Team Yankee – Soviets vs Unrecognised State

Game against Reese

My Soviet BMP batalon vs Reese and his Leopard company in an 85 points game.

We checked the missions chart and ended up playing Breakthrough with me attacking.

Soviet forces

HQ BMP

2 x small BMP companies

10 x T72

2 x Shilkas

4 x Gophers

3 x Carnations

1 x Observer BMP

2 x Hinds

 

Unrecognised state forces

HQ Leopard

2 x Leopard

2 x Leopard

4 x Marders with infantry

2 x Gepards with attatched missile teams

2 x Helicopters

4 x Jaguars

Turn 1 my T72 raced towards some woods where two Leopards were waiting, I cross country dashed and ended up out of sight of them. There were two more and the HQ in ambush though that I thought may pop out of the trees and deal death to me. To give my opponent something to think about I sent a unit of BMP down into his other deployment zone. The carnations set up at the back of the table whilst the AA settled in to wait for the airpower to arrive. My two hinds flew in behind the two leopards in the woods that the T72’s had dashed towards. If they survived and the ambush was revealed that could be ten tank shots coming back at me from about 6″ so would be very nasty indeed.

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The hinds managed to hit both tanks in the rear and blew them apart, how delightful to be on a board without any significant AA at the moment.

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Enemy turn they popped the ambush and decided to take out the BMP’s. Most of the infantry survived and ran into the buildings next to one of the objectives waiting for turn six.

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The marders rushed across to the other objective ready to drop off their troops, if my second BMP batalon arrived from reserve before they got dug in they were in trouble.

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The jaguars rolled to come on from reserve on the first roll but then failed to come onto the table all game,  8 points not available to the enemy was a loss they could have done without

As the hinds flew straight to the side of the battle field as soon as they realised Gepards were arriving there was no air targets available. Wanting to get stuck in the gepards shot at and obliterated the lone carnation that was in range. When I say obliterated I mean obliterated

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The T72’s were involved in a very unfair fight with three Leopards, at one point though five were bailed out but critically not destroyed. The two helicopters that came on to the table were knocked out by the Russian AA before they could get a shot in. Move or fire works for me.

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The BMP’s came on and got into a scrap with the marders, the troops had not tried to dig in and had been taking pot shots at the T72’s

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Now came the real turning point, turn six and the objectives were both in Russian hands so the Leopards had to spread out to contest them. This allowed the BMP’s and the remaining T72’s who had survived a break test and had managed to all get back in their tanks.

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Few mistakes were made, I had LMG in my BMP’s which were not actually in the short BMP list. This was more than made up for as the enemy had milans on the marders and was also using them on the ground rather than one or the other.

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Gepards that had started towards the carnations had come back to try to murder death kill infantry but could not get close enough to the objective without dashing to hold it.

RPG, T72 and spandrel fire took out the remaining leopards that had to expose their side armour to get close enough to the objectives and with that the Soviets had it.

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Few points from game

Unrecognised states forces having cross of 2+ and amazing AA and tanks is very nasty and in another mission defending or attacking will be great

Hinds were very lucky to take out two leopards on turn one

Jaguars never arriving

Helicopters getting blasted before they could unload and relatively small size of unrecognised states forces made it easier for the Soviets

Probably bigger than all of that was five T72’s getting bailed but not killed and then surviving a moral test. If they had gone the remaining leopards would have been able to casually roll me up.

Still good game

 

 

 

 

Team Yankee – Lee vs Colin

Master Colin, owner of Janco Toys and owner of a slow grow Brit force, challenged my Yanks to a game of War.  Being the Chieftain lover that he is, he went with a Chieftain force against my Mech Company.

The Forces

Lee’s Mech Infantry force

Support

(1) 1 x FIST Observer

(14) 4 x Cobra AH1 Attack ‘Copters

(7) 3 x  M109 Artillery tank teams

(6) 4 x VADS AA tank teams

Formation

(1) HQ – Mech Combat Team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(32) 4 x Abram Tank teams

(6) 6 x M106 Mortar Teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

Total 100pts

 

Colin’s Chieftain Brits

Support

(12) 4 x Lynx TOW Helicopters

(6) 4 x Tracked Rapier SAMs

(10) 4 x Harriers (using Tornado proxies)

Formation

(14) HQ – 2 x Cheiftain Tanks with armour upgrade

(21) 3 x Chieftain tanks with armour upgrade

(21) 3 x Chieftain tanks with armour upgrade

(6) 3 x Swingfire tanks

(9) FV-432 Infantry platoon

Total 99pts

The mission

We both chose defence; Colin rolled for mission and we ended up with Encounter.  We chose our starting forces and set up objectives and forces.

On rolling for first Turn, Colin clinched it and made a start

Turn 1 – Brits

The British infantry began to move up centre board, taking cover behind the church.  Everyone else sat tight and fired, the sole American casualty being an ITV; it’s unit partner stood firm.

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Turn 1 – Americans

I blitzed my Red Platoon infantry on the right forward towards the Swingfire and began positioning my M113s near the church to counter the incoming Brit infantry.  My ITVs missed everything they shot at.  The M109s and Red dragon teams were able to destroy 2 Swingfires between them.

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Turn 2 – Brits

The Milan teams in the Infantry platoon ascended the church spire in the centre board.  The solo Swingfire missed it’s target, but the Chietains on the right did not, hitting and killing an ITV and bogged VADS.

Turn 2 – Americans

Red Platoon managed to finish off the last Swingfire.  The M109s ranged in on the right flank Chieftains, using Red Platoon’s unit leader to range in, and bailed on of them.  In the centre, the M113s and VADS openup up on the infantry and their transports, killing a Milan team and bailing a transport.

