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Subject: A simple way to limit the effect of bad command card draws rss

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Clarence Simpson
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I've now played a dozen or so games of M44, and overall I love the game. However, the one thing that has frustrated me on several occasions is feeling like I can't do anything useful with my current hand of command cards. So, I started trying to think of a house rule to mitigate that problem.

Let me start by saying that I've seen the comments on both sides about the topic of luck in M44. Some people hate the luck element (both cards and dice) b/c they say it dominates the strategic element. Some people say that it's just simulating the chaos of war. I, for one, don't mind the luck element in dice rolling b/c I always know I have a chance for success even if I just roll one die. What I don't like is when I keep drawing left command cards when my opponent is about to capture my town on the right. In that situation, I don't have a chance for success, and that becomes my frustration b/c that's when I feel that luck begins to really dominate strategy.

I have seen the suggestions of allowing you to discard your entire hand, but I feel like that would encourage fishing for the really powerful cards and slow down the game.

So, my simple solution is this:

Every command card has an implied "-or- issue an order to 1 unit of your choice"

With this simple change you will never have a useless hand. You may not be able to mount a full-force maneuver, but you won't feel powerless to stop your opponent like I have in a few games. It also doesn't seem like a game-breaker since many cards like Infantry Assault or Armor Assault already have this as an option.

To be fair, I have not had a chance to playtest this yet (I just came up with it during a eureka moment), but it feels like a solid house rule so I thought I would share.

If, you're only interested in my simple solution you can stop here, but I'm going to bring up another smaller gripe I have with bad card draws. The other thing that has bothered me (though not nearly as much) is drawing particular unit command cards when those units aren't in play. When you draw Armor/Artillery Assault cards in an infantry-only scenario, it "feels" broken. Of course, since each one of those cards already explicitly has my above solution in place I think it's maybe just psychological. If I played the same infantry-only scenario and replaced all the Armor/Artillery cards with cards that just said "Order 1 unit of your choice", I don't think I'd be as upset.

Still, the fact remains that it feels wrong to get Artillery command cards if you have no Artillery. So, I have toyed around with the idea of removing all unit-based cards from the deck when those units aren't in play in that scenario. Again, this doesn't feel like a gamebreaker. It effectively just removes some of the least useful cards.

The one con with this house rule is extra setup time, and I may just be too impatient to actually do this every time. :)
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Trent Hamm
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Memoir '44 works because of luck, in my opinion.

For me, the fun with Memoir '44 is that each scenario is playable in a pretty short timeframe. You can get one out the door in thirty minutes.

That means, once you have one scenario set up, it's very easy and tempting to play it again. And again.

John (my closest friend and my most frequent M44 opponent) and I will switch sides while tackling the same scenario. We'll try different tactics. We'll see if, given a scenario that obviously favors one side or another, that scenario can be twisted to have the seeming underdogs win.

After several plays, we'll discover all sorts of interesting tactics that end up changing the scenario quite a bit.

For us, that's where the fun lies in M44, and I've never found anything quite like it in any other war game.
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Phil McDonald
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If you are are playing the game just HOPING to draw good cards, you are not playing the game as it was meant to be played.

The best way of limitting your exposure to bad card draws is to not put yourself in the position where you are relying on GOOD card draws.

Snipping from my previous answer to a similar post.....

M44 is a hand management game that happens to have a war theme.

DON'T advance units just to take your best available shot on a turn by turn basis.

NEVER advance units if you don't have at least one more card (and preferably 2) in your hand that can order them.

Use dotted line hexes to your advantage. Shift units from one section to another if you have a lot of cards for 1 section. Tanks are particularly useful for this, but so are infantry advancing in hexes on or adjacent to dotted lines.

If you are dealt a paticularly poor opening set of cards, don't start advanciing troops until you've re-modelled or at least improved your hand. Moving units forward from the second sea row is an excellent way of buying time beneficially in a beachhead scenario.

Retreating a crippled unit with a recon card and getting a choice of 2 cards is NOT a wasted turn. A medal saved is as good as a medal won.

Get blocking cards out of your hand immediately at the start of the game or as quickly as possible when you draw them. For example DIG IN and a tank advance or artillery card if you don't have the required units will just sit in your hand and fester if you don't get rid of it, limiting your choice of actions for the rest of the game. Yes, they can be useful as a 1 order anywhere card, but not at the expense of sitting there for ages, particularly if you only have 4 or 5 cards. Use them and lose them.

