Tuesday 7 December 2010

Why I love Memoir '44

Back in the day I played 40K and the Lord of the Rings wargame, mainly with friends but sometimes in big in-store games. More recently I played Napoleonics and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I always tend to lose. Miniature wargames have always been a part of me, but it's only recently that I have got into war-themed boardgames.

The great thing about these is that you get everything you need to play from the get-go in one box. Granted, they're not cheap, but often you can get many hours of play just from that one box, whereas miniature games tend to swallow money gradually as you expand and upgrade your army.

The one aspect of war boargames is you need a good head for rules. Luckily I'm used to complex rules, as a result of playing lots of roleplaying games and CCGs, so that doesn't really bother me. However, some of the more advanced games can really get bogged down in the most intricate mechanics (see Advanced Squad Leader), and although they are really great games, they aren't games I have time to get into.

Not too long ago I picked up Memoir '44, which was my first step into the hobby. Since it was recommended for beginners I thought it would be a good way to start. I was right. Memoir '44, a boardgame based on some of the more famous battles of WWII in 1944, is wonderful. The rules are simple to learn but there is a lot of strategy involved in the game. The components are well-made and when set up the whole thing looks impressive. Me and my girlfriend have a lot of fun playing Memoir, and she doesn't like my 'nerdy' games.

For my birthday she bought me Tide of Iron, which we decided to take for a spin at the weekend. We were working through the rules as we went but she soon became bored and a bit confused (not that I can blame her) so we packed up after a few turns. I'll probably introduce TOI to my regular gaming group and get some games going, but right now Memoir '44 is really scratching that wargame itch. Since there are a bunch of expansions and hundreds of free scenarios online, it's definitely a game that will keep me interested for a long time to come. So if you're looking to step into the war boardgaming hobby or maybe you're a wargamer who fancies something a bit lighter, then I highly recommend this game.


  1. Try 'BattleLore' from the same game designer. It's even better: since the value of each unit depends on the units surrounding it, you have to be much more careful in how you manage your units.

  2. My son and I have played a lot of Memoir - it's a great game. We really like the Pacific and Russian expansions and are gerting ready to play the Operation Market Garden scenario.

    Battlelore is another really game and well worth buying.