I recently purchased Memoir ’44 and have played the first 9 scenarios. I will review: Game Play, Contents. I will give the game ratings out of 10 for: Game Play, Contents, Re-Playability, Ease to learn/teach and Value for money
Memoir ’44 comes with 180 plastic miniatures. The Plastic itself is a high quality however the artillery is quite flimsy and the guns on the infantry bend to easily. Some of the infantry are on a lean. The pieces are stored in two plastic containers which are of low quality and should be replaced. These cases are two levelled, one with places for armour and slots for artillery and the other with a space to store the plastic cardholders and another place for infantry and obstacles. The tiles and badges are of a high quality. The double sided tiles are a problem sometimes when you select one in which both sides are needed however this only happens in a few scenarios and if you follow the set up order on the scenario it is not a problem. The board which is double sided (one side showing countryside and the other beach landings) is sturdy and also high quality. The dice are wooden and with rounded edges so they actually roll. Since they are wooden the printed images on the faces don’t wear of unlike on plastic dice. Each die has 1 grenade, 2 infantry, 1 flag, 1 tank and 1 star printed on its faces. The rules are 36 pages however half of these are showing scenarios so the actual rulebook is only about 18 pages. The contents are very good except the storage cases and artillery.
Memoir ’44 uses the commands and colour game system. It is easy to learn with cards telling you how many and in which section of the board you may move. The board is split into three parts Left Flank, Centre and Right Flank. There are two types of command cards: Tactic and Section. Section cards apply to one of the sections Left, Right flank or centre. The Tactic cards have special effects and are normally quite powerfully and can change the course of a game. These cards make it easier to learn and teach players as it limits player’s options. A turn is split into 5 parts:
- Play a command card
- Order Units
- Move Units
- Play a command card. The player plays a command card and then moves onto the next phase
- The Player orders however many units and in the section of the card he played.
- The player then moves the units and depending on what type of unit it may move a certain number of hexes. Then they battle
- The battle phase is split into 3 parts
A. Check line of sight. Some terrain and other units block line of site. The player must have line of sight (explained in the rules) B. Count battle die. Each unit has its own specific range and different die for different distance. Infantry is 3/2/1 so when attacking an adjacent unit an infantry rolls 3 die and for two hexes away 2 die and for 3 hexes away 1 die. Armour is 3/3/3 and Artillery is 3/3/2/2/1/1. Some terrain and obstacles protect defensive units or disadvantage attacking units and so less dice are rolled. For example sandbags protect the defending unit and so the attacking unit rolls one less die. If an infantry 2 hexes away attacks another infantry in a sandbag the attacker counts how many hexes away and he counts down from how many dice he would roll. Since he is two hexes away he would count 3, 2 and then because of the sandbag the attacker rolls 2–1=1 die. C. Roll dice the player rolls the dice and depending on what is shown depend on how many hits. Units are hit on their symbol or a grenade. A flag forces the unit to retreat 1 hex. The star is a miss (although it has special effects for some command cards). 5. Re-Draw the player draws a new command card and it is the other players turn.
The game play is quite good and new terrain, units and rules are introduced slowly and make the game easy to learn and teach. Also since it is played in 30–60 minutes it makes it a great game to play when you have only a small amount of time. Some scenarios are biased towards one side and because of this it is good to play each scenario twice (once as each side). It is best for two players although there are team rules. However if wanting to play with multiple players the Overlord expansion should be bought, this allows up to 8 players to play. Sometimes randomness affects game play in one game the axis player could have won 3 turns in a row by attacking a unit with 1 figure left but they had no cards to play in that section. However the randomness makes the game more fun and means scenarios can be replayed.
Contents: 7/10 Game Play: 9/10 Re-Playability: 10/10 Ease to teach/ learn: 8/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 42/50
Memoir ’44 is a great game for people who want to play war games but some of the other games are too heavy for them. The price tag is quite high but well worth the fun and enjoyment the game brings. The game can also be used as a teaching tool as all the battles come with historical backgrounds. Overall Memoir ’44 is a great game and a must buy for WWII fans and board game lovers alike.