Memoir '44

Memoir '44
Memoir '44
Box art for the US edition
Players 2 players,
2 teams of up to 3 players
or 2 teams of up to 4 for with two copies
Age range 8 and up
Setup time 10 minutes
Playing time 30–60 minutes
Random chance Medium
Skill(s) required Dice Rolling, Hand Management

Memoir '44 is a light wargame, or war-themed strategy board game, created by Richard Borg, for two players. The game can also be played with up to six players if played in teams and up to eight players in the "Overlord" scenarios that require two copies of the game. It received the 2004 International Gamers Award for General Strategy, 2-Player category[1] and The Wargamer 2004 Award for Excellence.[2] The game is published in English and French (as Mémoire 44) by Days of Wonder.

Memoir '44 simulates over a dozen of the battles connected with the D-Day invasions in World War II. It uses an enhanced version of the same Command & Colors game system as found in Battle Cry.


Gameplay Summary

You start the game by choosing a scenario. Scenarios are available from the manual, the internet, or you could design your own. Each scenario represents a battle from World War II. The terrain and starting positions are laid out according to the scenario.

The battlefield is divided into three sections by two red dotted lines, giving each player a left flank, a center and a right flank section. You command your troops by playing a command card. Command cards are used to order your troops to move, battle and/or execute a special command. There are two types of command cards: Section cards and Tactic cards. Section cards are used to order a move and/or battle in a specific section. These cards indicate in which section(s) of the battlefield you may order units and how many units you may order. Tactic cards allow you to make special moves, battle in a specific way or take special actions, as explained on the card.

The object of the game is to be the first to win a set number of Victory Medals (usually 4 to 6, depending on the selected battle scenario’s victory conditions). A Victory Medal is gained for each enemy unit entirely eliminated from the battlefield. In some scenarios, additional Medals may be gained from the board map itself, for capturing and holding certain terrain hexes or battlefield objectives.


In the base game and every expansion scenarios are included to play with. Most of these scenarios are created from the most famous battles in World War II. Official scenarios (the ones published in scenario booklets and on the Days of Wonder internet site) have full support from the DoW team and are thoroughly playtested to ensure balance between the two players (e.g. not a total overrun of German troops at the start of the Soviet campaign) and others represent more tough battles like the assault on Omaha Beach, where the Allied player has difficulty in crossing the beach inland.

Another section online is devoted to scenarios the Memoir '44 owners themselves created. These are unofficial, although in rare cases these are made official, and so not playtested by the DoW team, but mostly by the creators themselves. These scenarios offer the Memoir '44 player to have experiences from other players as well.

Command Cards

Command Cards are needed to order soldiers around the board. These command cards are divided in two types: Section and Tactic cards. There are a total of 60 Command Cards which is divided into 40 section cards and 20 tactic cards. A Command Card is played first to start your turn, then you order units (and let them battle etc.), after all orders are completed, you replenish your hand by drawing a new Command Card from the deck.

Section Cards

Section cards are cards that specify the number of units ordered in a specific flank. These numbers run from 1-3 and All (meaning that all the units in a particular section can be ordered). Examples include Probe left flank (meaning you can order 2 units on the left flank) and Assault Right flank (meaning you can order all units in the right flank).

A special section card is Recon-1 (with particular section, left, center,right). You may only order 1 unit in a flank stated on the card but you may draw 2 command cards instead of one at the end of your turn. You may choose 1 and discard the other. This can be very helpful in designing your tactics on the board.

A unit does not necessarily have to be ordered, so when a player has 3 section cards that can move units on the left flank, but no units are present, he can play one, discard the card and draw another, however this consumes his turn. Every turn, a maximum of one card can be played, except for the Ambush Tactic Card, which is played against an action by the other player.

Tactic Cards

Tactic Cards are different from section cards in that they do not specify exactly number of orders on a certain flank. These tactic cards consist of special actions or enhancements to battling (add an extra die).

Examples include Armor Assault (Order 4 tank units, units in Close Assault, next to the enemy unit, may battle with an extra die) and Medics and Mechanics (order 1 unit, roll dice to 'heal/repair' the unit by adding figures according to number of dice, and let it move and battle). The tactic cards give the player extra tactical moves and attacks around the board to enforce a victory.


Days of Wonder has released several expansions to the game. All these expansions require at least one copy of the original game to be played. The expansions are listed in chronological date of release.

