When I was in Hamburg last month the only ‘wargame’ Phil and I played was Memoir ’44. We used to play it a bit before he moved to Germany. If you haven’t played it it’s a fun boardgame that plays quickly and offers a variety of missions that set Allied and Axis forces against each other in different theatres (Normandy in the basic box; Eastern front, Africa, Pacific in expansions etc.). Phil and I play a game on VASSAL most weeks, but this week rather than playing Warmachine we decided to play some Memoir.

Memoir '44 Map (Game Start)

The basic idea behind M’44 is that each player has a hand of cards where each card allows you to activate a few units on the left flank, right flank or in the middle. Units are comprised of 3-4 models and when they battle (using special dice) a model in a target unit is removed if its symbol appears on the dice. Range and terrain affect the number of dice rolled. After a card is played it is discarded and a new one is drawn from the deck. Simple stuff and it translates very well to VASSAL.

In the VASSAL module, each player has an area to store their hand of cards and can drop a card onto the discard pile to play it. It then becomes visible to your opponent. Units are easy to move and there are shortcuts to remove wounded models (Ctrl-H), indicate that a unit is being ordered (Ctrl-O) and whatever else you might need to do.

Memoir '44 Map (Game End)

Memoir is typically won by destroying a certain number of enemy units (moved to your victory bar) or seizing specific objectives. I was playing the Allies in the game above and managed to destroy six units before Phil did. I had ridiculously good cards! We played the game in less than an hour and a half and that was a relatively long game for Memoir.

The nice thing about Memoir ’44 is that there are a lot of missions set in many different WWII theatres, so it has high replay value also there are some available online slots.

Here are the rules (PDF) and here you can get the VASSAL modules. Go check it out…