I finally received my copy of Memoir '44 this week, the new game from Days of Wonder. DoW is on a roll, with the Alan Moon designed game Ticket to Ride winning the Spiel des Jahres award announced this week.
Jacob and I sat down for a quick game tonight before dinner (Matthew was preparing dinner for all of us to earn a Cub Scout achievement) to give this one a try.
Having already played the great American civil war game Battle Cry, learning Memoir '44 was a snap. I hadn't pre-read the rules and we were able to get started within 20 minutes. 10 minutes of prep time was setting things up for the first scenario, Pegasus Bridge. This scenario is a great way to learn the basics of the game as it only includes infantry and a subset of the terrain features.
Turns happen very quickly there's essentially zero downtime. Command cards greatly limit the choices each player has in a turn (these simulate the challenges of command/control in this tactical environment, though I wonder how well this translates in WWII-era gaming. Civil war I can understand, but I think operations could be better coordinated than is depicted in this game. Alas, this is a game, not a simulation...). Luck plays a significant factor, both in the luck of the draw and in the dice rolling. This appears to be a great family game for us and I highly recommend it for fans of A&A D-Day, Battle Cry, and other lighter tactical wargames.
The components are first class, particularly the rule book. Days of Wonder is doing a great job supporting the product as well, providing an excellent portal for folks to share scenarios, after action reports, and strategies.