News from the Front #8 – RAFWA Team Yankee

So the past month has had me preparing for a Team Yankee tourney at RAFWA but it was clearly wasted effort as someone had to come last. Ain’t no substitute for experience I’m afraid, experience I sorely lacked!

Below are what scenarios were played and what lessons I learned – as best as I can remember anyway. My Brits consisted of 7 Stillbrew Chieftans, a light Mech Inf Company with added Milans, 2 Harriers and 4 Rapiers for 75pts.

Game 1 – Fulda Gap Hasty Attack (Dawn)
The opponent’s force was a fairly balanced medium-sized motor rifle company with some T-64s and Spandrels. Given how much infantry I was up against I decided it was best to play for a draw or lose the mission as I wouldn’t be able to budge his infantry holding the objective I needed.

The cover of darkness kept things pretty quiet but allowed me to bring on reserves just when I needed them, halting a flanking attack by BMP-2s and creating a road block of dead vehicles in the centre. My opponent did his best to grab one objective by assaulting my infantry that were holding it, but supporting fire from the FV432s thinned his ranks and allowed my infantry to fend off the assault.

The result was a draw but I lost more units in the end.

Lessons: There wasn’t much more I could have done with this I don’t think. The scenario forced me to play defensive, more so because of the night. If anything I started to get an appreciation of positioning and range, hitting front armour compared to side. My Harriers showed up late then died when they did – good job guys!

Game 2 – Copenhagen Bridgehead (Dusk)
This scenario was slightly different in that the Soviet defender had scattered reserves that came onto the table behind me.

There was no way I would have been able to win. My opponent had literally a field of infantry and BMP-1s. So much so that he was named the Chessy Player before the tourney began and he had trouble fitting all of his models into the deployment area.

Despite having Harriers actually showing up do something, I could not budge his dug in infantry spam. I tried brutalising them with Chieftan guns, GPMGing, assaulting them, swearing at them, but nothing worked. In the end his reinforcements turned up at which point it was game over. This scenario was perfect for my opponent’s list, he was a good sport though!

Lessons: Infantry are king, especially when dug in

Game 3 – Reargaurd
My opponent in this game had a balanced Soviet force, with T-72s (I think) and 2 pairs Afghansty HINDs and infantry to boot. It was a going to be a pretty good fight I thought, even though his HINDs swarmed my Rapiers which put up good resistance, but in the end he charged his infantry to contest an objective and his tanks destroyed what I had holding it. It was all over in 3 turns.

However, I did see this coming as was pouring fire onto the Soviet infantry but my opponent insisted he could decide which teams to remove when he lost his saves. At the time I didn’t think that was the case and I bowed to his judgement given he has played more games than me. On re-reading the rule book I noticed that nearly every game was being played slightly wrong as no hits were really being allocated or rolled individually. Had this been done there would have been a very good chance the contesting infantry team would have been killed and that I would have survived a few more turns.

Lessons: There’s a reason some of the rules have been written the way they have, so playing by them is important. Also, facings, side shots really hurt tanks. Placing the front towards the nastiest enemy really matters!

Game 4 – Leipzig Dust Up
This one was against Ray so I was hoping for a win as he was as new to the game as me, but alas my dice decided that it was a better day to die than win!

Despite a confusion over the victory conditions, this game was damn close. Charging my Chieftans up the flank in trying to secure an objective, leaving my infantry to hold ground, I almost had a win. But Ray piled on whole units to stop me and then successfully flanked my tanks with infantry and RPGs. With my Chieftans dead, my Harriers dead (first turn again), I had nothing left to stop the Russian horde.

Lessons: Facings again and line of sight. Had I been more aggressive with how I deployed my Milan teams I could have freed up my Chieftans but instead my Milans did next to nothing.

Overall
I’m not convinced scenarios are suited for tournaments. the organiser did so in good faith to help people learn the game in a friendly way, but stick the word “tournament” onto the title and all of a sudden things get awkward. I learned a hell of lot mind you and still had a good time, even if I did lose every game.

Strike craft and helicopters are best in a 4-ship as a 2-ship is too easy to drive off. Tanks are nasty, Chieftans especially so but only when stationary. In lower point games infantry are going to be your work horses, just keep in mind they don’t move very far very fast. For the Brits at least, focusing getting the very best out of a single formation seems to be key. I tried to take a bit of 2 formations and it didn’t work, although that could have been ‘cus I’m a uber noob…

Revamping my 75pt list, it is now 3 full Mech Platoon with Milans, 4 Lynx HELARM, a Stillbrew Chieftan Troop and Rapiers. That leaves me with 8pts to play around with; either 4 Abbots, a FOO and a SF GMPG team, or 2 full Recce Troops.

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