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Jackson62
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Defending Memoir'44 Mon, 11 August 2014 19:02
I have a friend who will not play Memoir 44 with me until we change the rules. He claims not being able to choose your cards to play really restricts the game. He can't believe a strategy guide is coming out, because he thinks the game is all luck with the cards you get and the dice that you roll. What are some of your ideas as to how I can address his issues?
      
tank commander
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Mon, 11 August 2014 19:24
Jackson62 wrote on Mon, 11 August 2014 13:02

I have a friend who will not play Memoir 44 with me until we change the rules. He claims not being able to choose your cards to play really restricts the game. He can't believe a strategy guide is coming out, because he thinks the game is all luck with the cards you get and the dice that you roll. What are some of your ideas as to how I can address his issues?


While it is true that luck plays a factor - name a war game that does not - most of the time solid play can keep you in a game with a chance to win.

Match play should be foremost on your mind (playing once from each side) to address any scenario inbalance.

The strong point of this game is ease of play and most games can be completed in 30 mins or less.

Sounds like your friend wants total control over a military affair - hmmmm, I would point out that is not realistic.
      
Quit2
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Mon, 11 August 2014 20:43
there are a few things to say in defence of memoir: the same players keep ending at the top of tournaments. Surely, that's a sign it can't be all about luck.
The fact that certain players really improved their average results in memoir after reading the strategy guide (it has been available in french for quite a while) means there is some strategy and tactics in it.

That being said, we must admit that luck does play a big factor. After all, you're drawing cards from a randomised deck and you roll dice.
Certain other wargames reduce this luck factor by either removing the luck factor from the ordering of units (for example by giving activation points to order units of choice) or by removing the luck from the resolution of combat (every shot hits and does a certain amount of damage).

So if that friend wants more control, he should look towards other wargames. Memoir on the other side, allows ease of play and a low treshold to get into it.

And the good player manages to get the best result from an unlucky situation. Avoiding the conflict by use of cover until one can draw into a good hand of cards, optimalisation of the good cards, ...
      
Aussie_Digger
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Tue, 12 August 2014 08:48
Maybe you could tell him that even one of the most influential theorists of war, Carl Von Clausewitz refers to war being like a game of cards.

Meaning that it takes skill in playing cards, as you need to know the rules of the game and how they interact with other aspects. You need to know the probabilities of your actions and how to hide your intentions. But there will always be an element of luck (Clausewitz uses the terms "friction" and "fog" of war).

So in the end its all about using your skill to stack the odds in your favor. (which is the basic concept Clausewitz puts across in a lot more words though)

Even though I play more complex war games I have always liked memoir as I feel it when it comes down to it, it really represents the basic concepts of war theory very well.
      
Dree
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Wed, 13 August 2014 01:46
Tell him he's right.

Instead, Go play chess with your friend.
      
Antoine
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Wed, 13 August 2014 15:46
Many new players of M44 blame the game for being "all luck".
It takes several games and some experience to realize that while luck play its part, the essence of the game is about optimizing your luck. That's what the AI does in M44 Online and that's why many online players thought AI was cheating.

AI just tries to roll as many dice as possible because in the end it "knows" that it will hit. The Tactics & Strategy Guide teaches you how to optimize your cards and dice rolls so that they really matter. For example, cutting off retreat paths, use air strikes against artillery, use your special abilities (armor overrun for instance), etc.

M44 is a game of frustration. An elaborate offensive can be ruined by bad luck, but so is war. Bad communication, misinterpreted orders, desertion, mechanical failure etc. happen in real life, and commanders have to take that into account.

If your friend wants total control over his military forces, then clearly it's not a game for him. But if he should give it a try and play several games to start understanding how all that works, and make the best of it.
      
sam1812
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Wed, 13 August 2014 18:04
Antoine, I couldn't have said it any better.

The one thing I would add, based on analysis of my past games, is I believe Memoir is about 70% skill and 30% luck. I think of it as a combination of chess, Scrabble, and poker.
      
