Friday, July 12, 2013

Unstable bridge infrastructure.

4 Heroes of the Revolution hold in town as the bridge blows behind them. 

On Thursday I visited Ron for another East Front Memoir game. Reserve Demolition from Scenarios for Wargames. There are 2 options for blowing bridges in memoir, one where it is automatic and one requiring a die roll. We went for the latter but had trouble duplicating the proposed system where messengers arrive with orders, first, to delay blowing the bridge and then, finally, to blow it. We ended up shuffling 2 airpower cards into the deck to signify that the bridge could be blown. Any player pulling one of these had to place it face up but could draw another card. We weren't actually using aircraft rules.

I can't remember when I had such good cards and dice, at least early on. I stormed on the table, destroyed a counter attack without blinking and pressed in to town with tanks and infantry. Then I stalled  and was blown apart by artillery and a counter attack by infantry. By the time I got more troops up the order had been received to blow the bridge. It took a couple of turns but I'd run out of cards and while I was able to  infiltrate an infantry unit across the bridge, they weren't able to stop the demolition. However, the scenario required Ron to save 60% or more of his army. My early push had taken out 5 out of 9 units leaving him with just under 60%. A draw! Urrah!


  1. Sounds like a good time was had by all. We got a Memoir '44 game in ourselves the day before yesterday. I'm intrigued by how well you manage to get the Grant scenario to fit so seamingly with the system.

    I generally find myself having to elongate deployments a little to ensure there are troops in all three sections.

    1. Its probably a lot easier for 2 player games.

      In this case, the attacker chooses 1 or 2 road entrances and enters starting turn 1. We always allow the player to draw his initial hand before making his deployment. I don't think any of my units got as far as the right flank, this was cramping my style a little towards the end and Ron's more or less forced concentration in the centre certainly hampered him, he might have been better off positioning artillery to the left and right but they might also have been more vulnerable.

      What makes it workable is the "on the move" feature of the newer cards so that even if there are no units eligible to battle, some units in other sectors can still move to better positions. The "on the move" is also crucial for bringing up reinforcements across a board that is nearly double the prescribed number of hexes.

      For Battlecry/C&C we decided to borrow part of the concept and if (and only if) a player has no units in any of the sectors specified on a card then he may use that card as an "on the move" card for another sector instead, that is, units may move but not battle.

      All of whoch was worked out by trial and error. We've been playing the same darned scenarios for up to 30 years now with a dozen different rule sets so we've had some practice at adapting. The mystery is why we are not yet bored with them but the games rarely fall into patterns and perhaps the shifts in periods and rules help.

  2. Ross Mac,

    It sounds like a very interesting battle was had by both sides, and the results of the action were not a forgone conclusion at any point.

    The Memoir '44 rules do convert to use with miniatures so well, just like Richard Borg's other rules, and it would be very easy to give up on trying to produce my own WWII rules and to use them 'as is' ... But I suspect that I might find it difficult NOT to tinker with them!

    All the best,


    1. Bob, it is remarkable how often the game system provides a tight finish and how well they balance player control and the denial of the same. It is not surprising that they convert well to the table top, I've heard that they began that way.

      I like to think of what we do as 'adapting' the rules rather than tinkering :).......