Valor & Victory | Preview in 7 Screenshots

All of human endeavor endlessly moves towards a single goal: to make a computer run Advanced Squad Leader for us. Since that hasn’t happened yet, we get to play and preview games like Valor & Victory.

In rough terms, Valor & Victory┬áis like a distant cousin to ASL, feeling very much simplified, but showing similar DNA. One thing’s for sure: having computer take care of all the phases is a joy.
One of the most striking failings of Warhammer 40,000 ruleset is that the enemy is free to do whatever they want during their turn as there’s no such thing as overwatch. It does exist in Valor & Victory, activating during the movement phase, and even leaving tunnel of residual fire (marked with bullseyes in the screenshot) that you don’t want to enter. There’s also the defensive fire phase in the middle of the enemy turn as well, which allows units who didn’t participate in overwatch to shoot as well. So you can’t just easily go into the ideal position and fire at the enemy with impunity.
However, Warhammer fans need not despair: while the games uses 2d6 in fire resolution, the swingyness is still here in full force. Many a scenario can be decided by a half-squad breathing its last rolling snake eyes and just shredding through your stack.
Another issue with Valor & Victory is that pinning is an extremely rare result on the dice. More often, it feels like you’re killing dudes or doing nothing at all.
And pins that happen are almost always rallied during the start of the enemy phase, so there’s little functionality to it.
So in the end, you don’t have that many tools to shape the battlefield aside from moving and shooting.
There may also be some issues with the demo scenarios. For example, one of them features a tank. However, it’s opposed by two anti-tank guns, so after of bullying a couple of German units, the tank will promptly explode, and you won’t really get the feeling if there’s much depth to tank rules.
The preview version featured a few bugs as well. The most annoying one was that the game didn’t end at the end of the last mission turn. So you get the victory screen, the AI rushes through a few moves, and the victory screen turns into loss before your very eyes. Cool.
At the end of the day, Valor & Victory is OK, I guess. There’s like two weeks of development left before launch, so who knows what the devs will pull – probably not a campaign in an interesting theater of WW2 that doesn’t get enough attention. Meanwhile, I still have the some time before Second Front drops to search my couch cushions for money to get me Lock n’ Load Digital Tactical.

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