Today, Duncan looks at the small world of Team Yankee in 6mm, is it viable? Is it visible? Is it in vogue? This and more words beginning with “v” next!
It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all; it’s a small, small world.
Hi Duncan here and looking down the rabbit hole today. I’ve picked up the bottle labelled “Drink me” and here I am in the teenie, tiny world of 6mm, 1/300, tanks. Having been distracted by my Khaki Period (a bit like Picasso’s Blue Period but with, well with more Khaki) and getting British lists for EW and LW ready this year I kind of missed Team Yankee. Now that is getting remedied over the Christmas period – thank you Santa Visa – but in the meantime what to do? I had forgotten is that my gaming group and I have the proverbial faecal tonne of 6mm modern kit which we used for Modern Spearhead many moons ago.
Let me start of by saying that I have not played any 6mm games yet – that is coming very shortly and I’ll write up my experiences of that once I have them – but there are some obvious and salient points to discuss about playing Team Yankee in 6mm so I thought it would be a good opportunity to thrash these out before hitting the gaming table
Leopard 2 with identification labels, 6mm command figure and tuft camo
This is an obvious point but one that needs some consideration so I’m going to add some further granularity:
Obvious one but possibly the most attractive reason for playing in 6mm is that your Pound, Dollar, Euro, Yen or any other currency goes further. Everything is smaller and therefore, generally, everything is cheaper. Excellent. Those of us with a case of severe Truck-itis from Flames of War know the pain of buying, assembling and painting 23 trucks for our Brits/Germans/Russians just to see them languishing on the shelf occasionally turning up but otherwise impotent.
A possible negative is that if you are moving from 15mm WW2 to 6mm modern then some of your generic terrain like trees and buildings etc. will need to be replaced – not a biggie though as you will need to invest in some more modern terrain anyway. Another downside with 6mm figures is that the models themselves tend not to have the detail and impact of a 15mm figure (NB I don’t include GHQ or Scotia in this comment as the detail they have on 1/285 tanks is frankly ridiculous). This is much more of a “What type of Wargamer are you?” question as it won’t bother some people at all – others will be having kittens; it’s just preference really.
GHQ Chieftain – not bad for 1/300 – better than some old school 15mm kits
Again with the caveat that as I type I have not experienced this personally yet but… I think that the unadulterated ranges and distances for the Team Yankee units will feel more realistic in 6mm. By playing in 6mm you are abstracting the playing surface by 300% (someone should check that – my maffs is not great) so off-table artillery activists should have less objections and missiles and tank gun engagements will, I think, feel better.
Not sure I have any on this point – which is nice.
Again linked to cost but 6mm gives you the elbow room to explore new lists and units. I think that 6mm is to Team Yankee what Zvezda is to Flames of War.
Unit and specifically command vehicles can be hard to distinguish unless you base your vehicles and then come up with snazzy unit labels to let you know that have foolishly led your men from the front. Someone must make 1/300 vehicle numbers and decals but that is not a world I want to live in.
Company HQ/Objective Marker and battery of M109’s
Size of game
There is scope for some truly monumental multi-company games in 6mm, more so I think than in 15mm. Just think of 2 or 3 Soviet Tank Companies rolling on to the table supported by BMP’s and Afgantsy… yes please!
I do worry that the standard size game of 100pts will look a bit lost on the table. I worry that the negative space of the playing area will be too oppressive and your formations will fade into the background a bit. There is definitely much more chance of the “Oh I didn’t realise that was XXX” fumble than in 15mm – however that being said I’m hoping that I can disguise a West German Leopard as an accidentally dropped raisin.
I think I’m correct in saying that most of the main offenders have models available already for the staples that exist in the Soviet and NATO forces, they even have some of the cool bits that aren’t widely available in 15mm at the moment like command GAZ trucks, ground mounted radar vehicles and crane/recovery vehicles (very handy for objectives etc.)
My concern, unfounded at the moment, is that a book will come out with some new goodness that doesn’t exist in the 6mm scale at the moment. Nothing immediately springs to mind but it is a nagging thought that it could happen and it would be super annoying – it is just something to be wary of.
Converted M577 HQ stand with camo netting and aerials – yes you can convert in 6mm, there is a modelling challenge!
Overall I think that Team Yankee not only is plausible but offers the seasoned 15mm wargamer new avenues to explore and new skills to master. This is, of course, not going to stop me gathering my Soviet hordes (is 15 T72s too many?) in 15mm but it will allow me to play some games immediately and to experiment with other forces. Something I would love to try is a campaign based on the Red Storm Rising board game and I think that games of the scale that would be needed to play this properly certainly makes me lean towards 6mm at the moment.
Are you already getting the Cold War hot in 6mm? Have you victimised the NATO forces in Germany or have you vanquished the Communist lead Warsaw Pact troops? (see I told you that there would be more “v” words – I didn’t forget)
Drop us a line if you are – we’d love to know how you are finding it.
The whole of 83/3 Panzer in 6mm and all for the princely sum of around a fiver… nice!