Memoir '44 is a light war game, 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 Gamer's Award for General Strategy, 2-Player category and The Wargamer 2004 Award for Excellence. 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 WWII It uses an enhanced version of the same Command & Colors game system as found in Battle Cry.
You start the game by choosing a scenario. Scenarios are available from the manuals or the internet. You could also design your own. Each scenario represents a battle from World War II. The terrain and starting positions are laid out according to the scenarios.
Give each player the amount of command cards listed in the scenario notes.
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.
Command Cards are needed to order units 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 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 only 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 Card, which is played against an action by the other player.
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.