You should know what card you are going to play NEXT turn before you play THIS turns card. If luck brings you a better option in the card draw then that's a bonus. This should always be at the forefront of your mind.

Hopefully these tips will be useful.

M44 is intended to be a game of manoeuvre and strategy, not a toe to toe slugfest.... though it CAN be played that way too.
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Tanks Alot
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Ive had many opponents struggle with this, and the best way I think to keep the game intact, is never let a new play any scenario with 4 command cards (or less). To me these are the most difficult to manage the "bad card syndrome".

Another idea, if you like, is to play no sections. order 1 card in the right is order any one unit. Play the rest of the game as is


 
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Andrzej Sieradzki
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Philmcd is absolutely right. It's a hand management game in which one must get the most of the hand he drew. I play a lot of Memoir with the same opponent. We always change sides after playing a particular scenario and several months ago we started to play all the Air Pack scenarios and write down every match (a scenario played like that). For now we have played all the Western and Mediterranean scenarios (that makes 45 *2 battles) and guess what is the differences in points in general classification...FOUR points. That's the proof that the game is (or may be) fairly balanced in a way!
 
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Clarence Simpson
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I'm not arguing that Memoir should eliminate the luck factor. I'm just saying that certain elements of luck in a game can be very frustrating to a player.

Quick other example - if anyone is familiar with Wings of War, when you hit an enemy plane you draw a card from the damage deck to see how much damage was done. One card in that deck is an explosion card that instantly kills the plane regardless of its current damage state. Sometimes this can be fun and allows for come-from-behind victories. Sometimes this happens during the first shot of a game and ruins the fun for the player shot down. It can also drive people away from the game. Wings of War recognizes this and offers "Tournament Rules" as an official variant in the manual. The only difference? They remove the explosion card from the game.

There is definitely such a thing as bad "luck" in game design... and I think M44 has a little bit of it. Not much, but a little. I guess I just want the equivalent of "Tournament Rules" for M44.
 
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The problem I see with "or order 1 unit" is that it increases the power of artillery. If I have artillery on the board I tend to use at every opportunity, especially against distant units without a retreat option.
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Phil McDonald
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casimps1 wrote:
I'm not arguing that Memoir should eliminate the luck factor. I'm just saying that certain elements of luck in a game can be very frustrating to a player.

Quick other example - if anyone is familiar with Wings of War, when you hit an enemy plane you draw a card from the damage deck to see how much damage was done. One card in that deck is an explosion card that instantly kills the plane regardless of its current damage state. Sometimes this can be fun and allows for come-from-behind victories. Sometimes this happens during the first shot of a game and ruins the fun for the player shot down. It can also drive people away from the game. Wings of War recognizes this and offers "Tournament Rules" as an official variant in the manual. The only difference? They remove the explosion card from the game.

There is definitely such a thing as bad "luck" in game design... and I think M44 has a little bit of it. Not much, but a little. I guess I just want the equivalent of "Tournament Rules" for M44.


Most of the complaints I see about Memoir '44 tend to boil down to 1 of two things:

1. The poster hasn't understood yet how to effectively manage his cards, and blames the game for this.

2. They are expecting the game to be something that it isn't TRYING to be. Memoir is NOT a wargame. It is a lite war-THEMED game, a gateway game that can be played in under an hour.

If you have expectations of it other than that, the fault is not with the game.
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Derren Branson
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I agree with Phil, I'm a Board Game beginner and a distinct war game virgin. I played my first game of Memoir 44 the other night, as an intro into both board games and war games in general. I have to say i enjoyed it immensely. The fact that at one point i could only move units down the right flank, which was a little pointless to my defence only added to the enjoyment. I played a couple of games of Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 after wards and didn't enjoy it as much. Though I hope to play both again very soon.
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Phil McDonald
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Satanic Goat wrote:
I agree with Phil, I'm a Board Game beginner and a distinct war game virgin. I played my first game of Memoir 44 the other night, as an intro into both board games and war games in general. I have to say i enjoyed it immensely. The fact that at one point i could only move units down the right flank, which was a little pointless to my defence only added to the enjoyment. I played a couple of games of Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 after wards and didn't enjoy it as much. Though I hope to play both again very soon.