Things had been very scrappy and tit-for-tat so far, but with the third turn incoming also came the chance for reinforcements.

Turn 3 – Brits

With no reinforcements incoming, Col’s infantry dismounted in the middle and pushed to hit the M113s with no success.  The Chieftains on the right flank were able to destroy an ITV and bail the other with 2 lucky hits, succeeding to hit where the church tower Milan team failed.

On the left flank, the Chieftains fired their big guns on my Infantry, killing 2 dug in bases with their brutal firepower.

Turn 3 – Americans

No reinforcements.  I pushed up in the middle with my VADs and M113s to press Colin’s infantry at the church.  They were able to kill 2 rifle teams.  My M109s dropped shells on the right flank Chieftains again, this time managing to destroy one of them.  Finally, a Chieftain down!

Turn 4 – Brits

Col rolled a reinforcement and went for his Harriers.  He then failed their roll for deployment.

In the centre, the last of the infantry deployed and hit at the M113s and VADS., destroying 2 M113s.  The Chieftains on both flanks were unable to inflict any damage to the infantry in front of them.

Turn 4 – Americans

I rolled 1 reinforcement and went for my Abrams, reinforcing the left flank and aiming to take down his HQ Chieftains.  My left flank Inf Platoon loaded up and set off for the objective.

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The Abrams opened fire, but only succeeded in scratching some Chieftain paintwork.  By the church a little more success, with the M113s and VADS killing more infantry.

Turn 5 – Brits

Colin rolled 2 reinforcements and also had his Harriers come available… this could hurt.  He deployed his last Chieftain platoon on the left opposite my Abrams, moved the Harriers onto my advancing M113s and blitzed the TOW Lynxs onto the board on the right.

Somehow, after the smoke had cleared I had only lost a single Abrams and an M113 (and it’s passengers).  Lucky for me!

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 Turn 5 – Americans

I received 2 units of reinforcements, successfully blitzing on both my Cobras and a unit of VADS.  I moved up into cover with my Abrams and prepared to drop some pain on the Chieftains.

Alas, with some epically bad dice rolling (and saves from Col) I was unable to damage anything.  I was duly informed by the spectators that I was now going to get Rapiered….

Turn 6 – Americans

Col auto-reinforced with his last unit, the Rapiers, and successfully blitzed them onto the board.  Although they ended up at the far end of the board from the Choppers, they were still just in range….

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The Harriers flew in behind my Abrams and the Chieftains ranged in on my new ITVs.  It was bloody…

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2 Cobras were shot down by the Rapiers…

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The Harriers cluster bombed a Chieftain into oblivion and bailed a second (I forgot to AA fire!).  Luckily they didn’t run.

The 2 ITVs in the open were easily torn apart by the Chieftains.

Turn 6 – Americans

Reinforcing with my last Infantry Platoon, it came on the wrong board corner (left) and made a terrain dash in it’s M113s to the right.  My Dragons and M109s were able to kill 2 Rapiers.  My fire on the left was ineffectual again.

Turn 7 – Brits

The Chieftains on the left started to push forward.  The Harriers once again showed up, this time targeting my right flank Infantry platoon.

The Chieftains fired on the move, destroying the bailed Abrams and bailing the last one.

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In the middle, the infantry and Helicopters fired on my VADs and new Infantry M113s, destroying a third VAD and bailing the 4th, and killing an M113 and a Rifle base at the cost of 1 Lynx.

The harriers lost 2 of their number to AA fire from M113s, and only succeeded in pinning my Red Inf Platoon.

My final Abrams crew decided enough was enough and fled the field.

Turn 7 – Americans

With my left objective under threat, my Third platoon dismounted and moved to protect it after passing their pin check.  On the right, my infantry passed their rally check and started to advance on the enemy objective, supported by a reinforcement Mortar team.  My last ITV platoon failed to Blitz on so moved up behind the wrecks of their predecessors.

In the middle, my M113s were finally able to break the Infantry platoon.  Some success at least…

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Turn 8 – Brits

Colin advanced the Chieftains on the left, bailing an M109 and missing my ITVs.  On the right his Harriers attempted a strafing run on my Mortars but were shot down by AA machine gun fire.  His Chieftains and Lynxes succeeded in finishing off my VADS and destroying 3 mortar teams.

Turn 8 – Americans

On the left flank I was unable to inflict and damage with my ITVs or M109s; on the right I advanced with my Infantry, and completely forgot to move my Mortars (the stress was getting to me!).

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Turn 9 – Brits

On my left, the Chieftains pushed towards the objective and attempted to flank my ITVs and catch them out of cover.  In a rare stroke of luck for me, they all missed.  On the right,  the Chieftains killed more Mortars.  The lynxes attempted to open fire and took AA fire from the Infantry and M113s, losing 2 of their number.  Only succeeding in bailing an M113, the last Lynx then fled the field.

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Turn 9 – Americans

The ITVs blitzed around the wrecks to regain their cover on the left, whilst on the right my Infantry and M113s advanced for the objective and finished off the Rapiers.  I was once again unable to damage the Chieftains with my ITVs…

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Turn 10 – Brits

The Brits fired with their Chieftains, once again missing my ITVs.  The Command Chieftains destroyed 2 of my M109s, causing the third to flee.

Turn 10 – Americans

My Infantry on the right moved into position, ready for the assault.  On the left, my ITVs finally managed to bail a Chieftain.

My 2 Rifle teams fired their LAWs into the side armour of the Chieftains, looking for a single bail to tip the forthcoming assault in their favour.  Needing 5s, they both missed.

