Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Team Yankee, Now With Added Canadians!

The Soviet column is deployed on the right side of the photo - while the the thin line of Canadians is arrayed in the left area

Policy-types in Canada often find themselves worrying - how do we ensure more "Canadian Content" in cultural areas such as music, film and art? Well, we can't help with ANY of those things.  But we can put some "Canadian Content" in one new and (to us) important cultural area - tabletop gaming with Battlefront's "Team Yankee"!

Soviet assault in action! T-72 company to the front, with motor rifle troops following up

Using an assortment of figures and models painted very recently, as well as the initial efforts that Conscript Mike F made in 2013, we assembled a Canadian Force in 15mm for a game of "Team Yankee" last week.  The scenario was fairly basic, as these things go - a Soviet spearhead had broken through the NATO lines, and the 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was deployed to stop them!

And naturally they selected a McPizza King location along an important highway as THE best spot in which to halt the marauding Warsaw Pact forces...

Mike F took command of the Canadian forces - three troops of Leopard C1s from the Royal Canadian Dragoons, a mechanized platoon from the Royal Canadian Regiment, off-table support from the 155mm howitzers of the RCHA, and a pair of US Cobra Helicopters with TOW missiles.  Mike had to put half of his units in reserve, and had the option to put one of them in ambush.  He put two troops of C1s and the infantry on the table, the rest in reserve, with his third troop of Leopard C1s in ambush.

Opposing him was "Comrade Ewen" - Dallas was in command of a Soviet tank battalion, featuring a company of T-72s, a smaller company of T-64s, and a motor rifle company mounted in BMP-2s, backed with some ZSU-23-4s for support.

The goal was to capture one of the objectives in the NATO half of the table within 8 turns...who would prevail?
 
Soviet T-64 MBTs make their debut on the table - what could go wrong?
In our previous "Team Yankee" games, a common dynamic on the table has seen the NATO tanks mowing down the larger numbers of Soviet MBTs.  But with the Leopard 1, it is not so easy...the armour of the Leopard 1 is much more modest, while the hitting power of the Leopard 1 seems to be limited - or, it is when using the West German stats for the Leopard 1, which we did...

Canadian Leopard C1s await the enemy...

A troop from the Royal Canadian Dragoons, ready for action

Dallas rolled forward confidently, but had to deal with some minefields that the NATO forces had deployed.  This had the effect of forcing Dallas to split his column a little bit, with the T-64s heading to the built-up-area, and the rest heading to the other side of the highway.

Canadian infantry defend the critical McPizza King - essential for control of this part of West Germany...

Another view of the mechanized infantry in defence of McPizza King
Mike made the most of the fact that his troops got to start dug-in and "gone-to-ground", so when the Canadians opened up, it was difficult for Dallas to respond with accurate fire.  Mike also called down copious amounts of 155mm artillery from RCHA batteries that were off-table.  It was a storm of fire for Dallas' Warsaw Pact command to wade through...

Another view of the Soviet advance - lots of green steel! The capitalist fools will tremble...
And yet...where in other "Team Yankee" games, the hits scored by NATO tanks are almost always fatal to the T-72s, with these 105mm shells on the Leopard 1 it was not so scary, and the Soviet tanks endured numerous hits without effect.  The 155mm artillery also had a very limited impact, and Dallas drove ahead aggressively.

The Canadian tankers score many hits, but few kills...

"Wow, that's a lot of tanks, eh?"
Worse for Mike, when Dallas' tanks managed to score a hit, it was almost always a fatal one, as the 125mm shells of the Warsaw Pact main guns ripped through the 1970s-era armour on the Canadian Leopard C1s...after a few turns, it was getting really tough for the Royal Canadian Dragoons...

Yikes! Tough losses as a troop of the RCD is wiped out by Soviet fire...

More burning Leopard C1s....getting rough for the Canadians...
Mike resorted to a very aggressive infantry counter attack to prevent Dallas from capturing an objective - even as he kept missing his roll for the Cobra helicopters to arrive!

Lots of tanks brewing up - but that big T-72 company is STILL in good spirits...
A decisive moment came when Mike sprang his ambush - a troop of Leopard C1s appeared behind Dallas' main spearhead, and they blasted the T-64s to pieces with a series of shots to the rear armour. OUCH. 
The Leopard C1 troop in "ambush" hit the Warsaw Pact troops pretty hard...
Dallas was able to direct some fire at the ambushing Leopards, and his BMPs directed some murderous fire on the attacking infantry and M113s from the RCR.  But it wasn't quite enough, and more T-72s started to brew up...

Widespread carnage on the table...always the sign of a good game, in our opinion!

So many knocked-out MBTs...
The final straw was the very late arrival of the US Cobra gunships.  Thanks to the "hunter killer" rule, the Soviet ZSUs were not able to score any hits on them, and the TOW missiles finished the T-72 company, breaking the Soviet assault.

US Cobra gunships add to the carnage with a bit of kill-stealing in the final turns
So, in the end it was a hard-fought victory for the Canadians - but they paid a heavy price, losing nearly an entire squadron of Leopard C1s and most of a mechanized infantry platoon.  A hard-fought game all around!  And you know the Soviets would have had another regiment rolling up the highway right behind these guys...

I can't wait to get the Canadians on the table again sometime, but I think we might try to fiddle with the stats a bit, especially for the Leopard C1s.  I think the 105mm gun should be at least as scary as the one on the M1 Abrams, as in this imaginary (thankfully) war, I expect the Canadian Leopards would be dishing out more abuse than the basic stats of the West German Leopard 1s would have them doing.

It was also interesting to get the T-64s on to the table...the edge they have of the T-72s is small, but still noticeable - the improved armour, and the option of the missile rounds make for an even more effective tank.  If and when they start to appear in larger numbers on our gaming tables, it should be interesting!

3 comments:

Codsticker said...

Great pics and report!

Dallas said...

Great report Greg, thanks for posting! :-)

Curt C said...

Great to see all your guys' stuff on the table!