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Board Game Review - Duel in the Dark

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  • Board Game Review - Duel in the Dark

    WWII Night Fighting is an intriguing subject and now there is an intriguing game to go with it.

    Pilot Games' Duel in the Dark allows players to take on the role of Germany in England in the execution of nighttime bombing raids over Germany. The game plays kind of like Luftwaffe, only with greater tactical depth and a smaller playing field.

    I have to admit I started out skeptical. I had seen a number of German games and none of them impressed me. But this was one great exception to the rule.

    The game begins with the German player setting up his four night fighter squadrons. Then the weather is determined via card. The British player plots his bomber course, the German player places his defenses, and the game begins. The turns consist of alternating movements: first British Mosquito squadron, then German fighters, then bombers. This allows the Mosquito pilot to either stick with the bomber or deviate in hopes of faking out the German squadron and luring them away from the bombers. This tactic is a vital one as even with the escort, the bomber suadrons get shot to shreds if all four German forces converge on them.

    I enjoy the game's detail. The German player has a wide variety of equipment to choose from: bunkers, flak guns, search lights, radar, balloons to discourage the pesky Mosquito squadron, smoke, fire departments, the works.

    The game itself is easy to learn and fast to play but doesn't get boring. I appreciate games that don't take forever, always preferring to play several small games instead of one big one.

    I give this game two thumbs up. Young or beginning wargamers will find it's learning curve user friendly while older hands will still find the game in depth enough to be entertaining. Fans of Luftwaffe and Queen of the Skies will definitely want to add this game to their collection.
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