Sunday, April 05, 2009

Memoir '44

This time on my journey through my game collection we come to Memoir '44, a board game depicting ground warfare in France during WWII, from the D-Day invasion up to 1945. There are a number of expansions for the game that cover other theatres, but the main game focuses on France. The game is designed by Richard Borg, and is part of his Commands & Colors rules set. I already covered the basic rules in my post about C&C Ancients, so I won't cover that again. The difference in this game is that there are only three types of units, so tactics is a little simpler. You have infantry (which can engage in close combat, or fire from a distance with rifles), tanks (which move faster than infantry, have better range, and have a smaller chance of taking damage when attacked), and artillery (which don't move well but are hard to damage and have lots of range). There is also more varied terrain in this game, which can have a significant effect on game tactics.

Memoir '44 is a pretty basic wargame overall. It takes no more than 2 hours to play a game, including setup and breakdown, and it isn't very complicated, so even people who aren't really into complex wargames can quickly grasp what is going on and develop decent strategies. The limitations of your command cards can be irritating (like when you really want to attack with your left flank, but all you have are center and right activation cards), but you usually have enough to do that you can do something useful each turn. This has been a popular game for the publisher, Days of Wonder, and there are many expansions available, covering different theatres of the war, and even changing the game by including airplanes. The main game comes with about 20 scenarios, though, so just that by itself gives a lot of variety in games. As you can probably tell, I like this game quite a bit.

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