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dickens1853
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  Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 15:29
OK, I am a beginner to this "series." If I had to choose between one game, should I choose Battlelore or Memoir 44, or are they similar enough that it probably doesn't make a difference? I realize they are different games with different backgrounds, but from what I've read, they are based on the same style of play. So not being hardcore enough to purchase 2 new games, is one game far better than the other?

Thanks.
      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 17:01
I think Memoir 44 is the "easier" game to get into though it has deep strategy as well. BL is a little more advanced since it introduces a Lore deck and some other concepts that are foreign to Memoir.

If money is an issue, BL seems like it is going to be more the money hog with new armies and expansions come out more regularly than M44. Both games have replayability at the base game level, but BL probably needs a couple of the expansions to get it up to par on the base game of M44. Memoir expansions are slightly more expensive but are a lot less frequent.

I know it's a generic answer, but I really think it comes down to which theme you think you are going to enjoy more. If you like WWII, then definitely get M44. if fantass is your cup of tea, then go for BL. You won't be disappointed in either choice.

I love both games. I rate them both highly and think they are different enough to own both (in fact, I have all 4 versions of the game system and will buy any more that come out as well). But if I personally had to choose only one to play, Memoir would be it. In fact, Memoir would be my game regardless of whichever game goes against it.
      
Caboose
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 18:04
Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard that question when I do demos, I think I might be up to like $2-$3 <G>

First, I always answer the question - "NEITHER". Now, you might ask why and it's because both are similiar and different. M44 deals basically with modern warfare and is definitely easier to grasp, since there is no magic involved.

Battlelore is more of a fantasy driven battle game. Yes it does take a little longer to grasp and there are some nuisances that you might understand the rules, but might take some time to actually see the beauty of (kinda like chess, you know how the pieces work but take a little longer to think long term, etc).

And each of the systems appear to have "must" have expansions (M44 - Terrain pack and possibly Air Pack, Battlelore with Call to Arms and maybe Epic). And neither system doesn't appear to be "dead" since DoW seems to have more expansions planned for both.

Also if you do learn one of the systems, you are a good part of the way of learning the other one (definitely if you know Battlelore, you got a definite grasp of M44, From m44 side, I'd say you probably got 60%).

Also understand that Battlelore is a little more than 1 year old whereas M44 I believe is 2-3 years old (don't hold me on those #s for M44, it might be higher!). As such, there MIGHT be some more different type of fantasy race units to come for Battlelore. And M44 has the Air Pack that will be coming out shortly and there have been rumors about a British unit expansion as well.

Thus it really boils down to if you like modern warfare or fantasy warfare. If modern, M44 probably would be the choice. If fantasy, then Battlelore.

Cab
      
toddrew
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 18:59
This will likely come off as more of the same from the previous posters, but I think that the games play differently enough to warrant purchase of both, if you really enjoy them. There is more than just a difference of theme (though that may play a big part in your decision as well), the subtle and not so subtle differences in mechanics really do make for a different feel and need for different tactics in each game (the same could be said about Command & Colors: Ancients, and most likely Battle Cry, the other games to which ColtsFan was referring).

I don't know if you have the time, but I would suggest trying out a few games of each on Vassal to get a feel for both of them (and, possibly C&C:A as well). I think that m44 will reveal more of the "complete" game to you after a few plays, whereas some components of BL wouldn't be experienced until after many plays (EDIT: and some not at all, as they haven't yet been implemented [same holds for m44 and overlord game too]).

I enjoy both games immensely (as well as C&C:A, and am looking forward to what I suspect is another Command and Colors game from Richard Borg through Eagle Games, based around the American Civil War [an updated Battle Cry?] to be released sometime in 2008). My personal tastes lean more towards the setting of BL, and also I really like how the war council and lore play in, as well as the Call to Arms and Epic expansions, not to mention the promise of more units/races/creatures...

Regardless, I'm confident you'll have fun Very Happy

[Mis à jour le: Thu, 13 December 2007 19:01]

      
bcpravel
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 19:25
Here's a comparative review that seeks to answer that exact question. I disagree with a few items, but it's a great overview of the most common C&C games.

IMHO, I prefer BattleLore, but think Memior '44 is a great game as well. Here are the things I would consider when comparing the systems:

1. Theme: Ultimately, if you prefer WW2 or Fantasy, you should go with the theme you enjoy more. Both games are fantastic from a gameplay standpoint.

