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Subject: Into the "Trenches of Valor" rss

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Michael Bowker
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I have to say that Trenches of Valor is a game that I have been looking for since the mid 1980s. I have always wanted a small scale game for The Great War. I tried the game Landships but for some reason that didn't fill the desire. Maybe if I tried it again now...

For whatever reason The First World War is not a popular topic for games. Most that I have seen are massive games that cover the entire war, every theater, and every country involved. That just wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to be in the trenches and have the chance to go into No Man's Land. This little game meets my need.

This is a small game put out by Victory Point Games. It only has 42 counters and a four page rulebook. It has one 11 x 17 map and according to the rules you need to supply a die or two (though mine did come with a micro-mini six sided die). This is certainly a portable game.

Each counter is 2 to 10 men, the time frame is 30 to 60 seconds a turn, and each hex is about 50 meters. The map is nicely done with helpful charts on it and has one inch large hexes. The interesting thing is that the entire map is only six hexes across. With small movement ranges and the fact that it costs two points to enter or leave a trench the small size of the board doesn’t really matter.

The rules are fairly well written and explain the various situations well. I did find myself looking through the rules a couple of times just to make sure I understood a rule but it was easy to locate things.

The counters are well done and contain not only movement information and weapon information but also the hit information for attacks. This simplifies the game a lot since you don’t have to refer to a separate combat chart as you do in many games.

The game includes a number of scenarios with various victory conditions. It seems that the small number of pieces in the scenarios would result in games ending rapidly but in the scenario that I played I found the game going to the wire.

The components are well made, the rules well written, and the subject matter is different than most (small scale World War 1). There is also an expansion set available that adds new units and a second map. The price of the game and the expansion is reasonable also (about $18.00 for the game itself though Victory Point Games does have a lot of sales).

I can’t wait for more scenarios and expansions to come out for the game. Did it meet my desire for a World War 1 game? Right now I would say yes. I like that it plays quickly and is portable. I can play it during a lunch break. It isn’t as detailed as many games but that isn’t what an introductory game is supposed to be.

If you are someone that wants a quick, fun game, of WW1 combat give it a try. As an introductory game, if you are trying to bring someone into the hobby this is certainly a game worth getting because it is simple enough for someone new to grasp but difficult enough for more experienced players to still have a good time.
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Tanks Alot
United States
Fort Mill
South Carolina
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I played this solo (wanted to play 2 people but you know how it goes) and it was pretty fun. I think it would be more fun 2 player, but it has a nice puzzle mechanic to try and find your way through the maze.
Very fun light game. Thanks for the review! Did you get the TOV Expansion with the flamethrowers yet?
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(Mr.) Kim Beattie
United States
Rocklin
CA
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In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
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I've played the base game a couple of times and really enjoyed it. A very "clean" system. The scenarios I've played are well designed and require thought and resource management to do well. A small wargames that is easy, quick and fun to play. What more can you ask for? Trenches of Valor makes for a great "filler" too.
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Christopher
Belgium
De Panne
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Good review!

You should definitely get the Trenches of Valor Expansion Kit 1, which brings some extra units in the mix (I especially like the leaders), and a bunch of new scenarios and an extra map!

ToV is indeed a fun wargame filler! If only I had a life opponent to play it with...
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