Table of contents

The battle for Trionfey

After more than 300 years of peace, the four nations of Trionfey prepare for battle. Choose between power, magic, wealth, or knowledge. You will play as a young general from one of the four nations. Mobilize your forces to fight other nations, collect prestigious artifacts, and to become the one true ruler of Trionfey! Check out the cards here! Want an email when we launch? Sign up for the: Kickstarter mailing list and be sure to follow Fano on Facebook or Instagram!


Fano is an abstract strategy combat card game that can be played with 2 or more people. Each player plays with a single suit. The object of the game is to become the king by being the first to promote your commander two times from Jack to King. A player can promote by collecting and using three prestige cards (8, 9, and 10) that enhance the commander. This can be achieved by strategically playing, attacking, combining, and recruiting cards to counter and outmaneuver your opponent(s). You can learn from the rules below or check out the video tutorials online. If you like to learn while you play, try this new quick-start walkthrough.

Fano plane cycles: The fano plane (triangle on left) suggests 7 unique rock-paper-scissors like cycles (on right) where paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper. When attacking in Fano 1[A] beats 2, 2 beats 4, and 4 beats 1; 2 beats 3, 3 beats 5, and 5 beats 2, etc. The fano plane ensures that all seven combat cards can attack three of the other six combat cards and be attacked by the remaining three.


  1. Standard deck (54 cards) or PnP prototype

  2. Specials variant: Counters (tokens or dice)

Card types

Combat cards: Play or use Combat cards (ace[1], 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) in all aspects of Main Phase and End Phase. Combat cards have all abilities except promote.
Prestige cards: All three prestige cards (8, 9, and 10) are needed to promote and win. You may play them only by combination during Main Phase. Prestige cards can combine and promote.
Commander cards: The commander cards (J, Q, and K) only mark your progress through the game.

Player action Card ability
Card type Play Discard Attack Combine Recruit Promote
Combat (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7)
Prestige (8, 9, & 10)
Commander (J, Q, & K)

Card status

In hand: Cards in your hand are ready to be played. You may store up to 3 cards in your hand. Your hand is replenished at the beginning of your turn.
In play: Each player has 4 field slots on the battlefield. When a card is on the battlefield it is considered in play. Cards in play have abilities: attack, combine, recruit, and promote. Only combat and prestige cards may enter the battlefield.
Discarded: When a card is removed from play, the card is placed onto the discard pile face up (visible to all). If you discard during End Phase place the card face down.

How to win

When you promote two times you win! Shorter games may be played by stopping at Queen. Tournament games require three promotions.

Set up

To begin the game, have each player:


Every turn consists of three phases: 1) Draw 2) Main, and 3) End.

Draw Phase

At the start of your turn, draw until you have three cards. If your draw pile runs out of cards, shuffle your discard pile and continue until you have three cards in hand. During your draw phase, if you have 8, 9, and 10 in hand, you may choose to keep or discard the hand. If you discard the hand, draw three new cards.

Main Phase

During your main phase, you may use any number of card abilities of cards in play, otherwise, proceed to End Phase. Cards that enter play during this phase can also use abilities. If you run out of cards in hand during your main phase, draw three new cards and continue your main phase. You may use the following abilities multiple times and in any order:

Attack: A combat card can declare an attack on an enemy combat card in play if the enemy combat card’s value is clockwise to the attacking card in one of the seven cycles (see below). To complete any attack, the attacker must produce the correct support card from their hand or the attacking card is discarded face-up. The support card needed is the value counterclockwise to the attacking card in the same cycle used to make the attack. If the attack is successful, both cards engaged in combat are discarded face-up and the support card is played to an empty field slot.

Example: If you have a 2 in play, the 2 can attack an opponent 3, 4, or 6 but needs support from 5, 1, or 7 respectively. If you use a 2 to attack an opponent’s 6, the 2 and 6 are discarded and the supporting 7 (in hand) is played directly.

Combine: A card can add it’s value to another on the same field if that player has the sum in hand. The combined cards are discarded face-up and the sum is played to an empty field slot. The player then has the option to return one of the cards discarded back to their hand.

Example: If 1 and 6 are in play, 1 can add it’s value to a 6 if the player has a 7. 1 and 6 are discarded face-up and 7 is played. 1 or 6 can then be returned to hand. *Note* This is the only way prestige cards can enter play.

Recruit: Two cards on the same field, can recruit another card from that player’s hand to an empty field slot if all three unique card values share a cycle.

Example: If 1 and 4 are in play, 1 and 4 can recruit 2 if in hand.

Promote: The 8, 9 and 10 can advance you to the next commander if all are in play. All three cards are discarded face-up.

Example: If you were a jack, become queen. If you were queen, become king and win.

End turn

After your main phase, you may perform ONE of the following actions to end your turn:

Play: Play a combat card to an empty field slot. Only 4 cards may be in play at any time.
Substitute: First, discard a card in play (face-up), then play a combat card from hand.
Discard: Discard any number of cards (face-down) from your hand. This is the only way to discard cards face-down.
Pass: End your turn.

Reaction rules

When a card is attacked, a player has two options to counter.

Combine counter: A card in play can combine with the attacked card for another combat card. The attack is redirected to the new card. If the attack is invalid, only the attacker is sent to discard face-up. If the attack is still a valid attack and the attacking player possesses the correct support card for the new attack, the attack continues normally. A successful attack after a counter may be countered again.
Recruit-combine counter: Two cards in play can first recruit a card that will perform a combine counter with the attacked card.



Fano may be extended to any number of players. For 2-4 player games, only one deck is required, while 5+ player games will require additional decks.

