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Subject: I think I found out why I can't like this game... rss

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Fred Methot
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I attended my first Memoir '44 tournament yesterday, as a silent watcher only, I wasn't registered.
As I was watching games, from tables to tables, I think I realized why I can't seem to like this game, even after dozens of match.

Some background. After reading numerous reviews, game sessions and the official rules, I decided to go and buy it since I was looking for a lite wargame that could be playable by almost anyone in a matter of an hour.
But every single time I played, I always ended up with some strange feeling that something was missing. Even when winning it didn't felt good, it wasn't enjoyable.

So yesterday I'm watching these tourney games and I think I found my problem.

What I don't like about the game is the goal of the game, the "Conditions of Victory" as its called in scenarios... Its simple enough: To collect as many victory points as the scenario describes. So the first side to collect, lets say, 5 medals, win the game... whatever scenario you play, whatever flavor test you have with that scenario, whatever was the real life background behind the scenario...

This to me removes almost 75% of all the strategic aspect of the game.
Why? Because you don't really need a very ellaborate strategy (or non at all in some scenario) to collect victory points. You just gang up on units and fire at them until you get the victory point (with the help of course of some lucky dice rolls and good random card draws).

Another downside of this "victory point" thing is that to me, it removes all the flavor from any scenario played, because beside some simple side rules such as "this bridge is worth a medal" or "hold this town to earn a medal" etc...

Wouldn't it be better if scenarios were mission based instead of just a new map with some flavor text? With actual mission objectives?
I don't know, something like this side must go and take over this radio post and hold it for X turn for victory, and then add some side-goals such as the radio post must be taken before round X other wise the enemy call for re-inforcement bla bla bla...

Not sure if you guys get the point... To come back to the tournament, so I'm watching the games and it was just all that... players reaching for the easiest kill in the field, doing some basic cover up of units and scoring medals until one side get the magic number.

I just thought this game would be awesome with mission based goals and mission objectives as condition for victory...
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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Memoir '44 does well what it is suppose to do. It is a great way to introduce someone to a more complex war games. I find it mediocre as far as games go, but I can't find any other "wargame" that can be explained in 5 minutes and play in about an hour.

I got this game as a stepping stone for the upcoming Combat Commander where you'll have difficult decisions to make and feel like you really are in battle.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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There is nothing wrong with modifying the scenario (as long as you tell your opponent ahead of time) to include objectives. The way I would do it is to have two or more objectives, and the attacker can only win by capturing one of them. You will need to impose a time limit, or just say that the defender wins if he gets x number of medals.

There is nothing wrong with you designing your own scenarios either. With that you could state that the first two units don't earn a medal, but the next five do, and then you have to capture one of three towns to win. The defender would only have to have six medals to win. Of course the defender has to be outnumbered! Just some ideas, because I've had the same problem that you have, although not as bad.
 
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Mark Buetow
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Fred,

I know exactly what you you mean! There's just something missing. Especially with scenarios like Omaha Beach. The goal, it seems, would be to capture and hold the villages after having neutralized the cliff fortifications. But, wham, bam, medals, man! You're done without the sense that you've actually done anything.

No, it's just kill stuff until you have more medals. Also, I'm not so keen on the randomness of my choices based on the cards. I like the looks of Combat Commander but I think I wouldn't like it on account of your choices being limited to the cards.

This is why I've "upgraded" to more detailed tactical games. I got Lock 'n Load:Band of Heroes and that's worlds better. Similar scenarios (post D-Day ops) with better options and actions. I like the feel of the game: guys running around, wounded, pinned by fire. But they go where I want them to (usually) and do what I want them to do (if they can).

I also just got Sergeants on the Eastern Front in. Much, much simpler than LnL. But again, maneuvering the men to attempt certain things and accomplish certain goals.

On the other hand, I zoomed out and increased the scale too, looking for consims that approach things on a larger level. To that end, I subscribed to Against the Odds magazine and also got their Annual which has a really in depth game about the Allies taking down Germany after they were through Normandy (Toppling the Reich it's called).

So, if for no other reason, Memoir '44 let me know I needed a more complicated, more detailed game to enjoy. Now, who wants to buy my copy.... (though I suppose I should keep it because in ten or twenty years, it'll be worth gold on eBay!).

As for introducing someone to more complex wargames, I'd use "Stand at Mortain" or "Sergeants" over Memoir.

(I will say, though, that Memoir IS a good game in the sens of simply rules, nice bits and all that; I just don't care for it.)
 
