After a few more plays with my son it is time to write up this wonderful game. In a word this is THE game to get if you are introducing someone to wargames. It has hex-based movement, terrain effects, outside combat modifiers (sandbags, bunkers) and a fair amount of strategy AND tatics.
The board is a simple two sided mounted board. One side is a beach the other is just land. It is divided by hexes and then split into THREE sectors, Right, Center and Left. The hexes are the spaces that the units use for movement. The sectors work with the cards.
Terrain is added by using small cardboard hexes that represent Forests, Hill, Rivers, Towns, etc. Each has it's own effect on the game. Whether it be modifying the amount of combat die rolled, blocking LOS, adding height or being impassible. By using the 'floating' terrain, each time you set up the board, it is different.
The Game System:
This is a continuation of the Command and Colors system. The board is broken into 3 zones. You hold in your hand cards that let you control certain units in certain zones. You play one card per turn and move and/or attack with those units only.
Combat is as simple as using range to determine amount of dice rolled, modified by terrain or defensive structures, role and read the result.
There is no CRT, each die has a MISS, HIT INFANTRY, HIT TANK, HIT ALL/Arty (genade), RETREAT face. Whatever face is up is what happens. Roll 3 INFANTRY when attacking a tank and they all miss. Roll HIT ALL, HIT INFANTRY, FLAG on an Infantry attack and the unit loses Two Points AND retreats one hex.
Keeping track of unit strength is easy. Each unit generally starts with set amount of pieces (Infantry: 4, Armour: 3, Arty: 2) for each hit taken they lose a piece. When the last piece is gone, the unit is destroyed and the attacker gains a Victory Point.
Movement is just as simple:
Infantry: Move 2 spaces OR move 1 space and attack
Armour: Move 3 spaces and attack
Arty: Move 1 space OR attack
To add some variation there are Cardboard Chits that represent different types of Infantry or Armour Units (Rangers, Airborne, Commandoes, Etc) that have slightly different abilities. From extra movement, the special effects in Terrain to starting with more OR less pieces in each unit.
High marks here. The board and tiles are very nice and sturdy. The cards are well made with nice art and very specific commands. The dice are great (liked the original carved ones but the painted ones work just as well) and the units are awesome (according to my son). The little plastic pieces look great and the fact that all the different countries are represented with different looking models is icing on the cake. They are screaming to be painted but that is a whole other story. And the topper is that it all fits BACK IN THE BOX when you are done!!
Game play is also quite simple. The rules are easy to learn (or show) and the game comes with several nice little reference cards that contain Unit info and Terrain info. I have tought the game while setting up the first scenario. There are several scenarios to choose from using both sides of the board AND all the different bits and pieces (units, terrain, sandbags, bunkers, special forces) and there are TONS of downloadable scenarios from Days of Wonder online (Official AND Fan made). The scenario tells you what terrain is needed, where it goes, what units are needed, where they go, the amount of cards each player gets, the Victory points need to win AND an historical account of the battle you are about to play. All very nice.
A game will go like this:
Set up, deal first hand.
- Play Card
- Announce which units will move
- Move each unit
- Make any attacks
- Resolve attacks
- Pick new card
See, I said it was simple.
The beauty of this system is that the cards let you focus on what you CAN do, not what you MIGHT do. This is very helpful for the new wargamer as they will not get overwhelmed by the whole board and just concentrate on one section. While the experienced player might lament the fact that all the action is on the Right and all his cards are on the Left, the new play will not get stuck in the eternal loop of IF I THEN HE looking at that massive board with all those pieces. A nice part is that the new player can base stradegy on little sections at a time and build on the gameplay from there.
Components: (does every set have the one arty piece with one wheel?)
In the end I would highly recommend this game to ANY gamer, young and old. Easy to teach, easy to learn and fun to play, and isn't that what gaming is all about.
- Last edited Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:22 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:39 pm
(does every set have the one arty piece with one wheel?)
Thanks for the review. I am expecting in the mail today, the Terrain Pack and Eastern Front Pack. EDIT: The package just arrived about 2 minutes after writing this!
I enjoy playing this game solo as I find no real loss of game play when I do.
Regarding the one wheel; simply let DOW know and I think they would send you out a replacement if you really wanted one.
- Last edited Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:43 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:37 pm
I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
Good review of a fun game. I'm hoping this serves as a gateway to slightly more complex wargames for us. But even if it doesn't, I'll happily play Memoir for quite a long time.
Life is too short not to live it up a little!
Thanks for a really good review! We're playing Memoir tomorrow at a demo at an area game store with the new Air Pack! Looking forward to trying it out. If you haven't checked out the Air Pack, it's a NICE expansion for the game!
I've played a number of wargames...Memoir keeps me coming back!
Eric San Juan
I've used this game (and HeroScape) to introduce my son to war games. He has taken to them like a fish to water, which is great.
I've also used this game as a way to scratch the war game itch despite life all too often being too crowded to fit in larger, longer and more complex games. I'd LOVE to play more games, but my time is tight, and so is my friends'. Memoir '44 offers something quick and easy to learn that manages to satisfy the war gaming urge without being too daunting to introduce at random one night over beers.