|Image care of Wargames Illustrated magazine, used without permission.|
Having got this months issue of Wargames Illustrated I thought it was time to put some thoughts on paper (as it were) about this upcoming game.
First up, I doubt I could cover any of the information that has been released so far without first pointing towards the excellent coverage by the guys over at Breakthrough Assault. Here's a rundown of their articles, in case you've missed them:
Breakthrough Assault: Intro, Team Yankee
Breakthrough Assault: Preview, Infantry and Transports
Breakthrough Assault: Preview, Air Assault
Breakthrough Assault: Preview, Artillery
Breakthrough Assault: Preview, Tanks and Anti Air
Breakthrough Assault: Preview, Terrain
Breakthrough Assault: Info about the game
Breakthrough Assault: Unit cards
Breakthrough Assault: Unit cards - extra
Breakthrough Assault: Formation Cards
Breakthrough Assault: Unit Cards, Infantry
The Wargames Illustrated article very briefly covers much the same information as the Breakthrough Assault guys, although not is as much depth.
The general consensus is that this might be Battlefronts attempt at a first pass over a 4th edition of Flames of War. The unit and formation cards show all the numbers required when playing the game - so no more working out what the impact of a special rule or battlefield condition is on the vehicle. It also allows a little less rigidity that the current Flames of War rating system, meaning that units can have mixed ratings for various checks, rather than being Confident Veterans and having the same dice rolls as every other Confident Veteran unit. Another example of this would be that instead of saying a unit is a standard tank with wide tracks and unreliable, the numbers on the unit card would reflect this without the player having to work out the effects of the special rules.
Unit cards have all the stats, points and special rules required for that unit. Formation cards have the same, but for the higher level formations.
Points costs are smaller. Wargames Illustrated indicates that a standard game could be 100 points - with a max strength M113 Mech Platoon costing 7 points totally tricked out while a 10 tank T-72 Company is 47 points.
|Image care of Wargames Illustrated, used without permission.|
Balance seems to come from the Americans having smaller numbers of high tech tanks, with the Russian forces seem to be cheaper but much more capable of fielding a combined arms force. The main difference between the T-72 and M1's seems to be rate of fire, with the M1 having a RoF of 2 vs the T-72s RoF of 1.
Infantry movements speeds have been increased - with all the infantry seen so far being Mechanised. US in M113's and Russians in BMP-1's and 2's.
Some quotes from the Wargames Illustrated Article:
"We wanted to fit everything you need, including the entire rulebook, plenty of background, and complete US and Soviet forces and scenarios from the novel, in a 120-page hardback book."
"we wanted to make sure that we would have excellent plastic kits for the key tanks and helicopters"
"it has the range, depth, and complexity of Flames of War, but with every decision revisited, all extraneous rules dropped, and as many as possible simplified. A good example of that would he hit allocation - down from 4 pages to one, yet working better and far easier to understand."
"Team Yankee draws a lot from FoW, but most definitely isn't the same game."
"Team Yankee plays very fast"
Other info released so far includes the fact that West German and British forces will be released next year, images of A10's, Cobras, Hinds and SU-25's and that the Team Yankee book will be re-released by Battlefront (I got the book recently on kindle to re-read it).
Model wise, the pictures we have seen so far make the kits look very nice. Hopefully over the next few months there'll be more images released. I have no idea what the release date currently is, but most guesses seem to be around xmas time.
I'm pretty excited about this game, with the Cold War period being one of my favourites and the 'what if' possibility being both terrifying and great from a wargames perspective. Although with the caveat that it would have to be a significant change from reality, as my understanding of NATO strategy in Europe was that the forces in West Germany were there purely as a 'trip wire' and that in the event of a Warsaw Pact attack breaching those defences, NATO would have resorted to Nukes. I'm really interested in doing an army or two for this setting - both for use in this game and in the upcoming Battlegroup Cold War setting. With Russians coming before Brits, I'm thinking of doing an East German Warsaw Pact force first, and come back to the Brits when they are released. Possibly 4/7th RTR - the regiment that is the successor to my Grandfathers WW2 regiment, which would have been armed with Chieftains/Challengers in BAOR during the Team Yankee time period.
A simplified version of FoW might be interesting, depending on how simple they go. However, I'm sure as a setting the game has a lot of potential for pulling in new gamers, which is a positive for the Wargaming community as a whole.
So that's it for now, a brief roundup of what seems to be out there along with my thoughts on what I might do with it. The Breakthrough Assault guys have a Q&A with battlefront coming up soon, which I'm looking forward to - they have been looking for questions to ask on some of the Facebook groups.