Thursday, 25 March 2010

Memoir 44: Sword Beach - A Reflection

Last night at the club saw Mr Hardman and I playing the Sword Beach scenario found in the rule book of the original version of Memoir 44. I commanded the German defenders whilst Mr Hardman took the allied invaders. The victory conditions were the first to get to 5 'medals' (two town hexes were worth a medal each) was deemed the victor. The Germans had a strong defensive position with bunkers and plenty of barbed wire and hedgehogs whilst the allies were struggling up out of the water in an attempt to land and push through the defences inland.

The game was a difficult one for the allies to win as try as they might they really struggled to get off the beach due to a combination of mediocre cards and effective German shooting. In fact, I consider the Germans to have been really fortunate in this respect as every time the allies made any headway I always seemed to have the cards for the threatened sector and so any attempts to advance were met with a withering fire from the defenders. The game was won fairly emphatically by the Germans with a score of 5 medals to the allies 1.

Although only a game I could not help but think about the actual battle itself during the drive home and how awful it must have been to have actually attempted the assault in question. It certainly gave me much to ponder over the sacrifices made on that historic day (D Day, 6th June 1944) in the cause of freedom; indeed, on many other such days as well. Many of those young men died having not even gotten on the beach, let alone taking on the defences and pushing inland.

Not wishing to appear maudlin but this was a timely and sobering reflection and was certainly a case of 'lest we forget'.

My thanks to Mr Hardman for the game - it is always a pleasure taking him on over the tabletop and in every case the resulting tussle is usually a major challenge!


Paul O'G said...

Sometimes the cards let you do what you want and exploit the situation. Sometimes....they dont. Frustrating but realistic!

I know what you mean about a 'moment of clarity'. i HIGHLY rcommedn the Memoir 44 podcast (you'll find it on iTunes)- its a great mix of history, theme fictional accounts and scenario consideration.

David Crook said...

Hi Tas, Thanks for the heads up re the podcast - certainly sounds good. Te whole card thing works both ways - which makes it really challenging IMHO - as I have been on the receiving end of many a hand of useless commands!

All the best,