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Review: Memoir ’44 (Online)

Note: I’m reviewing the actual game as well as the online version here. However having only played the online version this means I can only touch upon the gameplay.

What is it: a free to play adaptation of the boardgame of the same name by Days of Wonder. In it players play out various battles of WWII.
Online stuff:  You can download it through Steam, with all that associated stuff. the Interface is okay, once you realize that right clicking and moving your mouse around will solve most problems you’re facing its acceptable. The monetization stuff seems about as fair as any other monetization plan in any other F2P game, which is to say not very. There’s still a fair amount of the game that is actually free though, enough to figure out if you like it enough to want to put money into it.
Scaling: Online play is only two players but the rules have stuff for teams using physical copies. It strikes me more as a band-aid then something that would actually be fun to play though.
What’s good: This game is easy to learn and still has a fair amount of depth to it. in the right situation(a good mentor figure) this would be a good introductory board game to the hobby in general for younger players. The amount of detail that each scenario has is enough to tell you what’s going on and why it matters. On a somewhat different note, there’s also a fair amount of official variant rules and expansions, which gives the game a fair amount of replayability; just not so much online.
What’s not good: There’s a lot of variance. What you do each turn is determined by a deck of cards, that isn’t changed from scenario to scenario so you can get close to totally dead draws*. On top of that attacks are determined by dice. The result is that the game can leave you feeling like you’re at the mercy of luck, compared to you’re actively managing luck. I will admit that this could in part be due to the fact that I was playing online against an AI instead of face to face with another person. In a face to face game it would be a different environment that would cause me to mind the luck less.
Overall: 2/5. This isn’t a bad game, it has its flaws but so does every other game. I can recognize that fact, the problem is that I just don’t like this game. A good amount of it has to do with variance but it also has to do with the fact that I’m not that really into wargames.

*It’s not totally dead cause the way they are worded means they’re still useful, just really bad.

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