Building a BMP-3 list

The new Team Yankee Soviet book has been out for a couple of weeks now, and there has been much discussion online about what the best thing in the new book is. Some are fans of the new T-80 super tanks, others the sheer insanity that is the TOS-1. Some people are even advocating hordes of T-55AMs and outnumbering the NATO forces 5 to 1. I am not one of them, (although the TOS-1 is very cool). For me, the best thing in the book is the BMP-3.

Me discussing the new book with some friends

Something for every occasion

As I mentioned in my Soviet book overview article, the BMP-3 has something for every occasion. Its front armour of 5 will shrug off most things that are not dedicated AT guns, and it’s got a frankly silly number of options for shooting.

I’m sure much in awe I can’t even think of a witty comment

I mean look at it – four separate weapon profiles that can all move and fire, but each one has its place.

I was hoping that the book would include some sort of Recon formation similar to the American Armoured Cavalry troop or the British Medium Recce Squadron, but sadly, it doesn’t, so instead I’ll just have to make my own version of it using the BMP Motor Rifle Battalion formation. I’m going to aim for a 100pt list as that’s what we tend to play at this level, but I’ll also look at a few options for expanding it to 125pts.

That’s a lot of boxes

Start at the beginning

The first thing I’ll need is a formation HQ. Now I know some people are suggesting you should take a BMP-1 as the formation HQ to save a couple of points. I can see the logic of doing so, but I want BMP-3s in my list, so I’m taking a BMP-3 as my HQ; after all, you couldn’t imagine an American commander riding round in an M3 half-track when the rest of his force is in Bradleys.

BMP Motor Rifle Battalion
1x AK-74 Rifle team in a BMP-3 – 3pts

The black boxes

Next, I need to fill the two mandatory black boxes in the formation. Unsurprisingly these will be BMP-3 Motor Rifle Companies, but at what size shall I take them? As I’m after then recon formation feel, I think I’ll go for multiple small units, (generally known as MSU,) plus I tend to find big units quite unwieldy. Each will be four AK-74 and RPG-18 teams, three RPG-7 teams and four BMP-3s for 10 pts. We also have the optional third Motor Rifle Company box, so I’ll add another minimum sized unit in there as well. I’ll ignore the optional upgrades for now; we will come back to those if we have points left over at the end.

I now have:
BMP Motor Rifle Battalion
1x AK-74 Rifle team in a BMP-3 – 3pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
=33pts

I have used a third of our points and have the core of my force sorted; time to start adding some support in.

Sneaky Chaps

You might have noticed that there is another place that I can add in more BMP-3s. The Recon Platoon will allow me to add in four more BMP-3s, and these ones sacrifice their infantry for the addition of Spearhead rule, making them extra sneaky. Also, I can have a second platoon of these at the battalion support level so that’s another eight BMP-3s in total.

A BMP-3 so sneaky its pretending to be a duck

BMP Motor Rifle Battalion
1x AK-74 Rifle team in a BMP-3 – 3pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
Force Support
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
=51pts

Living on a prayer

Right, I’m over halfway there and have 21 BMP-3s. I should probably now add something that isn’t a BMP-3. At the moment my only defence against fixed-wing aircraft is hope and prayer (yes, I agree the Bon Jovi reference is rather forced,) and since that’s frowned upon in the Soviet Union, we best add some dedicated AA.

It’s a choice between Shilka and Tunguska, and frankly, I’m picking the Tunguska based purely on the rule of cool, so that’s 8pts for four. Seeing as the Tunguska have missiles and guns, I think I’ll get the cheap option for the dedicated missile AA and get four Gaskins for 2 pts.

The only way it could look more Sci-Fi would be if it had legs

BMP Motor Rifle Battalion
1x AK-74 Rifle team in a BMP-3 – 3pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
4x Tunguska – 8pts
4x Gaskin – 2pts
Force Support
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
=61pts

Bringing the Rain

I mentioned in the first paragraph that whilst it’s not my favourite thing in the new book, I still think the TOS-1 is very cool, and I could do with some artillery, so let’s add in a unit of those for 10pts. The only issue with the TOS-1 is that they don’t unlock the Soviet observer. If you want one of those, you need to take some artillery that’s slightly less insane. The cheapest option would be 3 Hails, but as I have the TOS-1 I don’t think I need more low AT good firepower Salvo templates, so I’ll get some gun artillery instead. Carnations are part of the BMP formation and have reasonable AT in bombardment plus AT21 over open sights, so can work as tank hunters in an emergency. I’ll add three of those for 5pts, which also means I can now have an observer as well.

