Memoir '44 has been one of my favourites for many years now, but hasn't had much table time over the past few years as I turned my attention to more meaty wargames. That being said it's fairly straight-forward to teach and almost immediately accessible for the new player.
Tonight, given that we had 4-players, I brought along the "Sword of Stalingrad" double-sized map/scenario covering the harrowing battle for Stalingrad between the Germans (TrevH and Neil) and the Russians (AndyA and myself).
Sword of Stalingrad
By the end of August 1942, German troops had reached the Volga, north of Stalingrad. In a matter of days, 4th Panzer Army, headed for the river south of the city, effectively trapping many of the men and women of the Soviet 62nd Army. Stalin's order of July 27 - "Not a step back!" - was no longer just an obligation but a necessity, and its slogan "There is no land behind the Volga!" the harsh reality that now faced all of the city's inhabitants.
Having witnessed first-hand on the Russian steppe the devastating effectiveness of German Blitzkrieg tactics, Lt. General Chuikov turned the carpet-bombing of the city to his advantage. Anchoring his defense lines in bombed-out buildings that overlooked strategically important streets and squares, he ordered Soviet troops to "hug the enemy". Always keeping the front lines as close to the Germans as physically possible, often a mere floor or door frame away, he successfully negated much of the Germans' firepower and combined arms superiority.
|Sword of Stalingrad Map|
Order #227 - Not A Step Back!
|Russian forces fight to hold the centre|
|Devastation from the Luftwaffe|
By mid-game however the Axis centre had almost broken completely, the losses there outweighing their gains on the Russian right in terms of victory points. Further Luftwaffe successes were not enough to save the battle and the Russians ran out winners by 17 medals to 12 medals.
Memoir is heavily luck driven and in my opinion works best with short 2-player scenarios and not in the Overlord format we tried this evening. Whilst a lot of fun tonight, the shear volume of troops to move and medals to win left us with a 2-3hr game which had in the end outstayed it's welcome.
An enjoyable evening and great to meet Neil who was visiting Trevor from the U.S. Thanks go out to TrevorH for hosting our gaming evening and to AndyA for some great pictures.
GaryG and AndyA are awarded 5 beans each for the win.
|Ponte Del Diavolo|
|Our final board position|
Other other game this evening was Ponte Del Diavolo, by Hans Im Gluck games. This is a neat little tile laying/area control strategy game.
Each turn players play two of their tiles or one bridging piece, the goal is to score points by creating and linking sets of four tiles (islands) without "sand-banking" (coming too close to) your other islands.
GaryG is awarded 2 beans for the win.