Tag Archives: World War II

D-Day The American Beaches Review

D day

Utah and Omaha: The American Beaches are the third and fourth games in Paul Koenig’s D-Day series of five titles covering the first three nail-biting days (June 6 – 8, 1944) of Allied landings in France to liberate Europe during World War 2. Using fluid and dynamic systems for integrating the fierce combat and rapid movements of the companies and battalions contesting the beaches, cliffs, swamps and bocage bordering the rough North Sea coast, players will find the easy rules to offer rich puzzles and surprising opportunities on the cross-map march to victory.

On the two western beachheads, the Americans faced problems galore and some of the worst terrain encountered by the Allies. It seemed that Murphy’s Law was in full effect: “Everything that can go wrong will go wrong – and at the worst possible moment.” Yet despite widely scattered air drops, confusion and stiff German resistance, an American victory was won and the beaches secured. However, the cost in lives of this close-fought campaign will see it always remembered as “Bloody Omaha.”

Game Components:
• Two complete games!
• One 4-page, color Standard Rules booklet
• 80 color, 2-sided die-cut 1/2” mounted pieces
• 28 round 5/8” counters
• Two 11” x 17” color game maps with tables
• Illustrated Examples of Play, Exclusive and Optional Game Rules
• Part of a 5 game Paul Koenig’s D-Day series!

Scale: Each unit is 1 company to regiment, each hex is 1 kilometer, and each turn is about 4.5 hours.

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Operation F.A.U.S.T. Review


In Operation F.A.U.S.T. (Fine Art Underground: Stolen Treasures), players take on roles of independent art patrons in occupied France during WWII. This was a period when Europe’s greatest treasures were at risk of being looted by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), a special unit of the Third Reich tasked with plundering cultural valuables.

Each player will work to acquire the most prestigious collection of art treasures through bluffing and deception. The first player to reach $1,000,000 in black market art value immediately wins the game.

Players execute one of multiple possible actions on each turn with the goal of gaining enough intelligence to recover at risk master works.

Player’s may use deception to advance their goals, but risk losing their intel if caught in a lie. When a player earns enough intel, they may acquire a piece of art that has a specific, but secret black market value. Art gained may be forged or considered “degenerate” making it more easily confiscated.

To win this highly interactive game, a player must take risks, use cunning misdirection, uncover and remember where valuable art resides, and employ strategies to acquire the most valuable collection more quickly than the competition.

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Days of Honor Review

Days of Honor

German occupied Poland, 1944. Beyond the reach of Allied intelligence and bomber commands, the Germans establish a secret facility, where a terrifying weapon is being tested. V-2, Hitler’s Wunderwaffe, a ballistic missile able to wipe London from the map and win the war, bringing Britain to her knees. But the deepest secrets of German war technology are revealed by the UK’s staunchest allies – the Poles…

Czas Honoru: Operacja Most III – a.k.a. Days of Honor: Operation Wildhorn III – is a fast-paced, tactical card wargame for two players. The first player takes the role of the Polish commander. His goal is to collect fragments from rockets test-fired from the German missile base. The second player takes the role of the German commander and is trying to protect the secrets of the rocket testing area.

The game lasts four turns. Each turn begins with a missile test, which scatters new fragments of the rocket in the peripheral area surrounding the testing ground. Players alternately take turns during which they place their units on the table and perform actions. Players use scouts to collect missile fragments, but they need to be protected by soldiers and partisans because enemy contact can lead to combat. These actions are supported by elite units: Polish Unseen and Silent commandos and German SS Stormtroopers, who are able to penetrate enemy lines. In addition, players build a network of command and support units, which allows them to effectively carry out their actions.

Players also affect the course of the game during their opponent’s moves, playing cards for immediate effects. And each side has a set of unique events, e.g., Germans can use their logistical advantages while Poles can hide, and even evacuate rocket fragments to England! To determine combat and exploration results, players each use a six-sided die, but they have many opportunities to modify the results, so a good plan should work even with bad luck.

At the end of the game, the player with more rocket parts wins. This means the player successfully stole (Polish) or concealed (German) the secrets of the V-2 weapon.

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The Dark Valley Review

Dark Valley

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. […]

This chit-pull system imposes constant uncertainty upon the player and introduces considerable tension into the game. […]

The Axis supply network, which imposed crucial restraints upon the effectiveness of the offensive, is represented using supply depot units.[…]

Besides the full campaign game, TDV features scenarios for Barbarossa, Case Blue, Kursk, and the Destruction of Army Group Center. Scenario start dates can also be used to explore shorter versions of the campaign.