A war game virgin called Satanic Goat... I'm detecting a bit of a theme here
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Satanic Goat wrote:
I agree with Phil, I'm a Board Game beginner and a distinct war game virgin. I played my first game of Memoir 44 the other night, as an intro into both board games and war games in general. I have to say i enjoyed it immensely. The fact that at one point i could only move units down the right flank, which was a little pointless to my defence only added to the enjoyment. I played a couple of games of Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 after wards and didn't enjoy it as much. Though I hope to play both again very soon.


I was 'The Introducer' for The Goat's first wargame session. His hex cherry was well and truly popped, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Like he says, CoH wasn't such a roaring success, but this may have had more to do with the fact that in both scenarios we played, Partisans and The Gap, he lost his Soviet MMG teams very early on to very lucky rolls from my elite german bastard squads. Next stop ASL boy...
 
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Clarence Simpson
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philmcd wrote:

1. The poster hasn't understood yet how to effectively manage his cards, and blames the game for this.

Effectively managing your cards does absolutely nothing if your objective is on the left section and you draw an initial hand of nothing but right/middle sections and your opponent draws a hand full of cards that allow him to move/attack in the objective section. And it's very possible for that trend to continue for several turns - I've seen it happen. Where's the management there?

At that point you may as well be like Wings of War and draw the "You Lose" card. At least it would be over faster.

philmcd wrote:

2. They are expecting the game to be something that it isn't TRYING to be. Memoir is NOT a wargame. It is a lite war-THEMED game, a gateway game that can be played in under an hour.

I certainly do not expect a wargame. If I did I'd have dozens more complaints than I do.

Again, overall, I LOVE M44. I also intend to play it in a way that prevents one particularly frustrating scenario from occurring. The purists among you who think the design is flawless can continue to play it as written. I happen to disagree and simply wanted to share my thoughts with others who share my frustration (and I know they are out there).
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Phil McDonald
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Modify your hand before you advance. It's very rare that you get dealt a COMPLETELY imballanced hand from the start, and if you manage to ACHIEVE one during the course of the game, it's your fault for allowing it to persist.

It's not the fact that you've come up with a house rule, that prompted me to comment, lots of people might find that interesting. It's the implication that you did so because the game needed to be 'fixed'. I think that if you play the game the way it was intended, no fix is necessary because you won't end up with a fistful of cards that you can't play, because you will have manoeuvred units and remodelled your hand to avoid this.
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Andrew Hart
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I've a few things I've noticed both in the playing of M44, and of the comments that I am seeing in these forums, that this topic has brought up for me.

1. Most games I have played never last more than 15 turns. Most have been less than that. That's just my experience, others may have different experiences. Discounting Overlord games, The game board is just not that big that you can avoid your opposition for that long, and the luck of the card draw/ dice roll will usually mean that one player or the other may be in a position to make some kind of concerted attack, with the cards/dice that they obtain.

2. I would suggest that there seems to be a common misapprehension that more competitive players make regarding M44, in that they say to themselves, "this is an entry level game, I am highly competitive, therefore I WILL win with every single game that I play. Unfortunately, the fortunes of war, reflected in the luck aspects of the game (dice, plus card draw), may very well be against you in any particular game that you are playing. This MAY happen to ANYONE, irrespective of skill or experience with M44. If it's not your night, it's not your night. When this happens, all you can do is to try to make the best of the cards & the luck that you get, to try to not be embarrassed too much if you are beaten by the other player. Play the scenario again, it may come out differently. The Game is not to blame. IT IS NOT BROKEN! All Board games are like that, so is Life. Sometimes the Dingo gets you.

3. Sometimes a scenario is not constructed for an even chance by either side to win. That's life. Sometimes something amazing may happen; sometimes something grotesquely unfair may happen. Sometimes you can win 5-0; sometimes you can lose 5-0, PLAYING THE SAME SIDE.

4. I would suggest that just because a player is not winning a board game ALL the time does not prove that it is broken. I would suggest that it is a test of ones' metal in how they deal with such situations, and rewriting the rules is not the way here. I know that many people have trouble dealing with the emotions evoked when they lose. Remember, as a German philosopher said, Anything that does not kill you, makes you stronger. And you ain't gonna die playing a board game.

Unless, of course, you are looking at taking up an interest in Board Game design; in which case, doing rules analysis may help you in your rules editing future.

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents.

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Brian Borawski
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Great thread and in general, I'm siding with Phil. Not that Memoir '44 is anything like chess, but you have to come up with a general order to how you're going to play your cards. Yes, it might change based on your opponent and your draw, but like Phil says, if you're stuck with a bad hand, it's because you played your best card at that point in time without consideration of future turns.