2. Gameplay: I realize the previously linked review called Battle Lore the "hammer" of the C&C games (which I read to mean "the least subtle"). I completely disagree. IMHO C&C Ancients has the best gameplay, with BattleLore a very close second. The main reason I prefer BL to Memior is the "Battle Back" rule. Battle Back forces players to make constant, subtle tactical decisions about whether it is better to remain supported by your troops, or better to risk weakening your defensive position in favor of attacking the enemy. I wrote a review a while back that was written primarily to Warhammer fans, but in doing so I covered the gameplay of BattleLore in detail. If you are interested in hearing the BattleLore player's perspective on gameplay you might want to spend some time reading that. Even better, you could read through the BattleLore chronicles which provides a *ton* of detail about BattleLore's gameplay.

To be fair, I don't own Memior '44 and haven't played it as often as BattleLore, but I felt the lack of Battle Back made Memior a bit more dependent on luck, and felt the tactical decisions were more obvious. It is the "easier" system from a rules standpoint (although both are quite easy to learn) and plays faster.

I do feel that Memior '44 has better rules for playing with more than 4 players, so if that is an issue for you, Memior '44 might be the better system. I prefer BattleLore when playing with 2 or 4 players. Memior requires 2 sets in order to play multiplayer games, BattleLore simply requires 1 set and the Epic expansion.

3. Expansions: BattleLore is more similar to a Miniatures game in its approach to expansions. You can purchase small packs of units with some unique abilities and scenarios, but you don't have a ton of rules changes (Call to Arms being the main exception).

The Memior expansions tend to follow a more traditional approach and are most similar to "board game" expansions. Most of the Memior expansions offer more new rules and terrain in addition to new units. I think there are advantages to both approaches. The Memior expansions probably offer a bit more "bang for your buck", but the BattleLore expansions allow you to pick and choose what you buy a bit more.

No matter which you end up getting, I think you'll be satisfied. They are both fantastic games.

[Mis à jour le: Thu, 13 December 2007 19:31]

      
Roobarb
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 20:10
m44 dont have no british exp so battlelore is better
      
céro
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 20:43
Go for the theme - both games are great but different enough to have both of them. The battle back makes the one big difference, but the beach-map and the many many terrain tiles (which I hope will be more used with rthe air pack) make for a good gaming experience.
I'd surely go for the theme, if you only want to buy one of them.
      
dickens1853
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 13 December 2007 21:52
Thanks for the very helpful advice. I am definitely a fantasy fan, so I will choose Battlelore. Although it looks as if Memoir 44 is an excellent game as well, unfortunately I won't have time to play both.
      
Wrecker
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Mon, 17 December 2007 17:55
I've played both, & I much prefer Memoir...all though I only seem to win in battlelore. Battlelore just seems to be about hitting your large army with my large army, in thrown together scenarios. Memoir seems more strategic, and has much better scenarios & units..IMO. An EXCELLENT review is attached (compares Memoir to Battlelore to C&C)

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/256059

      
Captain Kremmen
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Mon, 17 December 2007 20:01
My favourite is commands and colors ancients. I also own battlelore and memoir and most of the expansions for both.

I woud honestly say go for the theme that interests you most. The games are roughly equal in good points.

M44 is easiest
CCA is most complex
Battlelore is in the middle

Remember even CCA is hardly complex though.

I think theme is probably the main angle.

Though M44 just has air pack announced, that sounds much cooler to me than silly scottish dwarves on donkeys, but hey that is just me Smile

      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Mon, 17 December 2007 20:44
Captain Kremmen wrote on Mon, 17 December 2007 13:01

Though M44 just has air pack announced, that sounds much cooler to me than silly scottish dwarves on donkeys, but hey that is just me Smile



They're not donkeys!
      
dickens1853
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Mon, 17 December 2007 22:42
I read the review that Wrecker mentions in the link above. For those that lean towards Battlelore, how would you respond to that review? It seems to shred the gameplay of Battlelore, as well as bad scenarios.

Also, this review seems to complain about the lack of good scenarios that Battlelore comes with. How many scenarios does the base game come with, and how many does the Epic expansion add?

[Mis à jour le: Mon, 17 December 2007 22:53]

      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Mon, 17 December 2007 23:14
I glanced at his post when it first came out and quickly scrolled through the comments again at your request.

