How To Play: NOVA

NOVA is a thrilling board game where you conquer the cosmos. Focus on resource management, tactical positioning, and long-term strategy. Balance early gains, smart trades, and key resource control. Secure high-value positions and adapt to changes. Plan ahead and build alliances. Master these tips to excel in NOVA.

Want to up your NOVA game? You’re in the right place! This guide contains a quick overview of the game rules and, more importantly, the best strategies for winning. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned player, these tips will help you crush your opponents and have a blast doing it. Ready to become a NOVA master? Let’s get started!


What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 60 Resource Tokens
  • 40 Action Cards
  • 20 Mission Cards
  • 4 Reference Cards
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 8 Dice
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play NOVA: Rules Summary

  1. Place the game board in the center of the table.

  2. Each player picks a color and takes the corresponding pieces.

  3. Shuffle the resource cards and deal three to each player.

  4. Put the remaining cards in a draw pile.

  5. Place the starting tokens on their designated spots on the board.

  1. Players take turns in clockwise order.

  2. On your turn, draw a resource card.

  3. Then, you can either trade, build, or deploy units.

  4. To trade, swap one of your cards with another player.

  5. To build, use resources to place structures on the board.

  6. To deploy, use units to secure strategic positions.

  7. End your turn by checking for any special conditions.

  1. The game ends when a player builds all their structures.

  2. The player with the most points from structures and resources wins.

  3. In case of a tie, the player with the most units on the board wins.

Special Rules & Conditions
  1. If you draw a wild card, you must play it immediately.

  2. If two players try to trade the same resource, roll a die to resolve.

  3. If a player controls a key resource, they gain an extra point each turn.

Best NOVA Strategies

Mastering Resource Management in NOVA

Winning NOVA relies on mastering resources. Ensure you balance your needs and gather what’s essential. Consider these strategies:

Prioritize Early Gains

  1. Focus on gathering basic resources.
  2. Secure multipliers to boost your harvest.
  3. Use early gains to build a strong foundation.

Efficient Exchange

  1. Trade resources smartly to get more value.
  2. Plan your trades based on current game needs.
  3. Remember, some trades might backfire if not timed well.

Control Key Resources

  1. Identify and control critical resources.
  2. Deny opponents access to these resources.
  3. Always keep track of what’s in demand.

Master these and you’ll be a step closer to victory.

Mastering Tactical Positioning in NOVA

Tactical positioning in NOVA can make or break your game. However, fear not, as I’ve got some tips to help you win!

1. Prioritize High-Value Positions

  1. Identify areas that offer the most benefits and secure them early.
  2. Always be on the lookout for key areas opponents might target.

2. Smart Deployment

  1. Spread your resources but keep them within reach of each other.
  2. Deploy where you can support your assets strategically.

3. Keep an Eye on Opponents

  1. Monitor their movements and anticipate their strategies.
  2. Adjust your positioning to counter any aggressive actions.

4. Adapt to Changing Board Dynamics

  1. Stay flexible as the game progresses and positions shift.
  2. Be prepared to move quickly to capitalize on opportunities.

5. Balance Offense and Defense

  1. Keep a good mix of aggressive and defensive positions.
  2. Ensure you can defend key points while pressuring your opponents.

Mastering Long-Term Strategy in Nova

1. Plan Ahead

In Nova, planning ahead sets you up for success. Here’s how:

  1. Identify key objectives early.
  2. Predict and react to opponents’ moves.
  3. Remain flexible but grounded in your strategy.

2. Build Alliances

Creating alliances can turn the tide in your favor:

  1. Make and keep strategic promises.
  2. Foster trust among allies.
  3. Be prepared for alliance shifts.

3. Balance Risk and Reward

Calculated risks can pay off big:

  1. Evaluate risks versus potential rewards.
  2. Avoid reckless moves.
  3. Always have a backup plan.

4. Adapt to Changes

The game evolves, and so should you:

  1. Stay alert to game dynamics.
  2. Modify strategies as needed.
  3. Capitalize on unexpected opportunities.

5. Monitor Resources

Manage resources wisely for long-term gains:

  1. Track your resources diligently.
  2. Prioritize resource investments.
  3. Optimize resource usage.

Conquer the Cosmos with Confidence

So there you have it, aspiring star commanders! With these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to mastering NOVA. Remember, the game is all about balancing your resources, positioning your forces wisely, and always thinking a few steps ahead. It’s like playing chess with a sprinkle of intergalactic warfare. Just remember that even the best plans can go astray with a single roll of the dice. Play smart, adapt quickly, and enjoy the ride. The cosmos awaits your command. Now go out there and show your friends who the real space tactician is!

And if you ever forget the rules or need a refresher, just look up ‘How To Play nova.’ Trust me, you’ll thank me later!

Want to know what we think of NOVA? Read our detailed review of NOVA here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.