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Fred Methot
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Philgamer wrote:

There is nothing wrong with you designing your own scenarios either. With that you could state that the first two units don't earn a medal, but the next five do, and then you have to capture one of three towns to win. The defender would only have to have six medals to win. Of course the defender has to be outnumbered! Just some ideas, because I've had the same problem that you have, although not as bad.


I might just try that. I'm not too much into houseruling a game that already has a good mechanic, so yes, I'm guessing designing scenarios with specific objectives might be just what I'm looking for in this game.


Quote:
But I don't see the logic in coming to the forums to just throw your "why I don't like this game".

Sorry, I missed the forum rule where it says this was prohibited. shake
There was actually a question attached to my opinion, which you obviously missed.
 
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Bobby Warren
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GreenBear wrote:
This game won't please everyone so if you don't like it, don't play it. But I don't see the logic in coming to the forums to just throw your "why I don't like this game". There are a ton of games out there I don't like for various reasons but voicing it here isn't going to change anything. So I'm curious, what motivates people to come to the forums to denounce a game?

While I really like Memoir '44, I appreciate the well thought-out explanation as to why someone doesn't like a game. It gives people who are looking to buy a game a chance to see the negative feelings about a game as well as all the positive ones.

Fred's comments might save someone from spending the money on the game because they might not like it for the same reasons he doesn't. The discussion generated might also convince someone to buy Memoir '44 because it sounds more like a game they would be willing to try over some hardcore wargame.

 
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brian
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I see no problem with some one posting an opinion, especially if they own the game (if you never played it and critizie it, you are wasting my time). And being an opinion, you can't argue with it.

I like the game. I think the Medal collection is a great mechanism for a fast game like this. Sure, you will get some games that are so close and with one more turn, the loser could have completed dominated the field. But on the other hand, the person that usually wins would win the game if the rest of the units were eliminated anyway. Why drag a game out that is either A) a see saw for 10 more turns or B) a clear victory except the mop up. That always seemed to be a flaw of Risk or Axis & Allies - that there was one clear victor but you had to keep playing until they were the last one standing. Axis & Allies had the economic victory as another option and the Revised edition let us set our own Capital Capture as either a minor, normal, or major victory.

As already mentioned, the game is felxible enough to allow you to entere your own conditions into it. Yangtze, a member on the DOW site, just published his rules for an objective based game. Lots of options. And if all else fails, then move along to Combat Commander!
 
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carl huber
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A well reasoned post on why you can't like the game (as it is).

There's an interesting list on BGG by Alan Moon covering his memories of working at Avalon Hill, and a few times he mentions how much he liked the prototype of a game, but didn't care for what the game later became. How a simple, fun, game became over complicated.

Now, I love Up Front, with groups of soldiers controlled by card management. It is one of my favourite games. But for me it's not a game I'd want to teach my sons yet. Memoir '44 is. I suspect with more rules, and different goals, Memoir '44 could become a version of Up Front. And likewise, stripping away the complexity of Up Front might give us a version of Memoir '44.

And I suspect that's the designer's dilemma: when are they done adding or simplifying?

Me, I'm glad to have (three copies of) Up Front, and love the idea of developing Memoir '44. Just a bit.

 
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Christa Haley
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Bobby4th wrote:
GreenBear wrote:
This game won't please everyone so if you don't like it, don't play it. But I don't see the logic in coming to the forums to just throw your "why I don't like this game". There are a ton of games out there I don't like for various reasons but voicing it here isn't going to change anything. So I'm curious, what motivates people to come to the forums to denounce a game?

While I really like Memoir '44, I appreciate the well thought-out explanation as to why someone doesn't like a game. It gives people who are looking to buy a game a chance to see the negative feelings about a game as well as all the positive ones.

Fred's comments might save someone from spending the money on the game because they might not like it for the same reasons he doesn't. The discussion generated might also convince someone to buy Memoir '44 because it sounds more like a game they would be willing to try over some hardcore wargame.



I agree, though maybe Reviews would have been a better place for this, or at least if it had been posted there maybe there wouldn't have been any confusion as to the intentions of the writer. I personally don't see any harm in posting something like this, or even posting it here, but who knows, maybe it would have made a difference.
 
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Don Clarke
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Many of the scenarios on Scenarios from the Front (user designed) have objectives other than kills. Also, try the 'Scenario X' rules and Mission Cards at...

http://www.freewebs.com/yangtze2000/

I think they're just what you're looking for
 
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Ollie Read
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We often play through a game as usual but once a player has earned enough medals to win, we carry on just for fun really. We see how far we can take it and go for an overwhelming victory or to see the defenses crumble.