I actually think that's one of the things that makes Memoir '44 fun. Sometimes, as a field commander, you're simply dealt a bad hand and you have to make the best of it.

http://www.memoir44blog.com
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Michael Williams
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I just played a game with my son. I drew all left flank cards. Meanwhile he pushed on the right to the objective. I just was whipped out in a few turns and never drew any helpful cards.


I understand the game is heavily driven by luck, rather than statistical dice outcome.

In typical war games - the player can move any units and the luck is reflected in the statistics of the dice. However, to get units to even move or defend - relies on luck.

One could argue this is about card management, but I have yet to play a CCG game (relying on card management) - in which one could do nothing.

My son really loves the game, we play it all the time since we got it. Of course he is 6, but these last two games he complained that he couldn't move anything. I looked at his cards - he didn't have an flank cards to help him. I ran him over - there is no skill in that.

I am certainly no game expert - but I would say that the game relies more on luck - than anything else. If I were to find the fault with the game mechanics - it is NOT the luck (which people seem to complain about) but rather a rule that handles the luck factor. I would believe it could be easily remedied if the defender could at least try to fire back or something of that nature.

While as some have pointed out - this is not a war game, but rather a themed based war game - we should take it for what it is worth. A game of luck (dice and drawing cards), with some card management, and some basic tactics.

While I find interesting is that Risk and Axis & Allies - both which use dice for statisical outcome - do NOT rely on luck on drawing or managing a hand of cards to see if you can even move.

Imagine - would Risk and Axis & Allies work with cards like Memoir? I think there would also be lots of complaints.

I think Memoir is a good game (not great) for what it is, but we shouldnt' expect it to be something it is not. It is fair to say that I am not impressed with the game mechanics of how the cards work and I believe that one could argue fairly there is a flaw with the mechanics as it pertains to developing a strategy that isn't soley dependant on luck. However, one could easily argue it is not flaw, because it is designed to be a "luck of the draw" type game.

I find many games fall back on using more luck - tend to be more shallow.

Just my two cents...

Now my son wants to play another round of Memoir 44.

The best part of the game for me - is playing with my son. So I have no complaints.

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René Christensen
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Hmmm, isn't warfare like that if the enemy pushes on on one flank and you don't have anything to stop them with, you lose the battle.
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Phil McDonald
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Prohobo wrote:
I just played a game with my son. I drew all left flank cards. Meanwhile he pushed on the right to the objective. I just was whipped out in a few turns and never drew any helpful cards.


I understand the game is heavily driven by luck, rather than statistical dice outcome.

In typical war games - the player can move any units and the luck is reflected in the statistics of the dice. However, to get units to even move or defend - relies on luck.

One could argue this is about card management, but I have yet to play a CCG game (relying on card management) - in which one could do nothing.

My son really loves the game, we play it all the time since we got it. Of course he is 6, but these last two games he complained that he couldn't move anything. I looked at his cards - he didn't have an flank cards to help him. I ran him over - there is no skill in that.

I am certainly no game expert - but I would say that the game relies more on luck - than anything else. If I were to find the fault with the game mechanics - it is NOT the luck (which people seem to complain about) but rather a rule that handles the luck factor. I would believe it could be easily remedied if the defender could at least try to fire back or something of that nature.

While as some have pointed out - this is not a war game, but rather a themed based war game - we should take it for what it is worth. A game of luck (dice and drawing cards), with some card management, and some basic tactics.

While I find interesting is that Risk and Axis & Allies - both which use dice for statisical outcome - do NOT rely on luck on drawing or managing a hand of cards to see if you can even move.

Imagine - would Risk and Axis & Allies work with cards like Memoir? I think there would also be lots of complaints.

I think Memoir is a good game (not great) for what it is, but we shouldnt' expect it to be something it is not. It is fair to say that I am not impressed with the game mechanics of how the cards work and I believe that one could argue fairly there is a flaw with the mechanics as it pertains to developing a strategy that isn't soley dependant on luck. However, one could easily argue it is not flaw, because it is designed to be a "luck of the draw" type game.

I find many games fall back on using more luck - tend to be more shallow.

Just my two cents...

Now my son wants to play another round of Memoir 44.

The best part of the game for me - is playing with my son. So I have no complaints.



