Mr. Matera and I had some time to kill on Saturday while our families were busy, so we settled in to recreate a major battle of WWII. Memoir ’44 ˙ is a historical boardgame where players face-off in stylized battles of some of the most famous historic battles of World War II including Omaha Beach, Pegasus Bridge, Operation Cobra and the Ardennes. Memoir ’44 includes over 15 different battle scenarios and features a double-sided hex game board for both beach landings and countryside combat. Each scenario mimics the historical terrain, troop placements and objectives of each army. Commanders deploy troops through Command and Tactic cards, applying the unique skills of his units ˆ infantry, paratrooper, tank, artillery, and even resistance fighters ˆ to their greatest strength.
“By design, the game is not overly complex”, says Memoir ’44 designer, Richard Borg. “The game mechanics, although simple, still require strategic card play, timely dice rolling and an aggressive yet flexible battle plan to achieve victory.”
For this battle, Mr. Matera took the high ground and the Nazi forces, while I took the beach and attempted to overrun his positions. I happened to draw some very good cards right off the bat which allowed me to press the heart of my forces forward quickly and engage some of the fortified Nazi positions. While I was busy playing my good cards, Mr. Matera was busy rolling the dice to his significant advantage. He managed to take out two of my platoons with surgical precision. Luckily, my card drawing luck continued and I was able to knock out two of his platoons to tie up the game.
After a few strategic advances and retreats, I managed to flank the exposed victory points I needed for victory. One last roll gave the Allies the victory, as it should be (historically).
It was a quick game that incorporated skill and luck, just like I imagine real battle to be like. It was a half-hour that was both educational and fun.