Terrain Pack

This expansion pack consists mostly of new terrain, landmarks and badges, and only 4 scenarios. Its main purpose is to allow for a much greater variety in scenario creation. Using its components players can design a wide variety of new scenarios, and are able to tap in to the hundreds of user-developed scenarios from the Memoir 44 website. Examples of tiles include landmarks like a radar station (with optional special rules), roads (which enhance movement), railroads and a train, new bridges and badges (Airborne, engineers). Terrain Pack

Eastern Front

This expansion pack comes with a new side, the Soviet Union. The Red Army consists of Infantry figures, T-34 tanks and the ZIS-3 Artillery gun. It contains terrain, mainly winter terrain, badges, a Commissar Chip, and extra rules to play one of the 8 new scenarios included with the game. Eastern Front

Winter / Desert Board Map

This is a new board for use with the expansions. One side features a desert map for use with the Terrain Pack and Mediterranean Theatre expansion and the other side features a winter map for use with the Eastern Front expansion or snowy scenarios on the Western Front. Simplified Campaign Rules and Blitz Rules are also added. Winter Desert Board

Pacific Theatre

This expansion features the Japanese army including infantry figures, Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks, and the Type 88 75 mm AA Gun used as artillery piece. The expansion also features new terrain tiles, all in Pacific style, with jungles, rice paddies and more. Also included are War Ships (destroyer, Aircraft carrier) and the night visibility chart, which influences fighting and range. Pacific Theater

Air Pack

This expansion pack, released on December 18, 2007, introduces airplanes into the scenarios. It includes a set of 8 painted miniature planes, air rules for scenarios, updated command cards, and updated scenarios. An included booklet contains a compilation of all the official Memoir '44 scenarios published to date, many being revised to take advantage of the many new terrain types and troops now available. The 120 card summary deck describes in detail every single terrain, special rule, troop type and nation introduced in the base game and the expansions published since the game's launch.

The 8 painted Aircraft are: USA:

United Kingdom

Soviet Union:



Air Pack

Mediterranean Theatre

This expansions introduces the British army, consisting of infantry, 25 pounder gun-howitzers, and Crusader tanks. It also includes new terrain, obstacles, badges, rules, and 8 scenarios. It also includes a new class of equipment, special weapons. Mediterranean Theater

Campaign Bag

An olive drab game bag with several pockets. On the outside are Memoir 44 logos and other artwork. It is large enough to store two copies of the original game and all the current expansions. Comes with an additional two-sided paper breakthrough map. On one side of the new breakthrough map is regular terrain. On the other side is a brand new breakthrough scenario.[3] Campaign Bag

Operation Overlord

Combined with an original copy of Memoir '44, this expansion includes all the material required to play Overlord games. Scenarios are not included; this expansion is designed to be played with the Memoir '44 Battle Map series of Overlord maps.

Up to 4 players per side can play, creating an experience of the highs and lows of being part of a military-style chain of command.

Contains: - An updated Overlord Rules Booklet, covering play on the Eastern Front and the Pacific Theater, as well as with the Air Pack - 2 decks of 64 cards each, specifically redesigned for Overlord play - 178 Tokens to represent American / Soviet & German / Japanese army figures if you don't have all the required figures - A set of 8 additional Memoir '44 dice

An original copy of the Memoir '44 game and a ready-to-play Memoir '44 Battle map such as "Hedgerow Hell" is required to enjoy this expansion. Operation Overlord


Days of Wonder also chose to not only create Overlord scenarios for army packs or online only. They started to create battlemaps themselves. These battlemaps are large battles played in Overlord style (or even bigger, as is the case with Tigers in the Snow). Another feature of the battlemaps is that it includes extra materials, like miniatures or new cards. Currently, 4 battlemaps have been issued.

Hedgerow Hell

The Hedgerow Hell Memoir '44 Overlord BattleMap expansion includes a large-scale, double-sided map with two new Memoir '44 Overlord Scenario's - Hedgerow Hell and The Cadets of Saumur, plus 6 new Dodge Truck miniature figures. The battlemap is set-up ready, meaning that the terrain is already in place with an indication of where to put the units before starting the battle. In Hedgerow Hell, Dodge trucks are used. They have the ability to repair / heal any unit. Hedgerow Hell

Tigers in the Snow

Hot on the heels of their success in Operatsiya Bagration, Soviet forces struck deep towards the Baltic coast, rapidly severing communications between German Army Group North and what little was left of Army Group Center.

