Monday, 19 October 2015

Team Yankee - Rules Preview

Hello fellow wargamers,

We are very pleased to bring you a preview of the Team Yankee ruleset.  There's a lot of ground to cover here and we're not intending to go into tonnes of detail about the rules, rather an overview of some of the things that stood out to us.
However, please bear in mind that we have not played a game of Team Yankee yet, which means there's plenty we'll miss and nuances we'll overlook...for now I leave you with Marc to look at some of the main points about command and movement.  I'll catch up with you in the assault section

Command and Movement by Marc


In Flames of War as we all know the command distance is affected by your Skill rating.  Indeed there is a whole chapter devoted to the Command rules and the effects of staying in and out of command.

Team Yankee  does away with all of that and streamlines the Command rules somewhat, however this doesn't impact on the depth of the rules.  Far from it, even from just a couple of read throughs we have seen a few subtleties emerge in how they work.

As we have already seen in other posts the traditional Flames of War ratings of Confident, Fearless etc have been done away with and replaced with simpler numerical values.  So how does Team Yankee deal with setting command distances?

Team Yankee has a set command distance of 6”, and this is important, from the unit leader in order for units to stay in command.  So no daisy chaining your platoon across the board if you have a massive platoon.  The exception to this is if the team is in Line of Sight and advancing Line Abreast.  Then they can be within 16” of the unit leader.  If you don't either of these then you’re out of command.  Note that these distances are drawn at the end of the movement step, so it is perfectly possible to move in and out of command within the movement step.

Pretty simple, eh?  Teams that are in command can move, shoot, assault normally.  So far no change.

However this is where it gets interesting.  Teams that are out of command can remain in place and suffer no penalties, they can move at Tactical speed suffering a penalty of +1 to hit or they can move at Dash speed towards its Unit Leader, avoiding intervening obstacles.

So they have really streamlined the command rules.  Gone are the rules saying that the platoon command team must end their movement step with at least half their teams in command.  Much simpler and more intuitive.

Ah but what about Warriors and Higher Command Teams?  Again here Battlefront have streamlined the rules.  They have done away with Higher Command Teams such as Company Commanders and Company 2i/cs and we haven’t yet seen any special Warrior characters.  That’s not to say that they're not coming but in keeping with the streamlined feel and the counter-factual nature of the setting I would be surprised to see them release Warriors in the future.

When you build your forces you use Formations as the main building block, within that are the units that that make up your fighting power.  The Formation Leader (or company commander in Flames of War parlance) is your Commander for the game.  Any team in the Formation HQ unit as the Commander, unless it is a transport team.  Again a big change.

Just like in Flames of War Command teams can join a unit at any time, the only exception is in the middle of an activity such as an opponent shooting at your unit or commander.  This seems to imply that its perfectly possible to snipe Formation Commanders, big change!

Now in order to balance out the fact that your Commander can be sniped the whole concept of killing Commanders has also changed.  Basically if the Commander is killed then the owning player can nominate another unit from the Formation HQ that is the same type and within 6” to take over.  No dice roll required.  

If that isn't an option then the owning player rolls a die.  On a roll of 3+ the Commander survives and moves to another Team.  Otherwise he is killed.  The team must be the same type i.e. Infantry or Tank and must be within 6”.  They take over the characteristics of the new team but retain their own Skill, Courage, Morale and Counter Attack ratings.  It is possible to destroy a Commander several times but the owning player need only roll once to see if he has survived.  

Just like Flames of War a Commander can join a unit.  In order to join a unit it needs to be within 6”
and in Line of Sight of the unit leader.  If it does join, it stays joined for the entire remaining part of that step.

Now this is where it gets really interesting, a unit that has been joined by a Commander amy use the Commander’s Skill, Courage, Morale and Counter Attack and Rally ratings.  Wow!  I guess this is is designed to avoid the whole when Commander X joins a unit they get a modifier for this and that.  Again nicely streamlined but a big change to bear in mind.

Bogged down commanders automatically jump to another friendly Tank team within 6” as the new Commander.  Very similar to Flames of War except this happens immediately and not at the end of the step.  

