Friday, 29 January 2016

Team Yankee - The First Day!

On Wednesday at the Hall of Heroes, Campbelltown, my mate Bryan and I held our first demo game of Team Yankee...

Calling it a demo game was possibly a bit of a stretch, because with Australia always last in the queue for Battlefront products, whilst we had received and painted some of the necessary models...

...we had to use stand-ins for others - this Skytrex BRDM, for example, represents a GOPHER SAM unit.

And these Zvezda T-72Bs will serve to flesh out my burgeoning Soviet tank force whilst I continue to assemble and paint my legion of BF T-72As...

Anyway, you have to start someplace and at least we generated a bit of interest.

Which we attempted to feed with an idea of some light background reading...

I knew I'd kept these old rec guides for a reason!

I'm glad Bryan, a long time FOW player, is as enthusiastic about Team Yankee as I am, because we think the key to Cold War gaming is to modernise the terrain and landscaping to the 1980's, and here Bryan's skills came into play, with lovely modern roads and autobahnen, and modern looking buildings...

Containers filled with hardcore will keep Soviet sappers busy for a few precious minutes....

Since this would be our first game of Team Yankee, there really only could be one scenario to pick - the First Day! In this scenario Captain Bannon's Team YANKEE are sitting in a wooded hillside

looking across a valley to where a Soviet Tank and Mech company are attempting to cross the valley and head down the re-entrant to reach an autobahn intersection. For display purposes we placed the autobahn running North South on one edge, but this didn't factor in our game.

We played 'The First Day' as a 100 point Hasty Attack, which meant that Bryan with the US forces could deploy half his platoons, including one in ambush, the rest in Delayed Reserve. I as the Soviet player was attacking with half my companies, the others coming on in Reserve. (Which meant I could commence dicing for them straight away). I led off with two tank companies, and Shilka and Gopher AA platoons. In good Soviet style these headed for the objective at best 'Terrain Dash' speed.

As luck would have it, I was successful in getting one of my reserve platoons on first round, so brought on the Hinds!
These were used to support the left flanking T-72 company by attempting to whittle down the M1s in the treeline - not much joy though, a couple of bails...

The right flanking company had to go in initially without any support, but by dint of dash moves and lucky cross checks, soon got close to the centre objective...

Meanwhile Bryan used his rotary aviation to systematically wipe out my AA assets - cunning...

Fortune continued to send me reserve options, so it was time to introduce the Motor Rifles...(again, pending the arrival of my BF BMP2s these models are Skytrex BRMs, but I don't think anyone noticed...)

I sent them in to support the right flank, unlike in the novel, as my left flank was being used for target practice by the M1s, who were beginning to find the range...
And destroying or bailing most of the platoon. However owing to our initial misreading of the morale rules, this company remained in good order. (To remain in good order, not only must you have 2 tanks as runners, they must also be with 6 inches of their leader!)

Therefore when my third T-72 company arrived, I kept them in the centre, in column, to hedge my bets - this was pretty much my last on-table reserve...

This was just as well, as at this stage Bryan unleashed his ambush - a platoon of 3 M1s in the tree line opposite my right flanking T-72 company, which hitherto had been cruising nicely onto the objective without so much as a thunderflash being chucked at them....

I'd love to show you some photos of this ambush being sprung, but clearly I must have been shaken as I didn't take any pics for a while....

However by the time the survivors had managed to regroup and seek out the flank of the ambushing M1 platoon, I was once again able to record their revenge...

At this point Bryan's delayed reserves were becoming available...His first platoon was his M901 Improved TOW Vehicle (ITV)platoon. Fortunately I received my final reserve unit immediately after - a flight of SU-25 FROGFOOT, which were able to send his ITVs packing with their ATGWs fired from stand-off range - nice to be able to snipe the snipers!

(However, we subsequently discovered that we had been using our Air and Aviation assets a little too freely as regards avoiding enemy AA zones - both our AA assets had been hampered by our incorrect use of the range given on their cards. This 20 inch range is for use in the ground role. Against Air, they use that specified in the Radar special rule, of 32 inches. Clearly this would have hampered Air to Ground indterdiction ops...)

So at this stage, I was still feeling confident - sure both my lead tank companies were in poor shape, but the objective seemed within my grasp....(its the red blob achingly close to the T-72s....)

However Bryan had also been using the better mobility and cross country ability of his M1s to shift them across to cover the centre objective when he realised what I was going for....

These immediately brewed up my lead T-72s in shockingly short order...

And to add insult to injury he brought on his next reserve platoon, a battery of M109 155mm howitzers, in the direct role charging down my lead column just as it was on the objective, horse artillery style....

Once they had helped the rout by chasing off my Motor Rifles with direct fire, and I had no more viable ground platoons, it was game over for this Soviet offensive...So close, and yet so far - we were on the objective, but far from being uncontested, it was crawling with armoured dropshorts - who have even more attitude than the wheeled variety....

Now for a plug, to do my bit to support two local small businesses - if you were as impressed with Bryan's modern roads and autobahn as I am, then they are on sale from the Hall of Heroes Campbelltown. Which in itself is a great FLGS, obviously!


  1. A very nice write up there old bean.
    I see that once again the Artillery saves the day. UBIQUE. ( That is nothing to do with a ducks bill )

    1. Yes but then again with nothing between a mob of T-72s and the objective, I suspect Bryan would have sent in the next unit from the reserve pool that came to hand anyway - even the 101st Mess Tin Repair Battalion (Chairborne)....

  2. (Forgot this bit)
    Seeing that " Threat" publication brought back some memory's....happy day's

  3. Next time your up this way I'll swap you it for some Oatmeal Block...

  4. Enjoyable report and pics! Hope to see infantry action in the next one.

    1. Thanks David - yes Bryan wants to run a US Mech Company so the gravel bellies will see action soon no doubt!

  5. Good stuff, now 6mm on that size table!

    1. Thanks Nick. Yes a couple of micro scale guerrillas in our mob so no doubt we'll get a brigade out one day...

  6. It was interesting to watch, saw all the love
    Y Russian MI 24s get shot down over two turns, the Hostpital building was a stand out for me!

    1. Thanks Matt - yes Aviation is definitely a wasting asset!

  7. Great read, and a beautiful table as always. Many thanks for sharing your game.

  8. Great table and report...thanks.

  9. Really enjoyable AAR Sparker and as always so many wonderful photographs of outstanding models and terrain to ogle. Agree definitely on the 1980's "look" being essential and you all definitely achieved that.

  10. Great read. Hope to see more.

  11. Great looking table and figs, well done sir.

  12. Great look, great terrain. Absolutely no human beings though - no infantry, refugees, surviving crews, it looks kind of robotic. Nice report!

  13. Thanks mate - I did take some pics of the Soviet Motor rifles, but they didn't come out too well...Maybe our next game will have more emphasis on Mech forces!

  14. My dearest Sparkles.

    New rules to Spark (see what I did there!) the enthusiasm. So many games ... so little time.

    von Peter himself

    1. Yes indeed - our wargaming time is so precious - but as long as its spent in good company...