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.
How does the second edition differs from the first?
Nova Suecia - The Last Letter Home focuses on the core game: the interdependency between the players. The rounds have been replaced by turns, where each player completes his or her actions before handing over to the next, and where resource allocation and direct trade has been replaced by indirect trade through markets determined by supply and demand. Mechanisms not supporting the core game have been removed, such as bidding for districts, taxation and fort building. The result is less fiddly and more streamlined game.
I have reviewed the top games at
Boardgamegeek but not found any similar to this. Bidding exists in good games like
worker placement in games like
Puerto Rico and trading in games like
Settlers. But I haven't found any game that combines all three to give the ever
changing and increasing challenges of Nova Suecia.
So the winner is the one who knows the true value of a district, like in Amun-Re
with its agony of decision?
No, all districts are balanced and the pay-off you as a player gets from them
depends on how you fit them into your overall strategy.
So I need to know which roles that optimize my current gameplay, like in Puerto Rico
with its analysis paralysis?
No, all players play the role of a governor. Their actions are dependent on the districts
So the players may deny each others goods to stop leaders, like in Settlers with
its kingmaker problems?
Yes and no, if you don't trade in Nova Suecia, your assets will be worthless and both
players will suffer. You must trade and by doing so, making sure that you get the best out
of the deal.
How about this taxation mechanism? Doesn't it encourage "free-riders"?
Yes and no. The more tax a player pays, the more benefits does he or she get. On the
other hand, "free-riding" is a viable strategy as well, provided that the money saved
matches the benefits lost.
About the Rules
Is there a limit to how much time players may spend on analyzing and/or negotiations?
This risk exists in all games. However, in Nova Suecia you have no more than four districts to
analyze and usually only one player at the time to negotiate with. If it's still a problem,
I recommend a 1 minute limit per player and phase. A player lasting longer than that is
simply assumed to "pass".
How is the game best taught to others?
The first game turn is pretty straight-forward with almost no choices. Quickly
explain the main objectives of the game (bid, produce, trade, pay taxes and build the fort) and
the importance of the colony balance (farms provide food, trade posts provide taxes and tobacco/metal
produce goods for each other). Then play through the first game turn, either using the examples in the rules, or,
since the first turn has fairly few choices, starting the real game.
Which are the benefits with paying a high tax and start the game turn first?
First, you will get the extra colonist if they can't be equally divided among the players
(worth about 1 gold). Second, you will be able to adapt your colonist placement to the other
players (worth up to 1 gold). Third, with a farm you trade grain to the
higher price (worth up to 1 gold). Fourth, with production you will sell trade goods to the
higher price (worth up to 3 gold). Fifth, you will get more tax to your favorite
area and an opportunity to reallocate tax from other players' favorite areas (worth more than all
the previous together if you're successful). Last but certainly not least, you get to add first to
the fort before the cost increases. Nevertheless, none of those benefits are guaranteed so
you must adapt your tax payment to your strategy.