Wednesday, 5 October 2016

MOAB 2016 - Team Yankee

Since my better half is currently focussed on the last few weeks of her Master's studies, I was able to attend all 3 days of MOAB, the Southern Sydney Battlegamers convention...My own attention was as resolutely focussed on the 3 day Team Yankee tourney, the first TY tourney at MOAB. The TO, Ken, had done a fantastic job of organising and we were in a great  position in the centre of the main hall! The format was of 2 days 100 point games, 3 games per day and each day its own stand alone competition.

The third day would be given over to a campaign game, which would see 400 points of Soviet Power pitched against 400 worth of NATO's finest! 

My first game was against Ken himself, who had roundly and soundly defeated me in the recent Hall of Heroes TY tourney - not a promising start!

However I had the advantage of local knowledge, as I had set up this table, representing the Fulda Gap area of CENTAG, southern Germany...

And the Dust-up scenario was perfectly suited to the use of my BMP scouts making a Spearhead move...and killing his OP quick slick, which obviated the tremendous firepower his West German battlegroup could bring to bear...

So that I was able to pounce on the objective within 3 moves without any Germans being close enough to contest it.

However the ganzer Karls of the Bundeswehr soon got their revenge, in the form of Andreas' Leopard force...bizarrely transported in an alternative universe to the Ord River area of northern Australia...

This was my first hostile encounter with Leopards, and it didn't go well. It went badly - very badly...

Followed by an encounter with Garry's Leopards - that was even worse. I appreciate that a Leopard costs twice the points of a T-72, but that's no consolation when you lose an entire 6 ship company in the opening salvo of a game!

I think the solution is to take T-72 companies of 9-10 tanks, rather than 5-6, so that even if the 3 Leos all hit with their first 6 shots, you get some survivors to shoot back, but its bad form to change your list in the middle of a tourney apparently!

Scott E's Soviets - lovely!

However in one game I got to play my US Tank force against Daniel's Soviets about halfway though the comp, which felt sooo good - like taking your Bergen off after a combat fitness test - you feel so light and free! Not that I won the game - but by this stage draws felt good!

Random phot of Bundeswehr kit #1 - LARS MRL (Day 1? Day 2? - its all  a blur!)

My most memorable game was against Scott N' who was using Ken's West Germans - by this stage I was definitely suffering from Leopard shock, and Scott is something of a FOW Champion.

Random phot of Bundeswehr kit #2 - Luchs A/C - these damn things kept popping up everywhere!

And of course this is the game where all my mates from the Hall of Heroes came and asked if they could watch! Sure fellas, why not watch me get humiliated in 3 moves!

But as it turned out, where his reinforcement dice rolled badly, and mine went well, I was able to postpone the inevitable for at least 7 hard fought moves, so walked away from that table feeling I'd fought the good fight,

and, more importantly, having convinced the spectators that Team Yankee is a gripping and exciting game!

Adam of Dice of War vs Bryan of ThOR. I'm sure Adam's superb and varied dice need no introduction from me, but I will point out that Bryan's roads, rivers and other terrain pieces graced our tables, and are also available from the Hall of Heroes FLGS. Both outstanding gents to do business with, and their products highly recommended!

Whilst this was my second ever wargaming competition, and something of a harrowing experience in terms of game outcomes, as at the Hall of Heroes I couldn't have asked for better company, nor a better organised competition, nor a greater variety of tables, terrain and armies to fight! We had my US, and Bryan's Aussie/USMC force, 2 West German, 1 East German, and 3 forms of Soviet force in the mix, including the dread Afghantsy...

One of Ken's particular coups was to obtain for us commemorative etched measuring tools, calibrated out to 8 inches, which is the new infantry move.

But that wasn't all - possession of said tool allowed us early purchase of the new Iron Maiden release, and the Charlie's Chieftains starter box for the British Army of the Rhine release from one of the stores sponsoring the Team Yankee event, in my case my FLGS The Hall of Heroes of course! Other generous sponsors included War and Peace games and Aetherworks.

