The Sword of Stalingrad is drawn!

Mamayev Kurgan We’d gotten rusty with Memoir ‘44 not having played now in some time.  As much as I wanted to get into the Overlord scenarios, it was really best to warm up to them so as not to be overwhelmed.  No better way than to play the single board scenarios (after a quick flip playtest of my own Hellcats Race to Noville scenario as a base game appetizer.  Now with more Hellcat!).

We started with the Mamayev Krugan scenario as it looked the least complicated of the two.  This scenario sees the Soviets holding the heights overlooking Stalingrad while the Germans face a daunting task of gaining them.  Three medals to the side that controls the majority of the heights!

The first battle was a treat ending as it played out as the historic tug of war that it was with the Germans eliminating a Soviet infantry to gain the majority and the needed medals for the overall victory. The flip of the game saw the Soviets hold the heights.

A fun scenario that is classic Eastern Front stuff.  The Soviet tanks are slow (between Blitz rules and railroad hexes!) but necessary to keep the Germans from getting tanks onto the heights.  Off to a good start!

Then it was on to something a little more advanced.  Pavlov – Hero of the Soviet Union didn’t live up to it’s name in either of the two battles we played.  He was tucked away behind his mines but that didn’t mean the scenario wasn’t fun.

Special rules here were similar to the Mamayev scenario with one very interesting exception, the Combat Deck was introduced.  The rules for which seem clear enough but I’m guessing will spawn quite a few FAQs for years to come.  But don’t let that get in the way of fun, play in the spirit of the game and you’ll be just fine. Again, for the most part they were straightforward and some of them, quite innovative.

I made quick use of the Combat cards while my opponent (wife) seemed reluctant to use them initially (maybe it was the particular cards she had).  The Combat cards add a whole new dimension to the game.  While they are sure to spoil a game from time to time (like a BEL or Barrage) they also make it more interesting.  The Rattenkrieg for example was used to deftly move underground to appear next to a Soviet unit in a ruins hex and battle them!  Wife didn’t see that coming!  Soon though I was taking as good as I gave as Lisa settled into the new deck.

Urban combat will never be the same again in this game.

Both of these scenarios were a lot of fun and exciting to play. I look forward to the Overlord and the Vercors campaign still to come.

Until next time, Cheers!

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