I think that with experience, you will gain a better understanding of how to play the game well. Most of the luck is actually in the dice rolls... and it's hard to get away from that element even in really complex wargames.

I recommend that you try M44 in overlord format. It uses a double-width map and each side has typically 10-13 cards in their hand. You will find it much easier to keep command and control of your units, and the game is much more fulfilling as well.
 
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Michael Cowles
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Interesting and a not unfamiliar thread and comments. I haven't played a game with such bad hands as some of the posters and plan to stick with the game as-is, mainly on the basis that I trust R.Borg's play-testing
but
have said that (or typed it), I have often wondered why Mem'44 lacks the battle-back rule, particularly in close combat, of the other C&C games, which would obviously mitigate some of the above worst-case scenarios
Yes, although you may still get wiped out with ranged combat, if the rule only applied to close-combat, but still I think it would be a better option than re-inventing the card rules.
 
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Slotracer wrote:
Hmmm, isn't warfare like that if the enemy pushes on on one flank and you don't have anything to stop them with, you lose the battle.


True enough, but if I had units there and they wouldn't defend, retreat, or just dig in (all because I didn't have cards for that flank) - then what? Is my opponent a wise and skillful commander, am I just a horrible strategist, or is this down to the luck of the draw? please don't tell me it is because I managed my cards poorly. I never drew a flank card, or had a flank card for the left flank. Just bad luck I guess - hence there was nothing to manage. My troops just sat there.

When I bulldozed my 6 year old and then he did the same to me - I sure didn't chalk that up to brilliant strategy, genius tactics, or sheer tenacity. I just simply looked at my cards (with not a single left flank card) - and just sat there and watched my army fall (because they wouldn't retreat, move, dig-in, or return fire).

Imagine if in battle - only the attackers got to shoot, while the defenders just stand still as sitting targets an not shoot back (not dig-in, not retreat, nothing)? Crazy - or am I just missing something.

Again - I don't pretend this to be a war game and I enjoy playing with my son (that's the great part). However, if it is not a war game, but rather a simple game with some luck and card management - so be it.

I am just wondering why others choose to defend the game as something it is not? Or make a comment as if to imply that it is realistic?

Sorry - not trying to sound snarky - just wondering where the justification comes from. I am not trying to take a jab at the fans of the game, as I too am a fan (for what it is).

I guess I agree with Michael Cowels "I have often wondered why Mem'44 lacks the battle-back rule, particularly in close combat, of the other C&C games, which would obviously mitigate some of the above worst-case scenarios" - it would address the random steamrolls you can receive in this game. Or another rule - which I think went something like - "discard any card and use it to move any one unit".

After a couple more plays yesterday (about 20 games in all now) - I am thinking that the luck in the draw of the card mechanics needs to be addressed some how.

I really want to like the game, beyond the enjoyment I am having with my son, but it just seems lacking in this one respect. Maybe after 50 games it will be different or maybe I have played too many war games to become biased against the luck-of-the-draw/card-management system. I still think there needs to be some battle-back or move one unit type rule.


EDIT: I wrote a follow-up review of the game - in my initial review. Note: I am really enjoying the game - but I see C&C:A as a future purchase - as I personally believe that it addresses this concern I have with the game mechanics.


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Josh Whitt
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I know this is an old thread but I had recently thought of the same idea - "discard any card to order one unit". I'm glad I read the variants forum before I posted what I thought was a brilliant original idea

I've had the experience of playing Pegasus Bridge as the UK and not drawing any center section cards for the entire game. All the hand management in the world isn't going to help you when this happens.

Also not mentioned: you can't move your flank units over to help out when this happens, because they'll just be without cards for orders once they cross the dotted line. In the C&C system you cannot coordinate your flanks with your center unless you get the right cards, and the luck of the draw can keep this from happening.

This kind of breakdown in command and control was common before the radio and other forms of instantaneous long distance communication, so it's fitting for C&C:A, Battle Cry, and presumably other games in the system (I haven't played C&C:N or Battlelore). But in WWII it was not common - at least on the scale of an M44 scenario. Do you think anyone who landed at Omaha was waiting on orders to shoot back? Everyone across the whole beach on both sides knew their job and fought as hard as they could. The competence and initiative of the individual soldiers on both sides was a key factor in WWII.

Yeah, yeah, M44 is not a wargame, command and control isn't perfect, compromises must be made in a turn-based game, blah blah. The stakes of WWII were simply too high for this kind of "not my job, just following orders" hesitance. I don't think M44 does justice to this aspect of WWII, and that's unfortunate, because it does so many other things so elegantly.

