Valley is a random semi-open map introduced in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. The map features a valley surrounded by small foothills at the edge with a small dried up river running through the center.
There are four different environment varieties: A frozen tundra, a thick lush jungle, an open grassy savanna , and a central asian style grassland. The map most often features the savanna environment with the others occasionally appearing.
Players start out on slightly hilly grasslands near the dried up river bed near the center of the map. Consequently, the starting point for the opposing sides will be closer to each other compared to the starting position of other maps. On team matches, players share the grasslands with their teammates while the dry river valley partially bisects across the central portion of the map.
The start-up resources for each player is the standard one (2 aggressive huntables, 8 small herdables or 6 Cows, a herd of 4 passive huntables, 6 Berry Bushes, and normal piles of gold and stone).
The dried up river bed features cracked clay soil unsuitable for construction. However, the clay soil can be crossed by naval units. Small puddles of water are placed sporadically within the dried bed and they may contain Shore Fish. Large herds of huntable wildlife (passive huntables like Deer) are found scattered within the vicinity of these remaining pools of water within the dried up river.
Relics will be found scattered all around the map in normal numbers. Wild beasts (like Wolves) are present in normal numbers scattered all across the map.
Trees will be found in the map in style similar to Serengeti, with the majority of them scattered in small numbers throughout the map and providing less opportunities for wood . The types of trees found in the map differ depending on the environment type. In tundra version, palm trees, and snow pine trees are found thriving. In the jungle version, Jungle Trees are the dominant trees found growing. In the savanna version, Forest Trees, and Oak Trees are found in small numbers.
As an open map, any early Rushing strategy is very viable, and in this sense a Scout Cavalry rush is very a common and expected tactic due to the abundance of huntable animals on the dried river since this unit only costs food. Stealing Boars or their equivalent is also possible. In addition to this, players can also obtain food from shore fish on the small ponds along the dried river.
However, players must be wary of the dried river, since its resources are likely to attract attention and become contested from players of both sides as soon as the game begins. Placing Docks on the ponds and using them to spam naval units may help to defend the river and in some cases they can act as a surprise element in battles, as most players don't expect ships to show up, since the dried river offers very little fish and can be crossed almost entirely by land troops.
Despite the hilly terrain, the largely open area near the dried river would render constructing defenses such as walls and towers along the map difficult to achieve and not as effective compared to other maps. Most strategies that work on Arabia work as well (and in some cases better, due to the plenty of food) in Valley.