Today, Richard looks at the Team Yankee tournament he ran “north of the wall” and how his games went.
I recently ran a Team Yankee tournament at the excellent Common Ground Games event in Stirling to try an rejuvenate a bit of interest in Team Yankee in Scotland.
Learning from the experience of the Ribble Warriors “Rumble on the Rhine” tournament, I decided to reduce the points total to 85pts so that 3 games would fit easily into a day and allow for a reasonably leisurely lunch.
Runners and Riders
We had 8 players, 4 members of Ribble Warriors who travelled up for the day (Sam Street, Pete Entwistle, Ian Crosby and Roger Whittam), 2 members of the Inverness Club (Andrew Mulholland and Keith Martin-Smith) and two of us from Central Scotland, myself and fellow Breakthrough Assaulter Mark Nisbett.
The breakdown of forces was:
Sam Street – British Mechanised
Ian Crosby – West German Panzerspah
Andrew Mulholland – West German Panzers
Keith Martin Smith – US Mechanised
Mark Nisbet – US Tanks
Pete Entwistle – East German Motor Schutzen
Roger Whittam – Soviet Motor Rifles
Richard Hardy – Afgantsy
As you can see we had a NATO heavy group of armies so running ‘red vs blue’ wasn’t possible, but in the first round I tried to avoid club match ups. Given I’ve spent most of my wargaming life playing Sam and Roger when we were all members at the now defunct Blackpool club, this wasn’t as simple as it appears!
My Afghansty list comprised of
1 Medium Sized Air Assault Company (with support weapons)
2 Small Sized Air Assault Companies (with support weapons)
2 Units of 4 Hinds
1 Unit of 6 SU25s
4 vehicle BMP2 recce unit
AA Platoon with 2 ZSU23-4s
Round 1 pitted me against the only member of the travelling Lancastrian contingent that I hadn’t played before, with an army that I’d never faced before; Ian Crosby using West Germans. Ian’s army was a mix of Leopard 1s and 2s, some mechanised infantry with Gephard AAA and Luchs recce in support. I was a bit worried about the Gephards even though I had 14 air elements to eventually bring on.
As we were playing the advanced mission rules I plumped for a ‘Hasty Attack’ posture, and found that Ian had done the same, so the scenario we played was a Free for All.
The table was dominated by some high rise flats and rubble and was fairly urban. Ian didn’t like the idea of mixing his tanks with my paratroopers in the buildings and therefore deployed on the more open side of the field, with his recce units probing down my left flank and a large tank force dominating a large hill on his left.
I deployed an infantry company in a wooded area to cover his tanks and the other infantry company went into the town. The Hinds loitered off table waiting for the moment to strike, in combination with the SU25s
It took a while for me to roll a ‘4’ to bring the SU25s on, and in the intervening turns there was some skirmishing between the recce units on my left, which resulted in the Luchs being destroyed but taking my ZSUs with them. I also managed to snipe off one of Ian’s Gephards with a ground mounted Spigot, which meant that when I finally rolled a ‘4’ on my 3rd turn, the 6 planes and 8 helicopters were able to finish off the Gephards and slowly start to turn Ian’s Leopards into scrap metal.
There was a brisk infantry fight for the high rise blocks on my right with the Soviet Desantniki being supported by the BMPs. Over on the right, the large Soviet Air Assault Company and Ian’s tanks were exchanging desultory fire. On turn 4, I got the planes back again and, although I lost a unit of helicopters to massed AA machine gun fire, there were so many burning German vehicles that Ian called it a day. 4-3 to the Russians.
In the other games in Round 1; Mark played Sam with a win for more experienced player Sam, tournament newcomer Andrew played tournament veteran Pete with Pete winning 4–3 and Roger and Keith fought out a 3-3 “draw”.
Next up for me was Keith’s multiple US Mechanised list with some M109s (this would be the first time I’d fought against artillery) and a couple of Cobras. Again I went with a “Hasty Attack” posture, on the basis this time that a defensive posture might allow Keith to overwhelm me with massed infantry and M113s before my air came on stream. One of the issues I do have with Team Yankee is APCs loitering on the battlefield like light tanks, rather than acting like the battle buses they really were (with the exception of the BMP). We rolled up ‘Dust Up’ and I deployed with the infantry on table with one of the Hind units loitering off. Keith deployed with his units covered by a large wood.
the first few turns were taken up with some manoeuvring for position by Keith who was trying to get his mechanised infantry into position for an assault on my left, whilst I tried to attrite down some of Keith’s AA so my air support would have a clearer run, whilst also seeking to edge forward with one of my small infantry companies.
Once the air support had all arrived from reserve, the jousting stopped and Keith made his move on the objectives whilst I launched an all out air attack on his units as they moved forward (having sniped off most of his VADS in the previous turns).
Fair play to those American infantry, they cleared away my defending company (which broke after a round or two of hand to hand fighting and actually got onto the objective. However, only one platoon made it, as the other platoon got pinned down and couldn’t move. So it all came down to my shooting; could I dislodge the US infantry from their position on the objective? It got a bit like Custer’s Last Stand, except instead of the Sioux nation the US troops were surrounded by Hinds and SU25s – all trying to kill the last 4 stands. I had expected that the amount of fire would kill them, however, despite me getting a substantial number of hits, Keith’s saving rolls were epic and I only killed 2! This, however, forced a morale test, which they failed and so the game ended in a 3-1 “draw” to me.
In the other games; Pete and Sam fought out a slugfest draw, Andrew edged a close game with Mark, and Ian and Roger fought out a draw
Last game of the day brought a blue on blue (or should that be red on red?) encounter with Pete’s East German Mechanised list (which I think is the most viable of the Volksarmee lists). Once more I went with “Hasty attack” posture, largely to try and limit the hordes of East Germans on table until my air wing could arrive. Again we played Dust-Up, and again I went with the set up of three Infantry Companies on table with a Hind unit loitering off table.
Pete set up so as to give his BMPs the ability to shoot up my infantry as he prepared to hit me with waves of T55 coming on from reserve and from his deployment area. My plan was to hang on and then hit him with massed air and try and break his army.
It was a close run thing with me hanging on around the objective feeding Desantniki into a meat grinder of flying missiles, rockets from Pete’s Grail battery and T55s, whilst I picked apart Pete’s AA and tanks on the right as they arrived from reserve.
As time ran out Pete was close to getting to the objective, over a carpet of burning tanks but I was still a way of breaking his army, and the game ended as a 3-3 “draw”, great fun though; T55s explode quite well, but you need to kill sooooo many
And the Winner is…
So we tallied up the scores,
- Sam – 14
- Roger -12
- Pete & Richard – 10
- Andrew – 9
- Keith – 8
- Ian – 7
- Mark 6
Well done to tournament newcomer Andrew on an excellent finish and congratulations to Sam on the win. Big thanks to the guys from Preston for coming up, and to Steve Fettes of Common Ground Games for hosting us – hopefully we’ll make this an annual event.