Just MHO.

 
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The whole point of the C&C series, including M44, is to model the chaos, uncertainty, and limitations of command and control systems in combat. The cards are simply a mechanism which provides a simple means to that end. Combat IS chaotic, it IS uncertain, and more often than not, command and control DOES breakdown. When you grok this, then you will be perfectly comfortable with the M44 approach. This is not a wargame where each player can map out a precise grand strategy and watch it unfold in all of its theoretical, sanitized beauty, with a God's eye view of the action and the power to order each of their units to do precisely what they want them to do, when they want them to do those things. The frustration felt by a player when they can't get that damned armor unit to move up on the right flank is INTENTIONAL, because it mimics the feeling of frustration that more than one real-world commander has felt when he's tried to get a particular unit to move and sees it sitting still, unresponsive. Phone lines break, radio reception is jammed, runners lose their way - C&C in real combat is always much more dodgy than it's protrayed in most wargames. M44 is one of the few which gets that part of the experience right.

The key takeaway - when things aren't going according to your original plan, improvise. And realize, some battles are not going to go your way - such is war.
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Phil McDonald
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The Gong Show wrote:
I know this is an old thread but I had recently thought of the same idea - "discard any card to order one unit". I'm glad I read the variants forum before I posted what I thought was a brilliant original idea

I've had the experience of playing Pegasus Bridge as the UK and not drawing any center section cards for the entire game. All the hand management in the world isn't going to help you when this happens.

Also not mentioned: you can't move your flank units over to help out when this happens, because they'll just be without cards for orders once they cross the dotted line. In the C&C system you cannot coordinate your flanks with your center unless you get the right cards, and the luck of the draw can keep this from happening.

This kind of breakdown in command and control was common before the radio and other forms of instantaneous long distance communication, so it's fitting for C&C:A, Battle Cry, and presumably other games in the system (I haven't played C&C:N or Battlelore). But in WWII it was not common - at least on the scale of an M44 scenario. Do you think anyone who landed at Omaha was waiting on orders to shoot back? Everyone across the whole beach on both sides knew their job and fought as hard as they could. The competence and initiative of the individual soldiers on both sides was a key factor in WWII.

Yeah, yeah, M44 is not a wargame, command and control isn't perfect, compromises must be made in a turn-based game, blah blah. The stakes of WWII were simply too high for this kind of "not my job, just following orders" hesitance. I don't think M44 does justice to this aspect of WWII, and that's unfortunate, because it does so many other things so elegantly.

Just MHO.



M44 patently IS a wargame, despite some sniffy comments. But it's a LITE wargame, and it is what it is.

Breakdown in communication was common in WW2 as well, as units frequently became pinned and/or lost their officers, this is all part of the fog of war that is being represented.

Moving units to a sector that you have no cards for is hardly recommended... the point is to move units to a section where you DO have cards.

9 times out of 10, not having cards for a sector is down to poor play and poor development of forces. And the other 10% is hardly worth making an issue about, it's the fog of war that you can't mitigate, n'est pas?
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Michael Williams
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philmcd wrote:


M44 patently IS a wargame, despite some sniffy comments. But it's a LITE wargame, and it is what it is.

Breakdown in communication was common in WW2 as well, as units frequently became pinned and/or lost their officers, this is all part of the fog of war that is being represented.

Moving units to a sector that you have no cards for is hardly recommended... the point is to move units to a section where you DO have cards.

9 times out of 10, not having cards for a sector is down to poor play and poor development of forces. And the other 10% is hardly worth making an issue about, it's the fog of war that you can't mitigate, n'est pas?




"9 times out of 10, not having cards for a sector is down to poor play"??? That makes no sense, since one can clearly calculate the odds.

Again, one tries to defend the game using the excuse of real-world WWII lack of communications. So if one extends that line of thought - it would assume that when ANY soldiers lost communication they would just stand around looking at each other (not fire back, not dig-in, not retreat). Just because you lose communication doesn't mean you turn into a zombie and do nothing.

C&C:A I think clearly solves the game mechanic issue - which is the only thing I have an issue with.

Again - I like the game to play with my son - the only flaw (IMHO) I see is that there are "no battle back" like C&C:A. I can live with the occasional steam roll being the luck of the draw (a bad shuffle and probabilities). However to equate that to WWII real world scenarios to justify having no control over units, odds, or probabilities - is reaching at best.

