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World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis

World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis
with Chris Jackson

Family Time Games of Indianapolis, Indiana hosted the first ever World War III: Team Yankee Masters tournament over the weekend of 20-21 June. 16 of the best World War III: Team Yankee players in the United States met to go head to head against each other. BattleRankings.com standings from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2020 determined who those top 16 players were.

Players qualified based on their top 4 tournament scores and received invitations, with the first 16 receiving their invitations on 1 May and as soon as they RSVP’d no, the next player on the list received their invitation.

As with all Masters events, it was a 6 round tournament, with a number of twists to make it more challenging and prevent “one trick ponies” from being effective. If you want to be called a “Master”, you must show mastery of multiple aspects of the game. This year we had three different point levels: 52, 74, and 96.  They would be drawn randomly. You would also be able to use each “mission posture” of Attack, Maneuver, and Defend, only once a day.  This meant that you could not count on being able to design a list to perform a specific task. You couldn’t count on each point level being drawn, and having a force that could not attack or defend would cost you the game if your opponent forced you into a bad match up. Every list had to be able to do it all. In addition, you had to select you main formation. Any additional formation would be considered “Allied” regardless of whether it was of the same nationality or not. If it broke, your force broke. I will briefly discuss some of the stats, then go into how my force was constructed and think how it performed.

The stats are very interesting. 48 games total. Of those, only 27 had a winner, 21 draws. Nearly half of those wins were between four players. I won four, Keith, Jacob and Andrew won three each.  Five players won none at all, but no one didn’t at least get a tie. The majority of the ties came at the 74 point level with 6 in round 1 and 3 in round 4.  The difference is explained by the fact that we extended the length of the game to three hours after the first round.  But we had 5 ties at 52 points and 7 at 96.  It is somewhat impressive that even at 52 points and 3 hour time limit, we still had significant draws.  We had five Soviet lists, One tank, one BTR, two BMP1, and one BMP2, two Iraqi lists, both BMP, three British, all Mech, two French infantry, one US Mech, One East German, One Polish, and one Dutch. It was a very appealing spread. Three out of the five top finishers were Warsaw Pact; my Soviet BMP2 list, John Cedarburg’s BTR list, and Chris Grau’s East Germans. Jakes Iraqi’s and Keith Gilmour’s British rounded out the top five. That concludes the statistics portion, on to the fights

World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis

I elected to bring a Soviet Motorized Rifle list.  I’ve been shooting my mouth off since forever about how good I think the Soviets are when used according to their doctrine. I felt this would be a fine time to demonstrate the point.  I built what was as close to a Soviet Advance Guard Main Body as I could given the points level. A HQ, two companies of BMP-2 mounted motorized rifles, A BTR Company attachment with maximum AT-4 Spigots, Air Defense, 2-3 templates of artillery, minimal recon and a T-64 Tank Company as points allowed. This is the formation that I would expect to hit my company’s position in the Main Line of Resistance had this game ever become a historical fact. This is how he Soviets planned to operate and they had a good plan, so I went with it. 

My first fight was with John Cedarburg and his Soviet BTR battalion. He had a lot of infantry and a supporting T-62 company, one battery of artillery, plenty of air defense, and I believe there was a Storm platoon. 74 points was the level selected and we both chose to maneuver. We rolled up Free for All. He had a rough first turn. He attempted an Alpha Strike with his right flank and whiffed. He got only two BMPs and an Infantry stand.  My return fire gutted his T-62 company and put a serious dent in the ZSU and BTR population. My artillery also went to work on his infantry. By turn three his right flank was almost completely gutted and I was advancing steadily on the objective, held only by a couple of stands of infantry, only one of which wasn’t a Spigot and unsuited to defending against the infantry swarm bearing down on it. Then the attack stalled.

World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis

In an amazing display of rolling ones, his artillery killed my last ZSU, killed my formation commander, and pinned my infantry. The infantry then sat for two turns, pinned down, one move away from an objective defended by two teams of Spigots. When time ran out, I had finally unpinned, and cleared the objective, but ran out of time before I could seal the deal.

Result: 3-3 draw.

World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis

Second round was against Rich Baier’s US Mech Infantry. 94 points was drawn. This list really scared me.  6 IPM1s can really put a hurt on a BMP company. He had the tank formation in support of his mech infantry formation. Two platoons in M113s, artillery and mortars, ITV sections, two I believe. The tanks were HQ, 2 x M1, 3 x M1. I selected attack, he selected maneuver, we got Counterattack. He put all the M1s in reserve. My course of action was clear, I parked all of the infantry between the point where the M1s arrived and where they needed to be, and forced him to fight through them. The T-64s were placed in the background of my deployment zone to threaten the flanks of his tanks.

After they were decisively engaged, I shifted my tanks to attack the objective in his deployment area, where once the ITVs and artillery battery were destroyed, they were almost invulnerable. His infantry attempted to shift back, but were machine gunned into oblivion and then it took only one more turn to shoot off the remaining mortar and recon tracks for the win. I lost the BRDMs, ZSUs, and one company of BMPs. I made a mistake in not pulling back the last two BMPs in that company and the BRDMs Rich tagged them and got his points from my mistake.  Oops.  Hope that doesn’t bite me in the butt later on.