So we have much simpler Command rules that have, from initial inspection, sacrificed none of the depth.


You will have seen by now that there are two types of movement: Tactical and Dash.  

If a team moves at Dash speed it must end the movement step facing in the direction of travel, however if it moves at Tactical speed it can face in any direction at the end of the movement step.

If you move at Dash speed you cannot come within 8” of any enemy team.  Teams cannot move within 2” of a visible enemy infantry team and infantry teams cannot move within 2” of any visible team.  

So far, no change but here is the biggie.  Teams cannot move through enemy Teams under any circumstances.  So no more driving your tank through my tank in a narrow street and then turning around to get a shot at my rear armour.  Yes!

Just like Flames of War a team can only move through gaps it can physically fit through.

Each team has its own set movement distance so they have done away with ratings such as Light, Standard or Slow tank for example.  Each team has its own unique movement distance.

Bogging checks have also gone and are now replaced with a Cross check.  You take a Cross check whenever you enter Difficult terrain such as woods.  Each team has its own Cross check value and you simply roll a die to see if you pass it or not.  If you fail the team becomes Bogged Down immediately and cannot move any further, shoot or assault.

Again this where things get interesting.  Once per turn a Unit Leader i.e. a Platoon Commander can issue a movement order.

These orders include:

Blitz Move - Move an additional 4” before making a Tactical move.  If you choose to move no further after your Blitz move you can fire at full RoF.

Follow Me - After the unit has moved then move the unit leader forward an extra 4” and then do a Courage test.  If they pass then the rest of the unit move an extra 4”.

Shoot and Scoot - This is basically the classic Stormtrooper move.  (Only applies to units that haven't moved - WD)

Cross Here - Issued before the unit moves this allows the unit to reduce the difficulty of a Cross check by 1 providing the unit leader crossed the ground safely and they do it within 6” of the unit leaders crossing point.  They can’t shoot or assault however.

Dig In - Same as Flames of War.

Transports operate in a very similar way to Flames of War but the big change are Transport Aircraft.  Aircraft can only land at the end of their movement so they must basically land the turn before they intend to pick up or drop off their passengers which makes them very vulnerable whilst they're on the ground.

Direct Fire by Adam

So where to start firstly it's not too different - but there are changes. The layout of the weapons profiles is pretty similar to before, we get the name, range, Rof (and moving Rof) as well as fire power and special rules. You also have different weapons which are able to fire at helicopters and strike aircraft, as well as having options for which ones can fire in your turn, and those which can fire in the enemy turn – so AA on a shilka can fire in your turn or your opponents at aircraft, but others will only be in your turn.

Measuring ranges is made clearer so that its only the main body of a tank e.g not weapons that range is measured from, likewise with planes it’s the hull, they also clarify where the LoS for shooting and hitting targets is from and to – so no more spotting from wingtips!

Concealment is tidied up too – with how it works depending on the terrain type (short or tall) and even the way hills are played is clarified to try and stop confusion which I’ve seen all too often. We also get clear rules on how concealment works for aircraft – very specific types of terrain will conceal, but LoS is never blocked to strike aircraft.

After this its choosing targets – and again though you only choose one team as the target excess hits will get distributed elsewhere. Same unit, same type (e.g vehicle or infantry – in mixed platoons you have to choose) and also within 6 inches of your target team. You also get the ‘mistaken target rule’ this allows you to protect teams which are important (e.g heavy weapons) by swapping hits – but the team you swap with must still be legal (e.g visible/range etc) also as this requires a 3+ dice roll when it’s failed that’s it no further shots can be swapped. If you’re up close though this rule is negated as your guys are too close to mistake the enemy.

When rolling to hit, you take the targets ‘to hit’ score and then it's modified. The modifiers are also cleared up, some like ‘gone to ground’ remain, but new ones come in as well such as the shooting team being out of command. We also get the opportunity to hit on a 7+ now, for this it’s a 6 followed by a 5+ and an 8+ is a 6 followed by a 6 – 9+ is now the impossible shot.

