Monday, 8 October 2018

Team Yankee - no, not that one...

I was keen to get some of the superb 1/285-1/300 vehicles that I'd bought from Jack on the table, and I had so many T-64/72/80 variants to choose from, that a 1985 Sov attack was clearly in the offing.

Now I have wanted to try Cold-War-Hot with Alex's excellent modern version of 'Up the Blue', expanding the one-hour-wargame format, though I'd prefer to do that when I have vehicles suitably based to provide frontages.  The US vehicles were my older based items in this case, while the beautiful OPFOR is part of the package from Jack.

 (I stole the pipe cleaner idea from's a miniature TOW firing, honest!)

So what better way to get blooded - (1) at least a smattering of the new vehicles and (2) a cheap game mat that I coloured in...with crayon ...ahem... than to use the superlative original 'TEAM YANKEE' (no, not that one...the GDW one), which may become the subtitle of this excellent boardgame for the rest of its life.  Now Steve has done a lot of work on 'miniaturizing' this game in the past, and I used a quick ref sheet based on his work (but I've lost the original file, so pic below).

We also changed the morale rules - rather than have them focused on the commander, but made companies, then battalions, 'stall'/fall back on basis of rolling vs losses. We wanted to keep things simple - so no arty or choppers for this run.

Now I'm also keen to try Dunn Kempf and Contact, as they both have superb fire and movement and artillery rules - and are true old school, but they still need a little work for M1s and such on my part.

This one, not the other one! (Every box is suitably battered. I believe that part of the packaging process was to have the box ride around in an M1 Abrams during a Reforger exercise in the 80s. Bearing in the mind the protocols for buttoning up during chem strike simulations, you need to be careful as to what might be inside ;) ...joking, that's a joke, really...  )

 OPFOR deploying...

...on the hastily coloured in terrain.

Kontact Comrade! 

M1s on a reverse slope...oops

Target rich environment.

 Look closely, squint, and make a phisssssssh...BAMF! noise for maximum effect.

 M1s reveal their positions across the board. Now they have a plan, and multiple phaseline redeployment positions.

Low rolls are good in TY. There were a lot of them here as the OPFOR closed to range.

A few Dragon ATGWs in there too.

On the US right, the main assault is supported by the reserve and the infantry company.

...which only leaves a tank company on the US left. What is Ivan up to?

1st platoon fire/move their way back to the larger hill as ATGWs provide overwatch.

 2nd platoon stays exactly where it is on the US left. Its view across the battle field is obstructed by some woodland however. The OPFOR will exploit this.

 OPFOR dismounts move to take the town, and reduce the US position there.

 ...while armour moves around the open flank. Like a lethal game of chess, the US player is forced to choose between flanking armour and the presence of BMPs with lethal saggers moving on the ridgeline to their front. Clearly, they had not spent enough time preparing the killing zone!

 The OPFOR move on both flanks simultaneously, meaning that the US can not provide mutual support.

M1 fire discipline convinces what's left of the OPFOR tank company to pull back - just in the nick of time.

As 1st platoon pulls off the second ridge to form up on the tree line below. Too many saggers...
 Here they come! OPFOR infantry and armour masses on the ridge.

 ...and moves into 1st and the remnants of 2nd platoon, who have moved to the road junction to provide a blocking force. (Now - we argued here that Dunn Kempf would have given us more realism with falling shot, while not allowing OPFOR guns to depress enough...clearly too much sugar taken.)

OPFOR units tumble like ninepins to defensive fire.

2nd platoon save the day.

 Horrific losses on both sides, but the town is held.

 The quick ref sheet used during the game. Ranges are doubled - i.e. 10 hexes becomes 20". Not always necessary to do this of course on a smaller table, but the games works beautifully with minis.

The OPFOR will return ...with scenarios from this epic work. Most likely, I'll uses Alex's 'Oil Cheaper than Water' (modern 'Up the Blue' variant) rules for these scenarios.  And of course, since it's the National Training Centre scenarios, we'll have to go all Mojave Desert. Watch this space...

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Sabre Squadron with 10mm

Your roving reporter attended a game with Stephen & John today, using Sabre Squadron and an absolutely superlative collection of 10mm moderns (Skytrex vehicles, which were always beautiful castings, with superb Timecast infantry).

 It was good to try these with vehicles, and being reasonably new to the set (I've only used them loosely once before), there were questions, but most of the issues resolved on the day such that another game is in the offing. Great fun and hospitality as usual.

 A nice turn sequence, well designed options for actions and intelligent design with regard to just enough 'tech' with just enough 'game'...(though they may have to change the term 'dodge' for vehicles vs ATGMs to 'evade' - just a preference).

The guys' vehicles and infantry is absolutely stunning - enjoy!!!

Also - I have purchased a large amount (600 vehicles+ ) of 1/300 GHQ and similar from Jack over at BlackHawkNet. These too are superb. Some pics at the end...expect more moderns soon :)

 We join the action as the Soviet attacking force (circa 1984) has laid down smoke across the British poistion at the junction, though Swingfires on the ridgeline to their left still very active, as the roar of guided missiles is deafening, behind the roll of dice of course.

 Chieftains lie in wait.

 British troops dug in with Carl Gustavs.

 Soviet armour exploitation moves on left and right.

 Soviet armour approaching on their right, determined to take the high ground before the Chieftains can engage at long range as the smoke clears.

 Swingfires poised to inflict damage.


Artillery barrage laid down, hits the Blowpipe position, but the Swingfires are still operational.

Fantastic detail on these guys.

 Some ZSU discipline in place for the odd Lynx or Gazelle.

 Political officers in Gaz - aren't going to be enough to stop a Chieftain or two.

British positions prove a tough nut to crack.

Soviet moves on the British left are bearing fruit however. a protracted firefight begins on the right.


 Soviet dismounts move toward the ridgeline to take the British prepared positions.


 The Soviet attack goes in.

Though we didn't get finished, it was a much needed introduction to a solid ruleset. More to follow I think.

Only part of the tanks I got from Jack, before they were unpacked. These guys will see much arguing over the rules...errr fighting, in the  next few months...