Showing posts with label memoir44. Show all posts
Showing posts with label memoir44. Show all posts

Friday, 12 January 2018

Memoir '44 Maleme

Only Gary and I seemed to be available for gaming last night, so we abandoned the University and held the club meeting at my place. Gary brought us food, we ate, and then we played Memoir '44.

When I asked him what he fancied playing, he said that in the past he'd enjoyed a set of scenarios based on the German invasion of Crete in 1941. Funnily enough I'd found them and printed them off just before I went on holiday in November, so I dug them out and we gave them a go.

Actually we gave one of them a go - the first one covering the attack on Maleme airfield. Basically we decided that setting a new game up each time was too time-consuming. We didn't even swap sides; Gary played the German in all three games, whilst I played the plucky New Zealanders.

This is the basic setup, with loads of German infantry (all with the Special Forces ability), but with the New Zealanders dug in across the board.

When Gary made his first few moves I wondered how long the New Zealanders would last; the move two hexes and still fight that all of his units has is very useful indeed. But you're only as good as the cards you draw, and the ANZACs have a good defensive position. They also have the Commonwealth Command Rule, which allows them to battle back in close combat. This contributed to whittling down the German forces almost as much as my own actions.

The first game saw Gary attack strongly on his left and capture the airfield, but in attempting to score points elsewhere he lost it, and the game. 6-2 to New Zealand. In the second game I picked up some useful activation cards early on, whilst Gary held back trying to get a decent hand together. When he attacked I was able to hold the line and pick up another 6-2 win. I think this was the game that I advanced the 2-strength armour unit right onto the German baseline.

The final game was a lot closer. Gary attacked the forward hill, and took it fairly quickly, whittled down a few units elsewhere, and ended up rolling for the game - he just needed to hit an artillery unit. He failed, and I used my next turn to pick up my last victory medal instead for a narrow 6-5 victory.

We think the New Zealanders do have an edge in this scenario, but it was an interesting one to play, and we'll move onto the rest another day.

After he went I set up the Gazala scenario from the Terrain pack so I could try out the desert board I'd bought ages ago but not used yet. This is a great scenario for tank fans, consisting entirely of tanks and artillery on a basically open board. The Western Desert rules allow them a bonus overrun move as well, so the action if fast, fluid and deadly.

Despite a superiority in numbers, the British are up against it in this game; the Germans have loads of artillery that can pick off damaged units from afar, whilst the British tanks are limited to a two-hex move. In addition they only have four command cards to the Germans' six.

The Germans won an easy 6-1 victory in the first game (only needing five medals, but picking up the sixth out of spite). The second game was closer after the British left held the initial German attack and then decimated it by swinging reinforcements across from the other flank. A fun feature of this scenario is that both sides start with virtually nothing in the centre, so you are almost fighting tow small battles on opposite edges of the board. The Germans won the second game, but it was 5-4.

If you look closely at the first Gazala picture you can see that I fielded a mix of tank models, some of them ahistorical, for sure, but the added to the variety of the game.

Note to self; I need some khaki Commonwealth figures. I either need to pick up the 'proper' set, or get hold of some Airfix or Matchbox 8th army and 3D print some suitable tanks and artillery.

Update: We played the Commonwealth Command Rule from memory. Bad idea. We got it wrong. We allowed any NZ unit that survived a close assault to battle back. In fact it's only a unit reduced to one figure that gets the bonus,

Monday, 11 December 2017

Holiday Games - Part 2

As we entered the second week of our two week camping holiday, we encountered Weather. I gave it a capital 'W' because it was pretty serious; torrential rain for two days, with warning of floods and general apocalyptic disaster. We decided to head for a commercial caravan park where, if necessary, we could rent a cabin for a couple of days or, as we actually did, we could pitch our tents but live in the cosy, dry and (above all) indoors kitchen areas they have. We basically spent an entire day living in a large kitchen area, but it was a great chance to break out some boardgames. Catherine and I played W1815 a few times, and the four of us played a few rounds of Love Letter. But left to my own devices one afternoon I had a go at Memoir '44, using the solitaire card allocation system I wrote up here last year.

