Today Mark G continues to look at what the announcement of Team Yankee V2 (aligning it with FOAN/V4 and Nam) means for Team Yankee.
For those of you who do not religiously read Breakthrough Assault (and why not!), Part 1 of this article can be found here, which looks at an overview of why change is needed as well as the big impacts V4 artillery rules will bring. Today I continue to look at the key areas affected and also consider if anything else could change.
This is a big one and looking at discussions online perhaps the one people are somewhat concerned about. Fundamentally not a lot has changed for units; you still test when below three teams or two tanks.
So far so good.
The key difference is that once you are not ‘in good spirits’ you must take one test every turn in the starting step. This is mitigated by being able to remount bailed tanks before the check is taken so in that sense it helps stop those horrible moments when your three-strong Abrams platoon runs away 50% of the time following two bails. Now you only have a 1/72 chance of running away due to a 2+ remount and morale of 4+. Much nicer!
Of course, some armies are going to be more affected by this than others. For instance, a West German Infantry Platoon is only four to five stands. Therefore, its only has to take two or three casualties before they start testing, and continue testing each turn thereafter. On the flip side, it will at least be easier to finish off a massive Pact blob fully.
The French with 5+ last stand will also suffer although their large infantry platoons need to take quite a lot of casualties and basically become combat ineffective before having to start rolling dice. Their armour is more of a concern.
Ultimately like most rule changes it’s going to benefit some and hinder others. However, on balance the remounting before bails benefit armour and therefore I view it as a good thing as we address the armour/infantry balance issue.
Formations are now in bad spirits when you are down to two units; good spirits or not doesn’t matter. The big difference is that these don’t have to be on the table. This is interesting due to it making multiple formations more viable. Now you don’t have to worry about have enough core units from both formations on the table to survive until reserves arrive. I remember beating a T72M formation by killing its HQ and some AA, his tanks never even made it on! However, it equally allows you to make formations even harder to break by leaving small core units in reserve or where they can’t be hurt (I’m looking at you Luchs).
This is another big change and one I massively welcome. TY currently uses the FOW V3 style for reserves, eg 50% of your platoons in reserve with HQs always on the table. The new way is to place 40% of your points in reserve (including HQ). For me, the issue with the former was that armies could front load to have max points on the table and only token forces coming on from reserve. E.g. taking four platoons of Luchs means you can have two more units on the table, maybe that means you get AA or another platoon of Jaguars. Soviets could do it as well with BRDMs for 1pt.
Suddenly it makes more things viable (especially when combined with the formation rule above). For instance, my new army is a full Humvee force, with a Marine M60 formation which includes a platoon of infantry. Support is just AA.
This clocks in at 11 platoons which is rather a bad idea when having 50% in reserve as I only get five platoons. That means I must field enough Humvees so I don’t get wiped out and broken before the rest arrive (as currently, units in reserve don’t count for morale), but I also need to have some AA and something weighty for my objective. That probably means three platoons of Humvees, Infantry and AA (depending if the enemy has in air support). This means my M60 formation is massively vulnerable as it only has one unit and HQ on the table.
Now consider in the 40% construct at 100pts. I now get a full recce formation of 6 platoons and HQ (19pts), double AA, Infantry and five M60s. This is cool, as it allows me to play a force in the correct way, i.e. a Skirmish line of recce delaying the enemy with minimal armour while the main force races to reinforce. Still, a tough force to play effectively as its rather squishy but certainly more capable and a better game especially vs a BMP formation (my usual opponents). It will make it harder for armour when in reserve, however selecting the right stance i.e. attack allows you to mitigate this and/or you choose your forces accordingly. In my experience with V4 its lead to some refreshing changes and seeing units on the table that normally were constantly in reserve.
Like the V4 book, TY has the ‘old’ style missions with the ‘old’ way of taking objectives (replaced by more missions). Players, I know only use the more mission way of playing so it will be interesting to see if this gets included in V2 as the default rather than a separate PDF. Personally, I hope it does and makes it clear this is the intended way to play but then provides alternative options if this isn’t for you. Having it as the intended way to play helps to create a standard and manages expectations for new players who are perhaps transitioning from playing with friends to playing at a local club event or even a tournament. I still see some new players in V4 ‘caught out’ at events because they don’t know the difference with the more missions way of taking objectives and that can be rather awkward when they suddenly realize their opponent has won.
Air doesn’t change a great deal in FOAN to Team Yankee the main thing is templates. Previously being reduced a single aircraft would make it a lot harder to use your bombs effectively (harder to hit in Team Yankee) now, like in V4 the number of aircraft in the ‘bombardment’ doesn’t matter. So your single Harrier will be as effective as 4 Harrier. This means fighting through the AA for that critical bombing run now might just be worth it!
It’s certainly unclear if anything will get repointed. In the two articles its clear some units gain more than others; however, my opinion is that the changes on a whole won’t put that much out of balance. While BF could repoint existing forces, and let’s say put them in LFTF and update Forces of War the key issue is the cards. You would have to re-issue them or supply stickers (remember the British Armoured regiment in FOW). I just don’t see this happening, it’s too untidy so I’m not holding my breath, however, time will tell.
FOAN introduced a change from guided missile teams. Now concealed ATGW teams are not concealed after they shoot. This means they are a lot more vulnerable to return fire, especially NATO which is hard to hit anyway. While mistaken target still makes it hard to kill these guys it at least means it’s easier to get the hits to pin and suppress them allowing your tanks to move up for assault.
In FOW V4 you cannot blitz onto the table, the key units affected by this will be our NATO attack helicopters coming on reserve (no moving ROF for missiles) and missile vehicles/troops (Striker etc) who will have to spend a turn getting into position. Again, I welcome this at it will reduce ATGM dominance however it does concern me as the impact to the worth of NATO helis which already are somewhat take it or leave it in comparison to the excellent Hind.
In V4 formations can take compulsory choices as support from other formations. Personally, I doubt we will see the ORBATs for the formations and support options change for the following reasons.
- The formation support in the TY forces is a lot wider than in MW V4 already. E.g .you can already take extra Chieftains, mech inf and airborne in for British forces as support already. Not a lot would be gained by adding the V4 way of doing it.
- Again, in V4 you can take 2 compulsory options from your allies. eg Pak38s or Panzer 3s in an Italian force. Equally, I don’t think we will see this change. Red Thunder and Stripes bought this in and they were released after V4. If BF wanted this option they could have done it then.
In sum, I doubt we will see any change.
We know Team Yankee V2 is going to look like V4/FOAN as Battlefront move to align their games, this much was made clear at the recent UK Open day. We can expect this to happen in Oct 2019. Inevitably this will be well received by some and hated by others, as with everything in wargaming. While my West German infantry will suffer from morale rolls somewhat, I now have the ability to dig out Soviet blobs with my LARs repeating their bombardment and my Soviet Armour seems to have befitted, which I’m really excited about.
Fundamentally you could pick up the FOAN book and pretty much play it with Team Yankee right now and that’s what I intend to do in the next couple of weeks. Batrep to follow and we can see how it went.