The game is currently available at
The Game Crafter.
However, I regularly place orders with them so if you live in Sweden and are interested in a copy,
please feel free to contact me.
What do the Nova Suecia games have in common?
The games in the Nova Suecia series are all independent from each other with different game
systems and mechanisms. Nevertheless, there is a red thread connecting them all:
No dice: Instead of luck, a players' abilities to foresee other players' actions determine the game. In for example Christina Regina, the Queen is moved openly one step at the time by one player at the time but each player's goal with the Queen is hidden.
Cooperation: A player can rarely execute her strategy on her own but is dependent on the other players. This is clear in for example Tre Kronor Infernum and Mare Balticum, where the players may set up and use routes together.
Competition: With the exception of Bellum se ipsum alet, the players don't fight each other directly but by taking advantage of the other players' actions. In Nova Suecia, a player may win by negotiating trade deals or free-ride on other players' tax payments.
Ambiguity: Actions and objectives are seldom black or white. This is particularly true in Vasa Regalis, where one strategy benefits from the ship sailing and another from the ship sinking.
Historic theme: All games are set in the 17th century Sweden.
What makes Bellum se ipsum alet different from other games?
There are many tile laying games but in Bellum se ipsum alet, the tiles continuously change,
adding an unpredictable and chaotic dimension. The game that come closest to this I believe is
Tigris & Euphrates with its concept of external conflict, causing tiles to be removed. The same
game also has a system where strength is determined by the tiles on the game board. However, in
Bellum se ipsum alet you actually move pieces across a game board hex by hex and have to find ways
to conceal your intentions (or to defend if someone comes against you). The cities' ability to
free themselves also add a "neutral" player, fighting against all the players. Finally, the sudden
death of the game when too many cities are devastated add an interesting balance where players
carefully have to assess their campaigns and plan what cities to capture and what cities to leave.
Can't a major power simply wait in a corner for the other powers to kill each other?
Yes, but at a risk. The rule that movement takes place last in the turn means that:
If a major power reaches the victory threshold in its turn without being engaged
by any other major power (because they wait in the corners), its victory can't be stopped.
If a fresh major power moves towards a weary major power, the latter has time to withdraw
The conclusion is that you must stay close to your enemies to have the opportunity to
attack when necessary but also at risk of being attacked yourself.
About the Rules
How is the game best taught to others?
Explain the concept of supply and strength and that each leader represents an army with the total strength.
Use the city tiles to show the different city statuses of free, besieged, occupied, influenced and ruined.
Use the example in the rules to illustrate the phases battle, movement, city status and influence.
Are influence markers placed on the leader hexes as well?
Can a besieging leader move without interrupting the siege?
Do only own leaders count in the scoring or captured enemy leaders as well?
Both own and enemy leaders count.
Do the siege and resistance levels indicate strength?
No, they merely serve as "sign posts" linked to the turn track to show when a besieged city
falls and when a captured city revolts.
Is it possible for a major power to win a battle but lose a leader, like Gustavus II Adolphus at Lützen?
Unfortunately no, to keep the rules as simple as possible, only the losing side may lose a leader.
Assume that Gustavus II Adolphus has moved to besiege the Austrian city of Berlin. If the count of Tilly moves to Berlin from the other side and/or another side of a river, what happens with the siege? Does it matter if Berlin is neutral or Austrian?
Cities are part of the "chains" connecting leaders and cities. If Berlin is Austrian, the leaders are connected so Gustavus II Adolphus must wage battle and drive away the count of Tilly to continue the siege. However, if Berlin is neutral AND a river separates Tilly from the city, Tilly may not use the bridges of Berlin and is not connected to the city (and hence not connected to Gustavus either). Remember that a leader cannot besiege a city across a river.
Assume that Gustavus II Adolphus has moved to besiege the Austrian city of Berlin. If the count of Tilly moves next to Gustavus II Adolphus, the Swedish leader must first battle the Austrian leader before he may besiege Berlin. But what if the count of Tilly is connected to the Austrian city of Dresden? May he use the defensive value of Berlin, although he is not connected to the city? May he use the defensive value of Dresden, although this city is not under attack?
Yes and yes. All connected leaders and cities are considered to be engaged in the battle. However, the count of Tilly may only use the defensive value of one of the cities and only if defending. Again, this is to keep the rules as simple as possible but also to make it easier for a lonely leader to cover several cities. The first case reflects Berlin supporting the count of Tilly through sorties, the second case reflects the count of Tilly having supplies from Dresden.