Thursday, October 4, 2012

Trains, snipers and defeat, oh my!

Position at the end of the game

Game Store Tony and I got in a game of Memoir '44 after a long break. This was an Eastern Front game but not part of our official grand campaign.

Instead we played the Kiev scenario from the Campaign Book Vol. 1, primarily because it includes an armored train and snipers. Armored trains are an interesting and unusual unit and the snipers gave me a chance to use the Equipment Pack Miniatures for the first time.

The battle, itself, was one of our closer run affairs, with Tony's Soviets pulling off a 5-4 victory at the end when the armored train finished off the fifth German unit for the win. My Germans had managed to kill off three Russian units and capture Kiev as well, but it wasn't enough.

Often the snipers have proven to be a marginally useful unit in past games but in this one they did a good job picking off pieces, including being the finishing blow for at least one victory medal. But the definite star for the Soviet side was the armored train, which is much more mobile and tougher than a regular artillery unit. In theory it's not as flexible as a regular gun because it's restricted to the train tracks, but in my experience you don't normally see a lot of movement by artillery units in Memoir '44, so overall I'd say an armored train is much better i tn eh game than a regular artillery unit.

The Equipment Pack  pieces are, for the most part, purely eye candy, although a few new units and rule are introduced. Still, the appeal of eye candy in Memoir '44 should not be underestimated, as that's an importamt part of the game's popularity. So the Equipment Pack sniper was an improvement over the perfectly serviceable standard game solution of an ordinary solider marked with a badge.  I went ahead and used the badge, too, but it would only be necessary in case both sides in a scenario had snipers -- a case that I don't think has occurred so far.

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