Some time ago (at Council Fires 2018), I gave Team Yankee my first try. Today’s post is a Battle Report of that event and a first impressions review of the system. For those that don’t know, Team Yankee is by a company called Battlefront. They also make Flames of War (FoW).
I will start by saying that I have been a Flames of War 3rd Edition hold out. I like what I see so far, but have been too busy to make that move from third edition to fourth edition Flames of War. Team Yankee is the precursor to Flames of War v4. With it, they rebuilt the Flames of War system into something faster and more streamlined. They then released that game as Team Yankee to test how the rules would be received. Later, they rebuilt Flames of War into its fourth edition to be a more robust Team Yankee.
Back to the game at hand, I finally gave the game a try and I was impressed with how much fun I had with the game. Please note that this battle took place in October of 2018. I have a bit of a back log of photos and reports. 🙂
Team Yankee – Battle Report
To begin, I had the choice between Russian, American and British forces. I chose to play as the Russians.
The objective is to take over your opponents objectives while defending your own.
Both sides took plenty of tanks with no infantry. To keep things simple for the demo, no side had air cover. The organizer set this game as a straight tank on tank battle with a few lighter vehicles here and there.
A Thorn in my Side
The Americans and British had fewer tanks than me, but they were more powerful. That group of four tanks in the forest proved very effective against my horde of tanks.
My answer to this problem was simple – a parking lot full of tanks!!!
Not as good of an answer as I hoped. 😉 The battle continued.
Duel of the Heavy Tanks
Looking at the full table, you can see that I have plenty of more tanks on the field than my opponent.
My opponent brings up some tanks to take on my parked firing line.
Making for the Objectives
Although the costs were high for me, I continued to push towards my opponents’ objectives. Below, you can see the state of the table at this point in time.
Meanwhile, my opponent made his final push towards my objective.
First Impressions Review of Team Yankee
I will admit that I have been a 3rd Edition Flames of War hold out. Why is that? Simply because there are so many rule-systems out there that I explore, that I did not feel the desire to go back and learn a new way to play the game.
Once I got playing this game, I thought “why haven’t I tried this before?!” The game was fun and fairly easy. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I really did. Now, I know that I am talking about Team Yankee, not Flames of War v4, but the two games share the similar core rules. Having fun with Team Yankee makes me think that Flames of War 4th edition would be enjoyable too.
What did I like about Team Yankee?
It was fun. The system was faster than version three and not having to look up the rules so much is a huge benefit. That said, anyone that states that the game can turn into a parking lot of tanks would be correct. While that happened to a certain extent in this game, I don’t know how infantry, air and artillery would mix up the game. My assumption is that air and artillery would act as a deterrent to parking your tanks so close together.
I am mixed about the cards. I like that they were there to reference and it eliminated flipping back and forth in a book or referring to a list. While I like having the information there and in front of me, I don’t think they are required for the game. That said, they certainly made things easier.
The concepts from the old game (version 3 FoW – such as bails, bogging and even the combat system) are all here. Albeit, some of it is in a simplified version. I don’t think a simplified version is a bad thing. When I was a tournament player (playing only Flames of War v3) I found I had to flip around the books and errata a lot. I don’t think that would be the case with fourth edition or Team Yankee.
Overall, I liked Team Yankee.
Wrapping it up…
Although I have wrote about Team Yankee before, this is the first time I actually got to play the game. That said, I have read through the ‘NAM book and liked those rules (which are essentially the Team Yankee rules treatment of the Vietnam War).
The game was a lot of fun, and it felt really good to be the victor. My secret was an aggressive advance right from the start of the game to keep my enemy a step behind. They can’t push forward with a good attack if the enemy is too busy reacting to your actions.
Special thanks goes out to James Whyte for running this game. I had a good time at his table. Thanks also goes out to Lee VanSchaik of Crucible Crush for organizing Council Fires 2018 (the convention where I played this game).
Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!
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This Post Has 5 Comments
I definitely also support simplified rulesets. Too many details don’t make a good wargame 🙂
However… for me to like a game it has to provide some semblance (even if at an abstract level) of what it’s trying to represent. In this case, I must say even within the self-imposed limits of this particular battle (such as all tanks, no infantry, no artillery or air support) this doesn’t look at all how I envision an armor-heavy battle. I’m no expert or rivet-counter so I don’t pretend to have the final word on how it should go, but tanks touching “sideskirt to sideskirt” don’t look right to me. The cluster of T-72 in double column clogging the road at the start of the battle looks strange. At times, the vehicles look positioned as if they were soldier figures, only someone decided to use tanks instead 😛
Would you say all of this is something the rules encourage? If so, the game is a hard pass for me. I’ve often heard complaints about FoW and its “tank parking lot” problem, but I hadn’t seen it in pictures!
Anyway, hope you don’t mind my opinion. I always enjoy reading your articles. Thanks for posting your battle report 🙂
Without knowing how air or artillery affects the game, I would say that the rules do encourage a parking lot of tanks. Going “sideskirt to sideskirt” maximizes the firepower that you can have concentrating on one spot. This game might be a pass for you then. Again though, if you add area of effect weapons, I am guessing that the tanks will spread out more, but without them, there is nothing discouraging this sort of behaviour.
I believe the other rules for artillery and other forces cut down on the parking lot formations. You spread out a bit when templates come down plus the coherency rules (lne being on line) help too. Also the Soviet player is more stuck into it than the NATO player because they are trying to cram a whole company in coherency range. That is a unit of 5+ vs one of 2+.
Team Yankee isn’t a simulation- it’s a toy soldier game. But it does give a good feel, IMO, of modern armored combat. It certainly matched up with my experiences anyway, but YMMV.
Thanks for the comment Randall. Great to hear from people who enjoy the game.
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