This post is by IrishWrath, aged 14.
I love board games. You’ve probably seen our shelf full of them, and we play them all. I mostly stick to the strategy type ones, such as, Risk, Civilization: The Board Game, Small World, Chess, Stratego, etc. For Christmas I got a new one, Memoir ’44.
Memoir ’44 is totally a war game. No diplomacy, no resources to worry about, nothing but battle. It lets you reenact the battles of World War II, from D-day onwards. Pegasus Bridge, and Omaha Beach are some of the many scenarios included, each with it’s own special rules, to make the game more historically accurate. Each game also has information on the corresponding real battles, telling the reason why the battle happened, and who won.
All combat is resolved with dice. In Risk this is very bad, as with a bit of luck, a single figure can hold off against dozens of enemies. But in Memoir, only the attacker rolls the dice, and each die has pictures which show how much damage is being done. The chance of a single figure holding off an army in Memoir is very small indeed. However, if a unit is in the right kind of terrain, it can hold it’s own against reasonably larger forces. The one on one combat is the best I’ve seen in a board game, aside from Civilization: The Board Game, and the larger battles are just as good.
Every scenario is balanced, even if in the real counterpart one side was hopelessly outmatched, the game makes sure both sides have a fighting chance. For example, if one side has much more units than the other, the map gives better terrain, and sometimes artillery to the otherwise losing side.
Plus, you can’t just move your troops willy nilly. You need to play cards to order them about. The bigger the army, the longer it takes to move it. The player with more units usually gets more cards than his opponent to counterbalance this.
There are three different types of units:
Infantry are for the rough terrain. They take less penalties when shooting enemies in forests, towns, and bunkers, but, the further away the target, the harder to land a hit
Tanks are fast and powerful, but they have very little chance of taking the defensive locations. In open terrain, they are all but unstoppable, unless the enemy has more tanks than you. They have less health than the infantry, which is not a major setback at all.
Artillery are really difficult to kill. They may only have two health, but a single die only has a one-sixth chance of harming it, plus, artillery almost always starts in a defensive location, sometimes so defensive that tanks can’t even touch them. They have the longest range, and they ignore all terrain, so the best thing to attack an artillery unit with is artillery!
Memoir ’44 is a great game, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys my list above.