Shock and Awe – Making the most of the TY Soviet Starter Force

Andy takes a look at using and expanding the new World War III:Team Yankee – Soviet Starter Force.

Are the planes small or are they just far away?

Spoiler Alert

Now that we have given an overview of the new WW3 Soviet book, (which you can read HERE,) many people are thinking of starting a new Soviet army. To aid this, Battlefront have released the Soviet Starter Force, but there isn’t an example list in the book showing how to use this set, so here is my thoughts on the subject.

Which is a change as my thoughts normal revolve around tea and biscuits …. in fact I think its time to put the kettle on now

What’s in the Box?

The boxset contains the following
5x T-80 sprues
5x Spandrel/Gaskin/BRDM-2 sprues
2x BMP-3 sprues
2x Frogfoot sprues
2x Hind Sprues
This turns into the following army:

T-80 Shock Tank Company
T-80 HQ – 10pts
+missiles 1pt
2x T-80 – 19pts
+missiles 1pt
2x T-80 – 19pts
+missiles 1pt
2x BMP-3 Recon -6pts
2x Gaskin – 1pt

Support
3x Spandrel – 2pts
2x Hind – 6pts
2x Frogfoot -7pts
Total 73pts (75pts with mine plows)

Taking it to 100 points

There are several different ways you can turn this boxset into 100 points, but I’ll try and focus on ways that will give a balanced force and won’t leave too much stuff left over.

Quick and Easy

The simplest way to turn the above into a 100pt army is to just use the T-80s from the boxset and then add another box of T-80s.

Remember the days of smooth round Soviet turrets?

Ten T-80s, with missiles on everything but the HQ, works out at exactly 100pts, but it’s a very one-dimensional army, plus, you will be ignoring more then half the models in the starter set. If you use just some of the extra T-80s and all of the boxset you do get a slightly more well-rounded army

T-80 Shock Tank Company
T-80 HQ – 10pts
3x T-80 – 29pts
+missiles 1pt
2x T-80 – 19pts
2x T-80 – 19pts
2x BMP-3 Recon -6pts
2x Gaskin – 1pt

Support
3x Spandrel – 2pts
2x Hind – 6pts
2x Frogfoot -7pts
Total 100pts

This army list gives you more options, although it’s quite fragile and it’s still a bit lacking in some key areas. Most of the units are only two models strong, which means that as soon as you start taking losses, you’ll have to start making morale tests. The Soviet morale is good, but you will fail that 3+ eventually. Also, you have no infantry to dig in and hold objectives, and your air defence is severely lacking. Plus, you’ll have two unused T-80s!.

The Team Yankee Starter set

I cant emphasise how good a deal this set is

The Team Yankee starter set contains Three T-80, three T-64, a pair of BMP-3 and a bunch of American models. Even if you discount the American models, the starter set is a bargain at RRP £35, and you may be able to find someone who is willing to take those American models off your hands. That will enable you to field something like this:

T-80 Shock Tank Company
T-80 HQ – 10pts
3x T-80 – 29pts
3x T-80 – 29pts
3x BMP-3 Recon -9pts
2x Gaskin – 1pt

Support
3x Spandrel – 2pts
3x T-64– 13pts
2x Frogfoot -7pts
Total 100pts

This this is slightly more robust then then previous list as it can take some losses before it will start needing to take morale tests. That said, it still has the other drawbacks; lack of infantry to dig in on objectives and lack of AA The latter we can resolve if we  ditch the Spandrels and build another two of the BRDM as Gaskins, sacrificing fairly redundant AT for AA.
Also, the air support was already weak in the previous list and, without the Hinds to run interference, the chances are that the Frogfoot (should that be Frogfeet?! Frogfoots?! Maybe Frogfooti?!) will get shot down before they get a chance to do anything meaningful.

2 Frogfoot Frogfeet Frogfoot Frogfooti…….. 2 Soviet Flying Wizz Booms

A Well-Rounded List

Ultimately, to make a list capable of doing everything, you will need to add in the things I have already mentioned, namely Infantry and air defence.

T-80 Shock Tank Company
T-80 HQ – 10pts
+missiles 1pt
2x T-80 – 29pts
+missiles 1pt
2x T-80 – 19pts
+missiles 1pt
3x BMP-3 Recon -9pts
Minimum sized infantry company in BMP-3 – 15pts
4x Gaskin – 2pt
2x Tunguska OR 4x Shilka – 4pts

Support
4x Hind – 12pts
2x Frogfoot -7pts
Total 100pts

Now this list does still have some issues; the two-strong T-80 units are weak and could quickly start having to take morale tests, but the beefing up on the Recon unit, Gaskins and the addition of the infantry unit should help avoid a formation morale test.

With the addition of extra BMP-3 you’ll have plenty of ATGM, so I’ve dropped the Spandrels and bumped up the Gaskins to four. This will mean you’ll have a BRDM sprue spare. The points cost is the same for two Tunguska and four Shilka, so it will be down to personal preference as to which you take- two Tunguska has more firepower, but the Shilkas are a bigger unit so are more likely to stick around.  

As for air support, in the list above I have increased to use four Hinds, but you could just as easily increase to four Frogfoot instead if you drop one of the T-80 missile upgrades.  You just can’t do both!

The shopping list for this on top of the boxset would be:
1 box of Hinds or Frogfoot depending on preference
1 box of BMP-3
1 Soviet infantry Motor Rifle Platoon
1 box of Tunguska or 2 boxes of Shilka

This list is by no means perfect- it still lacks artillery, and the T-80 units are brittle, but it might be the best you can get at 100 points.

All of the Above

He’s a man with a one track mind – but is it for Soviets or tea and biscuits?

Of course if you did want to field a T-80 formation with a few more T-80s in it and still have enough points left over for some decent support, you could always drop the Shock and go for a regular T-80 Tank Battalion.

T-80 Tank Battalion
T-80 HQ – 8pts
3x T-80 – 22pts
+missiles 1pt
3x T-80 – 22pts
+missiles 1pt
3x BMP-3 Recon -7pts
Minimum sized infantry company in BMP-3 – 10pts
4x Gaskin – 2pts
4x Tunguska – 8pts

Support
4x Hind – 12pts
2x Frogfoot -7pts
Total 100pts

Dropping down to the T-80 Tank Battalion will give you more points to play with, meaning you can increase the size of the T-80 units and still have some points left over, which in the above example I’ve used to add more Tunguska because I like the model. You could just as easily take four Shilkas and then either a unit of Hails or Carnations, (if you drop some optional missiles,) if you feel like you want some artillery.

Hard Choices

I have nothing to add to this

Ultimately, even if you field them as a tank battalion, T-80s are expensive (by Soviet standards), so you will have to make a choice about what to include and what to leave out. Still, at least you can field a T-80 formation in a 100pts and have options, which is more then you can say for a Formation of M1A1HC. It is of course possible to leave out the T-80s entirely, but then you will be fielding a very different type of army indeed, and that might even mean that the starter set isn’t the best deal for you. Another alternative would be to persuade your opponent to play to more than 100pts allowing you to avoid making cuts. Just be careful what you wish for as you may end up facing 5 M1A1HC that actually have some support behind them.

You have been warned


Category: BattlefrontList DiscussionRed ThunderSovietsTeam Yankee

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Article by: Andy Thompson