Thursday, February 18, 2016

6mm Team Yankee

Like many people worldwide, a small group of us here in Canberra have been intrigued by Team Yankee. But we're on the side of those "splitters" that think the game is better off played using smaller scale miniatures than the 15mm minis that Battlefront is producing for the game.

We decided to play the rules "as-written" - ie. no changes to any measurements from the 15mm version, other than using the smaller miniatures on smaller bases (we use 20x40mm for tank teams and 20x20mm bases for infantry teams). The miniature to ground-scale just seems more pleasing to the eye (doing away with the 'tank car-park' that is a common criticism of Flames of War (FOW), and now TY, in 15mm.

As an added bonus, even the most expensive 6mm minis are considerably cheaper than their 15mm brethren! Even here in Australia, the superb GHQ miniatures (the most detailed but also most expensive of the 6mm miniatures on the market) can be fielded for 1/5 to 1/6 of the price of the 15mm offerings from Battlefront. Of course, this means you can field an army (or even two or three!) for much less expense.

The result? Well, we have a small (but perfectly formed!) group of half a dozen of us doing Team Yankee (TY) in 6mm. We hope to grow this number as more people learn about the advantages of 6mm for TY, and perhaps see us playing it on a regular basis. Most of us are closet micro armor gamers from way back. In fact, from talking to many gamers recently at the Cancon 2016 game convention, it seems that most war gamers have dabbled in Micro at some stage and have a small (often un-used) collection of micro armor in the bottom of their cupboard somewhere. Well, the publication of TY is now a great excuse to dig them out! Most of our group already had some miniatures, and just had to augment them with some targeted purchases. Having said that, some of us took the opportunity to start new armies.

We allowed ourselves six weeks to gather and paint our forces, and last night we had our first intro game. This was played at our local games store (Jolt Games) by three of us (me, Tony and John), with one additional (Ian) also keenly watching on. Most of us were new to the TY rules (although I used to play FOW about 10+ years ago), so it was very much a learning experience. As such, we decided on 60pts per side.

Since there were only three of us actually playing, we did a two-on-one battle. I fielded Soviets, which took on a combined NATO force of 30pts of Canadians (Tony) and 30pts of British (John). The British and Canadian troops were based on fan-made unofficial unit cards available from the 6mm Team Yankee Facebook Group.

We kept things simple for our first game and didn't take any aircraft. I took things ultra simple as Soviets and only took two units - a tank company (T-72s) and an Infantry Company (BMP-1s). I can't remember exactly what the NATO guys had, but know that the Canadians had a platoon of Leopard 1s and some M-113 mounted infantry, and the British had a platoon of Chieftans, some Milans in FV-432, some Infantry in FV-432s, and a pair of Abbot SP Artillery.

The battlefield is shown below. We used relatively dense terrain, which I think is preferable for an interesting game. The Soviets entered from the right, Canadians & British from the left. Since we played at a store, the terrain had to be relatively transportable, so we used a terrain mat (from MKP), some felt roads (Hotz) and some of my usual Hex terrain hills and fields (Kallistra). There was also a stream (top right, GF9) and a village (various manufacturers). Trees and Woods were made as per my 3mm scale woods, using MDF with clump-foliage on top, but scaled up to 6mm using larger nails for the tree-trunks.

The Battlefield.

Some pictures and description of the game action is below:

Soviet Motor Rifle Company in BMP-1s moves quickly through the woods on the Southern flank
(a few got bogged in the woods in the first couple of turns). These guys are going after the southern
objective, hoping to get there before too many Canadian / British reinforcements arrive.

But the Canadian infantry arrives and takes up positons in the large woods in front of the objective.

The Soviet infantry dismounts in the tree-line along the road, prepared to sweep through the woods.
Each squad has a Rifle team and an RPG team.
BMPs support the advance, although a couple got hung up on the hedges around the fields for a turn or
two. Top right, under the trees, can be seen the Company's MG teams.

The Soviet tanks (T-72s) arrived on turn two, in the centre.
They quickly advanced towards the northern objective, which at this time was still undefended
since the NATO reserves (British) had failed to arrive.

A closer view of the Soviet infantry shaking out into a text-book assault line.
Soviets are all GHQ miniatures.

The Canadian infantry (not fully painted yet) dismount and go to ground in the woods.
Top right of picture can be seen the Canadian Leopard 1s behind the village.
One of them ha just brewed up a BMP-1 with a flank shot.
Canadian vehicles are Heroics & Ros  and Infantry are GHQ miniatures.

The British artillery gets involved, ranging in on the MR Company and destroying
a BMP-1 and a couple of Infantry teams. The Company is pinned.
Some Sagger ATGM fire at the Leopards on their flank failed to hit.

The Soviet assault goes in. With no artillery support to pin the defenders, this was ugly!
The Soviet RPG-7 teams destroyed a couple of M-113s, but the assault failed with some
significant losses and the Soviets were pinned where they started. The next turn,
the Canadian infantry counter-attacked and destroyed the Soviets still in the woods.

With the Canadian Infantry holding their own in the woods,
the Leopard 1s moved north to take the T-72 company in the flank.
One T-72 was destroyed, and a second was bailed out.

On turn three, the British reinforcements finally started to arrive.
A troop of Chieftans took up position on the high ground near the northern objective.
They have good fire positions at the Soviet tank company in the distance (top of picture).
A Section of Milan in FV-432s also arrived and took up positions further south.
British are all GHQ miniatures.

Unfortunately since this was our first game (and therefore lots of rules consultations), we had to cut the game short at turn four. Neither side had captured any objectives, but the Soviets had taken much heavier casualties. So I suppose a 'winning draw' to the NATO forces. Next time I know we'll be much quicker, as the rules are quite simple once you get playing.
The game was good fun and we're looking forward to many more. We definitely think the game looks and plays better in 6mm, so our intro confirmed this aspect for us.