June 22, 2024

#UnboxingDay ~ The Dark Summer by GMT Games

Billy Riley, 16 September 2021 ~ #UnboxingDay

Perhaps rather oddly, as a keen wargamer, I don’t have a game on Normandy. Not specifically. Not a grand strategy game. I have some games that play scenarios in the Normandy setting.

I do have GMTs 3rd printing of Normandy ’44 on pre-order – since Feb 2020 I believe!

Anyway – this is apparently a series of games designed by Ted Raicer (of Paths of Glory) starting with The Dark Valley (Eastern front) released in 2013 followed by The Dark Sands in 2018 and swiftly followed by two further releases – The Deadly Woods (Ardennes) and The Dark Summer in 2021.

Box Art


click images to enlarge

Box – Rear


A view of the map included in the game along with details of fight to come and specifics of game content and scale




The rule book is a relatively short 24 pages and fairly text heavy interspersed with some examples. It’s in two column format on semi glossy paper and a decent sized font.


The back of the rule book has some key reminders which seem like they could be handy



This is a 20 page book containing a extended example of play for the first 12 pages, 2 pages of designer notes, 2 pages containing the counters (which I have recently come to appreciate the importance of in a different game) and 3 pages of index.


Player Aid Cards

There are 3 Player Aid Cards. There are 2 showing Combat Results Tables on one side and the Terrain Effects Chart on the other

The other card is also double sided – though there’s only one of these – and it has the Sequence of Play and various tables on one side and Rule Reminders and Victory Conditions on the other


Counter Sheets

This is fairly counter light. There are 2 sheets

American counters are green, British, Polish and Canadian counters are brown and German counters are your standard blue and black.



This is the map – 22”x34”. I think it looks cracking with plenty of difficult terrain to navigate. I look forward to creating a few road blocks.


And this is a close up of the landing beaches


This seems like a system I might like so I’ve already ordered The Deadly Woods. The Dark Sands would’ve been on my radar but the map size prohibited me from jumping in.


Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions.
You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
The regiment also occasionally musters on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and occasionally at a convention near you, once we’re allowed to hold them again.

Brant G

Editor-in-chief at Armchair Dragoons

View all posts by Brant G →

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