Today Mark G ponders what the next version of TY could look like in a V4 guise.
Team Yankee where are we now
Team Yankee hit us about 2 years ago and has proved a great success for Battlefront. What started as a bit of a toe dip into the new game with some fairly limited Soviet and USA lists has spiraled into a major game with a solid fan base. A great success story for any game maker.
At the time it was released FOW V3 was still reigning supreme and V4 wasn’t being talked about. On Team Yankees release talk started as to whether this would be FOW V4 and what that would mean for the game.
Of course, Team Yankee proved to be very similar to V4 and personally I think proved a learning experience allowing BF to see what did and didn’t work, somewhat of a V4 beta test if you will. The games are very similar although there are notable differences, especially in Artillery, Morale, and Missions.
Last year Battlefront said that they would be releasing Vietnam and FoaN saying that this would act as an early Team Yankee. These releases used the new V4 rules rather than Team Yankee, which, personally suggests to me version 2 is really going to be Team Yankee V4. Let’s have a look at what that could mean for the game.
Team Yankee V4
Quite simply Battlefront will want to bring their games and supplements into line. We have already seen it with ‘Nam and FoaN, and expect Great War to be the same. Many players have who play FOW and Team Yankee have said the subtle yet important differences can be confusing. Especially if you aren’t constantly playing. It also allows FAQs to easily translate to both games helping both to become ‘tighter’ as it continues to develop.
For me, the following key areas will impact the game:
Let’s start with what I think is the biggest change V4 artillery. The main difference is the re-roll vs infantry for repeat bombardments. This is literally going to be a huge game changer. The current meta is favouring infantry spam with expensive heavy tanks not doing so well, especially in the face of ATGWs. Suddenly, digging in and holding an objective while you whittle down the enemy with missiles (thus often forcing a hasty assault) will not be so viable. Imagine being under a Carnation or M109 bombardment for a few turns. It’s going to be painful especially for those big Soviet platoons which are currently, insanely hard to shift when dug in.
I am firmly in the camp that Arty is very lackluster in Team Yankee and this will allow it to take its important place in the battle. Of course, it will change the meta and I expect to see tanks becoming more viable as the dug in spam decreases. It will also lead to more anti-Arty tactics especially with air, leading to AA units protecting the rear areas rather than front more, as well as fast recce trying to breakthrough to the back line.
The other change is the way you range in and hit. While you still use skill to range in, there is now an additional modifier to that roll if the template touches short or tall terrain, and/or if it is night. Now, I know one Soviet player who is very worried about this. It would mean Soviets have to often range in on a 6+ (due to scenery) which is rather tricky. However, it’s actually not different to US Mortars in MW and they manage. What could be done is to keep a rule for OP to allow a +1 to range in (which ceased to be a thing in FOW V4). That would mitigate the issue and represent the advanced optics and skill they have (plus make them very important). Also smaller numbers of guns does not affect the to hit roll any more, rather it forces you to re-roll hits if you have 1-2 guns (or re-roll misses with 6 + guns).
To be honest I feel the Soviet skill issue would represent them quite well. The Soviet doctrine was for masses pre-planned bombardments on pre-identified positions rather than on the fly dynamic fires of NATO. In essence, they utilised pre-planned attacks with commanders not able to easily deviate from the orders (ie rather than Western ‘Mission Command’). Essentially hitting the pre-planned ranged in markers is representing that.
Of course with cheap effective arty the Soviets would get lots of chances to range in, I foresee Hails being really popular as they can start ranged in with a large template meaning something is bound to be under it at the start of the game, thus mitigating the difficulty of ranging in later. I mean, who doesn’t want a FP4+ template over an objective with the enemy re-rolling saves on turn 1 (well I suppose the receiving player…).
I am very tired of the current infantry dominance in Team Yankee, it has really affected the event scene with several players losing interest because of it. This change alone will alter everything and mean that the mighty infantry “gone to ground” blob will no longer be such a slog to kill. Defenders will need to be able to mount a mobile defence so they dont sit under a template; maybe we will see infantry start in transports to protect vs artillery (out of LOS or gone to ground in cover from DF) ready to deploy when needed. A lot could change, and using my experience with MW V4 it works pretty well, allowing artillery to whittle things down, while not doing it insanely quickly.
Next up is the fundamental change to morale. Firstly tanks get a bit of a boon because you remount before taking good spirit tests. This is great for those expensive MBTs especially NATO who often have three in a platoon. Losing three Abrams when two are bailed (and get back in on a 2+) due to one round of fire was always annoying and limited the viability of these expensive units. This will again swing the needle a bit more towards parity between tanks and infantry/mech forces. Its worth remembering though that a unit not in good spirits will need to test every turn now, however lets face it in V4 that means you are down to one tank or two infantry stands so it makes sense to me.
Formation morale is now different as well. Core units in reserve count towards formations being in good spirits. This means you can be a bit more imaginative in the what starts on the table and prevents quick alpha strikes vs core units (a bit of boon for the small expensive West German forces). Again I like this change, it will make core platoons more important although it could be gamed with a couple of cheap core units being in reserve to prevent a break; however, I haven’t seen too much of it in MW V4 so far.
In part 2 I’ll cover how the meta will change with the 40% in reserve aspect, potential changes to guided missiles based on the rules in FOAN, and ponder if they will change aircraft and helis.