Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Memoir '44» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Down to the Basics Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Fabio Binder
Brazil
Curitiba
PR
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Memoir 44:

1) What it is?
A Second World War game where you control troops form the allies or the axis during specific battles that simulates real events of 1944.

2) How do you play?
Draw cards, move miniatures, throw attack dice, collect medals, play cards. Each scenario represents a real battle, has a historical background, different goals and setup. For the sake of accuracy, the sides are usually unbalanced like they supposed were in the real battle. But this is a great feature and not a problem because each play consists of two battles with the players switching sides. The game uses a clever mechanism known as Command and Colors where the player must choose a card to activate units from a particular section of the board. The winner is the one who collects more medals over the course of the two battles.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
- Each round, devise a plan according to the scenario’s goals and your cards. For instance, units less protected may be the best target.
- Choose a card from your hand and play it. There are common cards that allows you to activate (move and attack) units from a particular section and special cards that provides you with powerfull actions like healing, air attack, all units activated, etc.
- Decide which units you will move and which you will attack.

4) What is good about it?
The variety of historical scenarios. Although there are fifteen cenarios in the base game (that can be played several times each without losing the fun), you can get books full of scenarios if you wish.
The simplicity of the game. If you like war history but do not like those highly detailed and accurate war games, this may be the game for you. It plays quickly, looks nice over the table, has a decent number of decisions and provides an hour of fun.

5) What is not so good about it?
You throw dice and only attack dice. That said, it is possible for a single miniature soldier (that represents a number of real soldiers) to destroy a bunch of tanks in one throw of dice. The defender can’t do anything about it, with the exception of avoiding the situation in the first place. Also, sometimes you don’t have the best cards to our situation and can’t activate that set of units that you have to. So, if you mind about a high lucky factor you may pass this game.

6) What it feels when you play it?
If you like war history and light games, you will be amazed with the historical background, the position of your troops on the terrain and what could have happened if decisions were different. And you can even play an entire campaign playing the battles in sequence. If you don’t care about war history you will still may have fun with this simple yet satisfying fighting experience.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
5) What is not so good about it?
You throw dice and only attack dice.


It's true you don't throw defense dice, but you do accumulate defensive modifiers by smart positioning of your troops on terrain. If you lodge yourself in a forest and reduce the tank formation's attack dice by 2, you are essentially "rolling" two defense die with automatic success, cancelling out two attacks. You can give yourself other benefits as well, such as the ability to ignore flags, or hide behind terrain that blocks line of sight. These advantages aren't trivial. And, of course, positioning your troops to prevent retreat of opposing forces is critical. You may not get "opportunity fire", per se, but you can align your forces so that any unit that comes waltzing by is asking for trouble. With these factors in mind, I find that the game offers a ton of defensive considerations that fuel my tactical appetite quite nicely. The subtle choices in terrain and positioning are lost on a good number of gamers, though, and those gamers don't see the potential of the game the way I do.

Memoir does a great job of allowing gamers to play, while offering just enough subtlety to the gameplay to make replaying the historical scenarios quite entertaining.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zigi Hogan
United States
The Ozarks
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
What's it going to be then, eh?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
5) What is not so good about it?
Also, sometimes you don’t have the best cards to our situation and can’t activate that set of units that you have to
.

We cured this by adding the house rule that as your one and only action for your turn you may discard as many cards as you would like and draw that many in return.

You do lose a turn of moving/attacking but you have a chance to get cards that will help rather than order everyone on the left flank when your opponent just wiped out all but one unit.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Taylor
United States
Venice
CA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zigihogan wrote:
We cured this by adding the house rule that as your one and only action for your turn you may discard as many cards as you would like and draw that many in return.


To me that ruins the 'fog of war' that makes the game so exciting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
Glory to Rome!
badge
"Let each man pass his days in that wherein his skill is greatest" Propertius Sextus
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fbinder wrote:
5) What is not so good about it?
[...]Also, sometimes you don’t have the best cards to our situation and can’t activate that set of units that you have to. So, if you mind about a high lucky factor you may pass this game.


You are right that sometimes you just can't win. The dice and the cards conspire against you and your opponent just can't miss. That's war. However, more often than not, it could have been prevented. Playing a Recon 1 before your troops are stuck or moving across the line before you run out of steam on a flank are the usual ways to mitigate. Instead of using your last card in a section to attack, pull back into a better position, hoping to gain more time. You can also bluff your way out of the situation by moving fresh troops aggressively forward into defensive positions, even if you don't have more cards on that side. There is a lot more luck mitigation than the game gets credit for.

In any case, the game is quick enough (or will be after enough plays) that you get to start all over with a new hand of cards, new side or a new scenario altogether.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.