While I continue to play this game with my son - and ENJOY playing it - I take it for what it is and not try to pretend or justify it for anything that it is not.

My issue is only a mechanical flaw in the game mechanics to keep from a steam roll from happening.

Think about it this way - my son (now 7) can beat me at this game. Why, because of pure luck of the draw and the cards. There is no way my son of 7 can beat me at Chess or games of strategy without pure luck (not yet). Having a 7 year old with little experience having a chance to CRUSH (not just win) against his father of 42 years with gaming experience means there HAS to be some serious luck or possibly a gaming mechanical flaw (IMHO). It doesn't happen often, but the mere fact that it can means that luck factor of CRUSHING (regardless of probabilities) COULD be addressed with a change in gaming mechanics. I have saying, it maybe improbable, but not impossible. This game is loaded with Black Swan event horizons because of this mechanical issue. Which I think was properly solved in C&C:A

At the end of the day - I still play M44 (quite a bit). We have now adopted the C&C:A rule. My son can still win, however I personally (IMHO) believe this house rule improves the mechanics of the game and has ended the CRUSHING results.

Note: We started playing more COH and my son is just starting to get into that. It is more complicated and is a better representation of WWII as far as strategic war gaming. While I am NOT saying that COH is better than M44, I am stating that if one wants a more "realistic" WWII war game experience (with more historical units, locations, history, etc) then COH is a better choice. If you are looking for something fun and simple (could careless about historical significance) then play some M44 (with the C&C:A "battle back" rule).

I only felt necessary to respond - because of your response as if I didn't get it and yet to defend the game again for something it really isn't.

We both seem to enjoy the game, I prefer to add some house rules to eliminate some probability problems. You don't have to and I am not saying you should (if you enjoy the game as is).

However, I certainly would not want this thread to turn into a flaming and rather silly debate as to WWII historical merits of this game as it relates to its mechanics. I believe even the game designer would even admit that it is not trying to be historically accurate - he instead developed a GREAT entry-level game that has a WWII THEME.

He could of slapped a Star Wars theme on this game with the same mechanics. I still would buy it and still would enjoy playing it with my son and still would probably use a house rule to end the probabilistic steamroll.



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Chris Roper
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I think Richard Borg addressed the "Luck of the draw" rather elegantly in Battlelore Epic, and there is no reason why the same mechanic shouldn't be applied to M'44 if both players agree:

BL Epic Page 3 wrote:
During set -up, you must also take one cardholder from each Camp and assemble them together to form a common Epic Command rack.
Place this newly-formed rack to the side of the battlefield next to the Command card draw deck.
Before the first player's turn, fill the Epic rack with three Command cards drawn from the top of the Command deck. Set the cards so they are visible to all and within easy reach of the player(s) of both Camps.
Throughout the game, these three cards - and new cards that replace them when taken from the rack - will represent the peculiarities of the battlefield and common maneuvers and tactics that are available to both Camps as they lead their troops into battle.
Each camp retains his remaining cardholders, which he will use, as in a regular adventure, to hold his Command and Lore cards for his Camp.

Replenishing the Epic Command rack

At the start of each game turn, there should always be three Command cards on the Epic Command rack.
Once a Camp has finished its turn, discarded the cards it played and replenished its Camp's cardholders by drawing new Command (and possibly Lore) cards from the draw deck(s) - the Epic Command rack must be replenished back to three cards, if necessary.
There will usually be a single card missing, if any. Draw a replacement card from the top of the Command draw deck, and place it next to the other cards on the Epic Command rack, visible to both Camps,When a Camp chooses to play a Tactic card from the Epic Command rack, it does NOT draw a replacement Command card for its own cardholders, at the end of its turn. Only the card missing from the Epic Command rack is replenished.
When you draw a new Command card for the Epic Command rack, if all three cards now on the Epic rack are Tactic cards, discard them all and draw three new Command cards. The Epic rack must always contain at least one Section card, once replenished.
If the Command card deck runs out, shuffle the discards to form a new Command draw deck.


Replace the Word Lore with the Word Combat and you have an elegant system that mitigates the bad hand draw syndrome and adds a new element in that you know part of the opponents options in the common cards but not his entire hand.

Whilst implemented as a House Rule in M'44, it is a rule created and tested by Richard Borg and so is hardly likely to unbalance or break the system.

Cheers
Chris
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