Combat Cards - are they worth having?

1. Intro
Combat cards are additional cards that can be played alongside Command Cards.

Many of them can lengthen the game (reinforcements, ignoring flags, enemy runs out of fuel or ammo, etc.) or give an extra attacking advantage in a move (extra sniper, enter woodlands AND battle, artillery spotter, etc.)
At the beginning of a game, each play gets two Combat Cards, which they can play at any time. You can replace a played one with another, and even have more than two. See Intel for a link to more details about how to use them.

2. The Cards
They were originally just Urban Command Cards (from Sword of Stalingrad) and Winter Combat Cards (from Winter Wars).
Then two more sets appeared with the battle map Through Jungle and Desert. Unfortunately these do not seem to be available anywhere to download and copy (but I have made a list and some homemade cards).
In addition to these official Combat Cards, I have also found two unofficial (free to print) sets - one for Beach Landings and one for Open Countryside. I would be happy to know if anyone has discovered any others!
The open countryside set (which is basically for western Europe, where I play most of my scenarios) got me thinking - why aren’t Combat Cards available for ALL scenarios/theatres (or situations as I call them)?
On further analysis, I realised that there are a number of cards which are common to all Combat Card sets, with some others which appear in two or more sets. This only leaves a handful that are specific to a situation.
So, I have put together a spreadsheet of all known Combat Cards, and produced a set of 23 cards that I think are universal and I will use in all future games.
The remaining 18 are only for specific situations

FULL SET
No. Card Situation
1 Ambuscade All
2 Fortify All
3 Heat of battle All
4 Out of ammo All
5 Pull back All
6 Reinforcements All
7 Reposition All
8 Infiltrators All
9 Not a step back All
10 Return to duty All
11 Sniper All
12 Spotter All
13 Camoflague All
14 Out of fuel All
15 Motorcycle dispatch All
16 Open country All
17 Recon report All
18 Tactical retreat All
19 Rough ground All
20 Minesweeping All
21 Armour hull down All
22 Make a stand All
23 Pinned down All
24 Air bombardment Urban
25 Armour factory Urban
26 Armour forward Urban
27 House to house Urban
28 Rattenkrieg Urban
29 Frozen ground Winter
30 Street fight Winter
31 Winter forest Winter
32 Amphibious assault Beach
33 Armour bulldozer Beach/Jungle
34 Improved gunnery Beach/Jungle
35 Sand in the engine Beach / Desert
36 Sandstorm Desert
37 Rat Patrol Desert
38 Spiderhole Jungle
39 Jungle fighters Jungle
40 Giretsu Jungle
41 Tropical fever Jungle

I have this on a spreadsheet too, but don’t seem able to upload it here.
(Note: I have now uploaded the Beach Landings, Open Countryside, Desert, and the Jungle sets onto Intel).

3. Are they worth it?
This is the question!
Am I wasting my time with them, or will they really improve or enhance the game?
I have already used a few of them in scenarios (some from the Urban Combat Cards set), and they did add a bit of unpredictability.
And I am looking forward to trying out the full set soon.

Does anyone have any experience with them? Any thoughts?
Thanks.

2 Likes

Ive used them a couple of times playing “Throug the jungle and desert” (reprint). I find em amusing and they add a little spice to the game. Im going to try the ones in “Winter war” playing through those scenarios now that I managed to get a hold on the breakthrough boards (allso reprints). I dont intend to use them for all scenarios I play.

Regards
MĂĄrten

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This is a great discussion topic. If you’re not set on collecting everything ever released for Memoir 44 then it’s really a good question that comes up, usually tied with the purchase of the Battle Maps, since the Urban, Jungle and Desert cards come with these maps.

I think the Combat Cards in general add a fun element to the game. It’s pretty easy to fall into a kind of routine when you’re playing Memoir where you already know all of the cards in the main Command deck and then it’s possible that you have a closed mindset when playing certain scenarios. A good example of this would be the scenarios that statistically favor one side over the other and there are only a couple of strategies that the other side has to have a chance at victory. It’s in these types of scenarios that I see the Combat Cards shine the most because they tend to be a bit unpredictable, which is great fun.

This is completely subjective, but I argue that playing with Combat Cards feels a bit more realistic to me. There is something about the typical possible outcomes of battle that feels a bit limiting: losing troops, retreating or no result. The Combat Cards in my mind increase the story telling aspect of the battle and I enjoy that a lot.

I totally see a world where 2 people playing a scenario would just prefer to go after each other the traditional way with no Combat Cards, but in general I find them a great addition.

My suggestion is to try out each scenario without the cards at least once - to get the idea of the balance of the scenario and possible strategies, and then play it with the Combat Cards. I did that for pretty much all of the Mediterranean Theater (with the Desert Combat Cards) and had tremendous fun. :slight_smile:

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I completely agree with what you say. Looking forward to trying a few more of them.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I will get any game time this weekend - too much to do in the garden!
Hope all is going well with parenthood!

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The ones you added here and here look especially interesting because they could in theory be used by anyone with just the base game (if they printed the cards), which is very cool.

Moved this to #officers-mess as this is more discussion related. I try to keep topics in #intel with little/no comments to provide them as reference for other people. But I do have to recognize the effort here to document the missing Combat Cards and even adding new collections I hadn’t heard before! Thank you! :slight_smile:

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Thanks - good idea to move it there.
:+1:

So, I played a couple of scenarios over the weekend, Galatos and Heraklion, both from the invasion of Crete in 1941.

The Combat Cards which were played included:
Rough ground - did stop 1 unit, but they were part of a 4 unit attack.
Motorcycle dispatch - an extra unit was deployed; useful but not game-changing.
Sniper - made a couple of kills.
Ambuscade - led to one attacking unit being pushed back two hexes.
Return to duty - this was a huge help in the Heraklion scenario, enabling me to bring 6 infantry units back up to strength (I played it with a General Advance).

So far so good - the cards all added a bit of interest, but Return to duty was especially effective because of the card it was played with.

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I own all the Combat Cards and have played with each deck many times. They definitely add a new flavor to the game. I think they are all worth having and I think if DOW was smart they would sell them together as a card bundle expansion.

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Totally agree - they should sell them as a bundle.

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