Playing for the first time - Overview

 

Memoir '44 central game mechanism is Richard Borg's now famous Command & Colors game system:

The players select from the list of available Scenarios a battle over which they'd like to test their individual command skills and savvy.

Each player then starts the game with a number of Command cards which they will use, in successive alternating turns, to activate a varying number of Units (1, 2, 3, or more depending on the card played) in different sections of the Battlefield.


 

A unit is composed of multiple (4 for Infantry, 3 for Armor & Tanks, 2 for Artillery & Guns) Miniature figures.

Activating a unit allows it to move and possibly battle. Simple rules taking into account various Terrain & Obstacles' effects dictates the units' moves.

Battles are rapidly resolved, using special Battle dice. When hit, a unit loses a figure. Once a unit has lost all its figures, it is eliminated from the game, giving the opposing commander a Victory medal.


UnitsBack to Top

 

The action in Memoir '44 is centered around the concept of a Unit, or group of identical figures, grouped on a single Terrain hex.

There are three basic unit types in the game: Infantry, Armor and Artillery.


Infantry

Armor

Artillery

Depending on the scale of the scenario in play, a unit will represent an entire battalion, a single company, or even a single platoon.

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Standard Units

The game includes a summary card making it easy to reference the individual movement and combat capabilities of each unit type.

In addition to moving and battling, some units can employ special WWII tactics, such as taking ground or attempting an armor overrun.

   
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Special Units

In addition to regular troops, a number of Special Forces and other Elite units will appear in some scenarios, permitting greater historical accuracy and ever renewed gaming challenges. These elite troops have their own summary card as well.

Here is a quick look at the Special Forces, French Resistance and Elite Armor units featured in Memoir '44. Additional units (such as the paratroopers jumping on Sainte-Mère-Eglise) are sometimes detailed in the scenarios.


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Terrains & ObstaclesBack to Top

 

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Terrains

In Memoir '44, battles are fought over a 9 by 13 hexes battlefield featuring country-side or beach landing terrain, depending on the face of the board map in play.

An additional 44 double-sided terrain hexes are available to further customize the battlefield, ensuring greater geographical accuracy and a variety of tactical challenges.

Each terrain has its own summary card for in-play reference;

Each terrain is also further detailed in the rules' appendix, with lavishly illustrated examples;

And, to simplify set-up, each scenario comes with its own set-up bar, indicating the number and type of terrain hexes needed for this battle, and the order in which to lay them down on the board map. This way you don't have to search much for the right piece, despite the double-sided nature of the terrain hexes.

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Obstacles

The life of a soldier would be too simple (or dangerous, depending on which side you sit on!) without a variety of obstacles to attack, run from or take cover under!

Some of them - sandbags, rolls of barbed wires, hedgehogs - have their own 3D miniatures, while other constructions - bunkers, bridges - come on illustrated tiles, but all contribute greatly to the variety and historical accuracy of scenarios.

As for terrains, obstacles have their own summary cards as well.

WWII TacticsBack to Top

 

Memoir '44 introduces a number of WWII-specific tactics to the Command & Colors system. The two most obvious ones are Taking Ground and Armor Overrun. Both rely on the fact that in Memoir '44, a distinction is made between a Close Assault (attack on a unit in an adjacent hex) and Firing (attack on a unit more than 1 hex away).

Taking Ground
When an ordered Infantry unit in Close Assault combat eliminates the enemy unit or forces it to retreat, it may Take Ground by advancing into the vacated hex.

Allied Infantry rolls a Flag and an Infantry symbol on a Close Assault
After taking one casualty, the Axis unit retreats
The Allied player chooses to "Take Ground" immediately, to take advantage of the forest’s cover.

Armor Overrun
On a successful Close Assault combat, an ordered Armor unit may move into the vacated hex and may then battle again.

Allied Armor rolls a Flag and an Infantry symbol on a Close Assault
After taking one casualty, the Axis unit retreats
The Allied player chooses to "Overrun" immediately
After moving in, the Armor unit can now battle again!

Tactic CardsBack to Top

 

Among the 60 Command cards are 20 Tactic cards, as opposed to the more standard Section cards. Here are a few of the ones that introduce specific WWII effects, including some which will require you to "set up" your troops properly to use them to their most devastating effect.


Firefight

Infantry Assault

Ambush

Barrage

Their Finest Hour

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AuthorBack to Top

Among his best-known designs are Bluff™, winner of the prestigious German's Spiel des Jahres in 1993, Star Wars™: The CCG, Lord of the Rings: The Siege of Minas Tirith™, and Battlecry™!

A well-known game designer, Richard Borg started his company, Action Designs in 1987.

A professional inventor, his designs run the entire gamut, including family, children, strategy, and euro-style card and board games, as well as CCGs, party games and licensed movie and comic books properties.



HistoryBack to Top

Credits

Creation and Development:
Richard Borg - Based on the Commands & Colors Game System.

Development:
Pat Kurivial, Roy Grider

Playtesting:
Dave Arneson, Jim Berhalter, George Carson, Rik Fontana, Brett Helgeson, Steve Malecek, Bill Massey, Paul Miller, Wayne Minton, Steve Niedergeses, Stan Oien, Jeff Paszkiewicz , Anthony Ricardi, Louis Rotundo, Bob Santiago, Marty Schmidt, Ken Sommerfield, Rick Thomas, Dan Van Horn, Emmanuel, Matthieu & Elise Corno, and the Days of Wonder Team...

Art Director and Graphic Design:
Cyrille Daujean

Illustrations:
Julien Delval

Figures Sculptor:
Claude Rica

Tanks and gun models courtesy of:
Don Perrin, Noble Miniatures, www.nobleminis.com

Historical Review:
Mission for the 60th Anniversary of the Landings and Liberation of France and History Services of the Army

Special Thanks to

All members of the Mission for the 60th Anniversary of the Landings and Liberation of France for their support, especially Lt-Colonel Torres, Capitaine de Frégate Metzger and Mrs. Cormier. Also thanks to Colonel Guelton and Mr. Vaudable from the French Army Historical Department.

Memoir '44 was born following the meeting of the noted game designer Richard Borg, Days of Wonder, and the Mission for the 60th Anniversary of the Landings and Liberation of France

Richard Borg had designed a WWII game using his Command and Colors Game System, which he had already used in the past for his famous Battlecry game (a game about the US Civil War), and was looking for a game publisher. Days of Wonder was interested, and discussions were already under way, when the Mission for the 60th Anniversary came in and accerelated the process.

The main idea was to design a game that would convey the memory of the D-Day events to the younger generation. The challenge was to build something that would be simple for young people, but not simplistic. The game had to be historically accurate, and fun to play. Only the game system developed by Richard could achieve all these goals.

The result is an exceptional game that will please children, parents and grand-parents, who will be able to share together the memory of History.



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