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Team Yankee: pre-release thoughts


It seems that Team Yankee is finally upon us. If everything goes exactly as planned, I should be getting my TY rulebook right on the release day. A lot of players in our community are rather excited about this release so I figured I might as well share some of my own thoughts. One thing to note here is that I do not consider this side dish game in total separation. I always have FoW in the back of my head when I think about it since from what I guess, TY is a test run for FoW v4.

But let us talk details:


I love the theme. I just started to read the book but I fear it will take I while. Still I am very excited to find out the fate of Bannon's Boys :) What is more, I am also a big fan of the Twilight Struggle board game which is a more general look on the whole cold war theme. With Team Yankee out, I will be able to go from strategic down to tactical level of what is going on when I stage a coup - even more fun :)

The only thing that worries me is that in my local meta everyone is crazy about the Soviets. My guess is that 2/3 players will own a Soviet force. In this case, I feel I have to fill in the ranks of capitalist powers which is in contradiction to my normal role in Twilight Struggle!


They are lovely. Well, maybe not the M113 mobile cardboard boxes, but at least most of the US and all of the Soviet units look really great. Mi24 is most probably one of the biggest reasons why the USSR is so popular with the locals :)

The sad thing is that they seem to be a bit more expensive than what we are used to for normal FoW models. I hope this is not the first hint of what BF has in store for us. Also, the variety does not seem so great - hope they will improve this soon. Otherwise, I think players' enthusiasm might be short lived as they will be willing to only play so many games using the same units over and over.


Again, there are some things that I like and some things I do not enjoy so much. Of course, most of my feedback is based on bits and pieces I have collected from various sources without actually being able to read the rulebook itself. This means that still some of my comments might be a bit off, to put it mildly :)

1. Command distance (6" from the platoon leader) is better overall. I am only thinking how would that translate into FoW. Imagine a big Soviet company trying to swarm around its leader. That would be grotesque.

2. Individual movement distances/broken down skill and morale ratings: well, the rules were supposed to be more streamlined. Giving unique movement distances/more stats to units and covering that up with data cards is not streamlining :)

3. Morale. I only hope this one stays exclusive to TY. It might look fun on paper but it almost takes away one of the ways to win the game. It seems that it will be extremely difficult to destroy a platoon. This means that depleted units will be parked behind fresh ones and the only way to break a stubborn defense will be to wipe it out completely... A bit boring and unbalanced (unless there are changes in scenarios to mitigate this) way of handling things.

4. No more driving tanks over tanks. YAY!!! Finally!!! I was hoping to test it in one of the city fight themed Polish tournaments but most of the guys voted against :( I hope this one is going to be included in FoW v4. Think about the tactical possibilities also! :)

5. Platoon commander orders: gaming wise, a good choice. Still takes away from the theme a tiny bit. National rules are the flavor of FoW in my opinion.

6. Sniping commanders is not my favorite rule. The main reason for this is that I think it hits the theme of the game and makes it more abstract. My initial feeling is that this will be a game of 'hunt the company commander'. Company leaders will most probably have to be hiding behind terrain and the job of aircraft and artillery will be to eliminate them. Seems a bit like a Benny Hill movie type of thing.

7. Smoke seems to be more intuitive. Although 6" visibility range might be a bit too harsh. This is sort of like going back to FoW v2 ;)

8. Targeting points on the table with artillery is fun. The only thing I would improve about this is shooting templates at teams out of LOS should impose some kind of penalty (I hope this is somehow included in the current TY rules).

9. I like changes to airpower. Having these units on the table like any other platoon is a big thing. They are no longer the total random factor. What I do not like about them is the 'simple' 4+ roll to arrive when they are in reserve. This means that sometimes you would pay for your aircraft but they would not arrive at all. Hope I do not have the full set of information about this rule.

10. Limiting assaults is crap. This game is mostly about shooting anyway. In my opinion, it will be so difficult to pull off a successful assault in TY that they might have deleted the whole section altogether. To successfully defend against an assault, you just have to create a front line of single bases, 4" apart and enable the enemy only to kill 1-2 per assault (since you can only kill teams in btb). If you manage to lure him into this, you will make him expose his troops to fire next turn, in which he will loose more guys than you did during the assault. Hope my predictions are not correct.

Next Steps

I am still considering what would be next BF steps. My picture of the TY is that they are the testing ground for a major FoW overhaul. If they decide to go in this direction then I am thinking this would be a starting point for a new book release plan. With the army organization changes and all the subtleties of the rules, I think current FoW books would be useless. If this is the case, we are looking at several years in development. I am just wondering how much BF are involved already.