The Dark Valley is designed to be playable and exciting, modeling the tension of the campaign elegantly and simply. The game also plays very well in solitaire mode due to the underlying chit-pull system. From the German blitzkrieg in 1941 to the blazing ruins of Berlin, The Dark Valley provides a truly new look at this much-gamed theater.

TIME SCALE: 1 or 2 months per turn
MAP SCALE: 20 miles per hex
UNIT SCALE: Divisions/Corps/Armies


  • Two 22×34″ maps
  • Three sheets of 1/2 ” counters
  • Four Player Aid Cards
  • Two 6-sided dice
  • Rules Booklet
  • Players Booklet


DESIGNER: Ted S. Raicer
DEVELOPER: Paul Marjoram
MAP ART: Mark Mahaffey
COUNTER ART: Charles Kibler

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Crusade and Revolution Review

Crusade and

Crusade and Revolution (C&R) pulls together enjoyment, playability and historical simulation. It uses the traditional card-driven system, adapting it to the specific circumstances of the Spanish Civil War.

Each player has his own deck of strategic cards, which are the heart of the game, and must make difficult choices on their use through-out the game. Each card has four possible uses, but only one of them can be chosen each time the card is played! The possibilities are:

Recreate a Historical Event: Each card shows a historical event that affected the course of the war. They include political, military, economic and even social events, as well as the reinforcements that flowed to both sides through-out the war both from within Spain, and from foreign powers Germany, Italy and Russia.
Conduct Operations: Each card has an operations value that is used for activating units on the game map for movement, preparing fortifications, or attacking.
Strategic Redeployment (SR) of Troops: Each card has a Strategic Redeployment value that is used to move units great distances on the game map, or to bring units out of Reserve to shore up a threatened flank.
Replacement Points for Reforming Your Army: Each card has a Replacement Point value which is recorded and used for repairing damaged or rebuilding destroyed units at the end of the turn.

The greater impact the historical event of a card has on the game, the greater its Operations, SR and Replacements value. As such, a player is often faced with a dilemma while playing each card: use an important event, launch an offensive in a vulnerable zone, move units from one front to other, or accumulate replacements to recover from losses? Combine this with “Combat cards” that bring tactical benefits, and a player faces has a myriad of choices with each and every card.

A complete C&R game is divided into three phases, which illustrate the evolution of the Spanish Civil War and introduce new strategic cards:

The War of the Columns phase begins with the outbreak of war and finishes in February 1937. During this phase only “small units” are used, because both sides had limited combatants, almost all grouped in irregular units – called “columns”- that operated across large, poorly garrisoned fronts. The best of these “small units” are the Nationalist African Army regular army units – brought to the Spanish mainland from Morocco by Franco at the outbreak of the war. These units are strong, but brittle, as they cannot be replaced or replenished with Replacement Points.

The Mobilization phase lasts from March 1937 to February 1938. During this period the two sides realized that the war would not be over quickly, and began to mobilize their human and material resources to form regular armies. The players deploy their first “large units” (army corps) and large battles erupt across Spain.

The War of the Armies phase begins in March 1938 and lasts until the end of the war, in April 1939. During this time, the Nationalists tried to force the enemy’s unconditional surrender, while the Republic fought desperately to resist and prolong the Spanish Civil War so that it might merge with the threatening Second World War, which could be seen looming in the horizon.

Take command of your forces! Marshall international aid and intervention to your side! But take care…for your opponent is doing the same, and while you may be planning on achieving a quick victory, you never know what a game of Crusade and Revolution may bring!

Time Scale: 1 turn = Two months (1 month during the first 4 turns of the game)
Map Scale: 1 space = approximately 60 kilometres (37 miles)
Unit Scale: (Small Units) from Irregular columns to divisions. (Large Units) From reinforced divisions to army corps.
Players: 2
Playing Time: Small Scenarios: 3-4 hours, Full Campaign: 8+ hours

One 22″ by 34″ map
110 Strategy Cards
176 5/8″ diecut counters
280 1/2″ diecut counters
One Rulebook
One Playbook
Four Player Aid Cards
Two six-sided dice

Designer: David Gómez Relloso
Developer: Kevin Bernatz
Artist: Nicolás Eskubi Ugalde

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