3-player game

Decide who will play first and the turn order proceeds clockwise. When it is your turn, you may choose one of the other 2 players to attack (not both) for that turn. On your next turn you may choose again. The first person to promote to the winning commander card wins.


When playing with an even number of players more than 2 (4,6,8,etc.), split the group into two partnerships of odds vs evens. Each partnership will perform their turn at the same time. Have each player roll a die, the partnership with the highest single value goes first and the player that rolled that value has priority. During your turn, you will perform actions at the same time as your partners. You may choose one of the players in the opposing partnership to attack at the beginning of your turn. If you and another player(s) in your partnership want to attack the same opponent, the player with priority gets to attack first followed by the next clockwise player. At the end of the turn, when you and your partnership have completed your end turn phase, the player with priority passes priority clockwise to the next partnership. You may use a physical token or totem to signal who has priority.

All for one!

Each player is trying to win as an individual. The first person to promote to the winning commander wins.

One for all!

All players in the same partnership share one commander. If anyone in the partnership promotes, the commander is advanced. Promotions can be paid for with prestige cards from more than one player on the team. Promotions must still contain: 8, 9, and 10 but can be any suit. A player may only combine and attack with their cards in play. The first partnership to promote to the winning commader wins.

Gameplay variations

Additional rules can alter Fano in various ways. Some ways to vary your gameplay are listed below:

Specials (The battle for Trionfey)

Suit-based specials are a way to introduce unique playing styles into the game. To play with specials, each player collects tribute counters during the game. Up to 7 counters may be stored. During the game, you receive 1 tribute counter every time you discard one or more of your own cards. You discard your cards when you perform any of the following: (Combine, substitute, or discard). This does not include cards discarded when an oponent attacks you. A player may trade in 3 tribute counters to perform a suit-based special:

  1. (Spades) Jokers wild: During your main phase, you may spend 3 tribute counters to place a joker onto the draw pile face-up. The joker is wild and may enter play as any combat card. The joker may be the result of an attack, combination, or even be played at the end of turn. Anytime the joker is discarded (from hand or from play), instead remove the joker from the game. This special enables same value combinations for example: 2+2, 5+5, etc. You may not return a joker to hand as a result of combination. More than one joker may be placed on top of the deck so long as the player spends 3 tribute counters for each joker.

  2. (Hearts) Reverse fano: During your main phase, you may spend 3 tribute counters to reverse the direction of the attack arrows for one attack. Normally combat cards can attack 3 of the other 6 combat cards. With this special, a card may attack any number. For example, 3 can normally attack a 4 for a 6 (3 -> 4 : 6) but the special will allow the 3 to attack the 6 if the player has a 4 (3 -> 6 : 4).

  3. (Clubs) Oversum: During your main phase, you may spend 3 tribute counters to combine any two cards in play for a card in hand with a value less than the sum of the combined cards. When a player combines using this special for a prestige card, they are not rewarded a tribute counter for the combine. Combining for a combat card will reward a tribute counter. For example, a player may combine a 5 and 6 for any combat or prestige card (5 + 6 = 11).

  4. (Diamonds) Perfect defense: During your end turn step, you may spend 3 tribute counters to play a combat card face down. The face down card can not be attacked while it remains face down. The player may flip the card face up any time. Once the card is flipped face up, it may be used to combine or attack but will remain face up until it is removed from play. During the opponents turn, if the opponent were to attack a different card, the face-down card may be discarded (face-down) instead of the attacked card.

Gamplay examples

Example 1 (attacking):

Hearts has a 4 in play and their opponent (spades) has a 6 in play. Hearts may attack the 6 of spades with their 4 if they have a 3 in hand (4 -> 6 : 3). When hearts attacks, their 4 and the 6 of spades are sent to their respective discard piles and the 3 of hearts is placed into play from hand.

Example 2 (combine -> attack):

Combining may be used strategically to set up a subsequent attack or a second combination. In this example we will see why you may want to combine for a combat card (ace[1]-7). It is hearts turn and they have an 1 and 4 in play while the opponent (spades) has a 3, 6, 8, and 10 in play. The hearts player is pretty certain spades has the 9 in hand, which is the last prestige card they need for a promotion and a win. Hearts draws and their hand now consists of 2, 5, and 10. At first glance, hearts can not attack the 6 or the 3 of spades with their 1 or 4. However, hearts may combine the 1 and 4 for the 5 (in hand) and return the 1 to hand. Now hearts may attack the 6 of spades with their 5 (5 -> 6 : 1). The 6 of spades and the 5 of hearts are sent to their respective discard piles while the 1 of hearts is placed once again into play. This move prevents the opponent from winning the game next turn at the cost of the 4 of hearts.

Example 3 (advanced):

In this example we will see how a player can combo attack/combine 3 times to draw a new hand. To start, hearts draws up to three cards and their hand now consists of 4, 3, and 8. Hearts already has a 1, 5, and 7 in play. Their first instinct might be to combine the 1 and 7 for their prestige card in hand (8). However, they take a step back to examine the opponents (spades) playing field. The opponent has a 2 and 6 of spades in play and may be wanting to combine for an 8 next turn as well. Instead of combining 1 and 7 immediately for their 8, hearts chooses to attack the 2 of spades with their 1. The attack removes both cards and hearts replaces their 1 with the 4 in hand (1 -> 2 -> 4). Next, hearts attacks the 6 of spades with their 4, removing both cards and replacing their 4 with the 3 in hand (4 -> 6 -> 3). Finally, hearts combines their 5 and 3 for the prestige card (8) in hand. Hearts chooses to discard both of the combined cards which prompts them to draw 3 new cards and continue playing. This sequence of moves not only results in the prestige card (8) but also seriously damages the opponent’s playing field--removing all of their cards and preventing them from combining next turn for a prestige card.