Scenarios:
The BL scenarios are a bit "cheap" to me as well. The base game comes with 10 scenarios. Their primary purpose, which they accomplish marvelously, is that they teach you the game. It takes you step by step addin another level of complexity each game. This is perfect for people who are new to the system. The reviewer apparently was not having experienced all 4 games in the system. So he is going to be a bit biased.

The last few scenarios are "advanced" and able to be replayed quite a few times. What also needs to be kept in mind is DOW is establish a gaming system - one they hope to be around for a long time. So more scenarios have come out and more are on the way.

One final comment is that the scenarios in BL seem to be more balanced. For the ones I have taken the time to count, just about eveyrone has each side with the exact same make-up of units and same quantity. If you look at Memoir, You are going to see in most cases, one side is badly outnumbered. What you also have is that the other 3 games are solidly planted on history and so people can identify specifically with those battles and know what they are about. While BL is loosely based on some actual battles, I am not sure how accurate they are. But some are pure fantasy so there is no basis to say that a scenario is set-up incorrectly or could have been more desirable.

Expansions:
The expansions are more expensive then the base game based on per figure pricing. But that is just how expansions go. They are a bit more expensive than the original Memoir expansions because there has been a lapse of like a year or two between the publication of them and prices have gone up.

Do they add value? I think so. Again, they are creating a system and they give you further options to create your own games with tons of replayability. And you don't have to be a historian to create varied and fairly balanced games like you do in the other game titles.

Each expansion also adds a couple more scenarios and usually has another web-exclusive scenario associated with it. This gives you the chance to play with just that expansion pack without having to use Call to Arms or any other expansion.

Between all the expansions and web-exclusive scenarios, we have expanded beyond the basic 10 to a total of 44 scenarios (if my math is correct because they have some duplicate numbers). Plus you have tons of user-created scenarios.
      
toddrew
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Wed, 19 December 2007 02:34
dickens1853 wrote on Mon, 17 December 2007 14:42

I read the review that Wrecker mentions in the link above. For those that lean towards Battlelore, how would you respond to that review? It seems to shred the gameplay of Battlelore, as well as bad scenarios.


Before I go further, I just want to bring up a point and see if anyone else has noticed this, or if it's just something I think I see that really isn't there: Players who mainly play BL think it is the best of the C&C games. Players who mainly play C&C:A think it is the best of the C&C games. Players who mainly play m44 think it is the best of the C&C games. Additionally it seems that those who think a particular game is better than another point out what is missing from the other games that is included in the particular game. I don't buy into that line of reasoning.

Not trying to be politically correct here, but what I like about all three is their differences. I completely understand why one would prefer a particular C&C game over another, especially for thematic reasons, but to say things like BL is tactically inferior to C&C:A due to lack of Leaders (which, I think will be untrue anyway with Heroes - though I hope Heroes do function differently than Leaders, I already have C&C:A Laughing ), I just don't see the need to rank the games in such fashion. C&C:A uses onboard leaders to influence game play and BL uses off-board war councils to influence game play. I enjoy the difference and that's why I (now Very Happy ) have both games. Explaining the differences between the C&C games if very helpful, but I think it takes several plays before those differences can be appreciated, and discovering the best use of the mechanics in C&C games is a big part of the evolving fun I have playing them.

Anyway, here's the part I think you are referring to the adventures in BL being shredded:

The Scenarios:

BattleLore: I really don't like the BattleLore scenarios. They build on each other, each adding a few rules to the former. But they really feel like a bunch of units and terrain was randomly thrown onto the map. A rare, but significant let down from BattleLore. Limited Playability

Memoir '44: Scenarios are Elegantly designed and their historical information enables the players to immerse themselves in the recreated battle. Some of the scenarios are unbalanced, as can be seen on the Days of Wonder website. But, as many suggest, just play each scenario twice, once as each side, if this bothers you. Each scenario also feels very unique, and for this I applaud loudly. There is a lot more playability and replayability here than in the BattleLore scenarios. Most scenarios hav special rules.

Commands & Colors: Ancients: Scenarios are varied and based on historical battles. They are fun and feel unique. Not as many special rules as Memoir '44, but a thousand times better than the thrown together scenarios of BattleLore. Good play and replayability.

