The Dark Sands takes the game system from Ted S. Raicer's sold-out and critically acclaimed The Dark Valley: The East Front Campaign to the legendary battles of North Africa in WWII. From the most successful British armored operation of the war, Operation Compass, to the climactic battle two years later at El Alamein, The Dark Sands breaks new ground in portraying the campaigns of the British 8th Army and Rommel's Afrika Korps.
Unlike most games on this subject, The Dark Sands concentrates on the operational/tactical aspects of the game, putting you in the shoes of the Desert Fox and his opponents, rather than that of their logistical staffs. There are no supply counters or supply points to bother with, no network of depots to keep track of. Instead supply is simply traced a set distance to a road or trail and then back to a supply source. But the lack of logistical fiddling does not mean The Dark Sands ignores realistic limits on a player's actions. Instead, the ebb and flow of supplies (largely out of the hands of Rommel and the 8th Army commanders) is dealt with through the Action Chit system (which includes TWO Logistic Chits where supplies are checked for both sides each turn) and a very few special rules. These limit Axis capabilities on the East Map, British capabilities on the West Map, and make Tobruk a key target of both sides. (There is also a rule for the effects of the large stocks of supplies captured each time Tobruk changed hands.)
The Desert War has been described as "a tactician's paradise and a quartermaster's hell." The Dark Sands allows you to concentrate on the former, while allowing the game system to handle the latter. An excellent solo game, it is also a sharp contest of wits between opposing players. With a campaign game playable in a day and scenarios playable in a couple of hours, The Dark Sands will provide a fresh challenge to even the most experienced armchair Monty or Rommel.
- 2 22" by 34" maps
264 5/8" counters
2 Player Aid Cards