So yesterday I played a game of Memoir 44 using the M44 Card-Replacement Dice. I was playing against another experienced player of the game and it was the first time I'd played using the dice against another experienced player.
Obviously I went through the dice explanations and we set up the Sword Beach scenario from the base game, I was to play Axis.
When using these dice you don't use the cards at all, but rather roll the dice to see what orders you get to issue.
So we started with the allies going first and the dice started rolling. Each die roll usually allows you to order 1,2 or 3 units and about 1 in 6 times, double that. The allies actually used the the airpower die option for the first two turns attempting to take out the guns in the central region.
I choose to move my tanks forward.
Next the Allies opted to run forwards with their own tanks. One took on the guns and the other took a shot at the infantry on my right flank and then followed through, by again trying to take out the guns, which they never managed.
The dice kept giving me the option to use the guns, so at every oportunity I used them. My attack dice were practically on fire throughout the game leading me to beat back the attacks on the right, decimate the tanks in the middle and hold off the Allies on the left.
The game ended with 5-2 to the Axis.
So how did the Card-replacement dice work out? They certainly speeded up the game which was one objective. No one ended up doing nothing on their turn ( which often happens with the cards ) evey turn both players were able to do something, so that side of the new dice worked very well.
I felt the dice were an interesting variation that worked but my worthy opponent brought up an interesting point. In the Sword Beach scenario the US forces have many more units than the Axis and this is a balancing mechanism in the scenario. As an example of this, if the Axis player had a 3-on-the-left card he would not be able to order three units because he doesn't have that many, but the Allied player would be able to, thus the balance. With the new dice the Allied player was never able to take advantage of the mass of troops.
I would also like to say that all three areas of the board were fully active throughout the game, no one area stayed quiet as can sometimes happen with the cards.
In summary : The dice worked, speeded up the game, both players were always busy, but there may be scenario balance issues when using them.