The flexible Memoir ‘44
system developed by Richard Borg can be used to portray almost any modern conflict. This futuristic scenario depicts a confrontation in the Arctic between an expansionist Russian regime and a coalition of forces from Canada and the United States. To support its tenuous claims on the recently discovered northern oil fields Russia has established a cadre of guerilla fighters known as the Inuit Liberation Army.
Most of the special rules for this scenario first appeared in my “Ice Station Memoir” session report here on BGG. Rather than bog down this narrative with a detailed description of these changes to the standard rules we’ll get right to the images and let the photographs tell the story.
This is a typical initial deployment for the scenario. I like to use unbalanced set-up positions so the weaker Inuit guerilla forces are holding the Russian right flank while the smaller United States contingent is going into action on the Russian left flank. The coalition objective is simple: destroy the Russian oil platforms with minimum allied casualties. Since the Russian commander doesn’t face a foreign policy dilemma back in Moscow losses to Russia are less critical.
The scrub hexes represent low ridges which block line of sight. The hilltops offer superior firing positions. The crevasse hexes are impassable to ground units. Mechanized units may not enter the marshes. A coalition unit destroys an oil platform by entering the hex.
Russian units are maneuvering near this oil platform. The vehicle and figures represent a hybrid mechanized formation equipped with special arctic weapons. The infantry unit is an elite Spetsnaz detachment. The unique officer figure highlights the elite status of the troops.
Inuit guerillas prepare to ambush Canadian mechanized units. A clever Russian commander will use the Inuit Liberation Army to wear down the approaching coalition forces on this flank before the allies reach the vicinity of the oil platforms. Canada has deployed a major strike force to clear the Northwest Passage but the domestic political situation makes severe losses entirely unacceptable. Canadian firepower will have to substitute for close quarters combat.
Both players have mortar units available. The rugged terrain and lengthy supply lines prevent the deployment of heavy artillery. Attack helicopters function like flying tanks while the U.S. airmobile unit has its own helicopter transport. Helicopters may never enter a hex adjacent to an enemy unit… there are too many missiles flying across the arctic landscape.
Here is an example of play. Russian battle dice have scored a vehicle hit and an infantry hit. The first “tank” hit disables the arctic fighting vehicle but does not destroy it. The wrench marker indicates that the AFV is damaged and immobile. The accompanying infantry can remain in the hex with the vehicle and take advantage of the AFV’s firepower or abandon it and function for the rest of the game as regular infantry. The formation in the foreground represents a standard Canadian infantry unit.
In this image a U.S. light infantry formation is confronted by a Russian mechanized unit and attack helicopters. The coalition player has ordered a Canadian fighter-bomber to support the beleaguered Americans. Only the allies have jets available because bad weather has halted flight operations at the Russian airbases in Kamchatka.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this lengthy Session Report. These special Memoir
scenarios are great fun and the rather lopsided defeat of the coalition force by the stubborn Rooskie interlopers just made me want to set the thing up again and give Canada more jets next time.
Since curious Geeks frequently ask about the source of my miniatures I’ll save a few minutes by listing them here:
Most of the Canadian and Russian figures are modern special forces miniatures produced by Caesar. Most of the U.S. figures are from Esci. The mortar crews are from an IMEX Korean War set. The vehicles and attack helicopters came from Commander-In-Chief
, an abstract game with superb miniatures. The jet and transport helicopter are from my personal collection of military aircraft which I assembled for these Memoir
scenarios. The oil platforms are from a vintage game called Power Barons