That’s one way to deal with Milan teams

BMP Motor Rifle Battalion
1x AK-74 Rifle team in a BMP-3 – 3pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
4x Tunguska – 8pts
4x Gaskin – 2pts
3x Carnations -5pts
Force Support
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
3x TOS-1 – 10pts
BMP-1 OP – 1pt
=77pts

Can Openers

Speaking of tank hunters, there are a lot of tanks out there these days that have a front armour of 20 or even higher. Whilst I have plenty of BMP-3s that might be able to get into the weaker side armour, it might be best if I add something that can take on the super tanks from the front. One option would be an air force. The general feeling in Team Yankee when it comes to air power is to go big or go home and seeing as I still want to include some tanks in my list and only have 23 points left, I think in this instance I will go home. So instead I’ll take some Storms. They can now get Spiral-2 missiles, which are AT-24, meaning I’ll have a 50/50 chance of taking out an M1A1HC with one

Not to scale

BMP Motor Rifle Battalion
1x AK-74 Rifle team in a BMP-3 – 3pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
Small BMP-3 Motor Rifle Company – 10pts
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
4x Tunguska – 8pts
4x Gaskin – 2pts
3x Carnations -5pts
Force Support
4x Recon BMP-3 – 9pts
3x TOS-1 – 10pts
BMP-1 OP – 1pt
3x Storm (AT-9 Spiral-2) – 4pts
=81pts

Last but not least

Okay, 19pts left, and I want some tanks. Nineteen points are exactly the right amount for four T-64s, and whilst that is tempting and what I did in the first draft of this article, it just didn’t sit right with me. As the old saying goes, quantity has a quality all of its own, and to be honest, I just love the T-62M. I could get seven for 17pts leaving me with two points. However, I’m just going to get five for the cost of 10pts, for reasons that will become apparent shortly.

This leaves me with nine points and, at the risk of being typecast as the ‘loves rubbish tanks’ kind of guy, I’m going to put those last few points into five T-55AMs with missiles. For a mere 9 points, this gives me five more tank hulls which can either sit back and shoot with their missiles, or I can throw them at the enemy as a distraction. (By which I mean on the table, not physically throw the model at my opponent, I hear that kind of thing is frowned upon.)

There are about 25pts of T-62 in this photo

The Final List

So, the final list looks like this:

A word of warning

So, there we have it, a 100pt list designed to take on most lists. Idle for pick up and play games, I’m not saying it will be an amazing list and win every game, but it will hopefully be both fun to play with and against.

The biggest issue you might have is missions with the deep reserves rule. As the front armour on the BMP-3 is so high you wouldn’t get to deploy many of them on the table. If you’re using the missions matrix this can easily be avoided by choosing Manoeuvre, then you should be able to avoid those missions.

Cranking it up to 11

As I mentioned at the start, my group normally play 100pts, but recently we have had a few games at 125pt mostly, so people can use formations that involve M1A1 and Challengers. If I wanted to increase my list to challenge, (pun intended,) a super tank army here are few options:

6 x Frogfoot and some AA missiles on the infantry
5 x T-64
3 x T-80 with missiles

Of those options, I think I’d probably choose the Frogfoot (I’m not getting in the discussion about how you pluralise that again). Their AT 27 missiles will make a mess of the heaviest tank, as long as I can get them to turn up – it’s amazing how hard it can be to roll a 4+.

Anyway, time to add a box or four of BMP-3 to my Christmas list.

Cheers Santa

Category: List DiscussionSovietsTeam Yankee

One comment

  1. nice article and a well rounded list building and well thought reasoning. How do you plan on assaulting an objective what unit do you see being able to take the rate of attrition and get to an objective? and why no Hinds? No criticism just trying to understand.

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Article by: Andy Thompson