Sunday, 24 June 2012

Memoir '44 revisited

My recent attempts to revise my MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT) rules had not been very satisfactory and I had put the project on the back-burner until I felt ready to look at it again ... and then I read one of Ross Mac's recent blog entries about a battle he had fought using Richard Borg's MEMOIR '44 rules.

My starting points for MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT) had been the original MEMOIR '44 rules and Joseph Morschauser's 'Modern' wargames rules, and it was not until I read Ross Mac's blog entry that I realised that Richard Borg had added additional rules in the later MEMOIR '44 supplements. Buying these supplements would have been a very expensive way to find out what the additions were ... but the publishers have very kindly made them available online, with the result that I was able to download them and print them off. (The free downloads can be found here.)

Armed with these additional rules, I created a single-page Combat Chart for my own use. This outlines the main, salient points of the original and additional rules ... and creating it was a very useful way to understand the way the main combat mechanisms work and interrelate.

(Click on the image to make it bigger. Please note that I use the expression 'engage in Combat' rather than 'Battle' throughout the chart, and refer to the dice as Combat Dice.)

The most important changes that I noticed were the increased diversity of Infantry Units that were now available and the introduction of anti-tank and self-propelled artillery. It was these very things that I was having most problems with when revising my MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT) rules, and here were some possible ideas as to how those problems could be solved.

I therefore decided that it might not be a bad idea to fight one or two battles using the extended version of the MEMOIR '44 rules. To do so, however, I need to decide whether or not to use single-figure bases or multi-figure bases.

In the games that he had recently fought, Ross Mac used figures mounted in pairs. By going down this route I could easily use part of my existing collection of MEGABLITZ armies. On the other hand, single-figure bases might be more adaptable in the long run and would be more in keeping with the original design of MEMOIR '44.

I help me to decide which of the two alternatives I should use I took a look at some of the basic Infantry Units that I would need. In the following photographs the Unit made up of single-figure bases appears first and the multi-figure bases are second.


Infantry and Machine Gun

Infantry and Mortar

Infantry and Anti-tank Weapon

I suspect that the anti-tank weapon in the last two examples should be something smaller than an anti-tank gun (e.g. a Panzerfaust or Bazooka), but it was all that I had available when I took the photographs.

Although the single-figure bases are in keeping with the original rules, I prefer the look of the multi-figure bases. The latter also have the advantage of being multi-purpose as I can also use them for MEGABLITZ battles. I will probably use the multi-figure bases for the trial battles I intend to fight using the extended version of MEMOIR '44, but any final decision as to which I will choose will have to wait until later.


  1. Bob I should mention that Ron's figures were mounted for use with BKC but conveniently fit in a hex for Memoir. We place any heavy weapon at the rear if it moves as a reminder that it can't shoot that turn.

    We used Bazookas and Pzrfausts as AT weapons but given their range I suspect 45mm/6 pdr/50mm ATG may be more appropriate.

    I haven't had a chance to try the heavy artillery yet with its ability to register a target and increase effect but might in the next game.

  2. Ross Mac,

    This is very useful additional information.

    I must admit that I felt that the range for hand-held anti-tank weapons was a bit long (surely that are Close Combat weapons?) ... but the rules did not make it clear what sort of anti-tank weapon the Infantry would have.

    On reflection, the sort of anti-tank gun you suggest (and that I used by default) does make sense.

    I had also missed the additional rule regarding heavy artillery, which does make it potentially much more deadly.

    All the best,


  3. I'll be interested to see how these rules compare to MOMBAT in your estimation. I have never played any of the Borg titles, but have heard nothing but positive things about the rules using this system.

  4. Sean,

    I am still tinkering with the rules, but with the later additions they do 'feel' like a more substantial set of wargames rules then the original ones did. As such they are probably more detailed than MOMBAT ... and are all the better for being so.

    To date I have liked all of Richard Borg's game designs. They have a common structure which makes them easy to use, and although they are not as 'realistic' as some people would like (whatever 'realistic' actually means when used with reference to wargames) they are enjoyable to use and produce results within a reasonable timeframe.

    I had hoped to playtest the rules this week, but this is now looking somewhat less likely. A playtest (or two) are top of my 'to do' list.

    All the best,