in WWIII Team Yankee
I’ve dispensed with any wordplay, no “checking” anything out, no “check-mate”, no “writing cheques your as…” anyway – you get the idea. Instead, we are going dive straight in to look at my favourite of the Warsaw Pact armies, the latest iteration of the Československá lidová armáda for Team Yankee.
New force organisation on the left and existing one on the right.
As you can see above we have some interesting new options in the force organisation. For a start, we now have the T-72B as a company option in the main formations and there are some intriguing new options available in the force support too.
T-72B or not T-72B that is the question: whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the MILAN and DRAGONS of outrageous fortune, or to take T-72M against a sea of Abrams and by opposing end them.
So that is the first question; now the Czechoslovakians have access to the T-72B, is it any good? The formation will look familiar to Czechoslovakian players but does include the option to mix in some T-72M into the formation as the third, non-compulsory platoon of tanks. The Praga we will touch on later, but aside from that, you have the usual self-contained recee, anti-air, artillery and infantry all integral to the basic formation.
So, moving swiftly on to the individual company’s themselves. The T-72B has some obvious improvements over its alphabetical superior namely:
- 3pts of Front Armour
- 1pt of Side Armour
- 1pt of Anti-Tank
- ERA Armour instead of Bazooka Skirts
- Access to Songster missiles.
However, all this Gucci kit comes with a price, and that price is basically double. This is a really interesting option now for the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance members. The addition of being able to take the Songster and extending your threat range out to 48″ is very nice and the ERA amour not only looks great but gives you a chance against ranged missiles and can be a real boon against man-portable weapons in an assault.
The cost increase is significant and I think you will see formations taking smaller units of the T-72B with a chunky T-72M unit to bolster numbers.
M53/59 Praga AA Platoon
Another new inclusion, available to most formations, is the M53/59 Praga AA Platoon. This option appears in the same slot as the ZSU 23/4 Shilka and does allow you some very cheap cannon AA in your force.
When I say cheap these are just about as cheap as things get. The twin 30mm cannons have some benefits over the quad 23mm cannons of the Shilka, primarily a slight increase in Range and Anti-Tank but you do suffer with the inclusion of Manual Tracking and a drop in the Rate of Fire.
Manual Tracking only matters vs. Strike Aircraft, so can still do some work against helicopters and as part of the traditional layered air defence of the Warsaw Pact forces. If you really need to shave a point or two off or have a spare point knocking about at the end of your list construction throwing a couple of Praga into your force is never going to be a bad thing at all.
T-55AM2 Tank Bataillon
Not a new formation per se but the T-55AM2 formation has some funky new options. You can now season your T-55 with additional Stabber missiles or downgrade them to bog-standard T-55 tanks.
As you can see from the force organisation you can only field one company of T-55 with the Stabber missiles but as a black box unit, it does mean that you can take it as a support option which is a nice inclusion. The Stabber isn’t going to set the world alight with its stats but it is much better than the standard Anti-Tank 17 and is a useful alternative to the Spandrel.
The T-55 on the other hand is… is… outclassed… that’s the politest I can be I think. The issue is that it’s not really cheap enough vs. the T-55AM2 to really warrant taking it. I mean, by all means, you can, and it is a nice inclusion as the kit makes either variant but it does suffer a little in Team Yankee and it is slightly risible that 5 x T-55 is the same points as 5 x T-55AM2.
SU-22 Fitter Fighter-Bomber Flight
The inclusion of the SU-22 is an extremely welcome one. Whilst the SU-25 is very good the points cost can get prohibitive in a force, whereas the Fitter gives you some striking power at a much more economical investment of points.
So, you can replace the 240mm S-24 rockets with Kh-25 to give you a slightly budget version of the SU-25 – the question that you have to ask yourself is, for a full flight you are saving 3pts and now only have a 5+ Save rather than a 4+ Save. Personally, I don’t think it is worth it, I’d rather have the cheaper version with the 240mm S-24 rockets and pair them up with some MI-24 Hinds and overwhelm NATO air defences en masse.
The S-24 still gives you some viable air tank capabilities with Anti Tank 7 vs. Top Armour 2 with a 2+ Firepower; this combines nicely with the Czechoslovakian 4+ Skill rating. The cannon and UB-32 rockets still have good utility and mean that when you do arrive you will always have something useful to do.
The new Warsaw Pack might not be groundbreaking, but it is a solid inclusion for the Czechoslovakian player. The T-72B gives you an option of a more survivable main battle tank in the vein of the T-80 or T-64, the Praga means that you will always have some cannon Anti Aircraft capability no matter how small the points level, and the SU-22 is a really interesting alternative to the SU-25 giving you some more options to support your Soviet-aligned forces.
Until next time keep your Staropramen chilled, and your Jaternice hot.