Jackson62
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Wed, 13 August 2014 18:47
Thanks, Sam. Antoine is right on. I remember when I was an inexperienced on-line player and was annihilated by an experienced player. He seemed to have all the luck and all the right cards played at the right time. As I gained more experienced, I discovered while luck is still a factor, how and when you play your cards and how you move your troops largely determined your success.
      
tank commander
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Wed, 13 August 2014 20:42
Jackson62 wrote on Wed, 13 August 2014 12:47

... how and when you play your cards ...


and sometimes not even then.

Like starting a game with a 5 card hand which consists of 4 Recons and one probe. Then playing 5 recon cards in a row and drawing nothing better than a probe from the 10 cards drawn Shocked

[Updated on: Wed, 13 August 2014 20:43]

      
5 star general
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Thu, 14 August 2014 01:53
With me it's having say 3 inf. units in position, attacking one enemy unit, and rolling i hit and 2 flags, thus putting the enemy unit out of range of your 2 remaining units, or reducing the dice roll. Don't get me wrong, there have been a lot of times when flags have given me a medal to win the battle.
      
Tango Delta
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Thu, 14 August 2014 14:09
I agree with the other comments and would just emphasize that it is a game designed to be enjoyable and easy to play, and that the card system is an excellent way to reproduce the realities of the command and control structure of actual battle prosecution. Advocates of more "serious" war games should choose to play them instead.
      
Jed Remington
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Thu, 14 August 2014 15:06
If your friend wants a "serious" war game beyond Memoir... then I have a metric TON of Avalon Hill's Advanced Squad leader for sale. That's about as hardcore a game as it gets, and the three inch rules binder will keep him bogged down for years vs playing right out of the box like memoir Wink
      
stevens
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Thu, 14 August 2014 18:11
Tango Delta wrote on Thu, 14 August 2014 08:09

I agree with the other comments and would just emphasize that it is a game designed to be enjoyable and easy to play, and that the card system is an excellent way to reproduce the realities of the command and control structure of actual battle prosecution. Advocates of more "serious" war games should choose to play them instead.

Interesting the quotation marks on "serious". I can tell you that I love Memoir '44 and I am always serious when I play (just ask my opponents). But if it wasn't fun, short to play in time duration and loaded with historical narrative, I would not be interested.

Not everyone likes chocolate cake. So find something your friend and you both agree on or get some different friends LOL.

Laughing Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes

[Updated on: Thu, 14 August 2014 18:19]

      
tank commander
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Thu, 14 August 2014 18:17
I once played a gamer who disliked any degree of luck factor in a wargame. So we played a game with no dice. Funny one of the steps of this game was drawing blocks of various strengths randomly out of a bag - hmmmmmm Rolling Eyes
      
Hydrommel
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Thu, 14 August 2014 23:28
I can't resist to propose you a quote of somebody perhaps you know...
Sorry for my poor English: I tried to translate from French...

The absolute and the allegedly mathematical never find certainty in the calculations of the art of war. From the outset, the war through its whole weft and string of events/circumstances is a game of possibilities, probability, luck and bad luck... and that of all the demonstrations of the human activity, it is to the card game that she gets closer most.

Extract of the book "About War" of Carl von Clausewitz


Smile
      
Jackson62
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Fri, 15 August 2014 02:29
Thank you, sir! Great quote!
      
Aussie_Digger
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Fri, 15 August 2014 05:14
Hydrommel wrote on Fri, 15 August 2014 06:58

I can't resist to propose you a quote of somebody perhaps you know...
Sorry for my poor English: I tried to translate from French...

The absolute and the allegedly mathematical never find certainty in the calculations of the art of war. From the outset, the war through its whole weft and string of events/circumstances is a game of possibilities, probability, luck and bad luck... and that of all the demonstrations of the human activity, it is to the card game that she gets closer most.

Extract of the book "About War" of Carl von Clausewitz


Smile



This is what I was referring to in my earlier post
      
Kaufschtick
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Sat, 16 August 2014 12:12
Jackson62 wrote on Mon, 11 August 2014 13:02

I have a friend who will not play Memoir 44 with me until we change the rules. He claims not being able to choose your cards to play really restricts the game. He can't believe a strategy guide is coming out, because he thinks the game is all luck with the cards you get and the dice that you roll. What are some of your ideas as to how I can address his issues?


