Today, guest writer Alex Montalvo brings us an after-action report from across the pond!
The Las Vegas Open is one of the largest gaming conventions in the United States. Every February for three days, gamers of all stripes descend on Bally’s Hotel and Casino on the Vegas Strip for a weekend of tournaments, food, and drink in what we Americans refer to as “Sin City”.
This year, there were two Battlefront events: The West Coast US MidWar Nationals for Flames of War and the 2019 Team Yankee Showdown tournament. I played in both, though my focus was on Team Yankee and will be the subject of this AAR.
I have not played Team Yankee in well over a year, having to unfortunately sell my Afgantsy force to a good friend and not really having the time to get back in. However, I did build a force based around a US Army M60 tank company to honor some friends I made from a unit alumni organization that I am a part of. I was able to complete it in time for LVO, and the build was as follows:
The List clocks in at 92 points, one under the tournament point cap of 93.
The 13 M60s (just one shy of a full, real life tank company) were the main force element in my list. While not as good as the top tier NATO tanks like the Chieftain Stillbrew, IPM1 Abrams, or Leopard 2, I could take nearly double the numbers of those tanks. Compared to WARPACT armor, I would likely be outgunned by T64s and T72s, but I felt the correlating skill would balance that out. For horde tanks like the T55 and Leopard 1, the M60 is superior in Firepower and Armor. Overall, the M60 is a very capable tank against most threats if used correctly.
Next came the Mechanized platoon as my customary objective guards, with a secondary option for offensive action if needed.
The Scout section would provide a Spearhead capability, and also supplement the AT Platoon for long range sniping.
With the formation filled out, I turned to support. The Sgt. Yorks filled the AAA requirement, and I opted for mobile AAA coverage rather than covering the whole table with stationary missiles as the Yorks offered a viable secondary capability of defeating light armor with its 40mm Bofors.
Last, I took a full A-10 flight. Some people raised eyebrows at this given the reputation the A-10 has in the Meta, but I felt they were a strong choice due to the 3+save, AT27 2+ FP Maverick missile, and above all the ROF 4 AT 11 cannon. I took the air in lieu of artillery, and the A-10 can handle any threat on the table.
I took nine units, eight when you subtract the HQ “Platoon”, so I was able to achieve the half on half off reserves peculiar to Team Yankee.
Game 1: Counter Attack vs T-64 Tankovy Battalion
The first game of the day pitted me against a T64 Tank Battalion in Counterattack. The table had a good amount of cover, with short terrain and tall terrain represented by buildings.
I was the Defender, and deployed one full platoon of M60s (1st), the Scout Section, and HQ Section on my right flank over watching the far objective by fires. The Tanks were all in cover in some woods. On my left I deployed my Infantry to over watch the near objective.
I retained one platoon (2nd) of M60s in ambush, and placed everything else in reserve.
My opponent deployed his BMPs on his left, along with BRDM scouts on his left to threaten the far objective, while deploying both T64 companies, ZSUs, and Infantry on his right.
My opponent had the first turn, advancing on his right with his tanks and infantry to pressure the near objective, while holding on his left. Casualties for my first turn was a couple teams of infantry.
In my turn, I got no reserves so contented myself to duel with the BMPs at long range, succeeding in destroying three and bailing a fourth to long range tank gunnery and a TOW missile shot.
On the following turn, my opponent destroyed a few more infantry stands as well one M60, while still advancing towards the near side objective. I noticed he pushed deep with one unit of T64s, and made note of this for the next turn.
On my turn, I popped my ambush BEHIND him in a field that he had just left out of. My opponent was politely incredulous that I was outside my deployment zone, but after measuring it three times, he saw I had about a half inch of play. As he muttered how bad it was going to hurt, I eviscerated his T64 company with my M60s, wiping them from the field in a volley of fire.
To make matters worse, I had also received reserves and called in my A-10s. Seeing he had left his Shilkas back, I parked my A-10s beyond their range and proceeded to hammer the other T64 Company with Mavericks, destroying three of four.
On my right, I continued to trade gunfire with the BMPs and also contended with Storms. After another round of shooting, his BMPs were down to one IFV left.
