Playing large-format Memoir’44 scenarios has a good track of record in my boardgame group. The most prominent is probably series of D-Day games we had pleasure to put to the table: Utah & Airborne, Utah & Omaha and Juno & Gold – hope for more once pandemic situation stabilizes. In the meantime – with Marcin and Lukasz – we use online methods, mainly VASSAL, to organize our usual Memoir’44 sessions.

Other prominent Memoir’44 session reports:

We like it played in some thematic and campaign like mode – even if scenarios are not necessarily linked. Lately we decided to play 3 official Overlord scenarios – great set-up for 3 players, pretty broad battlefields and many tactical options. The main theme behind was that all battles should took place in 1945 – that means large scale battle, with tons of tanks & artillery – although sometimes not as balanced as earlier ones. Below you will find short historical background on each engagement, details regarding forces and dispositions and our session reports – at times, the games unfolded in quite a-historical way…

Moyland Wood – Feb’1945

Historical background:

On the afternoon of February 16th, 1945, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, supported by 3rd Armor Battalion Scots Guards, was ordered to take the hilly ground around Louisendorf; on its left, the Royal Regina Rifles, with tank support, was to clear Moyland Wood.

The Winnipeg Rifles advance went well, but the Regina Rifles ran into difficulties from the start. The woods had been reported clear, but elements of the German 6th Parachute Division, newly arrived from North Holland, were deployed in a strong position along its fringe. As the Canadians moved to clear the woods, they were shelled by German artillery. The Failure to drive the Germans from Moyland Wood would seriously delay the 2nd Canadian Corps’ planned advance.

On the 19th, Battle Group Hauser and units from the 116th Panzer Division, launched a counter attack. Throughout the night, waves of Germans swamped the Allied infantry, whose tank support had withdrawn a few hours earlier to re-arm and re-fuel. In a bid to recover lost ground, Brigadier Cabeldu ordered all uncommitted elements forward. His men moved out, preceded by heavy barrage of artillery fire. In less than two hours, they had pushed the Germans back!

Session report:

Feel free to click on pictures to enlarge it.

The initial disposition of forces – me & Marcin will lead counter-attacking Germans, Lukasz takes command of the advancing British
Situation mid-game: Moyland Wood was a really tough nut to crack for Lukasz. He also advanced on hist right, supporting the infantry with tanks. But the largest battles ensued in the center where counter-attacking Germans tried to take Lusendorf.
Final situation: While the right British flank was contained by German tanks, the left progressed nicely, disregarding Moyland and outflanking Panzers coming against Lusendorf. That resulted in sever Wehrmacht losses and final victory for British.

The game was closer than the final result might suggest. The German failure to take Lusendorf was a critical factor, also Lukasz decision to bypass Moyland Wood had large influence on British successes. Final result:

  • Michal + Marcin (GER) 8 vs. Lukasz (UK) 13

Seelow Heights – Apr’1945

Historical rackground:

On 16 April, the battle of Berlin started with a massive Soviet artillery barrage against General Theodor Busse’s 9th German Army, which numbered around 200,000 men and equipment. Zhukov’s Red Army, on the other hand, was a juggernaut of over 750,000 men and equipment. Busse, realizing that the Germans could not hold onto their forward positions once the Soviet forces had crossed the River Oder, had already evacuated most of his front line units back to Seelow Heights when the Soviet barrage started.

The Soviet troops quickly cleared the remaining German front line but their advance ground to a halt when they reached Seelow Heights, the last major line of defense before Berlin. North of Seelow, the Soviet 47th Army and 3rd Shock Army struggled to make progress against the Germans toward Letschin. In the south, between Seelow and Lebus, the Soviets almost gained a breakthrough but were contained by a fierce counterattack from the Kurmark Panzer Grenadier Division. Meanwhile the 28th Guards, while attacking the village of Dolgelin, were driven back by Tiger tanks.

Zhukov, frustrated by the slow advance, threw in his reserves and ordered his tank formations forward even though his original plan had called for them to wait for the breakthrough. Late in the day on April 17th, the German defenders started to give way and Seelow finally fell the morning of the 18th. By the next day the road to Berlin finally lay open but Soviet losses were staggering.

Session report:

Feel free to click on pictures to enlarge it.

The initial disposition of forces – my quite elite but outnumbered Germans will try to withstand the Soviet onslaught lead by Lukasz and Marcin
Situation mid-game: Soviets try to approach on flanks, using roads and terrain features to conceal advancement. Dolegin falls. But they pay a significant price in people and equipment for those successes.
Final situation: On the Soviet left combined mobile artillery and Tigers counter attack-pushes attackers back. Red Army is also torn to pieces on the right flank, where Panzer division delivers coupe de grace. Progress in Center is stalled.

Try as they might, Soviets lead by Marcin and Lukasz were not able to find the gap in German defense. If some area was temporarily overrun – like Dolgelin – the Wehrmacht counter-attack – often supported by Tigers – was able to retake lost ground. In the end Soviet losses were indeed staggering:

  • Michal (GER) 18 vs. Marcin + Lukasz (USSR) 9

Tigers in the Snow – Feb’1945

Historical background:

Feel free to click on pictures to enlarge it.

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.

Little did the Führer realize that what he insisted on calling a bridgehead (the Kurland-Brückenkopf) would only become a bridge to oblivion for his haplessly trapped German divisions; They would go on to resist six major battles before finally surrendering to Marshal Govorov on May 8, 1945. The majority of the 200,000+ men of Army Group North would be marched into Soviet prison camps to the East, most of them never to return.

Session report:
The last game we played took part on the winter map, where again outnumbered but elite (Tigers!) Germans under my and Lukasz command will try to resist the numerically superior Soviets (Marcin).
Situation mid-game: both sides attack! Panzer divisions (including Tigers) try to destroy the infantry in woods while Marcin meticulously transfers Soviet tank brigade after brigade through frozen river, preparing for a big push against Prekula.
Final situation: German attack against the woods results in mutual decimation, with zero Panzers left in the end. Prekula holds tight but Soviet tanks are masters of the whole central/left section of the map.

This scenario was almost like two separate battles. On one hand the German tanks, including Tigers, trying to root-out Soviets from woods on their right; on the other – juggernaut Soviet Army crossing the frozen river and outflanking Prekula. Still, it ended just like history wrote it:

  • Michal + Lukasz (GER) 8 vs. Marcin (USSR) 13


Choosing Memoir’44 Overlord format for 3-players games was a great idea. Everybody had opportunity to play as a Overall Commander but also as a subordinate, in team and alone. The scenarios itself were interesting, featuring many special units and rules – which in my opinion always makes Memoir a much better game.

I hope to play more in that format! You can count on further session reports!