Hello and a happy new year! :)
I am starting with a brand new series dedicated to the Team Yankee game. My intention is to cover the whole set of rules and dive deeper than the average blog by doing a close analysis of how TY plays, what are the main differences to FoW and what are the possible influences on the game.
Now, I was wondering how to approach this... I thought I would go in parts covering a section or several sections of the rules in one go (e.g. movement & command) but I could not get the proper formula for this article. This is why I decided to simply go page by page and pick out the most interesting stuff and do a writeup on exact paragraphs after a short intro into the whole section. I will also skip the items that did not change so much or are not interesting - I do not want to waste anybody's time by stating the obvious. Especially my own. Hope this works :)
WARNING!! Some of my understanding might stil be wrong as I only read the rules a couple of times so far. If I talk nonsense, please feel free to correct me in the comments section. I want this article to be as accurate as possible in the end. Thank you!
Teams and Units
The section's name is pretty self-explaining - it gives some basic game definitions. Not much has changed here apart from the introduction of the Formation concept. Formations are an extension to the already existing method of fielding your FoW armies. They mean that you can basically take one or more companies and use them in a game assisted by battalion level or division level support.
Also, this section introduces 2 interesting new unit types: Helicopter Aircraft Units and Attachments.
Aircraft Teams (p. 18)
This section describes what does BF mean by Aircraft. The issue I have with this description is that:
1. It does not explicitly says what do they mean by Aircraft Units. There is only a vague expression added: everything that flies, including Helis and Strike Aircraft. My understanding of an Aircraft Unit is any Unit that has it clearly stated on its corresponding card entry.
2. Across other sections of the book, the term Aircraft Unit is often substituted with "aircraft", which can cause confusion as to the real intention behind a rule (do they mean all aircraft or maybe a specific type of flyers?).
Attachments (p. 19)
This is a big change to FoW rules in my opinion. Now we have platoon transports that form a completely separate Unit with their own Leader that can go around the table causing all kinds of trouble on its own. For example, this can mean that if I mount my Dragon launchers on M113s I can use them as an extra tank platoon (although not so useful because with the exception of a Blitz Move, they can only move or fire). I can also leave my infantry behind and form an AA screen with the transports placed in the middle of the table. What is very important about this is since they form their own Unit, they are not "Out of Command"!
Another interesting point abouth Attachments (including Transport Attachments) is that they are allowed to capture and contest objectives. Hurray for feeding the objective with M113s or BMPs!
Now to bolster the darkside a bit, there are also some downsides to spoil this useful rule ;)
1. This rule does not apply to Transports of HQ Units - as per page 25.
2. If your core infantry unit runs, it goes with its Transport Attachments (wherever they are) - as per page 64.
Independent Units (p. 19)
Independent Units are a big laugh. The main reason for it is Morale (I am jumping ahead but do not want to forget this part as it is a really funny one). If you go by RAW, an Independent Unit team like the FIST is also the Unit's Leader. This means that if the FIST is bailed, it has to pass the Unit's Morale test or flee (according to rules on page 64). Fortunately, this does not apply to HQ Units, as they never have to test their Morale and will never run (more on that later).
Not much has changed here. It is a well known concept of move, shoot, assault so popular in modern wargames.
There is one point however, that needs to be mentioned:
The Starting Step (p. 24)
If you look at the sequence, you will notice that the 'Roll for Strike Aircraft' step is right before the reserve roll. This means that if you place your Strike Aircraft in Reserves, you WILL NOT roll for it on the turn it arrives from Reserves. This, in my opinion, has a big influence on the game, making Strike Aircraft an attack-oriented tool. On the defensive, you really have to choose lesser of the two evils:
1. You start with the Aircraft Unit available on turn 1, thus pushing one regular Unit back to Reserves. You are still not guaranteed to acquire air support.
2. You move your Aircraft Unit to Reserves. If you do this, you still need to roll a 5+ with whatever number of dice you are rolling to extract the Aircraft Unit from Reserves and then, only IN THE FOLLOWING TURN you can start rolling for your Strike Aircraft (single 4+ to receive air support).
This concludes part 1 of my analysis. Hope you like the formula. If you don't - please let me know what are your improvement ideas. Thanks! :)