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Subject: Tide of Iron Vs Memoir '44? Thoughts? rss

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Chad Egbert
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Since you are new to boardgames, I'd go with Memoir 44'. Both games are good in my opinion, but Tide of Iron has a higher learning curve and the games take longer.

Welcome to gaming!!!
 
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Jim Cote
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Memoir '44

- One double sided mounted board, terrain overlays
- Individual plastic figures (infantry, atillery, tanks) for units
- Plastic razor-wire, tank traps, entrenchments
- Actions are performed by playing cards (move, attack, etc)
- Light complexity
- Short play time (~1 hour)

- Movement: Units may move a fixed # of spaces based on type. Some terrain requires that you stop when you enter, etc.

- Combat procedure: Roll # dice based on attacking unit type and range. Hits based on what symbols are rolled. Some rolls force retreat. Terrain and cover may reduce the # dice rolled. Each unit has a fixed attack value no matter how many figures are eliminated.

- Hits: Remove figures from units, or force a retreat.

- Turn sequence: Players alternate playing one card at a time. Card may allow one or more units to be activated (move, shoot, both, or other actions).

Tide of Iron

- 12 double-sided pressed wood boards, terrain overlays
- Individual plastic figures (regular, elite, officer, machine gun crew, mortars crew) that go into bases, trucks, tanks
- Cardboard pieces for razor-wire, tank traps, entrenchments, pill boxes
- Actions performed can be chosen at will
- Medium complexity
- Medium to long play time (2-3 hours)

- Movement: Units get a number of movement points based on type. Each type of terrain requires so many points to enter. The presence of an officer increases movement by 1. Squads my travel farther by truck.

- Combat procedure: Roll # black dice based on attacking unit type, attack type (normal/suppressive), defending unit type, range. Roll # red dice based on terrain, cover, and any special unit properties. Hits are black dice hits (close range = 4-6, normal range = 5-6, long range = 6) minus red dice defense (5-6). Each unit's attack value is the sum of the attack values of the figures in it. Attacker may combine the firepower of multiple units.

- Hits: Remove figures from units, pin/disrupt/rout squad, light/heavy damage to vehicles, destroy vehicles.

- Turn sequence: Players alternate taking 3 actions (usually) with which they may activate a unit or play a card. Units may shoot, move & shoot, shoot, assault, op fire, or perform some special function. Units in Op Fire mode may shoot at enemy units WHILE they are moving. Once all units have been "used up", the turn ends.

- Special stuff: Command points earned for controlling key locations. Can be spent on initiative or cards. Each scenario defines which decks of cards each side may draw from (eg reinforcements, morale, support, artillery, etc). Specialized squads (medic, engineer, anti-tank, flame thrower).

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Leo Zappa
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If by resources you mean of the economic variety, then the answer is "neither". Both games are tactical in scale, so the fight is to maneuver and engage enemy troop units at a company, battalion, regimental scale. There are no resources to acquire to use to build more units, again, if that's the question.

Of the two, I'd recommend M44 first, as it is easier. If you like M44, you will probably get around to getting TOI at some point (as I am presently contemplating!)
 
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jjjjjjjjjjames wrote:
I'm new to board games and just about to buy my first world war II game and tossing up between Tide of Iron Vs Memoir '44? Just wondering what the up's and down's were of each? Do either have much to do with resources?


I think it depends on what level of simulation you're looking for. Memoir '44 uses a card driven system that tells you which units you're able to order on your turn, and your choices are pretty much move and/or attack. It's pretty basic, but still great fun if you're not looking for a "serious" war game.

Tide of Iron is definitely a step up in complexity. You can choose the units you want to order on your turn, and you have a lot more options. Things like transport vehicles, suppressive fire, morale and opportunity fire are modeled in the game. This, of course, increases the complexity and learning curve of the game.

So, which one sounds like what you're looking for?
 
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Tom Shydler
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I would suggest Memoir 44. Much simpler game. Indeed, as much euro as wargame. Aimed more towards fun than simulation. Tide of Iron is a modest wargame, with more detailed mechanisms to create a feel of WW2 combat. Unless you are a miniature wargamer (in which case go with ToI), Memoir is a better introduction.

