With the 10th anniversary of the release of Memoir ’44 (and, of course, the more important 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings!) Days of Wonder has announced a new expansion, Operation Neptune.
For most of you who look in on me to make sure I’m still breathing, this is old news and has already been talked about since teasers were released through various online venues. Of course, it’s been officially announced now for a few days at the time of this writing.
While I’ve been out of touch with M’44 over the past year or so, I did have a bit of a resurgence last month (and still have something planned for fan release). As a result, I’ve been keeping an eye on the news.
My thoughts on Operation Neptune…
In a word, ‘HUGE’. I think that while it would certainly be welcome at larger M’44 gatherings and of course, for those of you who must simply have everything that is M’44 I’m not sure this is for the community at large.
What I find missing here…and perhaps I’ve actually felt this way for awhile pushing me away from the game in general, is that, in my opinion, Memoir ’44 has totally lost it’s way. A game that I loved for it’s simplicity has slowly but surely over the expansions, grown complex.
Sure, there are plenty of devices to help with any given expansion by way of cards etc… but complexity isn’t just in the expansions themselves but in how they are integrally linked. This latest offering is no different. It requires quite a bit of kit. Besides the standard copy of Memoir ’44 (no fault there, that is a given) it ‘requires’ the Terrain pack, Equipment pack and Winter Wars! That’s just to get one of the maps going!
Of course, there are new rules, adding further to complexity without adding much more to play if it follows the pattern established by previous expansions.
Again, it seems that this will be a delight at tournaments or if you happen to have a strong local M’44 community…but for the average M’44 player, this is really just a dust collection waiting to happen…tinged with a wistful dream of one day getting to play it in it’s entirety.
I guess over time, I’ve really just become a M’44 purist. When I recently played again, I played just the base game…and I enjoyed it! Why? I asked myself that and I really think that it is because I’ve always enjoyed Memoir ’44…but over time, didn’t enjoy what it has become.
That being said…my next post will likely be my Memoir ’44 swan song. It will be the last of any scenarios I will create. To those, like me, who are Memoir ’44 purists, it will only involve the base game. Until next time, Ubique!