By early October 1944, the Soviets were in view of the Baltic Sea, near the port of Memel, definitively cutting off Army Group North from any retreat route through East Prussia.

Despite Guderian's plea for an evacuation by sea and subsequent redeployment in Central Europe where forces were desperately needed to help stabilize an increasingly dicey situation, Hitler stubbornly refused.

Instead, he ordered the 200,000+ German troops to entrench themselves, in the hope of using the Courland Pocket as a springboard for a future offensive.

The second installment in our series of Memoir '44 Battle Maps includes 2 Overlord scenarios, six Tiger Tanks and 2 bonus scenarios. Tigers in the Snow

Sword of Stalingrad

By the end of August 1942, German troops had reached the Volga, north of Stalingrad. In a matter of days, 4th Panzer Army, headed for the river south of the city, effectively trapping many of the men and women of the Soviet 62nd Army. Stalin's order of July 27 - "Not a step back!" - was no longer just an obligation but a necessity, and its slogan "There is no land behind the Volga!" the harsh reality that now faced all of the city's inhabitants.

Having witnessed first-hand on the Russian steppe the devastating effectiveness of German Blitzkrieg tactics, Lt. General Zhukov turned the carpet-bombing of the city to his advantage. Anchoring his defense lines in bombed-out buildings that overlooked strategically important streets and squares, he ordered Soviet troops to "hug the enemy". Always keeping the front lines as close to the Germans as physically possible, often a mere floor or door frame away, he successfully negated much of the Germans' firepower and combined arms superiority. Sword of Stalingrad

Disaster at Dieppe

A raid on the German-occupied coastal town of Dieppe, Operation Jubilee was intended to demonstrate the Allies capacity to seize and hold a major port for a short while. The Canadians sent in just couldn't imagine how short their stay would be...

The landing beach was a mile long, with headlands at both ends and barbed wire across its entire length. At first, enemy fire was light, letting the landing troops - Essex Scottish Regiment on Red Beach and the Hamilton Light Infantry on White Beach - make it through a first row of wire and toward the sea wall with only minor losses. But tanks from the 14th Canadian Tank Battalion had not arrived ahead of the infantry landings as planned; and once landed, they could not get any traction on the loose beach pebbles. To make things worse, the men of the Royal Regiment landing on Blue Beach near Puys arrived late. They were pinned on the beach, unable to move west and take the eastern headlands before the main assault. The Germans, now on full alert, swept the exposed Canadian forces. Control of the Casino and surrounding pillboxes seasawed back and forth but to no avail. Four hours after landing, the Allied commanders were forced to call a retreat, leaving almost 60% of the men who'd landed killed, wounded or captured! The lessons learned from this debacle were painful, but were of considerable help in preparations for the landings in Normandy, two years later. Disaster at Dieppe

The Breakthrough Kit

The Kit consists of two, double-sided, 9-panel board maps covering all four Memoir '44 map environments - countryside, beach, winter and deserts These oversize boards are 13 x 17 hexes deep, opening up the Breakthrough format to new, more expansive scenarios.

It also includes 15, never-in-print-before scenarios, created by Jacques "jdRommel" David, and Memoir '44 author, Richard Borg. These scenarios cover the Western and Eastern Fronts, as well as the Mediterranean and Pacific Theaters and include classic battles such as: Operation Crusader; Operation Amherst; and two different renditions of Sword Beach - all designed for the 13 x 17 hex Breakthrough format. Breakthrough Kit

Winter Wars

This expansion contains ten scenarios, all focused on those crucial 2 weeks of Christmas 1944 in the Ardennes. The first six scenarios included are all standard scenarios, playable with a single base game and this expansion alone. The four scenarios that follow are gigantic Breakthrough renditions of the Battle of the Bulge. These require a single copy of the already released Eastern Front expansion, and the Breakthrough kit of board maps, in addition to the aforementionned expansion. Winter Wars


  1. ^ "2004 International Gamers Awards Finalists and Recipients". Archived from the original on 2007-11-04. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  2. ^ Gade, Pete (2004-07-07). "Memoir '44 (Review)". The Wargamer [1]. Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Memoir '44 Campaign Bag". Days of Wonder. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 

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