Today, Jersey puts “Long Tall Sally” on and takes us through his thoughts on Team Yankee Air Mobile operations.
Hey all, Jersey here!
I’ve finally gotten into Team Yankee! I don’t even have any models yet… but many are on the way! What I have done though is read the rules, gotten very excited (just later than everyone else) and taken an interest in the air-mobile lists. I might find this article looks nothing like how I’ve drafted it when the Team Yankee vets at Breakthrough Assault get hold of it as i’m by no means an expert but from the limited time I’ve had with a copy of Iron Maiden in front of me and my brand new copy of Afgantsy: Air Assault Battalion I’ve formed some thoughts.
“What’s ride of the Valkyries in Russian?” – Ed
The Core Formations
Pouring through other blogs and Youtube has given me an insight as to how the rest of the community thinks about Team Yankee as the “meta” forms and changes with new books.
As a Flames of War regular I can see how this plays and I am forming my own opinions, one of which is that some lists I see do not focus enough on the main formation selected. I think this really needs to be considered when picking either of the air-mobile lists.
Afgantsy can have six companies in their main formation (three infantry and three helicopter) which can range in points size from just over 20 points to over 90 points. That mean’s it’s flexible for games of any size and you can invest enough points to make the army resilient so that it won’t break easily. It sits in its own force organisation, but can access T-72, BMP mounted Infantry and Scouts, plus artillery and anti-air (all representing the approaching spearhead force)
The Gordon Highlanders, in contrast, have a very small formation! It’s only three platoons at most and even if you take every upgrade available you’ll get into the mid 20’s in terms of points. All three platoons will be elite and hard to hit (but 7’s and 8’s are possible, making massed fire dangerous) and their Lynx transport’s are unarmed! If I took them as the only formation in my list i’d be terrified of a few unlucky hits causing a break.
This doesn’t make them bad… in fact it makes the Iron Division quite flexible as Gordon Highlander’s make a good core for 50 point games; or you can invest in them as a second formation to back up some Chieftains in their own formation. The air-mobile won’t break the bank as a second formation and add depth and flexibility for 100 point games as they can tap into the larger 3rd Armoured Force Structure.
As I mentioned above, Lynx transports are unarmed… so there isn’t much point in comparing them to the rocket armed Hinds in that way! The strength of the Lynx transport is it’s good ratings and cheap points cost meaning you can get your infantry around the table when you need them too. They’re a little more fragile than other NATO helicopters too as the transports don’t have Hunter-Killer (having no guns) whilst still having a lower Aircraft Save than the Hind, like the rest of the NATO choppers.
Battlefront have done a great article here to tell you all about Afgantsy Heavy Weapons. As well as the Gremlin for AA, they can have the ASG-17 for suppression and the AT-4 for anti-tank guided missile fire. The Afgantsy infantry don’t always ride around in their Hinds, so if you take huge platoons with all the bells and whistles (which would require all 12 Hinds to lift! – Ed) they have a lot of dice to throw.
The Gordon Highlanders have a lot, and I do mean a lot, of Milan Missile Launchers! If you take all of them, that’s 14 in your mid 20’s point formation. The weakness of the Milan is that it must be stationary to fire, has a minimum range so is no use in defensive fire, and can’t target enemy air in the enemy turn. If you do take risks and rush your air-mobile around, they’ll need support or a platoon of Hinds could come and upset them. 14 Milans, dug in and in cover though, would be difficult to shift giving you a solid base from which to start your games.
Lynx transports have a good skill rating which is very important given this confirmation from Phil:
This thread discussed blitzing and blitzing onto the table (which you can do but only onto areas you can bring reserves on from which could be useful in some missions such as breakthrough, as is also mentioned on this forum thread). The Gordon Highlanders have an advantage in these areas meaning you can try some tactics to get your platoons into good positions using air-mobile tactics. You’ll run the risk of failing your skill check and being stuck in unarmed helicopters, but you can always re-position and lurk if your plan is unhinged by a bad roll.
Either force gives you mobile infantry; but the styles and tactics that will suit the core formations are going to be very different. Both forces will be forced to bob and weave like a good boxer as neither force will absorb fire and go toe to toe with conventional ground lists; but the Afgantsy give you the sting of the bee whilst the Gordon Highlanders float like a butterfly (unless they’re grounded and their 14 Milans hit; then they sting the enemy badly too!)
I’ll be collecting Afgantsy first but if I do British later, I’d add a platoon of Gordon Highlander’s to a small list… then i’d get a second infantry platoon, some more Lynx and some more Milans and suddenly I’d have the formation!
Be subtle with both and consider your combined arms approach but I’ll finish with my first thought; Gordon Highlanders could really be considered a second formation at 100 points unless you’re very brave and very skillful!
Happy Hobby everyone, feel free to comment below if you think I’m right or wrong!
[I’m sorry, but if we’re talking eighties and helicopter mounted forces then this is bloody obligatory – Lee]