I played a Gold Beach scenario first of all.

The Allies pushed ashore quickly, but the German defences are quite tough in this scenario; a mixture of bunkers and towns.

An early Armoured Assault card got the tanks up onto the beaches fairly swiftly so the infantry were properly supported. At the top of the picture you can see the Allied casualties mounting, but actual unit losses were low. meanwhile at the bottom of the picture the Allies had captured two objectives.

A final push by commandoes supported by tanks saw the third objective fall, giving the Allies a win.

A view down the beach.

I then played the Mont Mouchet scenario from the basic rules which pits Tigers against French Resistance. It was a chance to use my 3D printed Tiger 1's from last year. The Resistance put up a bold fight, but both sides got a bad run of cards making clever plans rather difficult, and the advantage then lay with the more numerous and better equipped Germans, who picked up a decisive win.

Finally I gave the Stalingrad scenario a go. A few months ago I picked up the Desert/Snow boards, but hadn't had a chance to try them out. This was a first outing for the snow.

The Stalingrad scenario is wonderfully huge, and takes a while to set up, but gives a great game.

I used another 3D print for the German elite armour - an anachronistic Sturmtiger.

The Germans made a brave fight of it, but the advantage in this scenario lies with the Soviets, who can not only easily seize the three objectives (giving then 3 of the 10 medals needed to win) but are on the defensive, leaving the Germans to fight there way through formidable defences in order to inflict an casualties on their opponents. Left trading unit for unit the Germans were defeated fairly decisively.

I also took Exploding Kittens, but we never managed to play that.

In a further post I will look at some of the things we saw which might be of interest to gamers, but that will have to wait until I've sorted out the photos. I did, however, mention our new trailer in my previous post, so here it is, towed ...

... and deployed. It's basically just a storage box, but we can attach a platform to the side to use as a kitchen area, and the lid has an awning which gives us, and the contents, some shade and shelter from the elements.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

More Adventures in 3D Printing

I've been busy on the 3D printer again, trying out all sorts of things and getting to grips with parameters, print speeds and fill ratios.

I thought that it was time that I actually printed some bits I would use for something, so did some tanks scaled to match those in the Memoir '44 box - roughly 1/185th. This involves taking the 1/200th scale tank models from Marco Bergman's extensive collection and increasing them in size by roughly 10% (it's good enough, anyway).

First up, some Tiger Is. I would use these to show heavy tank units in scenarios which need them. The gun didn't print properly on one of them; I will need to replace it with wire before painting.

Just to add some variety I printed of a Memoir '44 unit's worth of Stugs.

And for those esoteric heavy tank units - a Sturmtiger.

Anyone thinking that 3D printing is about mass-production should be aware that the siz vehicles above were printed as one file and took 8 hours. I had the print-speed set fairly low, as a number of sites suggest this is a good thing for small objects. But it's still quite a while. I won't be turning out tons of these things on a regular basis.

I have also been printing off some buildings to add to the cities Godzilla and his friends frolic in in my Giant Monster Rampage games. They are all from a collection of Sim City buildings I found on Thingiverse.

This is an oil refinery. I took the file and printed it twice.

Here it is being menaced by Ghidorah. I love the little petrol tankers that are part of the base.

This is a capitol building. All cities need a bit of domed Victorian architecture.

Finally a factory. Like all of the buildings I rescaled them, but I think I overdid this one. I'll probably print it again and reduce it in size a little - print at 50% of its original size instead of the 100% I actually did.

It does look nice though.

This is my favourite bit. If I do reprint it, then this big model will either end up as a stronghold for HOTT, or may end up on a bring and buy.

I helped a friend set up and configure his printer yesterday - I am considered an expert now, after owning one for a week - and we printed off this lovely Rocktopus for my daughter, who has a bit of a thing for octopus. Octopi. Octopuses.

As I write this there are Hanomags on the printer - I can use them to indicate German Panzergrenadier units in Memoir '44. After that I have some Russian heavy tanks to print.

