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Subject: Session Report rss

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The Texsun
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I just received my press copy of Memoir '44 today. My initial impression of the game components is very high. I had thought the pieces would be small - Axis & Allies small (not to discredit A&A, as I like its pieces). However, the pieces are quite large and finely detailed.

The production work on not only the units, but the map, cards, terrain tiles, and rulebook are absolutely outstanding. Out of the box, I read the rules and played the first scenario; the total time from breaking the shrink wrap to putting the game up after its first play was about an hour. The rules are finely crafted, easy to understand, and gameplay is quick, not to mention brutal. The action is fast and furious.

Anyway, I played the Pegasus Bridge scenario, which is the first scenario in the game. The Germans are outnumbered by the Allies, 6 infantry units to 9, but the Germans managed to barely win this scenario. The Allies - actually, the British given the scenario - had to capture two bridges. Additional points are gained by killing off enemy units. So, if the Brits grabbed both bridges, that's 2 points (one for each bridge) as long as they have a unit sitting on it. The Germans do not get points for holding or recapturing the bridges, so they have to kill British units to win. The first side to 4 points wins.

The British started strong but German defenses on the bridge on the western side of the map were good, and they muddled through a few turns there. They played a card, "Behind the Lines," that let one unit move 3 spaces, battle, then move 3 spaces more. Using that card the one British unit moved rapidly around the German's flank and captured the westernmost bridge. They didn't last long, though; the Germans quickly cut them down and recaptured the bridge. It changed hands once more, going to the British and then finally locking in the German's possession.

The bridge to the east was another story entirely. The Germans beat back constant British attacks on it, and the bridge changed hands no less than six times before the Germans finally cleared it of the enemy and kept the remaining British infantry unit at bay.

The British, despite not being able to hang on to either bridge for any length of time, by the end of the scenario managed to destroy three German units. While they were unable at that point to capture a bridge, they could kill of a German unit and seal a 4 point victory. The Germans, though, had 3 kills as well and got off a lucky shot on a weakened British unit at long range, sealing the victory for the Germans.

The outcome was always in doubt. When I first set this scenario up I thought the British would handle the Germans easily. Just goes to show you that the game's card-driven command system is extremely effective at heightening tension and keeping battles intense and fast-moving. This game is terrific.

The Wargamer will be posting a review of this title in a few weeks. I hope to have the reviewer post it here as well. I believe the game is due out June 6, but is available now for pre-order. Being a game reviewer myself and part of the management team of The Wargamer, I tend to get quite a few free games. I must say that few of them I would spend my own money on, but this particular title is good enough that I would have dropped the money on it.

If you've played Battle Cry, the system is similar but updated to reflect modern combat. I recommend buying this title because it's quick to set up, easy to learn but complex enough to maintain interest even for a grognard, and otherwise very fast-paced - no thumb-twiddling while waiting for the other side to move.
 
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Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
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Re:Session Report
Texscripter (#36506),

Great AAR and mini-review. Sounds like it has a good WWII "flavor", and is not merely Battle Cry with WWII bits.

Looking forward to the Wargamer article.
 
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Daniel Eig
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Re:Session Report
Texscripter (#36506),
Great report - thanks for sharing with everyone!
 
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