(Long-time wargmer, I own Memoir, but prefer the ToI approach)
 
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Tim Myers
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jjjjjjjjjjames wrote:
I'm new to board games and just about to buy my first world war II game and tossing up between Tide of Iron Vs Memoir '44? Just wondering what the up's and down's were of each? Do either have much to do with resources?


It also depends on what type of gamer you are going to be playing this with. If your opponent is into military games and up for more complex games then ToI may be what you are looking for. If your fellow gamer is into shorter less complex games then M44 would probably be a place to start.

The number of players might be another thing to consider. M44 is designed for only 2 players and you can increase that to 8 with another copy of the game and using overlord scenarios.

ToI has rules included for 3 or 4 players and the unit distribution and setup divide each side for each player. If you have 3 or 4 players that will want to play and are up to a medium complexity game then ToI would probably be better.

Although ToI is more complex then M44, after you play a few scenarios and refer to the rulebook several times it becomes much easier. Look over the rulebooks for both and checkout the session reports here on BGG.

M44 Rules: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=10043
ToI Rules: http://fantasyflightgames.com/tideofiron_support.html


NOTE: The first game that I purchased and learned to play (way back in '78) after games like Monopoly, Risk, etc. was "Squad Leader" and rules for both M44 & ToI are easier to read and understand with lots of pictures and examples.
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Joe Stude
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I felt the same way about Memoir - not enough legs to keep me really interested. I haven't played ToI yet, though I'm signed up for an event at Gencon to try it out and am really looking forward to it.
 
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Isaac Citrom
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James;

You sort of fell into a debate regarding these two games. There are some who absolutely love Memoir 44 for its simplicity and ease of play. Others find it too simple. Tide of Iron is just out and is being extremely well received. The design seems to have hit a sweet spot in the balance between ease of play and historical fidelity.

If you are not budget conscious, get Memoir 44 first and then if you too find yourself limited, you can move onto Tide of Iron. If you are committed to buying either one or the other, my recommendation would be for Tide of Iron. Yes, there is somewhat more of a learning curve but in the long run you will be more satisfied. Note, that this is my personal opinion. There are those who are die hard Memoir 44 fans. They are well aware of the nature of Tide of Iron and still prefer Memoir 44.

Important points in their difference are:

(a) Memoir 44 is card-driven and Tide of Iron is not. The cards in Memoir 44 tell you what you can and can't do. This is the single biggest difference and what makes the two games play very differently.

(b) A game of Memoir 44 plays in about 45 to 60 minutes. A game of Tide of Iron takes from 2 to 6 hours.

(c) Memoir 44 is more abstracted and easier to learn. Tide of Iron, though not overly complex, will take more effort to master.
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jgerman wrote:
Memoir ran out of steam quick for me... really quick. It's way too simplistic. I'd vote Tide of Iron if it's between the two of them.


Well, this person is new to gaming. If Memoir is liked but is too light, I feel the next logical step would be BattleLore. It's the same system as Memoir, with a "magic" element to it. Plus it's a little more complex without being over the top in complexity. Although I have not tried Tide of Iron yet, BattleLore seems more of a gateway(introductory) game from all descriptions.
 
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Isaac Citrom
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I see GreenBear's point. I find M44 annoying because what is important to me is a WWII narrative. M44 doesn't feel WWII-ish to me. Also, I really don't like not being able to do what I want to do.

But, if you accept M44's design as is and take the game for what it is as opposed to what you think it ought ot be, then you can concentrate on the strategies specific to M44.

I think a good analogy is Chess. Chess has almost no historical fidelity at all. None of the tactics and strategies that one might have read about in battles of any period would apply in Chess. But, it would be nonsensical to say that strategy does not apply to Chess.