Result: 6-3

Round Three found me facing off against an Iraqi horde run by Kevin Morris in Dust-Up. It was a 96 point game and we both only had defend left.  The Iraqis were supported by a US Armored Cav unit, most of which started the game in reserve. I put my tanks and a BMP Company in reserve, and dug the other one in to await the arrival of the M1s.  They and a company of T-62s almost managed to push the Motorized Rifle company off the objective, but even though they were reduced to two stands of infantry, All the T-62s died in the attempt, and the last minute arrival of a Hail and an Acacia, and a platoon of Gaskins I had moved there earlier were too much for them to shoot off the objective. Meanwhile, my reserves came in and pushed his objective, the tank platoon managing to remove everyone and park there, but they ran off before they could plant the flag. The infantry had to finish the job.  They crushed the Iraqi infantry and occupied a building near the objective, endured a turn of everything Kevin could throw at them. He moved his ZSU platoon up to contest the objective, and in my turn, the infantry killed or bailed every one to give me the win.

Result: 6-3

Round four was 74 points. Kinda took all the suspense out of what would be the point level for the last two rounds.  Round Four I did not think was going to go well. I was playing Jake Mayer, who is very skilled at the game and had a force that could present a problem.  Three Medium strength BMP companies, artillery support, and a Leopard 1 support formation.

I have been facing off against Jake in Texas ever since Team Yankee tournaments became a thing, and we usually leave each other bloody and broken. The game usually hinges on which of us makes the first mistake. Today was no different, except today the mistake didn’t come until way late in the game.

World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis

We both chose defend and got Encounter. He outthought me on that one, I did not want to face him in a meeting engagement and he anticipated what I was going to choose. His numbers were greater than mine and my technical superiority probably would not affect the outcome, BMP1s don’t care if they are hit by AT 21 or AT 19. We spent 8 turns beating the snot out of each other with him getting the worst of it, but still enough to force a draw, barring a mistake. Well, he made one.  He forgot transports can’t hold an objective. He moved all his BMPs, the only ones remaining, from his left to his right where I was threatening his objective. I pushed to contest the objective and his BMPs arrived to contest, along with the Leopard 1 platoon that was also on that flank. After a lot of machine gun shots which put down a lot of my infantry, but not the guys contesting the objective, it was my turn. I ignored the BMPs and focused fire on the Leos, hitting all of them with RPG 7s. With nothing else contesting the objective, I put the dice down and shook his hand.  He was very upset with himself.  He was especially upset because he had only managed to kill one platoon. He had three others checking at that point, but all had managed to pass multiple chances and he did not get any points off of me that game.

Result: 8-1

World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis

Keith Gilmour was my fifth opponent, we wound up with another Encounter. He knew what he needed to do and did it.  He killed my artillery quickly and took a stab at winning the game by moving his marksman onto the objective on turn five, about 20 minutes into the game.  We had spent the first 4 turns using indirect fire and aircraft. He pushed onto what was essentially an undefended objective and dared me to come get him, which I did, because I really didn't want to lose. His three Marksman tracks took fire from BMPs on both sides and were all three bailed out. I kinda figured that would be the result of my shooting so I had the formation commander zip out into assault range to deal with that eventuality, and the threat to my objective was eliminated. 

We managed to kill three platoons each, him with air (my formation commander, the Carnations, and the Hail), me with a combination of BMPs, infantry, killing his Milan platoon, and Spigots and BMPs destroying his Scimitar platoon. We decided at that point we were just wasting time, and called it a game and took an extra half hour rest before the final round.  Literally just looked at each other and knew that was what we were both thinking.

Result: 3-3 Draw.

The last round has me at 26 points, Jake Meyer at 24, and both Keith Gilmour and Andrew Hopson at 23, and Bryan has 22. No one else is in striking distance.  Seven is the magic number, If I can win 7-2, no one else can catch me. 
My final round was against Andrew Hopson. We are on the table known as Fallujah. He had a British Mech Formation with two full platoons, Chieftains, Marksman, and mortars.  We both only had maneuver left, so we wound up with another FFA. My Artillery kept his infantry off his left flank objective.  He initially placed his Marksman and the Chieftains out of sight but contesting the objective, but when my first Hail bombardment bailed a Chieftain and wrecked a Marksman, he quickly reconsidered. His push on my left was countered with artillery, both small infantry platoons, and their transports. I lost the transports, but blunted the attack, leaving the flank secure, but my attack on the right was much more successful, a slow and steady attrition of the infantry platoon there, followed by a very lucky shot from a Spigot which knocked the Chieftains out of the game and a mob of RPG teams zapping the remaining Chieftains left only two Milan teams anywhere near the objective.

World War III:Team Yankee Masters - Indianapolis

We called it at that point. 6-3 me.  That is less than the magic number. I need a little help. Luckily for me, Jake (who was in striking distance was playing Bryan Koches and their game resulted in a 3-3 draw, handing me the victory.


Last Updated On Thursday, July 30, 2020 by Luke at Battlefront