The Dark Valley
From the publishers website:
The Dark Valley is a new game from award-winning designer Ted Raicer, focusing on the entire East Front campaign in World War II. The game components feature a beautiful map from Mark Mahaffey, stretching from Leningrad in the north to the Caucasus Mountains in the south, and around 600 counters representing every major unit that appeared during the course of the conflict. Initially most Soviet infantry are divisions, but as the game progresses these are replaced by armies and corps, so that players are not overwhelmed by the increasing Soviet Order of Battle. All German mechanized divisions are present in the game, while their infantry is a mix of division and corps.
Although the game is a semi-monster, and covers the entirety of the conflict from the launch of Barbarossa to the end of the war, the game system emphasizes playability rather than rules overhead, allowing the players to concentrate on strategy choices rather than rules minutiae.
The core of the game system is a “chit-pull” activation system. Each turn a variety of action chits are drawn, in a random order, from the Action Chit Pool, and it is this that determines the exact flow of operations on that turn. If a German “Move/Combat” chit is drawn, the German player decides to move or fight (but not both), with all Axis units. If a German PZ HQ chit is drawn, units in command range of that HQ can move and conduct combat (with greater flexibility for armoured units). If the Soviet Stavka chit is drawn, units may be deployed from Stavka Reserve to attempt to stem the Axis onslaught. If the Soviet Counterattack chit is drawn, Stalin insists that the attacks are made upon the fascist invaders, possibly to the detriment of the overall defence. When the Logistics chit is drawn, supply status is checked for all units.
By adjusting the mix of action chits in the Action Chit Pool from turn to turn the game elegantly models the changing ebb and flow of the course of the conflict, along with the improved quality of the Soviet command, with minimal rules overhead. (See the Action Chit Availability chart below – please note this uses playtest-quality graphics at the moment.)
Players: 1 – 2
Playtime: 500 Minutes
Ages: 12 +
Published by: GMT Games
Complexity: 5 (Medium)
Solitaire Suitability: 9 (Very High)
Our Price: £39.99
Out of Stock