The game is aimed for 2-5 players and can take roughly 30-45 minutes per game. It comes with 5 Caravan cards, 10 Starting cards, 36 Point cards, 43 Merchant cards, 105 Crystals between 4 colours, 4 Crystal storages, and 20 Metal tokens split between Copper and Silver. You require around 2-foot square to play which is welcoming to many surfaces.
Firstly, shuffle the Point cards, the ones with the Golem back, to form the Point deck. Then draw 5 cards from the top and place them face up to the left in a row. Then place a pile of Copper tokens equal to double the players on above the leftmost card. Do the same with the Silver tokens for the right next card. For the Merchant cards, the ones with the Crystal back, remove the ones with the purple borders. These are you Starting cards. Each player starts with a Create 2 and Upgrade 2 to form the hand. Remaining purple border cards are returned to the box.
Shuffle the remaining Merchant cards to form the Merchant deck. These are the cards that allow you to build up your resources. With these resources, you can go ahead and claim those much sought after Point cards. Draw 6 cards from the pile and place them face up to the left of the deck in a row. After that, place the coloured Crystals in order of value (Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Magenta). These are your trade resources. You can trade for Merchant cards and for Point cards
Next, each player takes a Caravan card, the one with the brown back. This card is where you will store your lovely Crystals to a maximum of 10 at the end of your turn. Make sure one player has the Crystal symbol on the card so you know who starts the game. Lastly, for each player distribute a number of starting Crystals. The first player gets 3 Yellow, 2nd and 3rd get 4 Yellow, and 4th and 5th get 3 Yellow and 1 Green.
Overall, Century doesn’t take long to set up. Even on your first play through it can take around 5 minutes which is excellent. This time frame is perfect for the times you want to just crack out the game in between your day with your friends or family. Or, just a board game you don’t have to spend considerable effort and time to set up. This, in turn, means you can fit in more games within your session. As for space, it doesn’t require much at all. A small coffee table will suffice or even a table on a train for those longer journeys to conventions etc.