Monday, January 11, 2016

Up Next: Team Yankee

Great! More toys! 15mm "Team Yankee" US starter set from Battlefront
What's a New Year without a New Insane Project, right? The madness of Warhammer 30k will certainly continue in 2015 - in both 6mm and 28mm scales to boot! I guess I could try and "focus" on those.  I've heard of this thing called "focus"...but screw that. The release of a set of cold-war-gone-hot rules from Battlefront is certainly too interesting to pass up.  The goodies have arrived in the mail, and I was excited to dive in. Let yet another New Insane Project Commence.

I generally enjoy Battlefront stuff - Flames of War, when I take off my gaming snob hat, is a ton of fun, if you ignore some of the sillier stuff (and there is a lot of that - like artillery right on the table -arrgh! but I digress).  I was pleased to hear Battlefront was doing some 80s Cold War rules.  I expect they will be relatively light, fun and quick, and have lots of flaming tanks on the table.  If you check through a lot of the modern "what-if" and historical AARs on this blog, you will notice that is a recipe that works for me...
 
You get a bunch of cards...whatever - it's the figures that matter!
But in this case I care less about the rules and more about the figures. Finding a unified, relatively complete set of figures for any particular sub-period of "modern" is not easy.  Micro stuff is covered extensively and completely (see GHQ, Scotia and Oddzial Ozmy). Once you are looking to get larger than 6mm in size, however, the ranges become incredibly balkanized. So I'm excited Battlefront is stepping in, as they tend to be really complete with their ranges. They certainly were with the Arab-Isreali Six Day War stuff (and seemed to be with Vietnam).

Pretty nice plastic on the M1 Abrams sprue - I'm pretty sure the parts are included to make another variant...maybe the M1A1, which had a bigger gun, among other things?
And yet, a few things hang in the background. Maybe the word that worried me most is "plastic".  Battlefront is making a huge effort, it would appear, to have most, if not all of the Team Yankee product range be plastic. Plastic today seems to have this totemic place in the minds of many gamers as "oooh, this will be so great and cheap". But this is not always true.  Price is a function of supply and demand - plastic in and of itself is not magically cheaper as a final product.  Furthermore, plastic is really hard to do well, particularly in smaller scales, and my previous experience with Battlefront plastic has not been great - cheap, brittle plastic and soft details.

To give Battlefront credit, I think they have been working very hard to make improvements when it comes to the plastic. They care what customers think, and they want to get things done right. They seem to want to have a great product, and are prepared to risk some bumps to get there. So I was keen to see for myself when I received my first "Team Yankee" products.  

Test model number one...now to figure out that MERDC camouflage...
I wanted to start with the US forces first, as I already have some 15mm Soviet kit painted (as does Mike F), so this seems to be a quicker way to get to a test game. The US starter box contains five M1 tanks and a pair of Cobra Helicopter gunships. I stuck together one of the M1s, and I have to say, not too bad.  The detail on the plastic is nicer than I have seen on other plastics from BF, though still nowhere near the nice, sharp details you get on properly executed metal vehicles. And the plastic is still a bit brittle for some parts, like the .50cal MGs - use extreme caution clipping those suckers off the frame.

With the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge underway, one of the side-duels I have going on is "Modern Mayhem" with Curt and Byron.  Getting these models underway will hopefully score me a few points in that area.  Just have to try and puzzle out that confusing MERDC camo the US seemed to use in the 1980s...

5 comments:

Sylvain Rheault said...

But Greg, what about your sci-fi duel? :-)

Greg B said...

Sylvain - hah! Stay tuned...it's a long Painting Challenge :)

Dallas said...

Does anybody make plastic Leopards...?

Greg B said...

Brits and West Germans are apparently in the works, but given how slow this has rolled out to date, it may be a while...

JamieM said...

I think you should do more of this and less 30k, so bravo on your choice ;)

Joking aside, these are really tempting. Like you I enjoy FoW and don't worry too much about the silly stuff, but then I'm not really a historical gamer (although a couple of my gaming mates won't play because of the artillery on the table) so I'm curious to see how this plays out. Have you seen the scenery they're doing too? Horribly tempting....