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westonkyl
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April 2020
  2 new fans, Fri, 17 April 2020 00:30
Hello all! So I bought this game for my son and I to ease the covid blues and we absolutely love it! I fully understand the difficulty getting expansions but as I find them... in what order do I get them? Ty in advance for any advice to help 2 new addicted players!
      
sam1812
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Re:2 new fans, Fri, 17 April 2020 00:57
Welcome to a wonderful game!

The first expansions most people recommend are (in either order) Eastern Front or Pacific Theater. The other "army pack" is Mediterranean theater, which is useful for playing desert scenarios.

Terrain Pack is useful for playing more advanced scenarios. And the Winter/Desert board will allow you to match the background to snow- or sand-covered terrain features.
      
Jon Washington
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Re:2 new fans, Fri, 17 April 2020 11:17
westonkyl wrote on Thu, 16 April 2020 18:30

Hello all! So I bought this game for my son and I to ease the covid blues and we absolutely love it! I fully understand the difficulty getting expansions but as I find them... in what order do I get them? Ty in advance for any advice to help 2 new addicted players!


The order doesn't matter. Buy anything that is available because if it's available and you don't buy it, it will be years before you see it again. Not months, years. No joke.
      
Jeronimon
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Re:2 new fans, Fri, 17 April 2020 15:15
Ok thanks to WestonKyl for getting me to finally do this. Smile

This question frequently comes up and I always thought, let's write something about that that I can reuse when the question comes up.

So finally I have listed (almost) all the expansions, grouped by reprints and stuff that is Out of Print, with my comments on why to get them (or not).

I hope this helps and feedback, commentary and discussion is as always, welcome. Smile


Which expansions to get?
When you read this some expansions will be out of print. So, in the memoir’44 community we say: buy it when it’s available. Further down I will say something about availability, but first what should/could you get if everything was available?

My advice would be to go where your interest lies. Do you have a fascination for the War on the eastern front? Then buy the Eastern Front stuff. Are you obsessing over the war effort in the Pacific? Go Pacific Theater. Is Northern Africa your cup of tea? Get the Mediterranean Theater. Do you want your battles to be more of a logistical challenge (and a bit longer) Get the Breakthrough expansion (and Winter Wars).

Having said that I will give you my viewpoint on each expansion below. Cool

First the three that contain extra plastic

Pacific Theater
This is the expansion that combines best with the Basegame. Get out the Basegame board add the Americans and this expansion and you are good to go. The extra tiles in the expansion take you to the Islands and Jungles in the Pacific and you can use both the inland and landing side of your Basegame board. This expansion adds some nation rules for the Japanese Army and the American Marines and introduces some new units. These tend to steer your warfare to more daring attacks and fast and furious battles. More so than the Basegame.

Mediterranean Theater
This will add the British Army to your command and take you to the deserts of Northern Africa. Battles in the desert tend to be focused on the Armor Units and are usually slugfests with tanks. Luckily (for me) there are also some more tactical scenarios to be played in this theatre. But if you like big tank battles this is the expansion for you. If you want it to look good also scout for the Winter Desert Board or you will be playing desert hills and roads on a green background Smile

Eastern Front
Now this is my favourite Smile, the Russians enter the game. Chesslike matches in snowy forests trying to push your enemy into frozen rivers. I love it! It adds the commissar rule (only early war) that many despise but I find trains players to think ahead more than 1 or 2 turns (something that you should do with all the other expansions too, but here you will be forced to do so. Smile ) I personally like the colour pallet of the winter tiles with the brown Russians and the Blue Germans also so I will not play this without the Winter (Desert) Board.

Terrain Pack
Like Pacific Theater this is also a good stand-alone addition to your Basegame. It does what it says: this gives you lots of Terrain Tiles to play with, you will vastly expand your ability to play all kinds of scenarios you can find online because now you can. Smile If you do not mind Substituting Americans for Russians or Germans for Japanese you are good to go on many an adventure.

Winter Desert Board
Also what it says on the package. One side winter background the other one desert background. If you like your battels to be colour-matched to the tiles you are using and are playing winter or desert battles you need this. If you do not care about that invest in something else.

