Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Memoir '44 - a few tweaks and a game.

Ready for action, US 2nd Armoured Division attack from the left.

It struck me the other day that if I used the 6" hex 'Commands & Colors' printed matt bought some time back I could actually play a game of Memoir '44 using my 15mm Flames of war collection. I retain a fondness for the board game, but never really enjoyed using the plastic parts supplied. I did play a game on the board using 15mm figures and tanks but it was far too cramped and simply did not feel right. So this could be the perfect solution, the mat is 13 x 9 hexes so it's standard memoir size and when laid out occupies an area of 7' long by 4 ' wide which gives a nice feel to a WW2 game in 15mm scale. The table once laid up with terrain looks as below. For some reason these pics do not accurately reflect the green of the mat, I will try to improve things for the battle, but they show the layout. I think for a grid based game it looks pretty conventional, especially when you stand back a couple of feet or so.

One shot with the flash turned on..... but still not great!

The game is going to be played to standard Memoir rules but with the following tweaks as I have used previously.
  • Armour - a single model tank will replace the 3 plastic models supplied with the game. A micro dice will record hits, 3 hits on a standard medium tank and it's destroyed. Heavier tanks will require 4 hits to destroy, as per the rules. Infantry cannot inflict damage on tanks unless they are dedicated tank hunters with anti tank weapons (see below).
  • Tweak #1 - When a medium tank takes a hit from a heavy tank the dice is re-rolled and if the armour symbol comes up again the target is instantly destroyed. This represents the penetrative firepower of say a Tiger against a Sherman. I will also give US M10 tank destroyers the same re roll against German heavy Panzers such as the Tigers. 
  • Infantry are based in two's on 1p coins and a standard unit as per the rules is 4 coins, each hit removes a base. This gives 8 figures per unit and ties in quite nicely with squad sizes, more elite units can have 5 bases (10 figures) which again equates roughly to veteran German squads in the latter war period.
  • Tweak#3 - Tank Hunters, squads with anti tank weapons such as panzershrek/panzerfaust or Bazooka, mines etc. For simplicity I have banded these weapons together and all can only be used when adjacent to a tank, ie: what what normally be 'close combat' range requiring an armour or grenade symbol to hit. As this is a new addition to my rule tweaks we shall have to see how it plays out.
The game will be a basic encounter with both sides starting deployed on table on the first or second line of hexes. Victory is gained by taking 4 'clear' victory medals or by capturing the enemy HQ (moving onto that hex). This means for example the game could run to 10/6 or more, or indeed be won at 4/0, again we shall see how this idea plays out.

The forces are as follows:

4 infantry squads ( 4 bases per squad)
5 Sherman medium tanks (1st platoon)
4 sherman medium tanks (2nd platoon)
4 M10 tank destroyers
2 mobile artillery
2 commanders in jeeps

4 veteran infantry squads (5 bases each)
1 Youth tank hunting squad (4 bases with panzerfaust)
5 StuG assault guns (medium)
4 panzer mk4's, late model H with shurzen. (medium)
2 Jagdpanther, heavy tank destroyers
2 light howitzers
2 commanders in armoured half tracks.

Deployed forces.

A couple of shots of the relevant terrain and troop cards supplied for quick reference, and a shot showing the six faces of each dice for those unfamiliar with Memoir '44. You can see that I have placed 2 areas covering 4 hexes of the dreaded 'Bocage' (see 'hedgerow' terrain card below for how this plays, it can certainly bog things down. Each building is treated as per the 'Towns and villages' card below, the church occupies 2 hexes - how could I leave it out! - each hex counting as an individual BUA.

The 6 faces of each battle dice supplied, there are 8 of these and each player takes 4 dice, Memoir is certainly not a 'bucket of dice' game!
Should give a lively game I think. IN addition both sides will have air support if and when the 'Air Strike' card is drawn as per the rules. It is late Summer of 1944 and the Germans are fighting to hold back the Allied advance, US 2nd Armoured Division is advancing in force supported by infantry but the Germans are in good shape, the infantry being veterans for the most part with a smattering of young  recruits from the Hitlerjugend, armed with close quarter anti tank weapons capable of burning through a Sherman or M10 at close range.

Let battle commence.

EDIT: I changed camera for the last few shots above, borrowed my daughters Cannon, much better than mine so took a few pics of the ECW's sitting on the bookshelf in the background, nice and sharp, all Hinchliffe from Hinds Figures as featured on my other blog!


  1. What a lovely set up for Memoir '44, Commands and Colors are my favourite family of rules. You could maybe use your ECW figures on your Commands & Colors printed matt, using the rules variant made up by Tony of Prometheus in Aspic fame.

  2. Looks good. We played Memoir with 1/72nd troops on 10cm hexes also using 1 tank with a marker die.

    Worked well. For inf vs tanks we allowed the flags to have the normal effect, essentially a morale result and something one can find examples of.


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