I really like Tide of Iron. But, I will still play M44 when the mood strikes me for the type of game that M44 offers to be.
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David desJardins
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M44 is really, really simple. If you want to play a game without making any real decisions, just draw the cards and roll the dice and see what happens, then it could be a good experience. If you want to control what happens and plan a strategy and have a good chance that the best player will win, then TOI is a better bet. But it's a much longer and more complicated game and you have to be willing to expend more time and energy to play it.
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Isaac Citrom
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DaviddesJ wrote:
M44 is really, really simple. If you want to play a game without making any real decisions, just draw the cards and roll the dice and see what happens, then it could be a good experience. If you want to control what happens and plan a strategy and have a good chance that the best player will win, then TOI is a better bet. But it's a much longer and more complicated game and you have to be willing to expend more time and energy to play it.


Well said.
 
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Colin Hunter
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Just a quick note, while I haven't played memoir 44 (I've played plenty of C&C:E and Battlelore), I think it is unfair to categorize memoir 44 as such a shallow game. Frankly tides of iron is pretty shallow in terms of strategy compared to a whole ton of games, arguing about whether ToI is deeper than M 44 is like arguing about which two almost identical puddles is deeper, both are good games. Both will be fine for beginning players, memoir 44 being simpler, but ToI is still reasonably accessable and while it has the same amorphus scale it will (my guess only) feel more like WWII. Goodluck
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Isaac Citrom
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GreenBear;

I don't want to go the Vassal route but perhaps you could post an article about what you mean. I sure would like to read it.

I have a really tough time planning anything. When I play I find myself limited to turn by turn decisions in what is my best single option for that turn. Basically, with each turn I am solving a new "Memoir 44 problem" much like the Chess problems in the daily newspaper. I find it impossible to make any co-ordinated action that spans multiple turns. The rare times that I do succeed, I find myself quite lucky. I never have won an M44 game and said to myself, "boy, did I play well."

I too a gander at the strategy articles on the M44 page. I thought to myself, "well, yeah, makes sense, but it's really up to the cards I get, isn't it." I really hope you write that article, GreenBear. I am most interested in your approach and to see how you "get things done" in M44.


 
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Jim Cote
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Despite the extreme personal opinions, GreenBear, I think there's a sincere effort to make sure that people who are asking about the games understand what they are getting. M44 is a really, really simple game. Not in the sense of the intelligence of the players, but in the sense of its mechanisms. ToI is an order of magnitude more complex (WAY more choices, more possible results to consider, etc). ASL is probably a couple of orders of magnitude more complex than ToI.

Some people like M44 and some people like ASL. Fine. But someone asking about them should be made aware of this complexity issue. I don't think your experience in the military has any bearing on this issue. Your game experience is more valid. And I have to say that M44, A&A, and BattleLore do not reveal any experience with complex wargames.
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Darren M
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The conflicting views and opinions about these two games largely stems from the fact that comparing these two games is essentially an "apples vs oranges" scenario. Tide of Iron is more complex and "weighty" and takes much longer to play and M'44 is less complex, simpler to learn and takes much less time to complete a game.

They are both themed around WW2 and have miniatures in the games but the similarities pretty much stop there.

54 people have rated both games so far and among those gamers...

Tide of Iron rates 8.28 on average whereas M'44 rates 7.80 on average.

That still doesn't tell the whole story though of course as Tide of Iron is more of a gamers game than M'44 which is more of a light/medium weight filler type of war game. A war game with the simplicity of M'44 that plays under an hour is generally considered to be an introductory level war game and one that has a better chance of hitting the table with casual gamers.

As has been already suggested... consider who you will be playing the game with as well as that will make a difference in which game has a better chance of getting on the table and of actually being played.

M'44 has several expansions that add many extra scenarios into the game play which may also be a consideration if you like the game and want to add more variety to the game. Tide of Iron will undoubtedly have several expansions down the line as well as FFG is known for releasing expansions for their "big box" games... often improving the original games with added scenarios and modifications.