Breakthrough Boards
These deeper Boards allow for longer and more logistical kind of battles. A good number of players prefer the Breakthrough format for their games. You get the four kinds of boards (Landing, Inland, Winter, Desert) so you are good to go on all Theaters and Fronts. Playing Breakthrough can be done with a normal deck of Command Cards but I would strongly advise to get the Breakthrough Deck that is found in the Winter Wars expansion.

Winter Wars
This does for the winter what the Terrain Pack did for the summer. Lots of winter tiles to expand the range of scenarios you can play. But also this contains the Breakthrough Command Deck that gives you a slightly larger deck an adds “On The Move” orders (move not shoot) to some of the section cards that allow you to position your troops for future endeavours on your Breakthrough Boards. Some players even use the Breakthrough Deck on the normal board (I personally find that to speed up the battles too much, but to each is own. Smile ) Also in here the Winter Combat Card Deck, an added layer of orders that can make the battles more surprising and a bit more luck-based.

Operation Overlord
So far you have been playing one versus one. But there is more! If you want to play with more players this is the expansion for you. Ideally it is played 4 against 4, but if you fall short of 8 players you can improvise in different ways to accommodate. I have played with everything from 2 to 8 players. Some players have a preference for playing Overlord 1 on 1.
It gives you an Overlord Command Deck, an extra set of M44 Dice and cardboard troops to add to your plastic ones so you don’t fall short in that department.
You will need two boards to put next to each other, so either you play with the summer board next to the Winter/Desert Board (no Landing scenarios then) or you acquire an extra Basegame or board. If you get another Basegame you can play with 2 Command Decks shuffled together. The Cards are subtly altered for Overlord but you can find Rules for that on the Days of Wonder Website. I would strongly advise to play with the Overlord Deck found in this expansion because these Command Cards simply spell out what they do, which makes it much easier to play. Overlords are a fun way to experience the game with more players (and maybe a drink Cool ).

New Flight Plan
The latest addition to the game and replacing the former Flight plan. Widely available at the moment and a lot of beginning players have bought this. In my opinion this is too heavy for beginners. The airplane rules add a level of complexity that is just a bit more than other expansions add, so that should be doable. But on top of that it adds the complexity of another Combat Deck. And on top of that almost all the scenarios use other expansions and rules that are not in the basegame: Terrain, SWA’s, Tank Destroyers, nation rules, other Combat decks, et cetera et cetera. So if you want to play you almost certainly would need one or more other expansions or proxy them. For experienced players who are familiar with all of that it already adds a lot to a game of M44 for beginners, this could turn them away, so I would not recommend.


Availability:
The Basegame will be reprinted in regular intervals. But since you are reading this you probably have bought that and are wondering where to go from there.
The following expansions are reprinted every 2 or 3 years: the ones with extra plastic Pacific Theatre, Mediterranean Theatre and Eastern Front. The others are: Terrain Pack, Winter/Desert board, Winter Wars, Breakthrough Boards and Operation Overlord.

Out of Print
Expansions not mentioned above are out of print, but you may encounter them in shops or on the Internet.

Battle maps
Who has not heard of Tigers in the Snow or Disaster at Dieppe? Preprinted Overlords, just put your plastic on there, deal the cards and go!
Most of these are out of print and some people ask big money for them on E-bay. Yes they are fun to have and for collectors even a must-have. A breakdown per Title:

Hedgerow Hell/Cadets of Saumur
Hedgerow Hell is playable but the Germans tend to take the day/victory. Cadets of Saumur is a losing battle for the French, definitely not my cup of tea. We found it unenjoyable and will not play it again anytime soon. Smile

Tigers in the Snow/Market Garden
Tigers is the best named of all the battlemaps and thus also the most sought after. Market Garden has two extra rows of hexes. They Both play okay although some flanks tend to be unbalanced.

Sword of Stalingrad/Rats in a Factory
Comes with the Urban Combat Card Deck. Both battles play well in my opinion. Setting up an Attack takes time and Logistics. But The Russians versus the Germans always makes me happy.