It was great to see that Matt at the Hall of Heroes had already started putting together the British models for the Iron Maiden global release battle day on Saturday 8th October at the Campbelltown HOH store. This army will be raffled off at that event. Will I be there? - does a bear dump in the woods?! Any rumours that Battlefront timed the release to coincide with my birthday are purely speculation (and entirely put around by me!)

After 2 days of competitive play, the Monday was set aside for a mega battle, 400 points per side - the battle of the Pylon we called it.

Said pylon was the objective was worth 50 points, each of the surrounding objective markers 10 points each...

We were split into 2 teams of 4, each led by the top scoring players - the revanchist neo-fascist capitalists by Garry, the peace and freedom loving Soviets doing their international duty by Scott E, seen above in the white shirt assessing the value of an air landing in the path of enemy armour...fortunately for our brave Afghantsy ...

he is something of a military historian. Ken on the left and John G in the red shirt, as well as yours truly made up the rest of the Soviet liberators.

Nearest the camera above John G is monitoring the low tricks of the western oppressors of the workers: L-R Andreas, Bryan, Garry and Scott N.

Scott E briefed us thoroughly prior to the game starting - essentially both Tank forces would attempt to envelop the objective from both flanks but concentrating on attriting the NATO air defences. In particular word was out to 'Get the Gepards!'

Once the SEAD phase was complete, a massive Afghantsy air landing would take place behind the woods close to the objective, and we'd all be home for sticky buns and medals by tea time!

NATO got the first move, and made full use of the Spearhead deployment rule to race towards the objectives - Leo 2s have a 32" road dash!

We deployed similarly, but weren't able to make anything like the same amount of progress...

The original landing site was now within tactical range of the lead NATO formations, who might thus be able to call down salvo template sized artillery fires on the landed helos... 

This was the stage when Scott E had the courage and tactical acumen to change the destination of the desant air landings...

Out to the right flank, not as close to the objectives, but a damn sight more survivable!

Meanwhile I had been pushing hard and fast down that same right flank, with the aim of subjecting any NATO forces on the objective to a crossfire in conjunction with Ken and John over on the left...

But as for our orders to target Gepards and other AD, well the craven Germans were taking no chances, leaving them all tucked away behind tall terrain

- which probably demonstrated the decision to change the landing zone was the right one!

But I still took care to utilise as much cover as I could...

Yet it was I who got caught in the crossfire - that of 2 Leopard companies! My lead T-72 company eviscerated in one go!

Whilst the landings had gone well, our brave Air Assault troops were a long way from the objective.

And Ken's armoured thrust had advanced little further than mine:

- meanwhile NATO infantry were dug in on the principal objective!

What was particularly galling is that they were tentatively identified as Australian reinforcements - Could it be, comrades, that the imperialist place of honour was given to their Colonialist running dogs, no doubt fuelled by looted rum?

Well no matter, sober Socialist Arms can console themselves that we extracted a fearsome toll on the neo-fascists, including many of the once proud Leopards...

And Ken's honest Red armoured scouts seized one objective...

And my gallant Motor Riflemen another!
So all in all a superb and memorable MOAB for your humble correspondent, made possible by the hard work of Ken, the generosity of our sponsors, and the good fellowship and sportsmanship of my fellow tourneymen - thank you all!


  1. Great write up Sparker! Had seven great games, great spirit in all and this format will be repeated for Cancon when the Soviets will fight for bragging rights in Battle of the Pylon - Part 2 (Revenge of the Soviets!) :)


    1. Thanks Ken! And thanks again for making it all happen!

  2. Wonderful story and pictures, wish I could have played in the final battle. Pistols at dawn at CANCON?

    1. Thanks Adam! It was great to meet you - Oh and thanks for the prize of your lovely NATO dice - will come in very useful for my Brits!

  3. Most impressive pictures, love the close ups and the air landing...excellent!

  4. As always a good read and great pic's.

  5. Well done guys. Sounds like a great tourney. Thanks for the write-up Sparker : )

  6. Excellent report. It's a source of inspiration for my very own Bundeswehr project.

  7. Wonderful read Sparker. So many wonderfully painted models and great terrain laden tables.

  8. WOW...great pics and a great report. Thanks.

  9. Great pics mate, really tempting to join the warpac.....must resist switching to 15mm