Undeterred, they pushed the assault.   Meeting a wave of machine gun fire and 5 successful hits, they were forced back, becoming pinned and losing two of their number and narrowly passing a Break test as their 2 Dragon teams were out of command.

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Turn 11 – Brits

The Chieftains on the left were finally able to find their mark, destroying my last 2 ITVs.  On the right, the Chieftains fired on my Infantry but all were saved.

Turn 11 – Americans

On the left, the Mech Infantry Platoon decided to take the fight to the Chieftains.  Abandoning their Foxholes, they flanked the tanks and fired their LAWs, but were unable to hit on the move.  On the right, my M113s gunned their engines and headed for Colin’s other objective.

My Infantry on the left then charged, braving fire from 3 Chieftains.

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Unbelievably, the Chieftains only scored 4 hits.  Whilst I lost a team, the remaining 3 made it in.  The teams were unable to cause any damage and the Chieftains counter attacked, killing a team.  Undeterred my remaining 2 teams fought on, bailing a Chieftain.  The final Chieftain stuck it out and fought on, killing another team.  My last team valiantly fought on but missed it’s attack.  Miraculously, the Chieftain failed it’s counter roll and broke off, leaving it’s 2 bailed unit members to be destroyed.  The final Chieftain then fled the board!!!

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Turn 12 – Brits

We decided that due to the time, this would be the final turn.

Colin’s Chieftains on the left ignored my Infantry to shoot my M113s heading for the objective, killing one and causing another to run.  His command Cheiftains missed my other two M113s from the other team.

Turn 12 – Americans

To win I had to kill / break his last unit (the 2 Chieftains on the right) and force a Formation morale check for him to fail.

I rallied the right flank infantry, but they were unable to inflict any damage with their LAWs.  Attempting to assault, they were forced back and lost another team.

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End Game – Result and Conclusion

As we effectively ran out of time we both lost.  Checking the victory points, we scored 3 each for casualties caused.  A draw!  A true slog of a game with us picking bits off each other every turn!

My Mistakes

I should have pushed the right flank sooner, and pushed my M113s from the centre for the left objective as soon as I cleared the infantry from the Churchyard.

My Abrams should have deployed out of sight in centre board and forced him to commit his final 3 Chieftains without knowing what I was going to do with them, then used their superior speed to push the weak spot.

Col’s Forces

Harriers are far too easy to shoot down, and Col is short on Infantry.  He plans to ditch the Harriers and take an Airmobile platoon, which will make it much harder for his opponents to protect their objectives.  His Chieftains did extremely well until then got close to me, so he needs something else doing his offensive work.

The final Battlefield…

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It took 5 hours to play and 4 hours to write up, hope you enjoy!

Team Yankee – Saviours of the World vs Brits

First game of TY today, my Soviets vs James and his Brits

Now it must be said that the British were let down badly by their logistics department as many of the shiny toys have yet to arrive.

I used a T72 Batalon with

HQ

2 x T72 companies

1 x BMP-2 Company

2 x Shilkas

2 x Gophers

2 x Hinds

Maggies finest were I believe a Chieftain company

HQ

2 x Chieftain platoons

1 x Mech platoon

1 x Swingfire platoon

2 x air landing platoons

4 x Lynx attack helibobs

 

We set up the table then rolled for mission, I ended up attacking and had to get to one of the two objectives that would be live on turn 6

James placed his in the middle of the Wood in his deployment area defended by a platoon of chieftains and his company HQ. In front was a platoon of PBI and a unit of swingfire armed lads were hiding in ambush. I placed my objective just at the end of the strip of trees near the houses.

After very carefully looking at the table and deliberating about which was the bast tactic to use I of course decided to charge forward all T72 blazing whilst the BMP-2’s bombed down the road as fast as they could.

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My shilkas and gophers were to hide behind the blue building ready to deal death to the air landing guys and try to get some cover from the reserves that were going to start coming in from the top right corner.

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The Hinds set off to get some kills on the tanks in the wood safe from the swing fires as they were in ambush so couldn’t get me till James’s turn.

As ever an all or nothing approach was the way forward.

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The BMP’s went on a road dash

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Whilst all the tanks rolled forward and started shooting, needing sixs to hit it took all the tanks and the hinds to kill two Chieftains causing the third to bottle it. Not a bad turn

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First set of reserves arrived for the British and the T72 commanders waited to see who would not be going back to Olga on the farm.

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The chieftains in the woods managed to kill a T72 and bail a second and the three in the cornfield took out another two. The swingfires easily finished off the Hinds, the chieftains had decided not to try to use their AA the previous turn as it would have simply removed their gone to ground status.

The BMP’s let out the infantry to surround the objective then went off to help the worried looking T72 company trying to hold off the reserves.

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Meanwhile the other T72’s were trying to finish off the Chieftains and also take out the swing fires that had arrived at the edge of the wood. If I could kill them off before they fired things would look grim for the Brits. Aha says I rolling a handful of dice, Ho Ho says James as they all miss

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Well known for their good manners the Brits then also let rip and missed all the T72’s in front of them. On the flank the three Chieftains made a better job of it taking out two T72’s, now down to just two left, and also took out two BMP’s and bailed a third.

Maybe the woods would not be ours just yet

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I had not realised that not all of the Lynx’s were attack helicopters so was surprised when these two landed behind my AA assests ready to let out a platoon of bad lads.

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The Shilkas turned their turrets whilst the Gophers moved to hide from the helicopters, the shilkas radar were confused by the low corn field and only tow out of twelve shots hit and no damage was done at all.

