Monday, November 13, 2017

Team Yankee 6mm - Forces Complete?

My journey into Team Yankee began over a year ago when the local game store offered me the demo/display kit they had received from Battle Front.  The display kit came with a few tanks and a couple of Helicopters to facilitate a demo game.  I had never played Flames of War, and modern was not something I had previously considered playing since I am currently still in the Army.  The premise of cold war gone hot sounded kind of interesting so I said sure as the price was right.
M113 15mm compared to 6mm

15mm Infantry vs, 6mm
I assembled the tanks and realized I need a copy of the rules and a few more units to make it a worthwhile venture.  I filled in Brian and Phil and Brian said he would take the Soviets off my hands and build a force.  We agreed we would initially aim for 75 point just to see if we liked the game.
15mm Platoon
Before long I had 10 M1s and 2 platoons of Infantry with M113s assembled and painted and a few more items still in the boxes waiting assembly.  That is where the project stalled as I worked on other projects for upcoming conventions.
Great Looking minis, but does not look like modern combat to me
I then saw Team Yankee played at Little Wars and was a little disappointed in what I saw.  It was a huge game, with 50 or more tanks/armored vehicles per side with tons of other models all beautifully painted.  What I was disappointed with is that all the vehicles were lined up hub to hub blasting away at each other.  As one who serves I knew this did not look right.  There were no proper formations or tactics.  This certainly was not how I had envisioned it.

No Problem, after talking to Brian we agreed we would not allow our games to devolve into a tank parking lot and make sure we had a big enough table to make the game look right for the scale.
6mm GHQ M1 MBT
In the meantime, Phil discovered that many were playing Team Yankee using micro armor (6mm) figures.  He found a number of vendors that sell all the figures needed for Team Yankee at a very reasonable price and ordered up a couple modest forces which he had painted in no time.  When I saw Phil's collection and how it looked arrayed on the table I knew this was the answer.
6mm GHQ T-55
Brian and I decided to follow Phil's lead, we were still working to build our initial 15mm forces and had yet to play a game.   Since were not heavily invested in the game we figured we could sell what we had if we liked 6mm better, so we decided to follow Phil's lead and made the jump to 6mm.

Realistic formations in my first game

Even more realism, Phil's burning tanks
As I was already collecting Americans I picked up some GHQ infantry, a few tanks and M113s and in no time I had a force equal to what had taken me a year to complete in 15mm at a fraction of the cost.   I then discovered I had some more GHQ infantry from 20 years ago I had purchased to use for real Army training purposes which I could now rebase and use again.  I then decided to try Phil's online source (Scotia Grendel) and ordered enough to field two full Combat Teams with supports.  I was shocked at how inexpensive the figures were compared to 15mm and even the GHQ 6mm figures I already owned.  I was also a little suspect on how the quality would be compared to what I already purchased.
Assembling a force
My first order arrived in about a week and I was pleasantly surprised with both the timeliness and quality.  The Scotia figures were not GHQ, but at half the price they certainly looked good.  After all, we are talking about 6mm figures here.  I would even go as far as saying in some cases GHQ may even have a too much detail.
Initial American Force ready for service
The best part was that within a week I had everything painted and ready for battle, which I had not done in a year with 15mm.  Phil was eager to accommodate and we met up for our first engagement.  Phil is a veteran of Flames of War which Team Yankee is based with some modifications.  After reading the rules once I was able to pick them up quickly with Phil's help.  My Americans pulled off a narrow victory and I was hooked.  The best part was how well all the figures looked on a 6'x4' table.  We did not modify any of the distances and played the rules as written and the scale looked great compared to what I had seen in 15mm games that had concerned me.
East German Infantry

Spigot missile team

RPG-7, MPi KM team with RPG-18 and PKM LMG Team
I was so hooked that I decided to order up an opposing force.  As Phil and Brian were doing Soviets I decided to try the East German VOLKSARMEE.  Not knowing how I want to play the East Germans, I simply went through the book and ordered enough to fill out every possible formation in avaialbe.  The equated to 100 vehicles plus infantry.  Amazingly the entire order did not cost any more than a couple boxes of the official Battlefront miniatures.
Initial East German Infantry with some GHQ armor
Again, my order arrived in about a week.  In the meantime, I had acquired the GHQ infantry locally and had them painted and waiting in a couple days.  The project stalled a little again, while we prepared the games we presented at Rock-Con last month.  This past weekend Phil and I played our 2nd game (See other Post), which was even bigger that our first and based on a more realistic scenario.  Again, the game looked and felt great.
This is how I imagined Team Yankee, now possible with 6mm
I was now motivated to get going on the East Germans again.  I has a long weekend and I was able to finish the last of the support including air assets.
I now have a compete American force and opposing East German force ready to go.  The East Germans are untested, but motivated for their first engagement.