M44 is an easy game to learn and is relatively simple to get started playing. It doesn't surprise me when I hear new comers to the game make claims that the game is too luck dependant. Unfortunately most new players, because they quickly grasp the mechanics of the game, they also think they grasp the strategies of the game as well. As has been mentioned earlier in this thread, most players need to get a few games in before they begin to realize that while the rules are easy, the strategy is much more involved.

Uwe Eikart (spelling?), while giving me his sales pitch for the then new game, Conflict of Heroes at Origins 2009, I think was the year, told me that that game was designed around the principle of teaching battlefield resource management. That is exactly what M44 is all about. Because CoH uses some different game mechanics, nobody makes claims that CoH is a luck driven game, despite the fact that you draw cards as one of those mechanics, and you roll plenty of dice as well.

M44 is all about battlefield resource management. Its interesting to note that you very rarely encounter players who regularly win at M44 make comments that it is too luck dependant. More often than not, its the players who think that just because they easily figured out how to play the game, they then feel they need to find an easy reason to explain why they can't seem to win.

M44 is no different than chess, poker, or any other game. A battlefield, or combat in general, is a chaotic, fluid situation. Anyone who claims that a game in which they have more control, and that luck is minimized, is a better simulation of the subject as a wargame, is a fool. I hate to say that so bluntly, but it is the truth.

Make no mistake, M44 is an excellent battlefield management game and a much maligned and underappreciated wargame.

Don't judge a book by its cover, just because one understands the rules, doesn't mean he/she understands the game.

[Updated on: Sat, 16 August 2014 19:33]

      
Sgt Storm
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Sun, 17 August 2014 03:38
Although Conflict of Heroes employs cards and die rolls, it is not nearly as luck dependent as Memoir 44.

I love Memoir for what it is, which is a light war game that doesn't take a lot of time and mental energy (hence the reason I will never buy a strategy book or spend time analyzing odds when making a move). For me Memoir is a game you play to relax and I like playing cards rapidly and sometimes throwing all caution to the wind. But I would agree that luck accounts for maybe almost 30% of the outcome.

However, you must play each scenario twice and sum the results if you want anything like a fair outcome. Indeed, this is the recommended approach in the rules, mainly because scenario balance does not appear to be a requirement. This is not a problem for standard scenarios. But if you play overlord or breakthrough and don't have time to replay after swapping sides, or if you play scenarios, balance is really more of a problem than luck.

But, if you get uptight if you lose games or have no patience for any amount of luck, then Memoir is not for you.

Conflict of Heroes uses die rolls to resolve attacks, however, I would surmise the game as a whole is less luck dependent than Memoir. Some sort of randomization is required to determine hits, and I think CoH does a good job keeping this to a minimum. Certainly your strategy is way more a factor than the die rolls, so maybe 10% luck in this game. The cards employed in CoH add some luck factor I suppose, but cards are really to add some spice and do not direct or influence every move (in most cases you might have a single card to play in each of 5 to 6 rounds so the effects are minimal). Also, you could easily dispense with cards altogether if they bother you.

In sum, Memoir and CoH are totally different games. Your friend probably won't like Memoir, but should give it a try first, but would likely approve wholeheartedly with CoH. I love both games.

[Updated on: Sun, 17 August 2014 03:41]

      
JJAZ
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Sun, 17 August 2014 08:47
If there would be no luck involved.(Dices, Cards)
Would everybody at some point not use the same winning strategy?
Would that be fun?
J.
      
stevens
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Re:Defending Memoir'44 Sun, 17 August 2014 13:55
JJAZ wrote on Sun, 17 August 2014 02:47

If there would be no luck involved.(Dices, Cards)
Would everybody at some point not use the same winning strategy?
Would that be fun?
J.


Yes, I always us the "Jjaz Gambit" to start my games.
Very Happy
      
    
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