A good turn of shooting saw the British commander and two swing fires ablaze for the loss of one more T72.

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With no more reserves arriving the chieftains took out a T72 making the company run but not until they and the BMP’s had thinned the numbers out a little. Unfortunatly the plucky brit held on.

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The British infantry defending the woods has sent off their transports to harass their Soviet counterparts on the second objective, Cains lads had left their entrenching tools at home and had been unable to dig in so took a number of hits and a few casualties.

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With the woods about to fall and the BMP’s taking out the last Chieftain the Brits capitulated deciding the remaining infantry were likely to be given the run around by the BMP’s and T72’s whilst the reds remained on an objective waiting for turn six to come around. As all the AA assets were still alive any helicopters would have a hot welcome when they came to play.

It is he was also going home as it was his turn to make tea.

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As the British commander was marched into captivity he was allowed to keep his supplies of tea, we are not barbarians after all.

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Conclusions, either

A – I am a tactical genius with a grasp of tactics that Alexander of Macedon would be proud of and soon all of Europe will be liberated from their capitalist overlords.

or

B – Hampered by the lack of support choices that are delayed somewhere we are told and the fact that I would not have been able to specifically set up the table and choose a better mission if I had been able to. Road to the objective, half the brits in reserve and decent cover for my infantry and AA teams.

Liked the game so James did his job of keeping me interested.

Still don’t like it as much FOW but at least I am playing now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Yankee Battle Report – Lee vs Jimmy

Following on from my musings about my Mech Platoon list, I fielded it against Jimmy’s Afgantsy force.

Forces were as follows:

Lee’s American Mech Inf Force

Support

(1) 1 x FIST Observer

(14) 4 x Cobra AH1 Attack ‘Copters

(15) 6 x M109 Artillery tank teams with Bomblets upgrade

(6) 4 x VADS AA tank teams

Formation

(1) HQ – Mech Combat Team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(24) 3 x Abram Tank teams

(6) 6 x M106 Mortar Teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

Total 100pts

 

Jimmy’s Russian Afgantsy Force

Support

(32) 7 x T72 Main Battle Tanks

(6) 4 x BMP2 Recon Tanks

(7) 2 x SU27 Frogfoot Strike Planes

(4) 4 x Shilka AA tanks

Formation

(1) MI-25 HIND Air Assault Battalion HQ

(12) 4 x HIND Assault Helicopters

(6) 2 x HIND Assault Helicopters

(19) Air Assault company comprising of: 10 x AK47 / RPG-18 teams, 9 x RPG7 teams, 2 x PKM LMG teams, 1 x AGS17 team, 1 x AT4 Spigot team, 1 x SA-14 Gremlin AA team

(13) Air Assault company comprising of: 7 x AK47 / RPG-18 teams, 6 x RPG7 teams, 2 x PKM LMG teams, 1 x SA-14 Gremlin AA team, 1 x AT4 Spigot team

100 pts

The Mission

I chose to defend and Jimmy chose prepared attack.  A roll on the chart gave us Fighting Withdrawal.

fighting-withdrawal

I dropped my objective in the centre of my half and Jimmy dropped his on each flank.

Set-Up

I set up predictably with an Infantry platoon sat on each objective.  ITVs supported each flank.  My VADs were set as mid-table as possible whilst still getting concealment, but I could see that me left flank was a little exposed to Air attack.  My Cobras claimed a building line for cover on the left flank.

I dropped mines in between buildings on the centre table, hoping to push Jimmy’s forces to the flanks and to the objectives that could be removed in the late game.

Jimmy placed his Tank platoon in mid field, using his Recon spearhead to push them further up the table.  He placed his largest Infantry company on my left flank, supported by 4 HINDs, and the other on my right supported by 2 HINDs.  His Shilkas deployed opposite my Cobras.

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 Turn 1 – Russians

Jimmy’s infantry set off moving up the board on each flank, and his 4 strong HIND unit pushed down my left flank out of range of my VADS.  In the middle, his T72s and BMPs positioned themselves for opportune shots at my VADS unit.

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Firing commenced; firstly the Shilkas opened fire, killing a single Cobra.  Their comrade Gremlin teams were unable to land any hits.  In the middle, the T72s and BMPs opened up on the VADS and FIST; again needing 6s, they only succeeded in killing the FIST Observer.

The HINDs opened fire, the left flank HINDs taking AA MG fire from infantry and M113s and losing 1 of their number (note the pic shows 2 lost, this was until we realised Guided cannot fire at Helicopters in the enemy turn so we put it back on!).  The remaining HINDs were unable to inflict any casualties on either flank, but pinned the right flank Mech Platoon.

Turn 1 – Americans

My right flank Mech Platoon unpinned.  Deciding to ‘go for it’ I deployed my Abrams from Ambush and moved up to counter the T72s mid-table.  My VADS shuffled up to the right corner of the corn field to get some teams in range of the HINDs on the right.  In the mid table, my M113s moved down the road to take some pot shots at Jimmy’s Shilkas in the distance.

I began my shooting by deploying a smoke bombardment from my Mortars across the centre board, protecting my Abrams and centre VADS from any return fire in Jimmy’s next turn (the mines would prevent him from pushing up to or through the smoke without significant risk).

My Abrams opened up on the T72s, killing 2 and bailing 1.  My Cobras killed another T72 and bailed a 2nd, and a single Dragon team from the left flank was able to draw line of sight and kill another.  With 4 destroyed and 2 bailed, the last T72 was testing for breaking, which it failed.  The surviving tanks fled the field.

My M113s let rip at the Shilkas but were unable to bail or destroy any teams.