I personally believe M'44 is a good start for a "newish" gamer. The game is very good for what it is and I do think there is some strategy and tactics in the game despite what some others might say. That's not to say I would recommend not getting Tide of Iron... but starting with a game like M'44 and working your way up would seem the prudent way to go rather than jumping into a game that may very well be a little more complex than you and your gaming group really want to start with.
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David desJardins
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GreenBear wrote:
The conotation that you present is that it is for simpletons


No, this is not true. Some people like playing games with relatively few decisions, because they enjoy the experience of playing. There's nothing wrong with that, and it doesn't make them stupid. It just means they like a different kind of game.

Quote:
So please stop trying to imply that because people enjoy Memoir '44 they have no skill or intelligence. The game certainly requires both. Play me and I'll prove that!


I'm confident that, after playing M44 a couple of times, I can beat you 50% of the time. But I have neither the time nor interest to "prove" that, so we will have to simply disagree.

Quote:
And while I haven't had a chance to try ToI yet, I can certainly address the other 'wargame grognards' who are of the attitude that more simluation is what makes a wargame.


TOI is not any more of a simulation than M44. If anyone prefers the former to the latter, it's not for its simulation aspects. It's for the reasons described above.
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isaacc wrote:
GreenBear;

I have a really tough time planning anything. When I play I find myself limited to turn by turn decisions in what is my best single option for that turn. Basically, with each turn I am solving a new "Memoir 44 problem" much like the Chess problems in the daily newspaper. I find it impossible to make any co-ordinated action that spans multiple turns. The rare times that I do succeed, I find myself quite lucky. I never have won an M44 game and said to myself, "boy, did I play well."



There was a recent thread that touched on this in respect of Battleore, (though it was in danger of being more about the definition of the terms strategy and tactics a lot of the time!)

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/168653

It seems that the Command & Colors system regularly raises this debate and polarises opinion.

Personaly I don't think that C&C is without planing in a fundamental way but the closer you push the forces together at the start of the game and the less card options you give them the more reactive the outcome is likely to be. Epic BL therefore appears to reward an element of planing more than a normal game of M44 and this is enhanced by the additional planing possible in the Lore aspect of the game.


 
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I've played very many strategy games from the old classic hex and counter to the A & A series, and I've played both Battle Cry and Memoir 44 many times. Those claiming any lack of strategy in C & C games simply have failed to see or grasp it. The idea in that system is that you actually have to strategically plan to work with the options you have and the possible ones that may come up in order to have the best chances of being able to carry out your plans tactically. In fact it could be argued to be more strategic in this sense than many other strategy games where you already know your options every turn ahead of time. I wouldn't make an argument like that though because I see them as just games of different types of strategy. Mem44 is indeed a liter game, but that was I believe one of the ideas of the C & C system - to make it so shorter battles could be played quicker. I would recommend both ToI and Mem44 for scratching different but both quite strategic itches.
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What I like about M44 is that, in the time it takes to play 1 game of ToI (and other more complex wargames), I can play about 4 games of M44 with my son, and due to the random element added by the command cards my son can beat me in 1 of the 4 games. The part of strategy (I agree with GreenBear that definitely it is there) makes me win more often, but he can win some games and we both like it this way.

If you are looking for a game where the "better" player (or the more experienced) always wins, then M44 is not for you. But if you want a light game where experienced players may have a slight advantage over a series of games but with an outcome much more open in a single one, M44 is the game to begin with. The simulation part is weak for both.

PS: With the June 6th anniversary celebrations (I live in Normandy) these days he is asking me to play M44 again and again...
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Alex F.
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Much of this conversation resembles a "Chess or Checkers" debate about complexity -- with bits of anti-poker-thinking thrown in.

Chess may seem to trump Checkers in complexity. But Checkers has its share of strategy books, and some chess players say playing perfect Checkers is actually harder, due to its more open-ended nature. Seems plausible.

The scope of decisions you have to make in M44 has been streamlined, true. And yet the obstacles -- usually in the form of bad cards -- are many and hard to see coming. So you plan your game while being flexible in your tactics.