Best to Worst: Memoir '44: Commands & Colors: Ancients - BattleLore


Overall, I think the review does a good job of comparing the three, but this section I feel is way off. As ColtsFan pointed out, the adventure booklet for BattleLore is constructed to introduce the elements of the base game in progression as one goes through the adventures. I don't think many play Agincourt this way, but it is intended not to use the Medieval Tactics. If that ruleset is not used, the scenario does play out closer to history's results. If one is already familiar with the basics of C&C games, this progression could be seen as unnecessary, but how it can be viewed as affecting the replayability of the game I do not understand. I've played well over a hundred games of BL, and the vast majority of them have been on Vassal which had only included the base adventures and the 6 or 7 online adventures. I am nowhere near bored of those. Then, shortly after CtA was released, that was implemented on Vassal. CtA certainly removes any issues with replayability from a variety standpoint. It only added six more adventures, but the mechanics could be applied to any board, and the unit deployment variable combined with the war council build and card draw, makes a pretty large number of combinations. Replayability is not an issue for me.

As to the statement that the adventures seem to be the product of a random generator and "a thousand times" inferior than those of C&C:A, I can only assume that a large amount of hyperbole is being employed by the reviewer. The adventures in BL have terrain that can be exploited in strategic areas and units stationed in intentional relation to said terrain. EDIT: I had put a bit in here about there being less adventures/scenarios in the base game of BL compared to the other two, (not sure about m44, may be more included in the base game...but same amount in C&C:A) but that's not the case, so I really don't understand the disparaging remarks regarding replayability.



And here's the part I think you are referring to about the gameplay of BL being shredded:
Review of Play:

BattleLore: BattleLore is not elegant. It has tons of figures, tons of terrain, tons of play aids, and the game is often a major clash between forces. Of the three, BattleLore is the Hammer. Or usually two equally matched hammers pounding away at each other. Throw your forces at the enemy, try to keep them bold, and hope you come out on top. Monsters which can be killed by a single arrow, or withstand ten charges of mounted knights, can be fragile or rugged. Game time is usually the longest of the three, usually a good hour.

Memoir '44: The antithesis of BattleLore. Terrain means everything. This is an elegant game of manoeuvring around terrain to try to get an advantage against the enemy. With most scenarios being &#8216;asymmetrical&#8217; you need to be careful who and where you move. Game Time is usually 30-45 minutes, the shortest of the three.

Commands & Colors: Ancients: Also very elegant. Terrain is often not present (or simply sets boundaries). Gameplay revolves around formations, protecting flanks and cohesion. Some say Commands & Colors: Ancients is more elegant than Memoir '44, which could be true. Battles will eventually result in the clash of arms after the skirmishes harass the enemy. Elephants, Chariots and Cavalry mix up the battles. Game time tends to run under an hour.

Best to Worst (elegance & game time): Memoir '44 - Commands & Colors: Ancients - BattleLore


Don't be completely swayed by the 'Best to Worst' rankings at then end of each review section. Elegance is highly subjective. Playing BL first, before playing any of the others, I used that term heavily when describing the gameplay: Elegant. I really enjoy the interplay between the various units, the battle back mechanic, the "morale dancing", the hand building, coordinating lore and command hands, playing towards the best use of lore, lore management, etc., etc., etc., all those contribute to my calling BL elegant. Being C&C games, both m44 and C&C:A share this inate elegance but also display it differently through gameplay. What I think each game does very well is abstractly portray the thematic style of battle: (borrowing from an earlier post here: )
...but I really like how the subtle (or not so subtle, depending upon point of view) differences between them help each to capture its theme: victory through superior firepower of m44, on-board leadership of c&c:a spurring each side on to similar victory, the shift to off-board commanding with hands from both the human cunning and mystical etherly power shaping the battle afoot in BL (though on-board heroes appear to be not far off...)

The suggestion that in BL all one needs do to be successful is rush forth and engage the enemy with little thought to hand management will lead to many a game of disappointing results. The medieval game of BL may feel like a clunky game of C&C:A with leaders and evade absent, but using either the full lore or even medieval lore rules will lead to a very dynamic game with many surprising twists.



Quote:

Also, this review seems to complain about the lack of good scenarios that Battlelore comes with. How many scenarios does the base game come with, and how many does the Epic expansion add?


Touched on this above, but to give some hard numbers:
10 adventures come with the base game
7 Epic adventures are included with the Epic Expansion
6 adventures are included with Call to Arms
2 adventures each are included with the smaller expansions (total of 8, with 3 more as web only releases)
5 adventures are included in the Hundred Years War expansion
6 (7 if the medieval version of Brignais is counted separate from the lore version) are web only releases that utilize the base game only (and the Hill Giant)

In total 43 official adventures have been released. 16 require only the base game. Epic adds 7 that only require the base game. While the other adventures do require the expansions to some degree, all could easily be played using proxy units to represent the units from expansions not yet obtained.