The VADS unit opened up, destroying a HIND on the right.  The 2 ITV platoons on the left fired on the HINDs, killing all 3.  The final HIND on the left failed it’s morale check, leaving the Russians HINDless.

The M109 Artillery ranged in on the right flank infantry company using the right flank Inf Platoon’s leader as Spotter.  Firing bomblets, they hit around 9 bases of infantry.  Only 1 failed their save, but the unit was pinned.

Turn 2 – Russians

With the right flank Infantry company failing their pin check, the left flank advanced.  The Frogfoots became available and came on board right behind my left flank ITV teams.   The BMP Recon team redeployed from centre board to right flank, taking cover behind the corn field.

Shooting commenced, with the Shilkas downing another Cobra and the Spigot team punishing the advancing M113s, killing 3 of their number.

The Frogfoots opened up with their 30mm guns on the 2 ITV platoons, destroying 1 and bailing the other 3.  The weaker unit fled the field, leaving the other platoon with 2 bailed teams.

Turn 2 – Americans

The ITV platoon failed to remount any teams.  The Abrams platoon moved up to gain line of sight on the Shilkas and Spigot team.  The VADS and centre Mech Inf Platoon began moving to the left to support that flank.  Everyone else sat tight and opened fire on any targets they could see.

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The Abrams faired worse shooting than the previous turn, killing a Shilka for their trouble.  On the right flank the ITV, M113 and infantry teams were able to kill 2 BMPs and bail one, with the unit then failing it’s morale check and fleeing.  The M106 Mortars failed to range in on their target Infantry.  On the left flank, the Russian infantry company was hit by the M109s and Mech Inf, losing 2 bases of Infantry and becoming pinned.

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Turn 3

Jimmy had a good look at the board.  On the right, his infantry wouldn’t be able to reach the objective intact before it would be removed.  On the left, the Company might get close but the Americans were reinforcing and still had the Abrams and all their artillery.  Whilst I would be removing a unit at the end of my turn, I could simply remove an ITV unit from the right with no appreciable effect on my ability to defend.

At this point the game was conceded by the Russians.

Conclusions

Running through this report, we realised we missed a key rule, in that low cover doesn’t count as concealment from aircraft shots.  This could have helped the HINDs on the right flank to do damage to the ITVs, and changed how the HINDs on the left flank were used.

The realisation that Guided weapons can shoot aircraft was a big eye opener for us both, as my ITVs were able to function as secondary AA units against the HINDs with great effect.

Discussing the HINDs, we both agreed that fielding 4 and 2 isn’t enough, and that 4 and 4 needs to be the way.  I also think 4 frogfoots as opposed to 2 would really help.

Regarding the mission, this was a really poor mission for Jimmy.  Between the terrain set-up, the minefields and my choice of forces, he was always going to be struggling with his slow moving infantry.  In future games the use of spearhead to push his infantry further up the board may be a big help.

In terms of my own forces, I was very happy with how they worked together.  The mission allowing me to deploy everything / ambush was a massive boon, and taking out the T72 company and HINDs in the first turn essentially won it.  I did resist dropping 3 M109s and bomblets for a 4th Abrams, and in this instance I think it paid off, but I think I may make the change anyways to give the stronger Ambush unit.

 

 

 

My M113 Mech Combat Team – Yankee Force

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I’ve been working on the ins and outs of this force for a few games / months now, and feel it’s finally a force I’m comfortable with, so thought I’d share the force and my thoughts.

First of all, a few disclaimers:

  1. Not a single drop of paint hit these models from my brushes.  They were fully entrusted to a fellow HoG, Big Paul, who made an amazing job of them.
  2. I’ve never played Flames of War (and never will!) and my current experience of Team Yankee is about 7 or 8 games in total.
  3. I still feel there’s so much to learn about this game and the tactics of the individual missions, so bear that in mind when I’m theorising and everything here is my current opinion and subject to change!

Overall Force Composition and Strategy

Easy things first.  This is based on a 100pt game, as that seems to be the normal level of play.  If I needed to go higher, I would add an Abrams formation and redistribute the forces to ensure a good split between the two formations.  (My first few games I took both an Abrams formation and a Mech formation, and it never seemed to do too well – more on this later).  I have the option of a couple of A10s as well, but really don’t like the randomness for their use (4+ seems overly harsh for the points invested – if I were Brits on the other hand, Harriers would be an auto-add).

Support

(1) 1 x FIST Observer

(14) 4 x Cobra AH1 Attack ‘Copters

(15) 6 x M109 Artillery tank teams with Bomblets upgrade

(6) 4 x VADS AA tank teams

Formation

(1) HQ – Mech Combat Team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(7) M113 Mech Platoon with +1 Dragon team

(24) 3 x Abram Tank teams

(6) 6 x M106 Mortar Teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

(3) 2 x ITV Anti-Tank teams

Total 100pts

What you may notice straight away is that I have basically ‘maxed out’ the formation in terms of unit count.  This has 2 advantages:

  1. (Minor) very difficult to break the formation
  2. (Major) much more options for deployment of units

Number 2 is the critical one here. The Fist will always deploy, and the Commander gets the choice.  So that leaves me with 12 Combat teams to choose between when deploying.

The ITVs are key to this, being extremely cheap per unit card to pick up.

This force is keyed generally towards defending on missions, and it is here where the defender tends to have less units on board first turn than the attacker.  With a low unit count force, I have struggled to deploy everything you need to defend objectives and cover good defensive positions / lanes of fire.

