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Tony Chen
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I played this game for the first time yesterday. We tried scenario 3 I believe, and because of time constraints only got partially through the game. We ended with each of us having 1 medal (5 needed for victory).

My impression is that this is a system I'd have made up to play with when I was 8 years old. Without sounding too derogatory, and for the lack of a better term, it felt more like "playing with toys" than an "exercise in mathematics."

Am I missing something, or is that it? I am not absolutely certain I got all the rules correct (we had to rush through reading the rules). Does the game start slow and get better as the action unfolds?

Some issues:
1. There is no timer. What if both sides decides to sit back out of range of each other indefinitely? For example, both sides are in their bunkers and the first to move out and assault enemy's bunker loses.

2. Victory condition (picking off units) feels a bit artificial. Some objective would be nice? (securing a location, blowing up a bridge, etc).

Commands and Colors Ancients had my interest, but now I am not so sure. How does it compare to Memoir '44? By the way I am not averse to wargames in general (really liked Twilight Imperium also after one incomplete play).
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Rob White
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Other scenerios have opportunities to secure towns or bridges (but not blow up bridges). I think it's a great game. Good tension. Fairly quick playing after a relatively lengthy set-up. Chance to switch sides and play again right away (with a lot less set up time).

I'm not a wargame expert, so I don't know what other game might suit you. Sorry.

Rob
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Petras Ražanskas
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Commands and Colors Ancients had my interest, but now I am not so sure. How does it compare to Memoir '44? By the way I am not averse to wargames in general (really liked Twilight Imperium also after one incomplete play).


There seems to be a general consensus that this system is best fit for simulating ancient warfare, and for WW2 it's... well, not so great. I think it's very well possible you'd like CC:A a lot better than Memoir '44.
 
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Scott
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
than an "exercise in mathematics."



Wow! Do you want the game to be an exercise in mathematics? Yuck, that sounds like zero fun to me(but I'm not really into math either). Different strokes for different folks, I guess. If you like exercises in mathematics I would suggest something by Knizia. Of course there is some math in most games (especially wargames) but I have fun despite that.

I like Memoir 44 and I've had yet to run into the problems you've described but sometimes games just don't "click" for certain people. I would give the rulebook one more quick read and try it a couple more times before you make up your mind though. Most games need a few plays to really come together but it might just not be the game for you. There are a handful of highly-ranked games that I don't like either.

This is a pure-fun beer 'n pretzels game. No simulation value here. It's still a blast though.
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Dan Edwards
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carnifex wrote:

There seems to be a general consensus that this system is best fit for simulating ancient warfare, and for WW2 it's... well, not so great. I think it's very well possible you'd like CC:A a lot better than Memoir '44.


I wouldn't call it a consensus. M44 was meant to be light, and I think a lot of folks who think that radios in WWII solved all the goofy C3 issues that make soldiers sit around when the command wants them doing something else haven't been around soldiers and are used to playing regular WWII wargames where you are Godlike and all your chits obey your every whim. FUBAR and SNAFU are WWII terms, after all.

That said, I'd agree that more people are comfortable with the idea of the C&C system in the ancient setting.

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brian
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To each his own. I love the game. I think it works well with the system and enjoy it more than the other 3 titles. I also recognize that others may find the other titles more to their taste or that there are more appropriate wwii games. I also don't think you can grasp an entire game system, especially one as diverse as this in 1/5 of a play.

To your questions:

1) No, no timer in the game. Both sides could sit back and not do anything but it will be a very boring game. You could take any game, though, and purposely not play to win and have about the same experience. Usually, one side is mnore entrenched and benefits from staying on the defense. The other side usually benefits from being aggressive.

2) Yes, those are nice objectives. And they exist in quite a few scenarios, just not the one you played. I like the quick natured feel of the game and think the victory medal accumulation is a good fit. For those that want a little more substance, you could house rule it.

I find the game quick and pretty deep with fairly simple rules. I like that I can fit in a couple games where other games may only get a partial play in that amount of time. The game is luck based with the double whammy of cards and dice. But there is strategy involved to plan out a few moves ahead and concentrate your forces to minimize the luck. I think this is where the game shines but takes a few more plays to see.

It looks like you played a beach scenario. Personally, these are my least favorite as well as they do drag a little in the beginning. The Allies have quite the struggle getting to the open countryside and make an effective attack. But the real landings weren't a cake walk so I think they capture the frustration in an abstract way.