[Mis à jour le: Wed, 19 December 2007 15:03]

      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Wed, 19 December 2007 03:57
toddrew wrote on Tue, 18 December 2007 19:34

Before I go further, I just want to bring up a point and see if anyone else has noticed this, or if it's just something I think I see that really isn't there: Players who mainly play BL think it is the best of the C&C games. Players who mainly play C&C:A think it is the best of the C&C games. Players who mainly play m44 think it is the best of the C&C games. Additionally it seems that those who think a particular game is better than another point out what is missing from the other games that is included in the particular game. I don't buy into that line of reasoning.

This is true. But players are also going to take the game they enjoy the most and play that more than the others. I have played Memoir 44 more than triple the times of the other three combined. I like the theme and simplicity but I can also say that Ancients and Battlelore have more tactical choices. The game is designed differently so it plays differently.

But I also agree, all the games would be boring if they played the exact same way. I do not want a WWII BattleLore or an Ancients version of Battle Cry.
      
Roobarb
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Wed, 19 December 2007 11:09
at the end of the day its all realitive to the persption of the indivdual Rolling Eyes what was asked was an oppinon and opinions were given Cool speaking presonly the most impotant exp from m44 is missing i whant my nation to be represnted propaly Evil or Very Mad i find it kinda insulting to use a subsitue Twisted Evil sorry

[Mis à jour le: Wed, 19 December 2007 12:11]

      
AK_Aramis
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 20 December 2007 10:01
From my point of view, Memoir 44 is the better game for a first time buyer.

1) it's less expensive.
2) it is a clearer and cleaner set of rules.
3) there is less inherent complexity in the design.
4) what complexity is present is key to feel.
5) less chaotic play.
6) you can read the rules before purchase.

Now, truth be told, I don't play M44 much anymore... BL has taken over from it. But, I'm very glad I did M44 first. (even though I had no choice... BL wasn't even announced yet! And further, I was being paid to figure out M44 for someone else.)

Both are great games. M44 is a better 1st game. BL is a more engaging game overall, but is expensive, has less than stellar rules, you can't read the rules online, the complexity is above what is needed for the feel being sought, and the dual decks result in far more chaos.
      
Caboose
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Thu, 20 December 2007 18:04
Although I agree with Aramis that M44 is easier to learn (due to no magic) and both do use the same command card system, it still basically boils down to the fact of which game would appeal to you...medieval/fantasy warfare or modern warfare.

If medieval/fantasy then Battlelore
If modern then M44

Cab

      
bwcMD
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Re:Battlelore or Memoir 44??? Which is better? Fri, 21 December 2007 00:28
Just my $0.02

toddrew wrote on Tue, 18 December 2007 20:34



Touched on this above, but to give some hard numbers:
10 adventures come with the base game
7 Epic adventures are included with the Epic Expansion
6 adventures are included with Call to Arms
2 adventures each are included with the smaller expansions (total of 8, with 3 more as web only releases)
5 adventures are included in the Hundred Years War expansion
6 (7 if the medieval version of Brignais is counted separate from the lore version) are web only releases that utilize the base game only (and the Hill Giant)

In total 43 official adventures have been released. 16 require only the base game. Epic adds 7 that only require the base game. While the other adventures do require the expansions to some degree, all could easily be played using proxy units to represent the units from expansions not yet obtained.


Even without any expansions (namely CTA), those 16 that only require the base game (and maybe an Internet connection) leave a lot of variety. After all, the first 10 scenarios are designed as an introduction to the rules, but once you know the rules, nothing prevents you from tweaking those scenarios. Simply adding a War Council changes even the most basic scenario and adds replay value.

That being said, for a new player not certain which version to buy, it makes little difference which one is better based on which facet you look at (complexity, replay value, game time) if you don't have any of the others to compare to. As others have said, each is a good game in it's own right, and for different reasons. Which once more gets back to theme as probably the key factor for most new players. Case in point--my wife has no interest in WWII, so I haven't even looked at M44. It would just never hit the table, so I haven't even tried to demo it anywhere. On the other hand, she likes fantasy, so Battlelore has been a popular addition to our library. If only they would add an Elf expansion...
Rolling Eyes
      
    
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