Last week I played a few games of Memoir 44 and watched a few more games. In more than one game both I and others got into a situation where we had no cards at all that we could use and ended up discarding cards until we got a single card we could use. Then once the card was used started discarding again.
I know and accept that this is a meaningful situation in the game and part of the playing is trying to avoid this situation.
However I posed myself a question, how could this be avoided. How can I improve the chances of getting to Order units but still keep some tactical choices.
It came down to producing some special dice to replace the cards.
I'm using two dice. One die is a region die that lets you order units as normal. Each die face indicates what units can be ordered. For instance a result of 100 means 1 unit on the left, 101 means on on each flank and so on. One face shows 1* meaning one unit in any region.
My original idea was to just use this die, but experimenting showed you still has the same problem and in fact you had the same problem, even worse!
I then tried just adding in a second of these dice and giving the player the choice of which die to use. This worked and if you make a set of these dice this is a viable option. However it felt very un-Memoir-44-like. So I worked on a second type of die to work with the first die.
On this new die are 6 new faces each with it's own effect each of which feels more Memoir-like.
One face allows you to restore one injured infantryman.
One face allows you to order one Artillery unit.
One face allows you to order 1 Armour unit.
One face allows you to Dig in one unit.
The final face doubles the number of units on the other die.
So on your turn you now roll one of each die type, and then choose one of the two results. This increased the chance of a good or at least usable result and included the Memoir like feel. I'm happy now with these results and invite you to give them a try. They won't ever replace the cards but it is an option.
Download the dice from BoardGameGeek