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...