All 3 defensive missions (Bridgehead / Fighting Withdrawal / No Retreat) give you up to half your units on table with the option to Ambush with one of them.  The general plan is to ensure that 2 Infantry Platoons are deployed to table for Objective defense, the VADS  are on board in good defensive positions to protect against early Air attacks, and the Cobras are sat in cover (protected by the VADS range-wise) to offer some early retaliation.  The last team slot will go to the 3rd Mech Platoon or the Mortar Platoon depending on board layout and mission.  The Abrams will sit in Ambush, with the goal of revealing behind an Enemy tank platoon and getting some easy kills.  The HQ would start off board (more on this later).

The Units

So that’s the overall plan, let’s cover the units in detail.

M113 FIST Observer

Quite simple, get into cover with a reasonable field of view!  If there’s somewhere elevated at the back of the field, the further from the enemy the better!  Doesn’t tend to draw fire unless the M109s have Wire Guided Missile upgrades (so they don’t!)

AH1 Cobra Attack Helicopters

These aces very rarely let me down in a game, seeming to be very survivable and pushing out a good rate of damage thoughout the game.  First thing – ALWAYS ensure they have cover, as without that additional + to hit (5+ as opposed to 4+) they die quickly!  I Start them deep in my half to avoid the majority of AA fire.  If you can remove some of the Enemy’s AA, you can send these across the board to destroy some light armoured targets with Gatling guns / rockets (Artillery / AA are prime examples) then on the following turn you are lighting up enemy tanks from their rear armour.

M109 Field Artillery Battery

I’ve been using these as a unit of 3 for some time, occasionally with the Laser Guided Projectile upgrade.  Even with 3 of them, they were able to pull off good results against Infantry and light tank platoons.  With 6, Russkies will be being hit on 2+ with a successful first range-in.  Normal ammo will work wonders on digging troops out of Buildings or working on tank teams.  The bomblet upgrade is there specifically to deal with advancing infantry companies on foot that won’t be benefitting from Bulletproof cover, as the Firepower rating of 6 is too poor to do much otherwise.  I’ve specifically not given them the Laser Projectiles upgrade for 2 linked reasons.  Firstly, it’s 6 points, and secondly, if the Fist Observer dies the projectiles can no longer be fired.  This makes the Observer a massive target.

The other option with these is for the Smoke, meaning in combination with the M106s 2 turns of cover can be granted.

M163 VADS

As the only dedicated AA unit available to the Yanks, this unit is an auto-add.  Luckily. it’s also exceptionally good.

With a 32″ AA range, there’s no issue with this unit sitting back.  It should be in a position where it can’t be shot at by land units (deep in a wood, or behind a building, for instance) so the only opportunity to attack it is with Air assets, which it WILL kill.  Firing from stationary, these will quite easily munch through a unit of 4 Hinds.  When reacting in the enemy phase, I suggest firing one team at a time until you have achieved your desired result.

If you find yourself in the position of having removed all enemy air assets, the VADS are more than capable of going on the offensive against enemy light tanks and infantry; with anti-tank 6 and the amount of dice being thrown you will achieve good results even if the Firepower is only 5+.

M113 Mech Combat Team HQ

As your HQ can change the unit he’s with each step (in your turn and the Enemy’s) you are going to get the most out of this chap by keeping him in range of multiple units, for different reasons.

A tactic I intend to try, for instance, is using the HQ attached to the M109s to assist in them Blitz moving onto the board.  The HQ would then move up to within range of an Infantry platoon to ensure it’s survival.

Supporting ITVs in making blitz moves / scoots is also a possibility, providing that a Mech Platoon is nearby OR the HQ is out of line of sight of any possible attacks.

M113 Mech Platoons

As the ‘core’ of the Formation, the boys get the least enviable task of defending the Objectives.  Quite simply, the Infantry get set up on the Objective and get dug in (or in a building depending on how the objective is placed).  The M113s will support, with the option of going after unprotected enemy Infantry / assets if the opportunity presents itself.   The 3rd unit, most likely being in reserve, can be used to shore up an objective if required, or even push against weakened enemy lines or objective.  If deployed in a fortified position ahead of an objective, the enemy could find their MBTs taking fire from Dragon missiles from rear armour if they push too hard.

M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks

Sadly, one of the most fun units to use in the force also ends up being one of it’s most temperamental.  A line of M1s opening up on a Russian armour column is a joy to behold, but that action is almost certainly followed by complete annihilation of the M1s in return fire.  With the points paid for them, and the ease of them dying, the numbers in my force have dwindled to bare minimum.

That said, I believe they have their place as my premier Ambush unit; 6 shots into the rear of a tank Platoon should result in 3 or 4 deaths, and then give the opponent the choice of coming back to face the Abrams or ignoring them and rushing forward.  With this in mind, they may end up holding Ambush until the 2nd or 3rd turn.  Time will tell how this works out.

M106 Heavy Mortar Platoon

These entered my force primarily for their smoke bombardment.  The ability to drop a 24″ line of smoke across your entire front line, that you can fire through at no penalty if within 6″ of you, is potentially a game winner in itself.  With the Range-in point pre-placed before deployment, no rolling is even required for this if you can envisage your full set up in your head.  I would look to drop smoke first or second turn to protect either my front line of my ambushing Abrams.  Further from that, pounding on Infantry with the mortars or going hunting with their machine guns is equally useful for the points they cost.  In a pinch, they can also provide some AA cover without sacrificing too much in your own turn.

