Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Team Yankee - Jury out

As Britney Spears said "oops I did it again". Yup I succumbed to another possible game and for all the right reasons - probably.

I'm talking about Battlefront (the Flames of War people) and their "Team Yankee" rules based around the book of the same name by Harold Coyle,

I always liked the book (Swordpoint is better). Battlefront have re-skinned the Flames of War rules to fit the modern period - or at least the mid 1980s when the book is set. In a moment of weakness I bought the rules, however as I already had some 10/12mm Soviets kicking around in a spares box I decided to just use them rather than the 15mm the rules are written for. More on that later.

I've not played them yet, so this is only an initial assessment based on a readthrough. I will be better placed after we play them tonight. The initial problem is that the rules are, as I said, a re-skinned or ported across version of Flames of War. That's a good thing, and a bad thing, depending on your perception of FoW. By re-skinning I mean the main core of the rules are there, but for some reason they have changed the names around a bit, so "Bunker Buster" now read "Brutal", however the wording is pretty much the same. This is not such a bad thing, as even a dyed in the wool FoW hater (like me) has to admit the main rules work very well as a turn up and play game, even if some of the details grate at my teeth. Whatever else, these are tried and tested systems that really deliver what they are aiming for, even if that objective is something I find unpalatable. Sadly this means a couple of more stupid and annoying rules from WW2 have also been ported across, so artillery is still deployed on table (really!) and vehicle crews possibly bailing out and remounting almost every turn, which is a ludicrous mental image that you can do away with by simply changing the phrase "Bail out" with something like "shocked" or "stunned". Possibly more of a worry is what is not there - ie no vehicle smoke dischargers, but the designers say they assume crews are doing all that so why micromanage - which is a fair point to a degree. I suppose if you like FoW you will like these, and if you don't, well there are others out there.

The rules book themselves are the usual sumptuously laid out photo and diagram laden fare we are used to - hardback as well, and include the now obligatory "how to paint" section, plus army lists for the two protagonists and a short campaign.

One change from FoW is the units are presented as unit cards which should contain all the stats you need - which should be quite useful, and I think the idea is the cards will be packaged in with the units.

There are a couple of problems here. Firstly the forces in the rulebook are very restricted - basically a cut down Soviet Motor Rifle of Tank Battalion vs a US Mech\Armour Combat Team. Battlefront seem to have restricted the organisations quite a bit to coincide with their model release schedule - so no BRDMs get mentioned even though they would be a common sight on the battlefield and appear in the books. In effect the US get only 6 vehicles - M1, M109, M901 , M113 M163 and M106, Sovs fair badly too - T72, BMP1 &2, SAU 122 and BM21. I'm not too keen on this approach, but the online community has already filled most of the gaps so its not too much of a problem, and I would imagine BF will expand with new force briefings as the models become available.

The campaign is a simple 3 scenario affair clearly designed to get players familiar with the rules, which is not a bad thing. As I said I will report back after playing.

So that's about it for now - hopefully next time I will have a better idea of how it plays plus some pics from the game. Cheers


  1. I await with baited breath, scared on if I like the sound of them what forces/scale to use ... 1/300 does not seem an option

  2. I await with baited breath, scared on if I like the sound of them what forces/scale to use ... 1/300 does not seem an option