to place his stack in any empty town of his choosing.
When all stacks are deployed the game starts with the first strategic round.
The players get a fixed set of start markers to give comparable start conditions to all players.