M901 ITV Anti-Tank Platoons

With so few MBTs in my force, the ITVs are there to provide that missing punch to enemy MBTs.  The trick is getting the ITVs into good positions without getting shot up.  The suggestion is to ensure the enemy can’t get an easy line of sight to them whilst they are on the move, as being hit on a 5+ is much worse than a 6+ once they’ve settled in.  Hitting these on a 6+ is a nightmare for your opponent unless he saturates them with fire or drops very lucky.

To achieve this, having them move up to a position with the HQ within range (such as in a wood) then Blitzing to the front of the wood next turn using the Commander’s skill level offers a little more in terms of reliability.  Alternatively, get them into position out of current line of sight, but overseeing a zone where you know your enemy is going to move into in a couple of turns.  The wait should be worth it due to the threat presented; and if ignored, it’s a shooting gallery for you.  Alternatively, a smoke bombardment could easily cover them getting into position.

The unit count is too small to consider using in Ambush; the Abrams or M109s will always be the better choice.  So figuring out the best way to get these into position once claimed from reserves will be the objective.

It should be noted that Big Paul who painted all my forces is a Russian player, and hates ITVs.  He was very reluctant to paint the additional 4 🙂

Summary

So there you have it.  This force has adapted over my past few games as I’ve trialled various things, and I’m hoping it’s where I need to be now.  Time will tell, watch out for the next few Battle Reports!

As always, comments and thoughts are welcome.  In the meantime, here’s some more shots of the sexy Yanks posing for photos.

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Team Yankee Battle – Lee vs Paul

We recently talked another member of our group into Team Yankee (incidentally the chap that paints all my Team Yankee stuff!) by letting him near a Russian Starter Box with some money in his pocket…  After a week or two of furious painting he wanted to get some tarmac on his tracks…

It’s a pretty short BatRep, the reasons for that should become evident pretty quickly…

I chose defence and he chose Hasty Attack, once again using the ‘More Missions’ supplement.  Rolling on the resultant chart gave us the Breakthrough mission.

breakthru

We set out with 100pts each, with me choosing a Mech Platoon based Formation and Paul going Tank heavy.

I set up fully in the lower right portion, thinking anything placed in the upper left would be isolated and easily destroyed.  My artillery was set up well back, hidden from view, with my spotter and ITVs covering the direct approach and my Cobras taking cover in the refinery and covering the board distance-wise as best they could.  My VADS deployed just in front of the Artillery to ensure good coverage of my forces.  My 4 team Aabrams unit waited in Ambush.

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Paul then set up the whole of his forces excepting his infantry company.  The tank hordes were ready to pounce, an imposing sight to be sure…

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Turn 1

The Soviets advanced quickly, with the majority of units dashing across the board towards the objectives.  The little shooting that did occur accounted for a VADS and Cobra loss for the Yanks, with the VADS shooting down 3 of the HINDs with anti-aircraft fire.

The Americans responded with firepower, with Aabrams ambushing the dashing Soviet tanks and the ITVs and Cobras firing down range.  The dust settled with 4 less T72s; a poor response, caused by me not flanking with my Aabrams and some pretty good saving throws from Paul.  My first reinforcements, one of the Mech Platoons, made a road dash to protect one of the objectives.

Turn 2

The T72s decided to punish the Aabrams, pushing past them and firing into their side armour, destroying 3 of their number and swarming onto the Hill objective.  In response, the solo Aabrams remaining moved to contest the Hill objective and destroy a T72.  The Mech Platoon deployed to defend the town objective whilst their transports doubled back to protect the ITVs from the Russian Infantry moving in.

Turn 3

The Russians pushed forward and fully occupied the hill objective, having completely outmanoeuvred me and leaving me with no tank units in tactical move range to contest (and infantry unable to get close enough).  I tried in desperation to clear the hill using Salvos, Dragon fire and VADS but was only able to offer light wounds to the Russian Bear.  On the opening of Turn 4, it was game to the Russians.

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 Conclusions

I was utterly unprepared for the Russian mad dash across the board.  Whilst Paul’s HINDs were thrown to the wolves, his tank rush threw me off kilter immediately.

With hindsight I should have placed at least 1 unit in the other table quarter behind his advancing line.  This might have slowed him down, or given me easy kills.  If my Aabrams had ambushed from there it could have stalled his whole attack or cost him many more tanks.

I also need to ensure my Infantry are on the board in the first turn so they can get onto objectives and dig in early.

Other than that, any advice appreciated!  It was a great game and looking forward to the next.

 

 

Team Yankee Battle – Lee vs Jimmy

So it was time to face down the Russian Afgantsy forces with my heavily outnumbered ‘Murricans.

100pts each, with the mission generated from the ‘More Missions’ supplement using the choose your strategy option (side note : everyone should be using this – it’s loads of fun and lets you usually play the way you want to play).

Forces:

Russians

  • 2 x Air Assault Companies
  • 1 x HINDs (2 no.)
  • 1x HINDs (4 no.)
  • 1x Carnation Artillery (3 no.)
  • 1 x T72 Tank Company (8 no.)
  • 1 x BMP2 Recon Platoon (4 no.)
  • 1 x Shilka AA Company (4 no.)

Americans

  • M113 Combat Team formation comprising of:
    • HQ
    • Mech Platoon (full strength)
    • Mech Platoon (full Strength)
    • ITV platoon (2 no.)
  • Aabrams Combat team formation consisting of:
    • HQ (1 no.)
    • Aabrams Platoon (3 no.)
    • Aabrams Platoon (2 no.)
    • Mortar Team (6 no.)
  • Support:
    • Cobra Platoon (4 no.)
    • VADS AA Platoon (4 no.)
    • M109 Artillery Platton (3 no.)
    • M113 FIST

Mission : I chose to defend, and Jimmy chose a Hasty Attack.  So with a roll of a 5 on the chart, Hasty Attack was the mission with me as defender.

