Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 6 January 2012

Memoir '44 AAR

Between Christmas and New Year I always like to get some kind of game in. I still get a warm fuzzy feeling from that first Christmas that I owned Squad Leader. Most of my spare time Christmas Day and a chunk of Boxing Day was spent trying to work out how two conflicting rules worked. Only at a party that second night did I work it out and hightailed it back home on some excuse. Imagine my parents looks as they staggered in the house at Whatever O'clock to see me bent over the board still playing and still grinning like a mad man. Boxing Day became the target day, perfect in that anything new will have been well looked over and everyone else is content to just vegetate. Well kids have put a dent into this to some extent but this Boxing Day I saw an opportunity and I took it. James my Nephew and regular FTF ASL opponent was going to be girlfriend less for the day and we had a family gathering, not the place for a game of ASL but perfect for Memoir '44. James had had this for a fair few years now and whilst he has played through most of the scenario's I have only played about 4 games with him and a couple of others. Neither of us have played in a couple of years though. I did give him the choice of Battle Cry as well, I had given him the game even further in the past but he brought this a game of more interest to him but sharing the same mechanics.

We picked the Sword Beach scenario and random selection gave me the Brit's. I just love to attack so this was right up my street.

The simplistic mechanics of Memoir means that even with such a long break we were quickly back into it, James had re-read the rules and acted as the prompter for all questions but really it was good to go from the start. The scenario was quickly set up with me the attacker just coming out of the water. Now the biggest flaw with this game and I expect with most of it's type (Battle Cry certainly had it) was the hand of cards you have, if they don't play out for you you can be stuffed no matter what you do. Same goes if you roll poor dice in any other game, of course this has dice as well so a double stuffing can be on the cards. The other issue is that some of the cards are really powerful. I remember winning a game with Air Support, this was made so much worse as the game was set at night!! But total realism and historical accuracy is not strengths of the game. Quick play and fun are. I wonder how much this game paved the way for Flames of War?

Anyway this is not a long rambling introduction to my poor hand of cards (mine were fairly good) and anyway I believe in many cases you can work through a poor hand by using it effectively, if your oppo has a good hand your still screwed though.

My hand was well mixed with options for all area's. I decided to get a fair few units out of the sea and onto the beach over the first few turns rather than start an attack half cock. Fortunately during this James seemed unable to use his Arty but did reposition a few units. I got the idea that for the most part he was trying to cycle through his hand.

I had three tank units and three Commando units both of which could move and fight at greater than one hex moved, this proved to be a major benefit as I maneuvered to striking distance on my right and then on my left. This is an important tactic if you manage it. Get at least two sections in a position to strike. In both cases I had units on the shared middle hexes so as to be able to make use of the cards for the centre. Again all in this time James was tinkering with his positions but wisely did not come out of his Bunkers or from behind his wire.

I started off the attack on the right and used the tanks to remove wire and then the infantry to attack the bunker behind it. Every unit I attacked was attacked by at least two units. James from this point was really reacting to attacks with only one real counter attack all game. The right hand attack was going well, over two turns I destroyed one unit and reduced another to just 1 figure, all for little loss in return. I then switched flanks and did the same here, though with slightly higher casualties in return. James started to use his Arty and also a limited counterattack on my right that gained him a dead unit of mine. This also brought him back close with several damaged units which I then attacked again managing to remove them. I now was pressing on towards the required points to win and James was far off with plenty of fragile units.

I still had a fair mix of cards but used a centre attack, this used the two units on the shared sector hexes which went after already reduced units and I also attacked the Arty. I bagged a unit, the other was forced to retreat and killed the Arty in the middle. Now I just needed one more point and two victory locations were wide open and within range. This forced James to move to block me with weak units and hope I would roll badly.

I attacked and took out the units and then in one case moved the tanks onto the objective for a wide margin win.

I think a strong tactic is to get those weak units out of harms way when ever you can and go after your opponents. Sounds both simple and common sense but the times I have seen units on the point of collapse facing off against stronger enemies both in this game and others is times many.

End of the game, I still had 4 units of infantry unbloodied, whilst the Germans have almost no units left. note the gaps in the wire, I did that LOL.

Full strength Tank Unit V 1/4 strength Infantry, well it had to go my way really. I exploit into the VC area and get an extra chit beyond required.

Played out in less than an hour, if we had started earlier we could have got in a second game but we went back to the party. I still like this game and would play again as a filler to an evening but it's fair to say it is far more just a game than a wargame and at the price I would buy many other games before buying this.


  1. Good read and it sounded like fun.....

  2. It was fun and well worth pulling out to play, just not sure it's worth the new price tag when you consider all the other games out there