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Rating: 6.2 Fair
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 90 minutes

Created by: Matthias Cramer, Franz Vohwinkel, Imelda Vohwinkel

Published by: KOSMOS


Switzerland or 'the Confoederatio Helvetica' in the early 19th century. Lovely mountains, deep valleys. The Napoleonic occupation has ended, but their legacy remains. Even in remote areas the villages have been battered. But the people feel free again, and there is an atmosphere of renewal!

You are the chief of one such remote village. The nearest neighbouring village is some hours distant, the closest big town can be reached in a day's travel.

Your villagers produce enough to make a living - but you want more. You want homes and work for your children - and you want to see them marrying folks from neighbouring villages and settling down, to benefit from the wealth of your neighbours. So, your people build, marry and give birth - and your community grows and prospers.

Whatever excess you don't need for your own consumption can be delivered to market in the town, which will also help your village to prosper. If you manage your community well, you will be able to invest in buildings for to increase living standards and lead your village into a new era of prosperity.

It is a Swiss tradition to play games anti-clockwise. To honor this, Helvetia is also played anti-clockwise. Naturally, if you prefer, you are free to break with this tradition.

The cover and name might have you thinking trivia game, but Matthias Cramer has something else in mind for you in Helvetia.

You and your fellow players run small but busy mountain villages in the Swiss Alps where you work, build and trade. But life isn't only about work. Your village baker longs for a partner, and the farmer's son has his eye on the dashing woodcutter in the neighboring village.

So let the wedding bells ring and marry off that farmer's son in the village of another player, thereby earning you additional income.

And surely your village baker will find a woman from a neighboring village to move in with him. Before you know it, their offspring will be new citizens in your village.

Your goal in Helvetia is to build new homes, bring culture to your village, and sell essential goods at market. Whatever strategy you choose, this village life won't be boring - especially in the villages that grow and thrive!

Retail Price:$108
Helvetia: Wanderarbeiter aus Österreich
International Gamers Award - General Strategy: Multi-player Nominee 2012

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Each player can extend his village with other buildings. To do this he needs different goods. Each villager can produce 1 good, either in his own or another village, as long as he is awake.

Having produced the good, the villager goes to sleep and cannot produce anything else. A standing figure indicates that the villager is awake. After the good is produced, the player lays down his figure, as a sign that the villager is asleep. Sleeping villagers can only be awoken with the "night watchman" action. …

Before The First Game

Gently remove the cardboard tiles from their sheets. Attach the 'child' stickers on the underside of each villager figure.

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

  • Sort out the building tiles according to the number on the back of each tile.

    The building tiles with a '1' should be sorted according to building type and placed face up next to the game board.

    The tiles with '2' on the back should be placed face down and mixed, and then placed as a stack face down near the game board. Mix and stack the tiles with a '3' on the back in the same way. …

There are 3 sorts of buildings:

In order to achieve the special victory points for "Completed Village", production- and exchange-buildings must have a villager placed on them. Since victory point buildings never have villagers placed on them, they always count for village completion.

1. Production Buildings

Production buildings must be occupied by an awake villager in order to produce.

Starting Buildings: 15 Buildings

3 of each

Deck 1: 9 Buildings

3 of each

Deck 2: 11 Buildings

3 of each

1 of each

Deck 3: 5 Buildings

1 of each

2. Exchange Buildings

Exchange buildings basically work in a similar way to production buildings. In order to use an exchange building, a player needs to have one of their villagers awake in the building as well as a good to exchange. …

Villagers are found either in your stock; on a production or exchange building in their own or another player's village; in their own Village Center; at School; or as a "newborn" in a married couple's home in a production or exchange building.

There is no way to refuse a marriage or prevent it. No divorce, same-sex marriages or marriages between villagers belonging to the same player are allowed. If a villager has settled down (moved into a building), it remains there until the end of the game. …

In a two-player game all the rules for a 3- or 4- player game are applicable with the following exceptions:


First a starting player is chosen. The starting buildings are prepared as for a 3-player game (or decide to quick start by using a random distribution with the Village Centers). Both players receive all of their playing pieces.

A third Village Center is setup as a neutral village. A third color is used for the neutral village. The neutral village receives the 4 remaining starting buildings. Now, there should be 2 buildings of each type in play. …

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