SETUP

With the Russians having 3 objectives on the table, I covered 2 with my Mech Platoon and VADS on the left flank / centre and (stupidly) left just my artillery covering the right.  The Russians set up 1 infantry company on each flank, and removed the left-most objective, leaving my Mech Platoon sat doing very little.  The 6 Hinds set up tight on the right flank as to avoid my VADS initially.

Everything else was off board, and I left my platoon of Cobras in Ambush.

Jimmy removed the leftmost objective, rendering my Mech Platoon completely out of position.  I’d taken some account of this possibility by making sure my Infantry were all in range of their transports.

1st Turn – Russian

The Russian infantry on the right flank immediately began advancing down the road towards the Artillery and objective, whilst the hinds moved to the right edge of the board out of VADS range but within easy kill distance of the artillery.  The infantry on the left flank held on their objective for the time being.

The Hinds opened up on the Artillery and predictably blew two of them up, routing the 3rd.

1st Turn – American

The Mech Platoon loaded up and shot across the board to support the right flank, with the VADs moving in the same direction but taking what cover they could.

The Cobras appeared out of ambush and set up behind the advancing right flank Russian Infantry.  Dodging Gremlin AA fire, they attempted to salvo the unit but failed to range in.

2nd Turn – Russian

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No Russian reinforcements appeared this turn.  The Infantry Company on the Left Flank, seeing the counter forces leaving the left flank undefended, began to advance.

With the VADS now ranged in on any places where the HINDs could be useful, and no land vehicles able to draw a bead on them, the HINDs shuffled forward intending to exchange fire with the American AA.  The Russian infantry on the right flank continued to advance on the objective.

As the HINDs went to open fire, the VADS fire first.  When the smoke cleared only 1 HIND from 4 remained, and after firing ineffectually it routed off board.

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American Turn 2

With no reinforcements possible for another turn, the ‘Murricans needed to make some dents into the infantry companies.  The Cobras repositioned into the HIND’s vacated location and succeeded in Salvoing the Infantry, imposing some kills.  The Mech Platoon also placed some shots into the Company, inflicting casualties but still leaving a horde of soldiers untouched.

Russian Turn 3

The Russians deployed the first of their reserves, a T72 Tank Company and Artillery Support, to the left flank.  The right flank Infantry Company advanced into the ruins adjacent to the objective and prepared to engage the Mech Platoon.  Small arms fire on the Mech Platoon began to whittle down it’s numbers.

American Turn 3

With no reserves becoming available, the Mech Platoon, VADS and Cobras all fired on the Infantry in the building on the right flank.  In bulletproof cover, this proved entirely ineffectual.

Russian Turn 4

The T72 tank company moved to the centre and lit up the Amercian VADs, destroying 3 of them and routing the 4th.  The Infantry on the left advanced, and infantry on the right fired from their secure locations, destroying more of the Mech Platoon and it’s M113 support vehicles.

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American Turn 4

The Americans finally received reserves in the form of their Abrams platoon.  This moved up the centre of the board, immediately seeking to bloody the nose of the T72 company.  The Mech Platoon, overhearing Russian radio chatter about the benefits of bulletproof cover, decided to Dig in.  The cobras moved to the rear of the Russian forces and took out the artillery unit, taking casualties from AA in the process, whilst the Mech Platoon was able to take out a couple of infantry teams in the Ruins.

The Abrams fired on the T72s and took out 4 of their number.

Russian Turn 5

The Russians received further reinforcements in the form of BMPs and Silkas, which moved down the right flank.  The HINDs and T72s moved to work on the Aabrams, destroying 2 of their number, while the left flank infantry set up in the field and threatened the objective there.

On the right flank, the Russian Infantry held the building and again fired on the Mech platoon.  Amazingly, the teams weathered the storm well and only lost another couple of teams.

American Turn 6

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The Americans received their 2nd Mech Platoon and Mortar unit from reserve.  The Mech Platoon immediately relieved their beleaguered colleagues on the right flank, whilst the mortars swept in close on the right team to defend the objective and turn their machine guns on the Infantry Company there.  The Russians on the right flank were suddenly on the defensive.  On the left flank, a couple of infantry teams and a T72 were destroyed but it was starting to look desperate.

Russian Turn 7

As the infantry on the right defended the ruins the best they could, the left flank pummeled the remaining forces there, taking out another Aabrams and routing the last and destroying several of the Mortar teams.

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American Turn 7

My last unit to deploy a unit of ATVs, tried to blitz move onto the table (in order to fire) but failed.  On the right flank, the 2nd Mech Platoon fired on and then charged the Russians oocupying the nearby ruin, clearing the building almost entirely.  Their M113s rushed to support the left flank.

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Russian Turn 8

On the left flank, the HINDs, infantry and remaining T72s put paid to the Mortar Teams and set to work on the M113s sweeping from the right flank.  With several infantry teams occupying the objective, it was all but over.

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American Turn 8

Rather than delay the inevitable, I decided that 4 M113s were not going to hold an objective from 2 Hinds and half an infantry company and sounded the retreat.

Summary

A truly epic battle that tipped and swayed on a turn by turn basis.  As a new player to ‘Flames’ games (Team Yankee is my first, and only played 6 or 7 games mainly using tanks), I learnt a lot from this fight:

  • Don’t let enemy infantry get into buildings.  Digging them out is painful!
  • Make sure you get all your infantry on the board and defending from the first turn.  OR put said infantry in ambush, not your Choppers
  • Mortar units are very useful as a mobile machine gun unit