Table of contents

The battle for Trionfey

(Coming Soon!) After more than 300 years of peace, the four nations of Trionfey prepare for battle. Choose between power, magic, wealth, or knowledge. Become the hero, command your forces, collect artifacts, and lead your nation to victory! An official deck, complete with lore, is being developed for Fano. To see the artwork and stay tuned, follow Fano on Facebook or Instagram!


Fano is a new strategy card game that can be played with 2 or more players. Each player plays with a single suit. The object of the game is to promote (see promoting) your commander three times before your opponent(s). A player can promote by collecting and using three artifacts that enhance the commander (prestige cards). This can be achieved by strategically attacking, combining, and playing cards to counter and outmaneuver your opponent(s). For additional instruction, check out the video tutorials tab for videos on how to play Fano.


  1. Standard deck (54 cards) or PnP prototype

  2. Specials variant: Counters (tokens, dice, paper+pen, or other cards)

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 of turn.
Prestige cards: All three prestige cards (8, 9, and 10) are needed to promote and win. You may play them only by combination.
Commander cards: The commander cards (J, Q, and K) mark your progress through the game.

Card type Playable Attackable Combinable Reservable
Combat cards (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Prestige cards (8, 9, & 10) No No Yes Yes
Commander cards (J, Q, & K) No No No No

Card status

On standby: Cards in your hand are on standby, ready to be played. You may store up to 3 cards on standby and replenish your cards at the beginning of your turn.
Front line: Each player may have up to 4 cards on the front line. Cards on the front line can attack, be attacked, combine, and used to promote. You may only place combat and prestige cards onto the front line.
In reserve: When a card is removed from the front line, the card is placed onto the reserve pile face up (visible to all). If any card is sent to the reserve pile from standby, place the card face down.

Setting up the game

To begin the game, have each player:


Every turn consists of three phases: draw, main phase, and end turn.


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

Main phase

During your main phase, you may perform actions if you have cards on the front line, otherwise, proceed to End Turn. The actions you perform during this phase will allow new cards to enter the front line and be used immediately without a response from the opponent. If you run out of cards in hand during your main phase, draw three new cards and continue your main phase. You may perform the following actions multiple times and in any order:

Combine: Combine allows you to play a combat or prestige card from your hand onto the front line without ending your turn. To combine, two cards on the front line need to add up to the value of a card in hand. You may return one of the front line cards to hand or reserve both cards. *Example* Play a 7 by reserving a 6 and an ace(1) on the front line (6 + 1 = 7). *Note* This is the only way to play prestige cards.
Attack: Attacking allows you to remove an opponent’s card from their front line and play a card from your hand without ending the turn. In order to attack, the attacking card on your front line, the card you are attacking on your opponent’s front line, and the card being played from your hand (the condition) need to follow one of the 7 attack cycles in a clockwise direction (see image below). To resolve the attack, the two cards engaged in combat are sent to their reserve piles face-up and the condition is played directly to the front line. *Example* If you have a 2 on your front line, the 2 can attack an opponent 3, 4, or 6 but would require a 5, ace[1], or 7 in hand respectively. If you use a 2 to attack an opponent’s 6, the 2 and 6 are reserved and the 7 (in hand) is played onto the front line.
Promote: If you have the 8, 9 and 10 on the front line, you may advance to the next commander by reserving them (face-up). If you were a Jack, become a Queen. If you were a Queen, become a King. Promoting as a King wins the game. You may shorten games by stopping at Queen or King.

Using the fano plane: In Fano the card game, we use the fano plane (left) to create 7 unique rock-paper-scissors attack cycles (right). Just like the rules of RPS: paper -> rock -> scissors, attacking in Fano is the same: A -> 2 -> 4. The fano plane ensures that all 7 combat cards can attack 3 of the other 6 combat cards and be attacked by the remaining 3 combat cards. For additional help, see the YouTube videos on attacking.

End turn

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

Play card: Play a combat card onto the front line. Only 4 cards may be on the front line at any time.
Substitute: First, reserve a front line card (face-up), then play a combat card from hand.
Discard: Reserve any number of cards (face-down) from your hand. This is the only way to reserve cards face-down.
Pass: End your turn.

How to win

When you promote three times you win! Shorter games may be played by stopping at Queen or King.



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. A player may only combine, attack, and promote only with their front line. 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 can be stored. During the game, you receive 1 tribute counter every time you reserve one or more of your own cards. You reserve your cards when you perform any of the following: (Combine, substitute, or discard). This does not include cards reserved 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 the front line 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 reserved (from hand or the front line), 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 front line cards for a card in hand with a value less than the sum of the combined cards. When a player combines using this special they are not rewarded 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 onto the front line 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 during their main phase. 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 the front line. During the opponents turn, if the opponent were to attack a different card, the face-down card may be reserved (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 reserve piles and the 3 of hearts is placed onto their front line 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 ace[1] and 4 in play while the opponent (spades) has a 3, 6, 8, and 10 on their front line. 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 ace[1] or 4. However, hearts may combine the ace[1] and 4 for the 5 (in hand) and return the ace[1] to hand. Now hearts may attack the 6 of spades with their 5 (5 -> 6 : ace[1]). The 6 of spades and the 5 of hearts are sent to their respective reserve piles while the ace[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 an ace[1], 5, and 7 on their front line. Their first instinct might be to combine the ace[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 ace[1] and 7 immediately for their 8, hearts chooses to attack the 2 of spades with their ace[1]. The attack removes both cards and hearts replaces their ace[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 reserve 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.