As mentioned previously, I've been working on using my 3mm platoon based models with a version of Battlefronts Team Yankee rules.
Today I managed to get my first outing with these, as Steve and me played a couple of trial games using some of the recently 'finished' units. I say 'finished' as there are still some little bits to complete on these.
The first game we played was a re-fight of the 'Death of Tank 66' battle from the rule book. This small scenario normally has 3 T-72's face off against a single M1 Abrams. However we tried 3 bases of T-72's (representing a company of Tanks) versus a single base of (a platoon of 4) M1's.
The result was a fairly quick US victory, although the T-72's did manage to bail the US platoon.
We then decided to try a slightly bigger game. I laid out Team Yankee (as per the org chart in the book):
|Blank bases currently for the infantry - until a decision is made on how to base them|
1 M1 HQ base (with 2 M1's on a medium base)
2 M1 Platoons (with 4 M1's on 2 large bases)
1 ITV Platoon (with 2 ITV's on a medium base)
1 Mech Inf Platoon (with 4 M113's on one large base, 1 infantry platoon on a medium base and one Dragon section on a small base)
I also put together a Russian force, consisting of:
1 Battalion command (2 BMP1's on a medium base)
1 T-72 Company (3 large bases of 3 T-72's each - one base will later be upgraded to have 4 tanks).
1 BMP1 Motor Rifle Company (4 large bases of 3 BMP1's. Infantry wise I used 4 large bases to represent the bulk of the infantry. 4 medium bases to represent the RPG teams and a medium base for the MG team. this didn't really work, so we swapped out mid game for medium and small bases. However we revised this again - more later)
1 BMP2 Motor Rifle Company (same as BMP company above)
1 Recce platoon (3 BMP2's on a large base).
Immediate changes to the rules were to use the inches measurements but convert these straight to cm. We looked at the inch and normal centimetre measures on the table, but they were just too massive. Using the inch ranges and changing this straight into centimetres seemed to work fine. The table was a 3 foot by 5 foot set up by Steve.
US on the left, Russkies on the right. From bottom to top Steve's deployment was: The Mech Inf platoon in M113's, the 1st M1 Platoon, the ITV's in the wood, the Company Command M1 team and the 2nd Platoon on M1's.
Mines, from bottom to top, was: BMP2 Recce platoon, BMP2 platoon, BMP1 platoon followed by Bat. Command and then at the top the T-72 platoon.
The battle was a bloody affair, with the T-72's dying pretty quickly to fire from a platoon of M1's and the company command stand of M1's.
For units of 4 tanks like the M1's we treated them like a single standard M1 but with a re-roll to hit (due to the number of tanks firing 2 shots each in the unit). The unit itself had 2 hits, with the loss of a hit taking it to half strength and losing the re-roll. We used the same system for bailed out results on the unit. The 'command stand' of 2 M1's had a single hit point and fired as per a normal M1.
The T-72's we gave 1 hit point to each base. However I think we will revise this in future to having 2 hit points, but no re-roll as there are less than 4 vehicles on the standard stand (later the HQ base will have 4 tanks, so will have two hit points and re-rolls to hit). This should make them a little more survivable.
The key to how the size of the unit effects the impact on the table is mainly to do with points efficiency. If all units were the same, then it would be better to take 4 units of 2 tanks than 2 units of 4 tanks.
In the centre the ITV's had no vehicles to shoot at the whole game. They used the special move order to get up to the treeline without having counted as moving. For the US platoons each base could use these orders individually, for the Russkies only those near the command base could try this - meaning they either stuck together or spread out and lost some of that tactical ability. The Russkies move in the centre was to unload their infantry who began a slow walk across the table towards the ITV's.
This combined with the infantry foot advance on the southern flank revealed that infantry were not going to work in their current format. the US vehicles just could not kill them fast enough, and would be over-run. Using 1 platoon as 1 tank means each base had either 2 main gun shots or 3 (I think this might have actually been 5) MG shots. With a 3+ save and 3 hit points per stand, the infantry would just keep coming. The ITV's couldn't shoot them and I had wiped out the US Mech Inf platoon and M113's.
|M1's observe the carnage - and the Russian Infantry hordes (blank bases) creeping towards them!|
So, in light of this we halted the game, and talked about what to do with infantry.
The first step was lower the footprint. We dropped the large bases to mediums and the mediums to small - this made a big difference visually at least.
We then talked about the number of bases in a unit. In Team Yankee a full strength Motor Rifle platoon is 12 BMP's and 21 infantry teams (22 if you include the AA platoon). Rationalising this down, next time we will try:
4 x medium bases with 3 hit points each, and 1 small base with 2 hit points (an 'HQ base' with the LMG and AA team weapon options). I will also mark one of the BMP team bases as the 'command base'.
In addition, each team would be able to fire 2 weapons from their stat line a turn. Each unit would re-roll misses in defensive fire if assaulted. If pinned then 1 weapon system could be used and no re-roll on defensive fire. Pinning would be via 5 hits in a turn to the unit, via a single artillery hit, etc.
A US Mech inf platoon would be one medium stand with 4 hits.
This keeps them resilient but doesn't clutter up the table or storage while allowing them the same weapons options. The unit would also have 14 'hit points' which is better scaled with the incoming fire they might receive. Another option would be to force them to re-roll saves if under MG fire from big platoons - like the 4 M1's. Funnily I've gone from being worried about the fragility of the infantry to being concerned about the power of them!
Other options currently are to look at another rule set! But in looks, at this stage, like Team Yankee will work. Fast, simple and pretty quick to pick up. Once the infantry issue is resolve it should work fine!
We'll also need to try artillery and aircraft in the game, which we will introduce once the basics are down and working.