Note: If you are reading this post on then you are reading a stolen version. Please go to 'The Stronghold Rebuilt for the original posts. Thank you.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Climb Every Mountain

It's been quiet here for the past week. This is mostly because I have been busy not gaming, and if I'm not gaming there's not much to write about here. Those of you who have been following this blog for the past four years (and it has now been going for four years - I missed that particular milestone, once again) will know that this time of year sees my wedding anniversary, and on my wedding anniversary we go away for a few days. So stuff doesn't get posted.

This year for our trip we decided to kill two birds with one stone, and head down to the Snowy Mountains. This enabled us to visit an area we'd not really been to before and also to check up on my son in Jindabyne. He's fine; looking good and seeming to be enjoying his job. We listened to Snow FM on the way down, so finally got to hear him in action, as they don't have an online feed, like most local Aussie stations at present. It's an odd, but wonderful, feeling sitting in a cafe and hearing your son's voice come on air announcing a record, promoting a local business or doing the weather. But he really does play some rubbish music. Kids these days ...

We took our daughter with us. She stayed in Jindabyne with her brother, whilst Catherine and I went off camping in the Snowy Mountains National Park.

Here's the location of our camp:

Pretty good, eh?

We lounged round for a day, enjoying the sunshine and scenery. And then we headed out to achieve the main thing we wanted to do whilst we were here - climb Australia's highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko. It's not often you get to say that you've climbed the highest mountain in not only the country you live in, but the continent as well. But we did it. Actually it's not difficult. You get a cable-car from Thredbo halfway up, then walk for two hours - it's 6.5km (4 miles) from the cable-car to the summit, on a prepared track with little in the way of any real steep bits. There are proper toilets within 800m of the summit. If you want to climb the highest mountain on a continent, then Australia has just the peak for you*. 

Here's Catherine on the path, which is, as you can see, pretty well maintained. The scenery is beautiful, and unlike anything else we've seen in Australia. But it's going to take me a couple of weeks to sort out the photos and post them to Flickr.

And here we are on the peak, with the crowds of other people who also did it on the same day as us. I failed to walk off my tummy. That's a proper campsite full-English breakfast in there.

Anyway, having walked two hours back and having had lunch we went back to our camp, where we did actually play a game; I'd brought Memoir '44 with me.

Catherine beat me.

In other news I lost bits of my eyebrows and some of my hairline to a gas stove which decided to flare up aggressively, in an incident that was quite funny afterwards, but might not have been at the time, and we also, after seven years, finally got to see duck-billed platypus in the wild. See that first picture in this post? They aren't in it, but if you wait patiently at dawn or dusk you can see them swimming around in that bit of river. 

All in all this was a fine way to celebrate our 23 years of marriage.

*Apparently if you take Oceania as a whole, it's not the highest peak; the highest is in Papua, Indonesia. But, shush - we won't mention that.

Note: If you are reading this post on then you are reading a stolen version. Please go to 'The Stronghold Rebuilt for the original posts. Thank you.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Attack on Port Stanley

I put together a scenario based on the Argentinian attack on Port Stanley not long after I first bought Memoir '44. To be honest I haven't played it in years, and reading through it now it has some definite flaws, but I still thought that it would be a fun game to try out my solo Memoir '44 variant.

For these games I had each side draw one card, plus they rolled one Battle Dice for each Command card they had and got an extra card for each Star rolled.  You got an extra dice if you played a Recon card on the previous turn and lost a dice for each Ambush card you currently held. I then picked the best card for the side, and played it.

Here's the setup for the scenario, with the British as the 'Allies' and the Argentinians as the 'Axis'. The river represents the coastline; everything to the left of it is the sea and is impassable.

The western end of the board has Government House, defended by a detachment of troops, and some lurking Argentinian commandos advancing to attack it. In reality the defenders of Government House actually outnumbered the attackers by two-to-one, but it appears that neither side was really aware of this and the defenders thought they were facing much larger numbers of troops.