I have 150 plays in so far and enjoy the game even more than that first play. Perhaps you will give it another chance but it's OK if you don't.
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    If both sides decide to sit in their bunkers and not fight -- PEACE! EVERYBODY WINS!

    Except France.

    I personally find the game enjoyable, although certainly not mathematical. There is quite an element of luck in it and if that's not your thing then you certainly should move on. Avoid its three sisters as well.

    Whoever gave you the impression that Memoir was a game of math or any kind of precision wargame was mistaken. Coming into the game with that impression most certainly made you a difficult sell. It's designed to be light and quick, and to bring a fair portion of unpredictability into the picture. If you're looking to fill an hour, crack a beer and jaw at each other as you play, Memoir is a quality choice.

    If you're looking to be the field general, to be on target with your aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting your targets with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if you have to use the shotgun, to use short bullet offensives and long bombs, to march your troops into enemy territory, balancing your aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line, then you'd be much better served by a more serious wargame. Multiman Publishing has a vast array of titles to choose from.

    My apologies to Mr. Carlin for the carved quotation above.

             Sag.




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brian
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Rob in Richmond wrote:
Other scenerios have opportunities to secure towns or bridges (but not blow up bridges).

Check out Scenario #24 (#28 in the Air Pack). You have the ability to blow up 3 bridges. And quite the interesting scenario that I recall.
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Tony Chen
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Thanks to the replies.

Quote:
Wow! Do you want the game to be an exercise in mathematics?


Yes I do. I have tried many Knizias and they are some of my favorite games. In fact, I played three games yesterday: Tower of Babel, Tigris & Euphrates, and 1/5 of a Memoir '44 scenario.
 
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Scott
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Thanks to the replies.

Quote:
Wow! Do you want the game to be an exercise in mathematics?


Yes I do. I have tried many Knizias and they are some of my favorite games. In fact, I played three games yesterday: Tower of Babel, Tigris & Euphrates, and 1/5 of a Memoir '44 scenario.


That makes sense, I've always found a lot of math in his games. That's his full-time profession isn't it? I've enjoyed just about every Knizia game I've played but I still pretty much hate math-go figure. He does a decent job of burying that stuff in the game mechanics;most of the time anyway.

You could probably make Memoir 44 really math-y if you constantly calculate the dice probabilities, count cards, and calculate all your current damage vs. the amount of damage you can and need to cause. Lot's of probabilities and risk-management for a math-fan. You could really play a strong game of Memoir 44 if you're good at that stuff.

Good Luck!

 
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Michael Edwards
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I would agree that you won't like C&C Ancients. While I like the C&C System (I now own all four settings so far), and there's some variability about how well it's adapted and/or matured in those settings, if you don't like the underlying game in one, another "theme" probably won't tip the scales for you. Yes, it is simple - that's a feature of it. Sometimes I do feel it's a bit simpler than I might like, but it also makes it quick and easy to teach.

Like just about any game, you might want to give another scenario a chance, as one play may just have been bad luck, lackluster scenario, or so on.

As for there being no timer, I admit it's not something I've run into - never had an opponent that's been unwilling to commit. One would presume if you both just sat there, your various high commands would crack down on you and transfer you to a less favorable front - just like in the Christmas truces in WWI! Otherwise, I think the attacker has a little better odds (in that they get to pick where to attack, can "team up" on a unit with several units, get to inflict damage first and possibly eliminate units that would otherwise attack back) so that seemed motivation in itself for me.

It does sound like the series may be not a match for your tastes. It's not for everyone. Love the Porco Rosso avatar, tho!

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Francis K. Lalumiere
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Give the game another shot. You can't seriously dismiss a game after rushing through the rules and playing one fifth of a match. (Especially with a game that normally lasts barely an hour.)
I mean, come on.
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Charles A. Davis
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If you need a timer, add a chess clock. That works for many 2 player games.
 
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Lyman Moquin
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Right. MEM 44' is in the genre of it's predecessor Battle Cry. . . and it is a bit. . . pedestrian as a "war game". As a "game" however, it is fun. . . and is a great way of bringing younger (and older non-gamers that like the genre) into gaming. It consistently draws big crowds at WBC. That said, if your games are taking too long, you're taking it too seriously.

C&C is a different story. I think this game really captures the essence of Ancient warfare (rewarding skirmishing, keeping your infantry lines, and using calvary in breakthroughs), and you can tweak it with some house rules that make it much, much more "competitive" and "a thinking wargame". Mostly, by each player playing with his/her OWN deck (just buy another deck from GMT for $10) and by playing two games, switching sides and keeping score of total points across both games...