Saves are much the same as before – keeping the +1 bonus for long range, the biggest change is working out whether its side or front armour, as vehicle needs to only partly be behind the front of the vehicle to get side shots. The effects of armour saves are still the same, and  you still have checks as before for double bailed vehicles. Infantry saves are as before (alongside bullet proof cover). When aircraft are hit, they get a save depending on their unit card, if the succeed all’s good, if not the shooting player does a firepower test to destroy – though your regular infantry teams have to re-roll successful firepower tests)

Artillery and Airpower by Ben

Out of all the rules I think artillery and airpower have changed the most from FOW to Team Yankee. I'm going to start with artillery.

Going down the list of firing artillery sequence, the first thing we see is all unit leader (platoon commanders) can spot for artillery. The next change is you either fire a Artillery Template (6 inch square template) or a Salvo Template (10 inch square template), Salvo being for rockets.

The next two are quite big and game changing. Your stopping point can be anywhere on the table within line of sight, thats right it doesn't have to be on the centre of a model! So you are now thinking "so if I don't aim for a model how do I range in?" Well that's simple, you range in using your skill rating.

To roll to hit the teams under the template in a similar fashion to how you hit normally, but without concealment and range taken into account. Also there are no staff teams in Team Yankee, but you can always repeat bombard (I believe rockets can too).

There are also rules for new artillery ammo, minelets, bomblets and laser-guided projectiles.

Now onto airpower and planes have had a massive overhaul. They now work like all other units, you can put them in reserve, they make platoon morale tests, destroyed planes don't come back on the next attack run, to name a few of the special rules.

So lets start at the beginning, when you deploy you choose if a unit of planes is "on the table" (they are still not deployed on the table) or in reserve (if the mission has reserves). At the start of your turn you have planes (either because they started as part of your force or have arrived from reserve) you roll a dice, on a 4+ your planes attack that turn, no more priority, limited or sporadic, no more losing dice on each run, just a single 4+.

Planes can now shoot at any point in the shooting phase, not just the end of the phase. AA can either shoot at planes before the plane shoots or in the controlling players turn. Planes are shot at like a normal unit (it's not a skill test to hit them) the only way a plane can be concealed is if the AA is within 4 inches of terrain. Also worth noting is the planes have a plane save. Once all that is sorted out you roll to attack as any other unit before flying off. At the end of the turn if the unit isn't in "good spirits" (more on that from winner in a minute) the planes take a morale test to not count as

Finally if a unit of planes is wiped out then they count as a destroyed platoon for victory points. 

Assaulting and Morale by WinnerDave

I'd actually already taken the time to write an in depth post on how assaults work in Team Yankee, with photos and everything...Anyway here's some of the key points that stood out.

In FOW eligible teams within 8" of enemy teams can join in the assault, moving up to 4".  However in Team Yankee, assaulting teams have to start within 4" of enemy teams, which makes getting the bulk of your platoon into the assault a good bit harder.

Next I noticed, that hits have to be taken by teams you are in contact with, not just within 2" of.  Being in contact with an enemy team means either your team's front edge is touching the enemy team or if you are infantry that team is touching a friendly team that is touching an enemy team.

Defensive fire is pretty much the same and sneaking up on tanks is still a thing you can do.  Everyone gets "Quality of Quantity" which I examine in some detail in the later post.

If you destroy an enemy team (and it gets removed) you may immediately occupy its space, which makes capturing other units a little bit easier.

One thing I really like is, units that break off move until they are 4" away...instead of a full move away, which I much prefer to FOW and means there could be successive assaults.

In summary I think assaults just got a little move difficult to pull off, teams having to be within 4" is tough.  If you can pull it off though, I think we'll see slightly longer, slightly more devastating action.

Stay tuned for my in-depth review...


Are you ready for this...this is huge! In flames, we are all used to the below half strength rule.  For a tankovy player like myself gets really freakin annoying when half the platoon runs away, well fear not comrades it doesn't work like that anymore.

As long as you have a unit leader and one other non-bailed out tank within 6" of the leader, your team is in good spirits and don't need to take a test.  So, having a unit leader around is super important, but this makes having the big platoon worthwhile as we all get something similar to mission tactics from flames.