While I was a bit put off by the looks of Team Yankee in the official 15mm scale, I will say I am very much enjoying the rules.  Switching to 6mm was definitely the right decision for me as I do not think I would have stayed with Team Yankee otherwise.

AH-1 Cobra
I am a little disappointed that Battlefront does not acknowledge or support people that play in other scales.  I quickly learned not to mention 6mm when asking a question on their page.   I am also annoyed that the only way you can get the actual "official"unit stat cards is to buy their miniatures, but I guess that is what they do.  I certainly would be willing to purchase the cards if they were available, but as many have pointed out they are available all over the web for free.  That said, I think the rules are pretty good and look forward to exploring some larger engagements using our own scenario ideas.



East German Infanty

East German Armor and Support


While I do own all the books, I do not have any plans to build another force anytime soon.  Between the three of us we will have all the major factions (except the Brits) and are looking to recruit more players in our area to 6mm.

Team Yankee Books
Entire Collection fits in one box
While my basic forces are complete I am sure I will add a few more items here and there especially with the newest book, Stripes being released for the Americans.  It sure feels nice to complete a gaming project though and be able to just play.

In the meantime, Team Yankee has become a nice change of pace from our usual routine.

More to come.....

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Team Yankee - Defend the GAP

Phil and I were finally able to coordinate our 2nd full game of Team Yankee now that Rock-Con has past.  Neither of us had prepared a list so we decided to go with our own scenario and Box on Box his Soviets vs. my Americans.
American Forces

Soviet Forces

I believe this came out to about 200 pts per side or 2 American Combat teams (1 Armored and 1 Mech Infantry) vs. 2 Soviet Armored Battalions.
Battlefield -Cigar Box Battle mat
In our scenario the Americans deployed 1 full combat team in a defensive position and the Soviets were on the attack.  The objective was for the Soviets to capture the roadway and exit off the board via the roadway.
M1 Platoon
Artillery Battery in support
Digging in
I deployed the Mech infantry command with 3 Infantry platoons abreast  and 1 armored platoon on the right flank with ITVs, mortars, artillery battery and VADs Platoon in support.  The Armored team was in reserve and available of turn 2 or 3 depending on a die roll.  Additionally, pair of Cobras and A-10s were available.
Here they come!

Phil's Soviets raced across the field attacking my right flank with his T-72 BN and infantry support.  The Americans were greatly outnumbered in armor, but had a good defensive position with the infantry.
A-10s come in hot
The outnumbered M1s on the falnk were able to draw first blood along with the Warthogs as the Soviet hoard crossed the open ground.  As the Soviet armor drew close the M1s dropped out of sight in the wood line and the infantry fired a barrage of dragons.
Soviet Air Threat
Partially Neutralized
Meanwhile the Soviet Air arm hit the rear with a pair of frog foots and 4 Hinds  The Soviets miscalculated all the AA fire power available via the M113s and M109s even though the were out of range of most of the VADS.
Soviet Casualties start to mount
Carnage marks the advance
It was a fairly see saw engagement until turn three when both sides reserves began to flow on to the field.  The Americans doubled down on the right bringing up a 2nd platoon of Abrams and sent the rest of against the left were the T64 BN was mounting a serious threat.
Reinforcements arrive
Valley of death
In the end the Americans were able to knock out every tank on  the right.  Although they could not fully penetrate the powerful T64s they forced a number to bail out which it turn forced a morale check.  The Soviets decided they had seen enough, and it was time to withdraw even if Comrade Commander Phil did not think so.
Soviet Right and Center abandon the cause
The carnage left behind was impressive.  At the cost of 4 M1 Abrams, M109 howitzer, 3 infantry squads and a A-10 the Soviet command was decimated leaving a total of 5 T64s out of 29 that entered the engagement.
Stout Defenders hold 
Despite the lopsided outcome it did not feel that way until the very end.  As always Phil is a great opponent and even better sport no matter how the dice come out.
Road will remain in NATO hands
We both agreed that paying in 6mm was definitely the right decision.  Out battlefield was only 6'x4', but did not seem crowded at all despite the massive amount of troops involved.

I look forward to more action to come in our next outing.......

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Guilford's Courthouse (RFF AWI Variant) Part 1

The last two weeks at Mark's the group has been engaged in the re fight of Guilford's Courthouse battle which took place March 15, 1781.  We are using the Regimental Fire and Fury rule system.  Rich, the author of RFF, was kind enough to share a rough draft of his take on the battle for us to test play.

Mark as usual was our gracious host and we are using his figures and terrain.  As always he set up a beautiful display and the armies are top notch.