What are your pre-release thoughts about TY?


  1. First, in the interwiew with Phil, he said that right now, they are not even considering nor working on v4 for FoW, so if he is not covering it up, than the speculation about this being a playtest for V4 seems to be just that.

    Other than that I prette much agree with what you are saying. My biggest concer right now is, simmilar to what you say, that there is not enough variability of force. Also the US Tank and USSR mecha seems to be better than the opossite variants so if they are not adding other forces fast, it will die out fast.

    I also dont really like the cards and the fact tahat they have breaken down the morale/skill/speed/RoF so that there is no real system there.

    Other changes seem mostly positive from my perspective.

    Add1) I like this, no more conga lining seems great. Not sure how it would work with infantry but anyways

    Add2) as i said earlier, dont like this a bit

    Add3) not sure about this one before trying, Except for infantry hordes, everything seems to be easier to kill and I think that hinding wont be as easy when you take planes and helicopters into account. But yes, for regular FoW this would be a terrible idea.

    4. I like this one too and again, planes and helicopters mean that you can still reach thinks hidden behind front line.

    5. Although I agree that NSR gives flavour to nations, it also means that it is hard to balance and some nations will be inherently better without paying for that. What I really like is that they are taking out company special rules and named characters and their special rules - I HATE those, so getting rid of them is great

    6. It seems a bit too random, which i dont like but the truth is that assigning of hits is the singel most complicated thing which oftel leads to mistakes and confusion even with experienced palyers

    7. I like it unless they give someone option to take more than one arty battery. they are too cheap and effective as they are so if they remove the 0-1 somewhere, it might break the balance easilly

    8. This is confirmed, if you are targetting a spot you cant see, there is a -1. Still the fact that observer gives +1, and that you range in on your skill means it will be much easier to get the range in where you need it. At least there are no double templates so hopefully it is not too effective.

    9. I think it has been confirmed taht it is 4+ with no other bonuses/penalties so yes, they may never show up. I would rather have them more expensive and just come up everytime, and in this period it would make more sense imo, but other than that i also like the changes.

    10. Tanks will still be kind of OK in assault as they are prette much imune to it anyways and they can position easily to maximize number of potential targets, but assaulting infantry with infantry will be stupid. You are just better off shooting them. Also assaulting tanks with infantry is just plain stupid now.

    Overall I am hyped and eager to try TY, although it seems to be a little bit more random tahn regular FoW.

  2. A good summary. One thing to note here is that I did not mean that they will transport the rules as is. My idea is that they are playing with some options and will only use the ones that seem to work.

  3. So I have read the Team Yankee rulebook cover to cover yesterday.
    I must say that I am kind of dissapointed.
    There are two main things that really piss me off. The first is, that the rules are extremly poorly written. Using words like approximately or relatively in ruleswriting should be banned. But there are even contradictory things like in formation morale, it says that when you loose all of your formations, you loose the game. But in mission rules, it says that when you fail a formation morale, you loose the game.
    The second thing is morale. Yes it is even worse as you thought. One one hand, there will be situations when you will literally need to kill almost every single enemy team to break hin and on the other hand, you can loose game on turn one after loosing two teams.

    And yes, assaults with anything bar MBTs are completely pointless

  4. Well, what can I say. For now, these are only our predictions. My hope is that things will work out well in the end. I would really not like to see this game turn into World of Tanks the miniature game. We should also bear in mind 2 things:

    1. We have only seen maybe 2 dozens of units so far. We can now only see a part of the whole picture.
    2. I strongly believe that BF will not try and transfer the rules to FoW 1:1. They only need to take what really works and leave the rest behind.

    Overall, I am not that worried. If I do not like TY, I will simply play the main game. Still better than GW :)

  5. Well my post maybe too negative, thats true. And No I am not giving final judgement until I have tried at least half a dozen games.
    Some things must be seen on the table as not everything is just numbers and theory.

    But still, poor writing is poor writing no matter what. I am not talking as much about the content as I am about the form here. I read the whole rules twice over and on the second reading I was just flipping the pages forward and backward as I was trying to link things together that sometimes just did not make any sense or as I pointed out previously were just plain contradiction.

    It seemed to me like it was very rushed to production ar as if the proofreading was done very poorly.

    Also there was always this ever present feeling, that some of the rules were written with the old version in mind instead of the new one. Or they just said something like "hey lets copy this part of the V3 rules, thats OK"

    Dont get me wrong, I still thing that some of the changes are deffinitely to better and also I dont take it as a preview of V4, justa similar but separate ruleset but some of the rules just dont make any sense to me.