How To Play: Nusfjord – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Embark on mastering the strategic depths of 'How To Play Nusfjord'. This guide has covered game setup, core rules, smart resource allocation, elders and shares' management. Captivating anecdotes ensure you connect with crucial insights directly from myriad sessions I've enjoyed with friends.


Welcome fledgling fishery managers! If you’re looking to master the serene waters of ‘Nusfjord,’ you’ve docked at the right guide. Before you reel in the big catches, it’s crucial to understand the sweep of the game. In this guide, I’ll first outline the core game rules to get you in the ship’s control room, then we’ll navigate the strategic seas. I’ll share sage advice on how to outsmart your opponents, effectively manage your resources, and ultimately secure your victory in this intricate game of strategic planning. So, grab your captain’s hat, and let’s set sail into Nusfjord!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Action Board
  • 1 Banquet Table
  • 1 Building Display
  • 1 Ship Panel
  • 5 Player Boards
  • 15 Fishing Vessels (3 per player)
  • 18 Elder Cards
  • 132 Building Cards (22 per player)
  • 1 Starting Player Ship
  • 25 Workers (5 per player)
  • 100 Fish Tokens
  • 90 Wood Tokens
  • 50 Coin Tokens (20x ‘1 coin’, 30x ‘5 coins’)
  • 55 Share Certificates (11 per player)
  • 29 Forest Tiles
  • 1 Resource Board
  • 1 Elder Council
  • 2 Reserve Pools (Wood and Gold)
  • 9 Multiplicator Tiles
  • Score Pad
  • Instructions

How To Play Nusfjord: Rules Summary

Initial Setup

Laying the groundwork for your first fishing empire starts with the setup. Remember, starting strong contributes to victory down the line:

  1. Place the game board in the center of the table for all players to access.
  2. Distribute starting resources as per the number of players.
  3. Arrange the buildings and ships into available feeding and action areas.
  4. Each player gets a player board, representing their fishing village. Place it in front of you.
  5. Select a starting player randomly, and you’re ready to sail out!


Strategy threads throughout every action taken within the world of Nusfjord:

  1. Select an available action from the main board and perform it.
  2. Actions range from fishing, building, planting forests, or using elder cards for your benefit.
  3. Fish is a primary resource – manage it smartly!
  4. The game progresses over seven rounds, each round having three phases: action phase, fishing phase, and return-home phase.

Winning the Game

The victorious leader of Nusfjord is one who balances sharp tactics with resource management:

  1. Gather point-scoring buildings and merchant ships to increase your victory points.
  2. Shares and gold represent potential points, so budget and allocate where you see fit.
  3. When the final round concludes, calculate points – the highest score wins!

Special Rules & Conditions

Vibrant gameplay emerges from navigating Nusfjord’s special rules:

  1. Elders bring a twist to traditional actions and can be recruited to bolster your village.
  2. Utilize the shares system not just for your financial advantage, but also for your strategy in getting ahead.
  3. Keep an eye of varying costs and benefits of the buildings through different playthroughs. Adaptation is key.

Best Nusfjord Strategies

Mastering the Vast Sea of Resources: Your Key to Winning at Nusfjord

Imagine you’re at the bustling docks of Nusfjord: you’ve got fish to catch, buildings to construct, and hungry mouths to feed. Let’s dive deep into the crux of success in ‘How To Play Nusfjord’ – efficient resource management and allocation.

1. Prioritize Early Game Resources

  1. Focus on amassing a robust stockpile of wood. It’s the foundation of your fleet and buildings.
  2. Don’t ignore fish; they serve as versatile bartering tools for affording key actions.
  3. Gold is scarcer – allocate it for pivotal moves and buildings that propel your strategy forward.

2. Flexibility with Forest Management

  1. Remember to harvest trees at optimal times to ensure a steady wood supply without depleting your forest.
  2. Replanting is vital; it sustains your lumber reserves and grants additional benefits at game’s end.