Also, when we eliminate a unit, instead of taking a medal we put a figure from that unit on the medal space. That way you can keep track of how each point was earned and make up house rules for needing more points from objectives than kills. If you don't like something you can always change it.
 
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Yoki Erdtman
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If you want to de-emphasize killing enemy units for the victory, that's easy to fix. Why not increase the required Victory Points by 50% and give out two VP for each objective, but only 1 VP for destroying enemy units. You could even double the required VPs, if you wanted even less focus on killing enemies.

If you want to go one step further, just follow your own suggestion and define new victory conditions for each scenario, to make them more like the missions you desire.

Anyhow, I think if that's your main problem with the game you can easily fix it. Of course you're still stuck with the official rules for tournament play.
 
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Charles Hasegawa
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Bobby4th wrote:
While I really like Memoir '44, I appreciate the well thought-out explanation as to why someone doesn't like a game. It gives people who are looking to buy a game a chance to see the negative feelings about a game as well as all the positive ones.

Fred's comments might save someone from spending the money on the game because they might not like it for the same reasons he doesn't. The discussion generated might also convince someone to buy Memoir '44 because it sounds more like a game they would be willing to try over some hardcore wargame.


Well said. Though the comments may have been better served as a review in the review sections, BGGers should not be afraid to post negative comments about games. They may find out that the reason the disliked a game was a misplayed rule. At the very least, like Bobby said, it lets folks know what others perceive to be the downside of a game. A game may sound great on paper, and some folks may not be bothered by certain parts of the game, but those quirks could ruin a game for others.
 
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J Mathews
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yangtze2000 wrote:
Many of the scenarios on Scenarios from the Front (user designed) have objectives other than kills. Also, try the 'Scenario X' rules and Mission Cards at...

http://www.freewebs.com/yangtze2000/

I think they're just what you're looking for

Scenario X and the Mission Cards look pretty cool. I'll have to try that some time. Thanks for the link and effort.
 
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Fred Methot
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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys!
As I said, I think the game is great, there's just this little something in it that keeps me from enjoying it to his best.

With the proposed solutions (Scenario X, Custom Scenarios) ti should help a lot!
 
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Kevin H
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Quote:
This game won't please everyone so if you don't like it, don't play it. But I don't see the logic in coming to the forums to just throw your "why I don't like this game". There are a ton of games out there I don't like for various reasons but voicing it here isn't going to change anything. So I'm curious, what motivates people to come to the forums to denounce a game?


His post won't please everyone so if you don't like it, don't read it. But I don't see the logic in coming into this post just to throw your "why I don't like this post". There are a ton of posts out there that I don't like for various reasons, but voicing iit here isn't going to change anything. So I'm curious, what motivates people to come into a thread and denounce a post?

See...that sounds pretty retarded doesn't it? You might as well say "If you don't like a game don't rate it." Then everything can be rated a 10. Wow...wouldn't that be fantastic. shake

The point of telling people you don't like a game, and why, is so that other people can learn from your mistakes.

"This game might be the best I've ever played!"
"This game might be the worst I've ever played!"

Both of these statements are useful.

Have you played Fluxx? LCR? Worst Case Scenario Survival Game? Global Survival? Assassin? Outdoor Survival?

Probably not. But you probably know that they all suck. And the reason that you know is because people have shouted from the hilltops that they are so.

Negative comments and reviews help others make more informed decisions. I have not played Memoir '44, but have been interested. Knowing that all of the missions are just to kill things may in fact aid my decision to purchase or not.

Game forums are not a tribute page, they are a discussion page. If you want to live in a sheltered land where everyone loves Memoir '44, then go make a MySpace page about it.
 
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Fred Methot
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GreenBear wrote:

Quote:
Knowing that all of the missions are just to kill things may in fact aid my decision to purchase or not.

Even if that was in fact misinformation? There are actually quite a few scenarios with objectives and no, it's not just about killing things...that is my point! (50% of the Standard scenarios, that is the ones that ship directly with the game, contain objectives)

Wait, no misinformation here, for those scenarios with "objectives", the goal of the game, or condition for victory, is still to gather as many medals as the scenario describes. The objectives aren't mandatory to win any scenarios. There's not a single scenario with an objective as condition for victory. Objectives are worth X medals and the goal of the game is to get X medals to win... You can win any scenarios, even those with objectives, just by eliminating enemy units...

An example of "Objective" from one of the scenario is: "An Allied unit that captures the town of St-Gilles or Mrigny counts as one Victory Medal[...]If the unit moves off or is eliminated, it no longer counts."