As above, but 2 teams plus leader means you are in good spirits and don't need a test.  Sole survivor is still a thing as is the higher command re-roll.

As you can see, that's a big difference and means you can be below half strength but not's all about the destruction in Team Yankee.

Formation (aka Company) tests are taken when none of its teams (aka platoons) are in good spirits.  So you don't include the support units in the equation.  Also, notice it's nothing to do with whether the team is destroyed or not, but whether it's in good spirits or not.

In summary, I think your force is going to last longer in terms of morale as its no longer half strength based and killing those weak support units has no effect.  Apparently we wanted bloodier games and Battlefront delivered.  Kudos guys!

Missions by Ben

Hi all, Ben again and this time I'm going to chat about the Missions. I'm first gaming to cover the Missions Special Rules and then the Missions themselves.

I'm not going to cover all the mission rules as must are the same as normal FOW, the first new rules is now if both players agree any mission can start at night and uses the Dawn rule as per FOW rulebook.

Choosing who attacks. Well in half the missions that will be a dice off, the other missions you both secretly choose if they want to attack and defend with a tie being decided by a dice rule.

A new rule I love is Left out of Battle, this means you can choose to not use a unit from your army.
So lets say you have AA and your opponent doesn't have planes or helicopters and you think the AA is an easy victory point, you can just not include them in your army for that mission.

Another new rule is called Deep Reserves, this means only one Tank unit with a Front Armour of 4 or better or one Aircraft units can be deployed on the table. Mobile reserves has gone!!

Now onto the Missions, there are six missions in Team Yankee, plus a Nine Mission PDF Phil chatted about on the first podcast Team Yankee podcast.

First we have Free For All and Encounter that are all but the same as before. Dust Up is the third mission and has changed quite a bit. The two big changes are your deployment areas, you now get the whole quarter minus a 12 inch bubble from the middle of the board. The second change are that reserves now come on from the long table edge that isn't part of your deployment area and not from the corner.

Mission four is Hasty Attack and looks the same as before. Mission five is No Retreat and this mission has changed, a lot! The mission now has Deep Reserves (see above for what that does), the Dawn special rule (so always starts at night) and the defender gets a mine field for every 25pts of their army.

The final mission is Counter Attack with is largely unchanged bar a 12 inch semi circle the defend
can't deploy in marked from the centre of the table. 

Special Rules by WinnerDave

The first thing to note, is that there are no nation specific special rules, as far as I can tell.  Everyone gets a form of mission tactics, stormtrooper, QofQ etc.  And just becasue I like saying it...there's no Hen and Chicks...good times.

You've already been privy to the special rules as they are printed on the back of the unit cards.

A special rule that appears in the book, but I can't seem to find on unit cards is Accurate...means there's no +1 penalty for shooting over 16", as long as they didn't move.  So it's a less good version of Laser Rangefinder, which removes the +1 penalty whether you moved or not.

I'm going to take this opportunity to look at smoke, not literally, that would be dull.  A smoke bombardment may only be fire once!  Yep, you heard, once!  Remember though you can you can place the aiming point anywhere you have LOS to.  Smoke now appears in a single long line, not the template shaped square we are used to.  Coupled to this, your line can go in any direction you choose, not in the direction of a random wind direction.  The line of smoke starts at your aiming point and extends 4" for each gun firing.

So your smoke barrage is far more controllable in terms of placement, but you can only do it once per
battery, so use it wisely.

The effects of smoke are vastly different too, echoes of area terrain abound.  Smoke blocks LOS, unless you are within 6".  If you are within 6" then there is a +1 penalty to hit, which is in addition to any cover/gtg status, unless the firing unit has Thermal Imaging, then this penalty is ignored.

Another special rule worthy of note, is the Hunter Killer, which as far as I can see only applies to the far.  Unlike other aircraft, which are only concealed if the AA gun is within 4" on intervening terrain.  Hunter Killers, gain concealment if they are within 4" of intervening terrain.  As long as they did not shoot, the hunter killer is also gtg.

