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Monday, July 10, 2017

Tom's Road to Team Yankee Nationals 2017 - Part 1 of 3

My Journey down the rabbit hole of team yankee can be blamed on one man.  Mitch Reed.  He knows what he did.  All the articles, battle reports, and excitement, coupled with talking to vets I know that served during the period in question had me interested enough to start exploring a period I wouldn't normally be interested in.

First I had to pick an army.  While I don't consider myself a power gamer, I do like to play competitively, and an army that doesn't seem to have a chance is not in the cards for me.  When I started considering an army, I had 4 choices: Americans, Brits, Soviets, West Germans.  East Germans hadn't come out yet, and I was interested in jumping in right away.

Americans - seemed balanced but under powered, and in demo games, their AA assets seemed to be pretty limited and lame.  I didn't like the camo schemes provided, and while I knew I could make my own, this didn't seem the way to go for me.

Brits - I've played WW2.  I have 6 Full companies of them painted up, which means I wasn't sure I wanted to go this route.  and while I liked the idea of an infantry heavy force, I am more of a finesse kind of player, I want some glass cannons to do some damage with, or small elite platoons to paint up. I did win a whole Charlie's Cheiftan's box set as part of the WWPD raffle back at Fallin last year...which was a nice turn of luck since I had to pay a locksmith 90 dollars to get my keys out of my car.  Were the gaming gods telling me to play Brits? If I were to do it, I would want to paint the Berlin Brigade colors....and I knew it was one of those projects I would never get to, and always regret.  So I gave the box to a friend as a present and moved on.

Soviets - Few people at our club who picked up Team Yankee took Soviets, and of those that did, one moved pretty far away for work, one has a good amount of models, but doesn't get out to the club often and the last guy has a whole bunch of armies, amassing a bit of everything, but he needs to buckle down and do some painting :) - (I'll let my club mates figure out who they are in this trio of examples.) I have no experience with a swarm, and the painting of it, even with spray would drive me insane.  so...

That leaves West Germans.....
Cool Camo Scheme? Check
Do I like the models? Check
Can I play a small elite force and not have to paint too much? Check.
Looks like we have a winner.

But as you can see from the above picture, "mistakes were made" as my wife would say, and 5 boxes of Leo 1's later, here we are.  All I have left to do it make my display board (which I love doing) and make some objectives (I had planned on having Vladmir Putin riding a bear. And I'm making one for Mitch as well.  I'm hoping I can finish it up before Historicon)

On to the list I plan to Bring to Historicon's Nationals:

I ordered Panzertruppen, the supplement that allows you to field a full company of Leo 1's....back in April....along with some magnets....and I'm still waiting.  So I borrowed a copy from a friend and used that to get the list made.  (Thanks Kevin)

Formation #1 -

Marder Commander -  1pt

1. Full Panzergrenadier Zug - 7pts
2. Full Panzergrenadier Zug - 7pts
3. Full Panzergrenadier Zug - 7pts
4. Luchs x2 - 1pt
5. Gepards X4 w/Fliegerfaust Gruppen Attached - 14pts.

The 3 Panzer Grenadier Platoons

I love the Milan missiles, the Anti-Helicopter and Anti-softskinned vehicle power the Marders give me.  I considered taking the M113s since they can grab an extra milan, but I already had the marders painted and magnetized, so there we are. additionally, I learned to my horror, that with a min range of 8", the milans can't fire in defensive fire.  And they can't use their AT rating in an assault, not only hitting on a 5 as a small team, but being generally garbage at anything outside of sniping vehicles at range.  So having one more isn't a huge deal for me.

I also decided to paint these Flecktarn Camo (again, Mitch made me do this.) I took his advice, and avoided a wash, since it would darken them.  I used the NATO colors, and the camo guide for SS from the colors of war book, but I lightened everything, and replaced the final colors with the burnt orange and a whitened light green from the German color box.  I like how they turned out.  I then added summer foliage and grasses. The flowers are from a model railroad kit.  14 dollars for like 40 of them. The whole process took about 2 weeks.  since I kept doing it in stages in front of the TV.

The Gepards - The bane of every soviet helicopter.  Their 40 inch range, and 4+ firepower make them a monster.  I considered Rolands, but these have more flexibility in killing BMPs if needed. I took the Fliegerfaust Gruppen as insurance.  and according to artillery rules, they can act as a spotter if needed and not otherwise useful.

The Luchs - at 1 pt for 2, its a nice little bargain.  it brings my platoon count up, helps to speed along an army that needs to be moving and attacking.  and is otherwise the size and shape of a Ford Focus wagon with a gun on it.  Sold.

  Formation #2 -

Leo 1 HQ - 3pts

1. Leo 1 X 3 - 9pts
2. Leo 1 X 3 - 9pts
3. Leo 1 X 3 - 9pts
4. Leo 1 X 3 - 9pts
5. Luchs - 1 pts

Fast, and deadly to BMPs and everything except a Main Battle Tank MBT.  These things will hopefully swarm over my opponents, or create a giant charred pile of vehicles before they're all dead. with 13 Tanks, its a beast.  I'm curious to see how it plays.

Support Options (not part of a Formation)

1. LARS w minelets X4 - 8pts
2. PAH Helicopterflight X 4 - 16pts

I wanted artillery. and the ability to restrict my opponents deployment a bit.  The Salvo and cheap cost makes these little rocket launchers too fun to pass up.  I would have taken the Tornados for the same cost, since their bombardment can rock some tanks, but I didn't have the models needed in time.  LARS you'll have to do.

Finally the Helicopters. With Hunter Killer, they can sit behind some woods, and do horrible things to MBTs.  If my Leos can take out any AA, they can have a field day.  AT23 with a 48" range is no joke.  and since you can't hide from aircraft really, they will find you, and haunt your dreams.  I used gloss on the windows and gave it some color variation, not BF spec, but I'm happy with how they turned out.

On to some test games, and trying to better learn the rules and mechanics before I get myself some games down in Virginia!

I've been following the Team Yankee Facebook page, and I have to say, other people's work has been inspiring.  I hope to see some of your armies facing off against my West Germans at Historicon!

Tom Mullane - (Captainecho on the forums) is a social studies teacher in Brewster NY.  He lives in Danbury CT and has been playing FOW and other wargames since 2011 with the Ordo-Ineptus club in New Milford CT at Hobbytown USA. Come by and get a game!

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