Disaster at Dieppe/The Capture of Tobruk
Disaster at Dieppe tends to be a disaster for the Allies (hence the title), but some games come out more even.
The capture of Tobruk has been a joy to play every time it landed on the table.

Battles of Khalkin Gol
The reboot of the battlemap series. You get 2 preprinted Overlords 2 preprinted Breakthrough maps and a campaign of scenario’s with a simplified campaign system thrown in. Also some new tanks and armored cars. The standard scenarios go fast and furious with the Japanese, a bit too fast sometimes in my taste. But we had fun playing them all.
On the Overlords: Khalkhin Gol Encirclement has lots to do for everybody and is fun to play. We have played it the most of all the Battlemaps I think. Cape Torokina Landings is visually stunning with the enormous amount of Sea, but therein lies the problem also. Once the fight for the Islands is finished crossing the sea only gets you killed. (Unless you have a Behind Enemy lines in which case very unexpected stuff can happen can sway the Battle.

Through Jungle and Desert
Preprinted standard scenarios, and 2 preprinted Overlords. Also comes with two new Combat Card Decks (Jungle and Desert. Most of the scenarios are (too) fast and furious. But two of them offer more tactical an slightly longer battles. (Payagyi Burma and Bardia)
On the Overlords, Guadalcanal: strong emphasis on the centre with the flanks supporting that fight (Might be different for others but that is how we felt it.)
Operation Lightfoot: playable, but left little impression on me. I should play it some more to form a better opinion.

D-Day Landings (Operation Neptune)
6 Extra deep Breakthrough maps of the Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah beaches and an American Airborne one. They can be combined into one big battlefield where you would be playing 6 versus 6 players. You need a big heap of plastic and other stuff to set it up and it is advisable to have 6 Breakthrough Decks. Days of Wonder advises you to search out friends who own Memoir’44 and combine your stuff to play. If you do not want to do that buy loads of memoir’44 or visit an event set up by an Memoir’44 club organisation near you. This is a lot of fun we usually play with 24 players on the Saturday nearest the 6th of June.

Campaign Books
These string scenarios together and based on your result gives you advantages over your opponent and decides which scenario to be played next.
The Campaign Book 1 is available on the Days of Wonder Site as a downloadable PDF. Campaign Book 2 still crops up in shops now and then. Hunt for it in/on the dusty shelfs.

Old Air Pack
A very fiddly system to put planes on the board. Would not recommend to play. Highly sought after by collectors. What did it bring? It brought a lot of tiles you might otherwise miss and it brought a printout of almost all the rules cards. So that was nice. Wink

Last but certainly not least: The Memoir’44 Tactics and Strategy Guide
What’s not to love? About 500 pages of tactics and strategy discussion of Memoir’44. I am an avid reader so the book was really good to see. You might not agree with everything written (I certainly do not Wink ) but it gives advice and makes you think about a lot of aspects of the game. This will certainly improve your game. Although out of print it is still available for reasonable prices and a must buy if you want to improve your game. Two more e-books about Memoir’44 downloadable from the site of the writer, Praxeo:
Think like a trooper
Armor Attacks in Packs

http://praxeo-fr.blogspot.com/p/download.html

And if you know French even more tactical stuff to download. Smile

[Updated on: Fri, 17 April 2020 15:17]

      
Antoi
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Bring Boys Back Home

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March 2005
Re:2 new fans, Fri, 17 April 2020 21:55
Just three things to say

1: Welcome Westonkul to this great game!
2: agree with everything Jeronimon says (which I do almost every time)
3: Only thing I don't agree on (I already said, almost every time right? Rolling Eyes ): Original 2007 airpack is not as bad as everybody says Very Happy
      
westonkyl
Junior Member

Posts: 2
Registered:
April 2020
Re:2 new fans, Thu, 23 April 2020 04:08
Wow.....ty for the info you have provided! While I am still searching for reasonable priced expansions we are enjoying the base game. I appreciate your effort and time into your response! Smile
      
    
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