Why bother? Because these are games you can sit down and knock out in 45 minutes . . . and are essentially "game kits" that have a TON of replayability. I wouldn't recommend buying more than the original C&C unless you really get into it - the expansions just offer generally "more of the same". . but with all of them, you'll have over 1000 blocks of a "poor man" mini collection.

 
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Play Tide of Iron
 
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Jim Nave
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What? You don't like Memoir 44? You suck and so does this post and everyone else who agrees with it!

just kidding... the game's not for everyone.
 
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Tony Chen
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Quote:
That's almost like saying "I looked at the back of the box and didn't get it, am I missing something?"


Really? You think so?

Quote:
Some objective? Ok, here's one for you and it turns out to be the only objective in war actually...defeat the enemy!


So if I need one more victory point to win, I should run my armors past active enemey units, ignore their fire, to get at and kill an almost wiped out and retreating unit? or abandon my bunker to finish off those last dying units, while fully healthy units run past me uncontested past the beach, past the (now empty) bunkers, into my cities/territories (or whatever they were after and I was supposedly trying to defend)?

 
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Scott
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drunkenKOALA wrote:


So if I need one more victory point to win, I should run my armors past active enemey units, ignore their fire, to get at and kill an almost wiped out and retreating unit? or abandon my bunker to finish off those last dying units, while fully healthy units run past me uncontested past the beach, past the (now empty) bunkers, into my cities/territories (or whatever they were after and I was supposedly trying to defend)?



Yes.

Memoir 44 is not a realistic wargame. If you want something that is more logical in that regard you're looking at a big rulebook and lot's of complexity. Memoir is just meant to be fun and light; truly a "game".
 
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Tony Chen
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Depending on the person and the game, it is possible for the former to make an accurate assessment on the latter after fifteen minutes or so of play.

I may be that type of person--at least I like to think so, and it'd flatter my ego immensely if you, even ever so slightly, allowed for that possibility.

Memoir '44 may or may not be that type of a game. If it is, I appreciate your honesty in telling me so upfront even if that means turning a gamer away from one of your favorite games. If not, constructive feedback on what a new player such as myself are prone to miss is appreciated. What are some of the intricacies of the game that reveals itself only upon repeated plays? What are some reasons for me to believe that the game can be much more fun?

For example, "But there is strategy involved to plan out a few moves ahead and concentrate your forces to minimize the luck. I think this is where the game shines but takes a few more plays to see. It looks like you played a beach scenario. Personally, these are my least favorite as well as they do drag a little in the beginning."

Conversely, categorical attitude along the lines of, "You didn't like the game therefore (because it is the only explanation) you must not have understood it" does not help.

I understand that Memoir '44 is your favorite game, but I did play ~fifteen minutes of it, and I was very unimpressed. I don't know what else to say.
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Scott
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drunkenKOALA wrote:


For example, "But there is strategy involved to plan out a few moves ahead and concentrate your forces to minimize the luck. I think this is where the game shines but takes a few more plays to see. It looks like you played a beach scenario. Personally, these are my least favorite as well as they do drag a little in the beginning."


For me, a big part of the fun is card-management. When I first played I tended to want to play good cards as soon as I got them. You can actually do some long term planning and hang on to those really powerful cards until the opportune moment. I like to manage my cards to do maximum damage. Also, learning to use terrain effectively is a big part of M'44. Learning to attack in force is also something that takes some practice.

There is certainly some stuff to think about but, like I said before, some games just don't "click" with certain people. I see that you are a big fan of abstracts and low-luck Euros, it could just be that Memoir has to much randomness or chaos for you. I can understand that.

As an aside to your comment about being able to evaluate games after a brief play. That certainly doesn't work for me(cool if it does for you). As an example, I absolutely hated Ra the first two times I played it. I played one more time and it shot straight into my top 10; it just took a couple of games for me to get it.

Good luck!
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William Crispin
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The system is a good light system but M44 does not click for me. The system does not work well for me in a WWII setting. I have played many heavier wargames so that is probably part of the problem. I do enjoy Ancients quite a bit although I find it plays a little too quickly before I feel my full strategy is in play.
 
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brian
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Depending on the person and the game, it is possible for the former to make an accurate assessment on the latter after fifteen minutes or so of play.