To say Memoir '44 requires no strategy whatsoever is a bit like saying poker requires no strategy, because it's all in the cards, and you can't plan eight moves ahead. But I'm safe in saying there are good and bad poker players. In M44 -- as in poker -- one particular match may seem random. But over the long haul, the better player will show his stripes.

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jgerman wrote:
simply4est wrote:
In fact it could be argued to be more strategic in this sense than many other strategy games where you already know your options every turn ahead of time.


Not successfully, that would be tactics. M44 is a very light game, any attempt to claim otherwise irresponsible towards those that haven't played it and are trying to make decisions.

Quote:

Those claiming any lack of strategy in C & C games simply have failed to see or grasp it.


Horseshit. The strategy in the C&C system is relatively light, period. There is no hidden depth, these are not complicated deep games.

Those claiming depth of strategy in C&C games are simply trying to justify their enjoyment of the game, which is ridiculous. There is no reason to be insulted at enjoying a light game.



No it's as I said, strategy, you misunderstand what I posted as you do the game and apparently strategy if it's not laid out for you where you know all the options ahead of time. There has been no misrepresentation here if you read my and others entire post. If you are so sure of yourself, why did you dodge backing up what you say on the other page? You're the one being ridiculous here if you expect anyone to blindly believe your opinion of something you've already demonstrated your lack of knowledge about.
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Isaac Citrom
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Fair enough, GreenBear. I hope you do write that article and I'll keep an eye out for it. I am most interested.

I have fun with M44 with my sons because they have fun. But, as a game, it's a toss up as to who will win. I sure would like to see how to adapt my thinking to M44.
 
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Tide of Iron rates 8.28 on average whereas M'44 rates 7.80 on average.


Darren sums it up nicely. Both games are rated very highly.

You have joined a site with the word "geek" in it so don't be suprised at the condescension some games like M'44 get. There is that Geek Element that oozes out of some members here that demands they speak negatively about any game they don't personally approve of.

M'44 is an excellent game that has plenty of depth as you add the reasonably priced expansions to it. It is fast and relatively simple and most gamers who view games as something to have fun doing see those as positive attributes.

Tide of Iron is a pretty amazing game due primarily to the fact that it has melded the old hex & counter war game style (usually played by Deep Geeks) and the visual style of tabletop miniature gaming into one relatively effortless package at a great price.

I own M'44 and all the expansions and Tide of Iron and I rate them both very highly. M'44, being shorter, is perfect for quick games or to introduce new players to the basic concepts of wargaming. TOI scratches my itch for squad level detail without the onorous rulebooks and rules confusion of about 300 other war games I've owned and played.

Both have nice pieces and the visuals really do enhance the play. I consider each game to be much more tactical than strategic and while M'44 is restrictive in that cards supply you the impetus to move and do combat, in TOI you can get burned just as badly by die rolls and not getting the right strategy cards.

More is always better so long as you do your research here and acquire a variety of games that fit into different gaming situations.

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Quote:
Wrong. Making decisions mid fight due to changing conditions and to defeat a particular opponent is tactics. Not going to bother trying to correct you again you can either look it up and see that you're wrong or continue to be wrong, all the same to me.


Jeremy is right... but why he insists on being such a dick about it is beyond me... it's not as if he's defending something he personally created.

To clarify: Strategy is what military leaders do when they plan the overall desired result of an operation. A good example of a strategic game would be Europe Engulfed or perhaps Axis & Allies.

Operational level games deal with the formations and resources being organized and deployed to begin the pursuit of the strategic aim. So perhaps the classic Longest Day or the more recent Axis & Allies variations (D-Day, Bulge) would fit that bill.

Any game that allows the players to operate on less abstracted battlefield, moving troops and units in company or squad formations, reacting to changing situations and perhaps seizing on opportunites that are never predictable at the operational and strategic level is definitely a tactical game. So M'44 and TOI are both Tactical Level games.

But in the interest of serving the community of BGG by pointing out how Jeremy is capable of hoisting himself by his own petard... he rates Necromunda a "10" and describes it by using the word strategic in his effusive praise of this purely tactical mish-mash from Games Workshop.
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