Sunday & War

I played 2 war games today with Alex.  We did the second scenario from the Breakthrough expansion for Memoir ’44.  This was a real squeaker.  Alex played the Allies and was rolling up my right flank nicely.  I managed to pinch off his armor thrust on my left flank, but it didn’t look good.  At one point he was leading 8 medals to my 4.  With victory at 10, I was sure I was doomed. 

But as it happened, he ran out of good cards to play and his advance ground to a halt.  My hand was clogged with cards for my non-existent right flank.  But I somehow managed to claw my way back to a 8-8 tie.  Alex crested at 9, first by taking an objective – but after I pushed him off the objective he zapped another infantry unit of mine.  My artillery blasted some of his troops tying it up at 9-9, and with my next turn I won!  I had thought Alex’s victory was assured earlier.  Very entertaining game.

The Breakthrough scenarios are a big departure for Memoir ’44.  The maps are basically double deep.  This gives room for manoeuvre.  But if you play using the normal game deck of cards, I could see how this might be frustrating.  It is already maddening to get the cards for the section you wish to be active with.  With Breakthrough games, you would then also have to use those valuable cards to just deploy troops from the rear.

But I am using a special deck of cards specifically designed for use with Breakthrough maps.  These cards have on the move liberties.  Basically you usually get to move 4 units.  If you get a “Recon”, you order 1 unit as usual, but then you can move three other units anywhere on the map, but they cannot fight.  If you get a “Probe”, you order 2 units as normal, but also move 2 other units on the move; and likewise for the “Attack”, you order 3, but get 1 unit on the move.  I think this special deck is great!  The only odd bit is you didn’t get this deck with the Breakthrough expansion!  It is included in the “Winter War” expansion.  So I strongly suggest players get both expansions if you are to really enjoy Breakthrough scenarios.

Alex and I had a bit more time, so I introduced him to my old favorite, OGRE.  I suggested he play the conventional defence and that I play the Mark III OGRE.  It may have been more kind to let him play the OGRE, as it is easier to operate.  But I thought Alex might have more fun selecting his forces and maneuvering them.  I was successful in wiping out his command post, but he did destroy my OGRE before it could escape.  For an old game, OGRE continues to please me.  If they ever get the reprint released, I will likely buy it.  The hopes of a deluxe edition with Eurogame publishing standards is a dream of mine.  They managed to do it for A House Divided, and I hope they deliver on the deluxe 6th edition of OGRE that has been discussed for a couple of years now.

A fun session of light war gaming.  Thanks to Alex for coming over!


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