What I meant in my earlier posts was that I would like to play scenarios where meeting some objectives (other than earning X medals) is actually the condition for victory, not a simple medal gathering fest, one way or the other...
So for example, you have to take over a bridge and protect it until some medical special unit crosses it to help wounded soldiers somewhere.
The Allied objectives (condition for victory) would be:
A) Take over and hold the bridge
B) Protect the medic unit on its way to the bridge
The Axis condition for victory would need to:
A) Protect the bridge at all cost from being taken over
B) Hunt down the medic unit and try to kill him

Thats a quickly thought example but I'm sure there are plenty of ideas in this way to develop... I just need to start writing my own scenarios I guess...

As for retarded comments and bringing back the original argument, we were way passed that guys, so lets stop posting such comments!

Cheers!
 
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brian
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i.a.m wrote:
GreenBear wrote:

Quote:
Knowing that all of the missions are just to kill things may in fact aid my decision to purchase or not.

Even if that was in fact misinformation? There are actually quite a few scenarios with objectives and no, it's not just about killing things...that is my point! (50% of the Standard scenarios, that is the ones that ship directly with the game, contain objectives)

Wait, no misinformation here, for those scenarios with "objectives", the goal of the game, or condition for victory, is still to gather as many medals as the scenario describes. The objectives aren't mandatory to win any scenarios. There's not a single scenario with an objective as condition for victory. Objectives are worth X medals and the goal of the game is to get X medals to win... You can win any scenarios, even those with objectives, just by eliminating enemy units...

An example of "Objective" from one of the scenario is: "An Allied unit that captures the town of St-Gilles or Mrigny counts as one Victory Medal[...]If the unit moves off or is eliminated, it no longer counts."

Actually, there are a few scenarios where as part of the medal collection process, you need to gain a few objectives. So if you need 6 medals, 2 need to come from objectives. Even if you kill 10 units, you can't win until those objectives are met.
 
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Fred Methot
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GreenBear wrote:

With regard to your point. I think you could easily take the majority of scenarios and just make them objective based. So regardless of how many medals are taken you could instill the taking of the objective as a requirement for victory. As ColtsFan points out, there are a few like that.


YES! That I like!
Thanks for pointing this out, I will definately try that!


No offense taken btw
 
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GreenBear wrote:
So I'm curious, what motivates people to come to the forums to denounce a game?


I like it because it helps me see both sides of a game. Before I buy a game, I like to read the good and the bad reviews. It provides balance to make an informed decision.
 
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Dave Heberer
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I really want to like this game, but it is a lot about killing other units on the board. There are objective hexes, but they aren't necessary usually to win the scenario.

I was looking around at the site pointed to with objective cards, which seem pretty cool. One of the things that I saw in the first scenario I saw posted there (Hill 112, under yangtze's scenarios) did something which I considered rather clever. He said the victory condition was 6 medals, but in order for the allies to win, they must occupy one of the two objective hexes at the end of their turn.

That, to me, is quite clever. I too have been bummed about the kill everything trap we fall into while playing this game. This kind of scenario would be very smart to put into other scenarios that have objective hexes. Out of the box, I don't remember any scenarios that make you accomplish your mission, it only helps you a bit, as much as if you had killed something.
 
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Fred Methot
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i7dealer wrote:
This kind of scenario would be very smart to put into other scenarios that have objective hexes. Out of the box, I don't remember any scenarios that make you accomplish your mission, it only helps you a bit, as much as if you had killed something.


I'm gonna try the suggestion posted above where we can just make 1 or more of the standard scenario objectives mandatory for victory.

That seem pretty easy and should do the work!
 
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Don Clarke
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You can use the Scenario X Mission Cards in normal scenarios too. Just deal 1 to each player at the start of the game.

The templates are on Word files so you can add, subtract, and tweak ad infinitum.
 
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Fred Methot
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yangtze2000 wrote:
You can use the Scenario X Mission Cards in normal scenarios too. Just deal 1 to each player at the start of the game.

The templates are on Word files so you can add, subtract, and tweak ad infinitum.


Even better!

Thanks a bunch, will give it another chance this weekend!

Your site is really nice btw!!
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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GreenBear wrote:
But I don't see the logic in coming to the forums to just throw your "why I don't like this game". There are a ton of games out there I don't like for various reasons but voicing it here isn't going to change anything. So I'm curious, what motivates people to come to the forums to denounce a game?


When I am researching for games to purchase, I look at people's comments about the game both good and bad. I look at the negative responses closer because those are the ones that shed light on the mechanics that I might not like. Like others have mentioned, it helps me make purchases that I would actually like.
 
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