Setting Up a New Game
In this section, you will learn how to set up a new game if you are playing in person with physical cards. If you are playing this game electronically (on web.sanguosha.com or on the computer program QSanGuoSha), you will find that the computer program will perform all of the following steps for you.
Step 1: Distribute Role Cards Randomly
The first order of business when starting a new game is to distribute role cards. This is done by placing a number of role cards face down, mixing them around, then asking each player to select one. The number of each role card to mix in this manner depends upon the number of players. Use the table below as a reference for how many cards for each role should be placed face down for this part of the setup:
After the role cards have been dealt, each player views their role card. The player that receives the king role card (the red one) places this card face up, while the rest of the players keep their role cards placed face down for the duration of the game. Each of the other players keeps their role card face down until they die.
Step 2: Each Player Selects a Character card
Now that the role cards have been distributed, it is time for each player to select their character card. The player with the king role card selects their character first. The king will be able to choose from all of the king choices that the group has available to them and also receives two randomly picked non-king choices from the character deck. Below is a list of king choices available as of 7/12/2012:
After the king has made their selection, the choice is placed face up for all other characters to see and the king's non-selected character cards are shuffled back into the character deck. Then, each of the remaining players is dealt five character cards face down (if there are not enough character cards for each player to have this many choices, deal each of the remaining players three character cards instead). Each player looks at the character cards that they were dealt, places one face down to use for the game, and places their non-selected choices back in the character deck. After each of the remaining players has made a selection, all of the character cards are flipped face up for everybody to see.
Step 3: Distributing Hand Cards and Health Cards
Now that everybody has selected a character, it is time to distribute hand cards and health cards. Each player, starting with the king then going to the left until the character to the king's immediate right is reached, is dealt four playing cards from the playing deck. Then, health cards are distributed to each of the characters. If there are more than four players, the king receives a health card with one more unit of health than printed on their character card (for example, Cao Cao would receive a health card with five units of health). Now, the game can begin.