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Memoir '44» Forums » Variants

Subject: Rules Variants which Increase Defensive Choices rss

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frazer Payne
United Kingdom
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Many of the following rules adress an issue in M44: that although it is often described as a ‘hand management’ card game, in fact there is very little chance to do this in reality, each player having about 7 or 8 turns before the game ends.

By adding rules which increase defensive options, it slightly slows the game. Applying some or all of these rules is therfore a matter of taste.

This is on the variants forum for people who wish to discuss variants. If all you want to say is that the variants are bad, please just go and post on another forum! This thread will only annoy you.

I'd be interested to hear what other people think.

“1 )Request Clarification!”

On a player's turn, they can do 1 of the following :

1. Play any card from the their hand and then draw 1 replacement card (normal rules)

2. Discard any 2 cards from their hand and then draw 2 new cards. The player’s turn then ends.

NOTE: This rule helps increase the responsiveness of a player’s hand. It reduces the chance of being utterly paralysed and destroyed without any option to respond. It slightly reduces the advantage gained by an opponent who has destroyed all units in a flank, since the ‘requesting’ player may improve his responsiveness in other areas.

2) Maintained Sandbags

Sandbags which are vacated are not removed if another friendly unit of the same type occupies the hex in the same turn.

NOTE: I KNOW sandbags aren't necessarily literally sandbags. And that cover created by one unit is rarely useful for another in reality. This rule is for those that would like a chance for sandbags to stay on the map a little longer.

3) Recon Cards Can Place Sandbags

When playing a Recon card, the player may discard the card without actioning it, and instead place one sandbag piece around 1 friendly unit. The unit may not move.

The player’s turn then ends. He draws two cards and chooses one as normal.

4) Probe Cards Can Assign Opportunity Fire

When playing a Probe card, the player may place a ‘Opportunity Fire’ marker on 1 friendly Infantry or Armour unit. The unit may not move.

The other unit, if available, is commanded as normal.

Opportunity Fire

A unit stays in ‘Opportunity Fire’ mode until it moves, or if the player decides to remove the marker on a subsequent turn.

A unit with an Opportunity Fire marker may fire as soon as an enemy unit moves into range and line of sight, temporarily interrupting the opponent’s turn.

The unit battles at a disadvantage (armor: 2 - 2 - 2, infantry: 2 -1-1). Alternate option: ignore grenade results.

After battling, the OF unit exits ‘Opportunity Fire’. Remove the ‘Opportunity Fire’ marker.

If a targeted unit is hit by ‘Opportunity Fire’ it must stop but can still issue an attack order. If it is not hit, the current player may resume his movement.

NOTE: The Probe Cards Can Assign Opportunity Fire rule above helps simulate the effect of moving one unit while another takes position to ‘cover’ it. It makes the game slightly more defensive, but adds flavour and tactical choices.

Opportunity Fire is less effective than a normal attack because the OF unit is -and has been visibly- static. This simulates the effect of enemy troops being pre-prepared to approach a unit which is visibly static.

5) Retreat

(This mediates the effect of being cut off from behind).

When retreating due to 1 flag result, a unit must move directly away from its attacker. If this is not possible, it must move back towards its player’s side.

Additional flag results require the unit to move back towards its player’s side of the board as usual, unless this brings the unit closer to its attacker, in which case it must move away from the attacker again.

5) Steep hills

(This helps slow down Armor. This is from terrain card 13:

- Movement up onto a steep hill is a 2 hex move

- Movement down hill or from hill to hill is a 1 hex move

- Block line of site (Except from adjacent contiguous hills at same height).

- Infantry/Armor: -1 to units battling from below

6) Armour Wreckage

When an Armor unit is destroyed, leave one model in the hex, placed on its side, denoting the hex contains Wreckage.

Move: Armor must stop when it enters a hex with Wreckage. Artillery and Infantry are not affected.

Battle: Infantry may ignore first flag. Armor and Artillery are not affected.

Line of Sight: Wreckage does not block line of sight.

7) Armor Causes Smoke

When an Armor unit is destroyed by an Artillery or Armor unit, the hex is filled with Smoke.

Smoke Rules

(From Equipment Pack Rules for Smoke Shells)

Smoke is active for 2 full turns. Place 2 tokens with the smoke. After the defender’s first turn, remove 1 token. After the defender’s second turn, remove the 2nd token and the smoke.

Smoke has the following impact on game play:

Movement: A unit must stop when moving onto a hex containing Smoke and may move no further on that turn.

Battle: When targeting a unit that is on a hex containing Smoke, reduce the number of Battle dice rolled by 1. And a unit battling from a hex containing Smoke battles out at minus 1 die.

Line of Sight: A hex containing Smoke blocks Line of Sight, though units that are in the hex containing this Smoke may be seen and see out of that hex. In other words, a unit is hidden from line of sight only if the line of sight crosses the hex containing Smoke.

Smoke hexes also block line of sight for Artillery units.

NOTE: This rule adds dynamic cover to the map, and adds tactical choices. For example, it allows an infantry unit to approach an Armor unit with reduced risk, since the Armor is at -1 dice.

8) Infantry Combat - “Taking Ground is Hard”

When attacking an adjacent enemy unit, a player must designate whether the attack is Close Range Fire or Assault.

Close Range Fire: As per normal Close Assault procedure, except that the attacker may not Take Ground.

Assault: As per normal Close Assault procedure, except that -if the defender does not retreat or is eliminated- he may roll one dice to Battle Back. He may not Take Ground or Armour Overrun.

Armour units may not Battle Back against infantry.

NOTE: It is possible that a defender could Battle Back more than once if attacked by more than one unit in a turn.
This replaces Infantry units’ standard Close Assault procedure, including Taking Ground. It borrows from the ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ Pacific Theatre Rules, and from BattleLore 2nd Edition.

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Jack Tremble
United States
Broken Arrow
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These seem like interesting and common sense variants that fit in well with the spirit of M'44. I will definitely give these a run through on future face to face sessions and report back. Thanks for the effort of spicing up a great game and sharing your ideas.
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Jari Kemppainen
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The state flag of Finland from January to May 1918
Thanks Fraser for charing your ideas.
In my mind they are very usable and give nice addition to this entertaining war-themed game.
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Mark Papenfuss
United States
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"Your results are back: it's negative", is that a bad thing?
Some well thought out stuff here.

I really like the "Request Clarification", and will give it a try.

Thanks for sharing.
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