On his turn three, my opponent put the pressure on my infantry with T72s and infantry, forcing my infantry to fall back with just three stands left. He also attempted missile fire at my tanks, but with his BMPs gutted it was ineffective. In my third turn, I rolled up my remaining reserves behind his remaining BMPs, BRDMs, and Storms proceeding to rake them with fire from the Yorks and M60s. Not a single vehicle survived.
However, this was accomplished at a cost as my opponent on his fourth turn was able to force me off the objective for the win. Overall, it was a very good game and though I started with a loss, showed my force was viable to compete.
Result: 3-4 Loss
Game 2: Bridgehead vs ANZAC Mechanised Company
To begin, I apologize for lack of photos of this game. My phone was dead and I had to charge it. Also, there was not much tactically to discuss with this one as well. However, this game was important for a few reasons worth discussing. My opponent was a kind gentleman, but was SLOW. And by slow I mean we had 90 minutes left in the round and I HADNT DEPLOYED YET. I talked to the TO initially as I was upset that this was going on.
However, once the game got started I realized I had a completely new player on my hands. So, what to do? On the one hand I am in the middle of a tournament, and if I am in a competition I am there to try and win. On the other, this was an opportunity to steward the hobby and help teach a new player the ins and outs of the game. So, my understanding and patience restored, I walked my opponent through his turns while not giving up anything tactically and, frankly, clobbering him on my turns.
He called it at Turn 5 and shook my hand.
Moral of the story here is before you think a player is slow playing you, pay attention because they may just be very new.
[It’s also not really a valid tactic with TY/V4 victory conditions and scoring, as it once was in v3 – Lee]
I am not saying to throw the match, but be patient and help them. While a tournament is a competition, and I do personally believe players should at least somewhat know what they’re doing before entering into competition, we also have responsibility as players to make it enjoyable for our opponents even if they’re brand new and you’re in the middle of a tournament.
So, having helped out a newbie to learn and picking up a 6-1 I moved on to Round 3.
Result: 6-1 Win
Game 3: Free for all vs Bundeswehr Mechanised Company
This fight occurred on a fairly open desert table that had hills for tall terrain, a small copse of trees, small town, and not much else. I immediately realized board deployment in this game was going to be HUGE.
I opted to attack from the more terrain dense side, massing on my right flank while leaving a token force on the left. However, my right was where most of the hills were concentrated that allowed me cover and concealment on the advance as I was the attacker. Inversely, my opponent had very little cover and was forced to deploy more or less in the open.
In the first turn I advanced two platoons of M60s in a shallow turn. Targeting his Gepards and Leopard 1 platoon, I shattered both; destroying three of four Leopards and two of the four Gepards.
My opponent responded by attacking with his Leopard 2s, unsurprisingly destroying half of the M60s in the four-strong platoon, as well as one other with Milans from another platoon.
On my following turn, I maneuvered my surviving two M60s around the flank of the Leopard 2s, and called in the A-10s. My opponent did succeed in shooting down one, but Mavericks claimed two of the Leopard 2s, with the third falling to M60 cannon fire. The Yorks would destroy his remaining Luchs, the second Luchs falling to the M60 platoon advancing towards the Objective.
By turn 3, my opponent realized he was in a very difficult state.
He decided to try and destroy my Yorks in preparation for an air strike by his Tornados [Always good to have DEAD built into your plans – Lee].
He succeeded, though due to dice it required a disproportionately large amount of fire to do it and meanwhile my M60s were contesting the objective at this point. He also tentatively started to move his Panzergrens towards the open objective, though I still had two tanks in the middle of the table.
Unfortunately, after my turn of pushing his infantry back, he failed to produce the desperately needed air strike to clear off the M60.
Result: 4-3 Win
After a fun day of playing in Vegas, I would be pleasantly surprised to place 3rd out of a field of 20. Not bad for not playing in quite some time and running a new force!
The tournament was a wonderful time with great people. I learned a lot, and may even enter into Team Yankee Nationals in July. As the immortal King once sang, Viva Las Vegas!