3. Strategic Spending for Long-Term Gain

  1. Invest resources in powerful buildings that provide ongoing advantages and utility throughout the game.
  2. Budget for upgrades that align with your planned move combos; synergize your spending with your play style.
  3. Exercise caution before trading shares; they can be sources of both resources and points.

Resource management isn’t just an action – it’s a shifting puzzle of foresight, adaptable planning, and sharp decision-making. Grasping its ebb and flow forms the cornerstone of any savvy fisherman’s victory in Nusfjord.

Docking Success: A Deep Dive into Building and Fishing

Mastering How To Play Nusfjord isn’t just about managing your resources; it’s also about strategic developments and harnessing the bounty of the sea. Both aspects are crucial in sailing to victory.

Choosing the Right Buildings

  1. Assess the building’s value against its cost. Consider long-term benefits over immediate gains. Choose buildings that complement your resources and strategy.
  2. Identify synergies with existing buildings. Amplify your strengths by acquiring buildings that work together seamlessly.
  3. Monitor opponents’ buildings. Anticipate their next moves and adapt your strategy to maintain a competitive edge.

Optimizing Your Fleet

  1. Balance your fleet size with your harvesting goals. Larger fleets can yield more fish, but don’t overextend, leading to wasted resources.
  2. Time your fishing actions. Position yourself to take full advantage of the replenishing fish stock and keep a steady flow for building and feeding your workers.

Leveraging Fish for Trades and Sustenance

  1. Use fish tactically for trades that can foster building construction or gain crucial mid-game momentum.
  2. Keep a close eye on your food supply. Regularly gauging your workers’ needs ensures they’re well-fed and more productive.

Mastering Elders and Shares: Strategic Maneuvers to Triumph in Nusfjord

Whenever you sit down to play a game of Nusfjord, remembering the vital roles that Elders and Shares play is imperative for your victory at sea. Taking inspiration from my personal gaming vault, I’ve honed these strategies on how to get the most out of both.

Choosing Your Elders Wisely

First things first, elders in Nusfjord are not just a bunch of old lookouts; they are the lighthouses guiding you to victory! When choosing Elders, prioritize those who complement your broader strategies.

  1. Look at your ships and buildings inventory—select Elders that will optimize your current resources.
  2. Think ahead. Are there actions you’ve been eying? Grab an Elder who can help make that play!
  3. If your resources allow, recruit Elders early to benefit from their abilities for longer.

Capitalizing on Shares

Shares are all about balancing immediate benefits with long-term strategy.

  1. Early game, issue shares sparingly. Over-committing can bite you back in reduced future profits.
  2. When acquiring shares, strike a balance between own company shares for control and others’ for diversified payouts.
  3. Use shares to ward off or recover from resource shortages, strategically timing when to buy or sell.

Synergizing Elders with Shares

  1. Elders that benefit from shares? Yes, please! Opting for these game players can give you the extra leverage you need.
  2. Remember, other players are also valuable resources. Observing and adapting to their Elder and Share moves can be a smart way to react to the fluidity of the game.

In conclusion, conquer Elders and Shares management, and you’re steering towards Nusfjord harbor as a celebrated captain!

Voyage’s End: Setting Sail for Victory in Nusfjord

Well, there you have it, fellow seafarers – you are now equipped with the fundamental strategies of ‘How To Play Nusfjord’! Starting with a meticulously planned foundation, we navigated together through the robust tactics of resource management, embraced the hard-won wisdom of balancing the power of elders with the utility of shares, built an impregnable fortress through our building and fishing strategies, and cemented our legacies with the victory conditions in mind. Remember, while the waters of Nusfjord may be cold, your thought process shouldn’t be. Stay adaptable, be resilient, and may every game you play add to your repository of strategies. May you all find the winds of fortune favorable as you captain your way to success in many Nusfjord games to come!

Want to know what we think of Nusfjord? Read our detailed review of Nusfjord 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.