Memoir ’44: Pacific Theater

Rick’s been moving into a new place the past couple of weeks, so our usual minis gaming has been interrupted. This means we haven’t been able to try out the new edition of Flames of War yet, so that’ll have to wait until after GenCon. We were in luck, however, because the new Memoir ’44 expansion just came out. Pacific Theater brings the Japanese into the game, with a full set of playing pieces, counters, new rules, and scenarios. Both the Japanese and the US Marines have a small selection of special rules to model them in the game. These are easy to implement and like the previous Eastern Front expansion they change play enough to keep things interesting. For example, Japanese infantry get an extra die in close assaults if the unit is at full strength. When I was playing the Marines, I found that I had to rethink my usual tactics. Normally in Memoir, you want to pile on a damaged unit and wipe it out before it can slip away. Fighting the Japanese, I found that splitting fire was sometimes desirable because even one casualty neutralizes a unit’s close assault bonus and makes it less dangerous. We haven’t tried out the rules for night fighting or naval artillery support, but they look fun. I would have liked more than 8 scenarios but Days of Wonder is good about providing new ones on their website. All in all, another excellent installment to what’s become one of my favorite boardgames.

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