Beyond Government House is the other Argentinian objective, the town of Port Stanley itself. This is defended by the Falkland Island Defence Force, about 40 civilian volunteers. Two units is probably excessive, but the British need all the help they can get in this scenario. The FIDF units only have three figures, though.

The Argentinian commandos count as special forces.

At the other end of the field, more Argentinians are deployed. They are four figure unit, with the first figure being a tank to represent their armoured transports. This allows them to move two and battle, until they lose their first figure, at which point they revert to being ordinary infantry.

In the first game the Argentinians got off to a flying start ...

... and launched a fierce attack on Government House.

At the other end of the field they were able to quickly push their main force into action, against a small detachment of British troops holding a scientific research station.

The Argentinians had already attacked the Marine barracks at Moody Brook, and the game allows for some of those troops to enter the fray as Argentinian reinforcements. They appeared quickly in this game, and the defenders of Government House found themselves under extreme pressure.

However there were also scattered units of British troops around as well, and the scenario also allows those to appear. A group of Marines comes to the aid of Government House.

The Argentinians kept up their attack ...

... at both ends of the field.

Government House fell, and the commandos moved on the town itself.

The troops in the research station were also being driven back.

At this point, with everything going the way of the Argentinians, the British won ...

You read that correctly. The British won. When I wrote the scenario I added a 'ticking clock' for the British, which gave them victory medals if certain types of cards were played. This was to encourage the Argentinians to push their attacks forward a little recklessly, thus giving the British player more to do and prevent the game bogging down with Argentinian caution. I think that really I set the clock too much in the Brits' favour; they won 4 medals to 3.

I scrapped that particular clock and tried a second game. In this the British rolled a Battle Dice at the end of any Argentinian turn in which the Argentinians failed to inflict a casualty. On a star the British got a medal.

Once again the Argentinian reinforcements turned up early on.

Once again Government House was the target of a massed attack.

The defenders were quickly driven out.

The Argentinians pressed them, an attacked the town.

Meanwhile the troops in the armoured transports advanced cautiously toward the research station, and came under fire.

The defenders were quickly driven out.

British reinforcements appeared, confusing the Argentinian advance on Port Stanley.

But not enough to stop the commandos from seizing two of its three hexes to pick up the final medal they needed for victory. The British picked up no medals.

Time for the deciding game. This time it was the main attack force which led the advance. The defenders of the research station were missing a figure when I set up. It was getting late.

The defenders of Government House managed a pre-emptive Behind Enemy Lines attack on the Argentinian commandos.

When it came the attack on Government House was less aggressive than in the previous games.

Indeed the attackers quickly retreated to regroup.

The troops in the research station were also holding off the Argentinians at their end of the field.

The defenders of Government House were slowly whittled down.

British troops arrived to bolster the defences of Stanley itself.

The research station was assaulted ...

... and the defenders fell back.

Government House in Argentinian hands.

Port Stanley came under attack by the armoured infantry. Some of the FIDF had already fled.

More Argentinians advanced on the town.

The British put up an heroic defence, though, breaking up the Argentinian attack.

An attempt was made to retake Government House.

But the Argentinians were prepared. The attack failed, and fierce fighting in the town saw off the last of the British regular troops. The Argentinians won again.

This third game was closer, with a few Argentinian units close to being destroyed, and their hold on Government House in doubt as well. The British got unlucky with their cards in the middle, drawing little of real use, whilst the Argentinians were able to get some real momentum going.

There is, of course, no reason to make any Memoir '44 scenario balanced, but it's nice to feel that victory, of a sort, is a possibility. In this battle the Argentinians were always going to win. A British 'victory' represents their defence being a particularly epic one. This is partially why I'm keen to keep the 'ticking clock' aspect; the British can win by just sitting tight. What I will try in future games is to allow the British to play any section card as an Epic Defence card. This allows them to roll two Battle Dice. If either one is a star, then the British get a medal. No units are activated. The low unit density of this scenario often seems to give players cards that they can't use. This allows the British to use them.

Note: If you are reading this post on then you are reading a stolen version. Please go to 'The Stronghold Rebuiltfor the original posts. Thank you.

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