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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Team Yankee Soviets vs Americans in Counter Attack

by Luke Melia

I have been waiting to play another game of Team Yankee in 15mm for quite some time and today we squared off with Soviets versus Americans in Counterattack.  We decided on one hundred points per side for our game.  Now please keep in mind that we are still relatively new to the game and we are bound to make a mistake here or there.  We did stop to look up rules on a regular basis, because although there is a Flames of War feel to the game it is definitely something different.  We are also bound by what models we currently have, so if you are thinking to yourself "why did they bring that many T-72's?" or "why not bring this unit instead?"  The answer is we probably do not own it yet or it is not painted.  Un-painted figures do not get played on my table and I always find this a great motivator for painting.  So until more models are completed, we are making do with what we have like so many of you out there.

Here is a breakdown of the forces:

1x Command T-72
4x T-72
4x T-72
3x T-72
3x Carnation Artillery
1 BMP-1 Spotter
5x BMP -2 Recon
5x BMP-2 Infantry
4x Hind Helicopter
2x Frogfoot Strike Aircraft
1x Command M-1
4x M-1
4x M-1
2x ITV
2x Cobra Helicopters
2x A-10 Strike Aircraft

Before I get too far into this battle report I would like to encourage everyone to take a look at the new/revised missions for Team Yankee.  There are some definite improvements and new challenges in these missions, most of which I would like to see incorporated into Flames of War.  I know I have said this on multiple occasions, but Team Yankee's appeal to me is how fast you get into the action.  I have not played a game yet where we were not shooting at each other and teams being destroyed on turn one.  This is so different that normal Flames of War.  As a result the length of the games are much shorter, but still very fast and furious.

We rolled off and I was the defender.  This left me being able to only deploy two units, but fortunately one was in ambush.  A big challenge for the Americans is the cost of their units.  Being so much more expensive than the Soviets you are often left with substantially smaller force sizes.  I am also currently limited because my infantry is not finished being painted yet, to give me a slightly lower cost unit than the mass of M-1's I have been fielding recently.  In my opinions, the Americans are struggling in general without recon or more lower priced support options and I am sure this will change as the game evolves and expands.

Soviet deployment.  They are going to rush to crush my unsupported reinforcements and seize the far objective.

A very sad American deployment, but you have to love that ambush!

Far view of the table.
Turn One Soviet

The Red Storm advances.

Turn 1 Americans
Ambush is sprung right away as A-10s and Cobras are called in to knock out those Carnations and BMP-2's.  No reserves come in.

Just so you know, and I got this from playing Tank Destroyers in FOW, when my ambush pops out I try to bring everything I can out to shoot from  the old massive Alpha Strike doctrine.

Spoiler Alert: The American VADS spend a lot of time at the edge of the woods or being bogged down.  I was anticipating the Soviets bringing out their air on their next turn.

Heavy damage from the M-1's.

The Carnations take damage and end up failing their morale check and flee the table.

The BMP's take heavy damage and the Motor platoons looses four stands.  The BMP's still hang in there.

Turn 2 Soviet

Expecting American reserves the Soviets get into position to gun them down as they arrive and they are dangerously close to the objective.  Even though the objectives do not "go hot" until turn six, this is a discomforting prospect.

The T-72's reposition themselves and the infantry takes positions in the houses.  Their job now is to hold up the 5 M-1s and keep them from supporting the reserves.
Turn 2 American

The plan is to mop up the remaining BMP's and T-72's, then try to keep the reserves from getting destroyed.  I am still in pretty good shape on American air so it is going to get used.  Unfortunately I get reserves and the ITV's and the M-1s come on.  I have to dash the ITV's to keep them from getting killed and be very careful to ensure the M-1s have cover and will not have anyone getting side shots on them.  You can never let the Soviets get in for a knife fight.  Do everything you can to keep them at range.

A few lucky shots and the BMP's are all but toast.  Managed to kill a T-72, then used shoot and scoot get in a little better position.
Turn 3 Soviet

Andy is bringing everything to "bear" with his Soviets this turn.  He rolls for strike aircraft and gets it. His goals are to take out the ITV's, damage the M1's by the object and force some motivation checks as well as to cripple the Cobras.
Hinds move in.

The Frogfoots (or is it Frogfeet?) take on an anti air role to take out the Cobras.  The T-72's are maneuvering for solid shots on the M-1's.

Self defense AA knocks out a single Hind, but the ITV's are vaporized.  Andy's dice against the M-1's are much less effective than they should be resulting in only one dead and zero bailed.  The strike Frogfoots completely whiff with double ones and the Cobras live to see the next round.

The T-72's manage to kill a single M-1.
Turn 3 American
M-1's do a little maneuvering to get solid shots on the T-72's in open.  My A-10's make it on the table, but fail to hit and Soviet self defense AA takes one out..

When you bog you bog big.

Cobras reposition to take on the Hinds. 

A couple of T-72's go down.  I am using the buildings to keep the Soviets from getting side shots.  The Cobras manage to kill a single Hind leaving them with only two.

On the other side of the table, the last of the Soviet tanks go down, leaving only dismounted infantry in the buildings, which are no threat.
Soviet Turn 4
The Hinds are going to try a little anti-helicopter action of their own.

Since I failed the shoot and scoot roll in my turn the Soviets stay still, remount and take their shots.  They manage to bail one M-1 tank.  The Hinds fail to do any damage to the Cobras.
I have to stop here and try to begin to describe how terrible Andy's dice have been this game.  The number of shots he took that just plain missed is beyond reasoning.  He literally missed all but two.  Then I managed to save one and to add insult to injury he rolled a one on firepower.  The M-1's should  by all accounts be at least taking a motivation check just to remain on the table.  Do not ever go to Vegas with Andy and play craps.

Turn 4 American

The tanks on the other side of the table are able to make a cross country dash and will be involved in the fight the following turn.  I make the roll and get strike aircraft.  The bailed M-10 fails to get back in their tank.
The M-10's reposition and take their shots bailing several tanks.  The A-10 manages to knock out a single T-72.  The Soviets are now taking motivation checks to stay in the game and it is looking bleak.  Fortunately they pass and will continue to fight.

The Cobras manage to kill a Hind.
Turn 5 Soviet

We did not get a lot of pics of this turn.   The Soviets fail to get back into several of their tanks.  American self defense AA manages to kill that lone Hind.  Because of the limited number of shots and lucky saves on my behalf, no further casualties happen for the Americans.

Turn 5 American

The Cobras come in for the kill and with a total of 5 M-1's shooting now plus the air support most of the T-72's are destroyed.  Failing a motivation check leaves Andy with no active tanks and the Americans take the win 5-2.  See below for some thoughts on the game.

 Strategy tips for Team Yankee we have learned:

-Keep the Soviets at a distance.
-If you get close, keep them tangled around terrain minimize the number of shots they can get on you.
-AA units need be able to move and be able to support your force.  Keep them in the center of your force.
-Kill the opponents AA. (Period)

-You need bigger units.  The challenge is command range.  Take advantage of the motivation check not happening until you have less than two active tanks.
-You have to flank the Americans.  You will have to take a few lumps getting into position but you have to surround them.
-Try not to separate your force and allow the Americans to focus on smaller units.

  *We are still learning the rules and continue to learn new things each game.  The biggest challenge is getting out of the FOW mechanics.  Team Yankee is a new game, yet it has a distinct FOW feel so it is challenging.  not to remember and use a lot of the more complicated rules and apply them to Team Yankee.  I still have a very good feeling this game and enjoy it more for the visual aspects in 15mm.

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