Well, we hope that's whetted your appetite even further.  I know I can't wait to get my hands on these suckers, get them painted and on the board.  Thanks for reading

Winner and the boys.


  1. Do i have to make a skill test for Shoot and Scoot? If not, this would be very nice for the RoF2 tanks.
    A two tank platoon is in the platoon morale if one tank bails? This is hard for the americans. otherwiese they have it easier to stay around the platoon commaner!

    1. Yes, all the Movement Orders require a skill check. Shoot and Scoot is rolled in the assault step, but unlike Stormtrooper it only applies to Teams that did not move in the movement step.

  2. Almost all of these changes seem like a step up in ease of play compared to the current FoW rules. One of the things that haven't been explained is that Phil said that there is no more "Eyes and ears". My guess is that one of the new recce rules must have replaced it, and functions a little different.
    The only thing I'm concerned about is that assaults are now even harder to pull off. In LW FoW, they are already quite difficult, but this factor might be mitigated by the fact that every single team in TY has more firepower than in LW FoW.

    1. As far as I can see the only recon-esq type rule that made it into TY is cautious movement. I haven't seen anything similar to eyes-and-ears or disengage etc etc.

      I agree about the assaults, I think they will be tough to pull off due to assault range and command range, let alone ever get QofQ

  3. Thanks for posting guys, fascinating insights as always, and all looking very tasty. Personally I don't mind that assaults have become harder, they never featured in WW3 to my mind's eye anyway - Peace thru superior firepower!

  4. I specially like the changes introduced to artillery. Having to range-in based in your skill is one of the changes that I've always thought FoW should introduce in V4. Considering that a spotter's artillery request isn't based on him targetting an specific thing (unless we're talking about point targets, something that's too specific for FoW's scope) but to an area/set of coordinates, it has never made sense to me that the target's skill rating should affect the ability to range-in. On the other hand, the skill of the spotter in communicating the bombardment request or the gun crews' ability to properly follow it should definitely be more important when ranging in, in my opinion.

    I also prefer that hitting is as normal (minus the range and concealment penalties). It could be argued as the FoW rulebook does that a skilled crew can put more rounds on target, but it makes more sense to me that a skilled target would be quicker to get into cover as soon as they would see the spotting rounds fall, thus hitting them would depend on their skill rating.

  5. I like what I have read here. It all looks good. Are they going to make German forces (Leopard tanks) and British forces (Challenger tanks)? I would be keen to play them.

    1. They've already confirmed British forces to be in the near future, though with Chieftains instead of Challengers to start with, and German forces are supposed to be likely sometime in the future too.

  6. I was really confused on the Shoot and Scoot rule until I realize it and Cross Here were two separate rules. I didn't think I could get more excited about Team Yankee but this post proved I was wrong.

  7. I suppose the game will still omit what many call opportunity fire. I'm wondering how will this will work out having advancing tanks that fire on the move about as well as if they were stationary if the enemy they are advancing against don't ever get a chance to shoot before being shot? It seemed OK for WW2 due to all the negatives that came from shooting while moving, but those negatives don't seem as prevalent in Team Yankee with modern stabilizers etc.

    1. Interesting in that tactics involve having one foot on the ground both in the advance and withdrawal be it one tank, two tanks or a Troop specifically to provide cover and react to any threat (Opportunity fire). There is a good video "Troop and Platoon Tactics" which shows how it works on U tube. (Dated now but relevant for the period). Another interesting point is that Platoon Commanders can spot for arty. A Soviet Platoon Commander might get a chance with the organic mortar platoon, but Regt/Div/Army Arty not a chance.

  8. Hi, the ninth paragraph under 'Command' [beginning with " When you build your forces you use Formations"] is a bit jumbled. I think that I understood it, but perhaps you would want to edit it.

  9. Hey just wanted to say that the Team Yankee idea for FoW rules is awesome. I've always wanted to get into the more modern mobile combat. i.e. Seeing today armor doing battle. Now I have to get the mini. Where to do recommend getting the modern 15mm mini's thanks.