I think in all fairness, it is hard for us to give you examples of what could have been missed as you did miss a big chunk of the game by skimming the rules and not playing through a game.

As I mentioned the rules are easy. The rules are easy for Chess, you have to learn the movement/attack capabilities of, what, 6 pieces? But it takes more than 15 minutes to appreciate the game. Likewise, you probably picked up the movement/attack capabilities of the 3 Memoir units extremely fast as well.

What you probably didn't see was the intricacies between the units that develop as the game goes on. As Brummbar pointed out, tanks smash but are not effective against terrain. So coordinating moves with Infantry is important to flush enemy units from said terrain to allow tanks to return their effectiveness.

Terrain itself is a pretty important part of the game. I think it is one of the subtle differences between the other games in the series. It plays the biggest role in Memoir and so sets it apart from the line and formation battles of Ancients and BattleLore.

What you also miss by not playing through a game and trying another scenario is to see how lasting the game can be with so many variations. A few tweaks here and there make the game come even more alive through the expansions. It really is a versatile and fresh game.

There is an ebb and flow of the game as well. You may have crap hands and get down in the game. But careful selection of card play, along with some well timed retreats and regrouping can make the difference. One of my favorite games of memoir I was getting my butt handed to me. ^ medals was the victory conditions, I was down 4-0. The cards weren't with me and the dice weren't helping either. I finally bit the bullet and pulled everyone back, regrouped and slowly built up a decent hand again over the course of a few turns. I methodically positioned and counter-positioned until I started chipping away again. I rotated what few fresh units I had up to the front and pulled back the weakened ones. I went on a 6-medal rampage and won the game 6-4. Luck was bad but some decent strategy and patience and I pulled out a thrilling win to a memorable game.

I have heard the complaints about the Victory Medals. And I agree that a few scenarios suffer under it. One in particular is the 1st scenario Pegasus Bridge. The Allies usually win but a turn or two more, the Germans could get revenge. It was tweaked a bit and victory extended from 4 to 5 medals in the new Air Pack. But most cases, the Vicotry medals represent the inevitable. You could play the game to conclusion with one sole army standing on the board. But probably 4 out of 5 times, you would end up with the same winner. Its like playing a game of risk or axis and allies where one person is going to win no matter what. But you have to finish the game to conclusion anyway. The last half of the game turns into a logistics battle as you continue to conquer and wear down the resitance. Memoir does us a favor by ending it much sooner so you can get on to another battle and have fun.

I appreciate that someone can see if a game is for them in 15 minutes. But my experience in cases likethat is someone can tell by the games theme or mechanics that it is not for them. There are lots of games that I skim through the rules and say not for me. I was semi-excited about Titan coming out. read the rules and though that was hte last game I want. But I am not going to go to the Titan board and tell them how dumb their game is; I'll just move on.

I think by your comments, you wanted to like the game. I don't think you wanted to put in some face time just to tear it down. So I think you owe it to yourself more than you owe it to any of us, to read through the rules, try a full game, and play a few others. As simple as the rules are, I still review them time and again. I know it took quite a few games for me to appreciate the strategic depth under the guise of luck. But if the game wasn't what you were looking for, because of theme, or mechanics, it's OK to move on. Maybe not best to crap on our parade along the way, but oh well!
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Tony Chen
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Quote:
As an aside to your comment about being able to evaluate games after a brief play. That certainly doesn't work for me(cool if it does for you). As an example, I absolutely hated Ra the first two times I played it. I played one more time and it shot straight into my top 10; it just took a couple of games for me to get it.


You are right, it doesn't always work for me either--depends on the game. After playing Ra, Amun-Re, and Age of Steam once, I didn't quite "get" them either, but I had reason to suspect that they'd get better on further plays. I knew I was missing something, hence my not starting a thread equivalent to this one for those games. (I now love Ra. I have yet to play the other two a second time.)

By the way I am still interested in giving Memoir '44 another go. Granted not as interested in playing some other games, but still if there's nothing else better being played I'd like to give it another try.
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Tony Chen
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Quote:
But I am not going to go to the Titan board and tell them how dumb their game is


lol I am sorry but that was not my intention. I am sorry you took it that way.
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Lee Massey
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[q="Sagrilarus"]   
   
   
   
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you'd be much better served by a more serious wargame. Multiman Publishing has a vast array of titles to choose from.




ASL readily comes to mind as well as GCACW series!
   



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