Guilford Courthouse Scenario Map
Mark has arrayed the terrain a troops pretty close to the scenario map provided by Rich and had everything set for us when the crew arrived.  The first week we had a total of 6 players, so we divided 3 and 3.  I sided with Brian and Robert on the American side and took overall command and the 3rd line knowing we would not get that far, so I could observe and document the results.  Mark oversaw the British effort along with curt and Rob.

American First Line

American 2nd Line

Continentals in the 3rd Line with Greene

British forces und Cornwallis
The battle started out as it did historically with the American first line delivering some well placed shots and then falling back before the British could engage them in hand to hand.

The following turns then seemed to follow the pattern of the British moving up into range the Americans getting a shot off before falling back out of close combat range.

After receiving some sharp fire the Kings troops drop back out of range

Militia begin to fall back, but leave the gun exposed

British pounce and capture the Artillery

2nd Line of Militia Stands ready to engage

Militia continue to fall back after firing faster than the British can fire

Hotly engaged in an exchange of musketry

The American plan was working well with the exception that when the 1st line reached the 2nd American line instead of filing around the flanks the withdrawing militia choose to perform a passage of lines.  As they were Raw troops this immediately disordered both lines, as well as prevented the 2nd line from directly engaging the pursuing Red Coats with maximum fire power.
One last volley

General Green immediately recognized the error and sent our messengers to his subordinates not to attempt this maneuver when the reached the 3rd line or they would learn what "friendly fire" meant.
Continentals stand ready to face the oncoming British
This is where the action wrapped up the first night with the Militia in full retreat and the Red Coats hot on their tale with casualties mounting on both sides.

King's men are motivated, but the real challenge lies ahead
Week two saw the battle rejoin missing Rob and Robert, but we were joined by Stan and Brian and Scott.  Stan and Brian C. swore their allegiance to the Americans and Brian C. took over Roberts Command opposite Brian P. and Stan took command of the Delaware half the 3rd line with myself.
British drive the Militia before them
This is where things started to get pretty rough for the Americans.  As casualties mounted in the first and 2nd lines while they withdrew the small units quickly went from Fresh to worn and were soon in Heavy Casualties as well as Greater losses.  This resulted in many missed commands.
Militia do not fare well in hand to hand with the King's troops
The British adeptly saw their opportunity and pounced on the confused Militia engaging them in close combat when ever possible causing even more casualties and many units to break and run.
Few militia make it out of the woods
The surviving Militia commanders were directed to clear the fields of fire and reform on the flanks of the 3rd line.  It was time for the backbone of Greene's army, The continentals to bear the load and deliver the crushing blow to the approaching British.
The problem was the surviving militia were having difficulty disengaging the Brits once engaged in close combat.  When they did disengage it was usually because they had broke and run.  I was only a precious few survivors that  that were able to take up position on the flanks.
The Hessian are coming
As the last of the militia were pouring out of the woods the British artillery began to chip away at the Continental position causing some casualties early while the lone American gun attempted to counter battery fire until the militia could move out of the field and clear the lanes of fire.
Dress the lines

As the large Hessian command came out of the woods on the Americans left along with a few smaller elite British units.
Steady Boys!
As the Hessian attempted to charge the last of the American dragoons counter charged, but were dispatched handily by the Germans who proceeded to hit the militia line.  The Militia wavered, but did not break.
Failed Counter charge
Seeing that the left was holding a One of the Delaware regiments struck out on the offense and eliminated a British unit in hand to hand, but left itself exposed.
Here they come.....steady aim
On the right the militia did not do well at all.  All the remaining militia were destroyed or fled in the face of the oncoming Brits.  Greene thinking his right flank was secure was greatly surprised when an small unit of Tarleton's Legion dragoons suddenly charged the Virginians flank.  In a very controversial attack the Continentals held and the cavalry fell back.
Where did that cavalry come from?
At this point the battle is very much undecided.  The British have definitely inflicted greater losses on the Americans, but are close to heavy casualties themselves.  The Continentals are still in good shape and nowhere near heavy casualties and still firmly hold the key objective.
It will be a close run affair
The time was getting late, despite some desire to move forward we relented to leaving for the evening.  We all agreed it was to close to call and decided to leave the game in place until Mark returns from his Florida respite in a couple weeks.
More Americans on the casualty board then remain on the field.
Truly will be interesting to see how this one turns out.  It is a 1-1 draw right now for scenario points.  The British will likely take some more losses pushing them into heavy casualties.   This will force them to get a unit on to the key position by turn 14 in order to force a draw.  They would have to outright eliminate a Continental unit to force the 3rd line into heavy casualties to get the win.

It will be a nail bitter when we return......maybe Cornwallis will have to turn his guns on his own troops again to achieve the tactical victory.

More to come...........