Memoir, football and Blue Moon

I wanted to try the Memoir ’44 expansions and invited Olli H. over to give them a go with me. Here’s what we played:

We started with the Suomussalmi scenario from Eastern Front. It’s the only Winter War scenario and thus a must. It’s also quite an interesting one. Russians are holding the village of Suomussalmi, which is really well defended. Russian also have a division on the corner of the map. They are stopped by a Finnish roadblock (well, they can cross the frozen rivers, but that’s risky). The rest of the Finnish troops are ski troops surrounding Suomussalmi.

I played Russians and managed to keep Suomussalmi, but still lost. I had trouble with the delayed Russian command (orders you give are for the next turn) and lack of right flank cards. Olli managed to take units here and there, destroying only one unit from the Suomussalmi defenders. The scenario was good, I’d definitely want to try it playing the Finnish.

The second scenario was from Terrain Pack. Schwammenauel Dam offers dam-exploding fun. Germans hold dams they try to destroy, while Allied forces try to capture the dams. Allies have material advantage, but the terrain is mountaineous. There’s a time pressure to capture the dams before the Germans sabotage them, as that’s worth four victory points.

In our game Olli wasn’t even near, so it wasn’t too hard to win the scenario. With better luck for Germans this scenario should be pretty nerve-wracking for the Allied player. So far this ranks amongs the best scenarios in Memoir.

Last one we tried was Knightsbridge from Terrain Pack, because it uses the desert map. It was really bad. Just desert, with few terrain effects, and loads of tanks. It was a real dicefest. I won, but only because I got an Armor Assault card, which was total overkill in this scenario. Boring! I won’t play the scenario again.

I wanted to try Tooor, which is a remake of Finale, one of the first games in the Kosmos two-player game series (with a Geek id 388, it’s ancient). It’s a football game. Players choose attack strategies, choose the players who’ll perform them, total their values and roll a die to give some random effect. If the attacker wins, they’ll get an attempt to score, otherwise there’ll be a return attack. Repeat that six times and you get a game.

The players are turned 90 degrees every time they are used. Each side of the player cards has a different value — a player might get better during the game, or perhaps weaken. That must be considered while choosing players. There are also yellow cards, red cards and injuries.

It’s kind of interesting, but didn’t quite hook me. The fun was missing, somehow, it was all very mechanical. The game hit my trade pile right away; I’d much rather play StreetSoccer.

Finally we played Blue Moon. I thought Olli might be the right guy for that game, since he’s a casual Magic guy. My guess was correct: he liked the game a lot, and we ended up playing five matches. Now it’s clear: Blue Moon is a really good game.

It’s a really good mix of a euro and CCG. The decks are simple enough to play without intimate knowledge of the cards, but it gets better when you know what you’re using and what your opponent’s deck has. The mechanics are simple, but the interaction between the card effects is very CCG-like (and unfortunately the need of FAQs is too).

Of all the decks I’ve played so far Mimix is my favourite. Not for the seminaked women (though the pregnant woman on Call Spirit of the Battlefield is kind of neat), but the interesting cards! The Shamans and the Calls allow interesting juggling. Olli likes the Terrahs, it seems.

So, pretty good session, I’d say! I’ll definitely have to play more Blue Moon, that’s for sure…

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One thought on “Memoir, football and Blue Moon”

  1. Yeah, you have to give Caylus a try. It’s cool enough to be on most people’s top 10 lists of 2005. There are some things I have to fix in order to play it because I sense some balance issues. Nothing too serious. I look forward to reading your review when you get a chance.

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