Team Yankee Starter Box – Project Complete

Introduction and the Past

Like most people, I go through the typical ups and downs of life. This holds especially true of hobbies and interests.  Sometimes the proverbial itch is scratched with a video game, painting, reading, or maybe spending a day baking (I’ll have to share my recipe for C4 Bars at some point if folks are interested). And every once in a while you need to shake things up.  I spent the first half of 2022 sort of floundering when it came to painting in particular, and felt like I was wandering in a fog.  At that point I had just finished a Thunderstrike Speeder for my 40K Primaris Raptors and had been trying to work on more Khorne Daemons, but I couldn’t do it.  I had even set up a nice table to run a solo game of 40K on as well, but as I got models off the shelf, built lists, and started to play, things became increasingly more gray.

Now in between finishing the Speeder and playing 40K, Tyson was gracious enough to have me over to play Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps and hang out for most of a Saturday.  Spoiler alert: I had a great time, and Aliens is an interesting and pretty fun game.  As we kibitzed over a lunch break and a little whiskey, we drifted towards the topic of general Games Workshop chat.  The long and short was that we were both kind of tired of GW games and were looking for something else to build, paint, and play.  We discussed Bolt Action, Marvel Crisis Protocol, and even a little Flames of War.  It was a good reprieve and we eventually got back to playing more Aliens.  Leaving later that afternoon a cloud had firmly descended.

Fast forward a few days later and on my commute home I called my wife to catch up and see if I needed to grab anything for dinner.  As I’m talking to her it hit: the cloud was Games Workshop.  Don’t get me wrong, I love their models and games, but I’d been so inundated with their products it went past the point of over saturation.  As we talked more I kept bringing up the need for a change and it was that moment I started deciding what to do about it.

The truth behind when I say, “I’m a history guy”.

Now a quick side story: I’ve always been a history guy enjoyed history.  I love a good story and grew up around military history, especially World War II.  This spilled over to gaming and I started that life playing Panzer Blitz and Squad Leader, and trying very poorly to learn Luftwaffe early on.  I loved the board art and was always trying to figure out a way how I could combine these three games together with no real success.  After college I started hearing things about a miniatures game called Flames of War, and after a demo game I walked away trying to figure out how to build and paint a mid-war American rifle company.  For those that don’t know, Flames of War is a 15mm WWII game produced by Battlefront Miniatures.  A couple of the great things about the game is that armies can be finished quickly, units are all familiar, points are incredibly simplified, and army creation is intuitive and easy to grasp.  But after a couple of years and no real games, Flames of War kind of died out for me, but not before I had a fully painted German Pioneer (Combat Engineer) Company, an American Rifle Company, and both armor and solid anti-tank support for both.

Ready to open that starter box…

Here and Now

Which brings me back to the present.  The next day I bit the bullet and ordered the Team Yankee starter box.  I remember a time when rumors abounded as to whether Battlefront was going to expand their game offerings.  Needless to say after two decades they have rules and miniatures for WWI, Vietnam, Fate of a Nation (Arab-Israeli conflicts), and Team Yankee (WWIII).  Team Yankee takes place in the mid-1980s, where global events drive the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact allies into direct military conflict with the United States and NATO.  The events unfold primarily in Europe, but expansions can be purchased that cover the Iraqi military and other middle east forces.

The price tag for Team Yankee was great IMO.

What was nice initially was the price tag: I was able to pick it up for around $60 from a local games store that I order from in North Carolina.  But it was the next piece that really hit home: list building and army size.  For the American forces you have seven vehicles at 41 points and a Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) as your guide.  The Soviet side has a few extra vehicles and weighs in at 48 points.  And this was a nice feeling: no frills, low model count, more simplified rules, I could go on.  As I dug into the box more and took a few photos, I realized the best part of it: I could feel myself stepping out of the cloud.  At that point all I could do was smile and start putting away my toys knowing that I had made a good decision.

The Box Itself

Admittedly, upon opening the starter box it felt kind of meh.  Being so used to GW products I guess that was to be expected, but it was still nice.  Diving a little deeper into the box contents, aside from the models you get the typical dice, build instructions, and core rulebook.  Models are definitely in line with what you’d expect from a mass produced line: simple and easy to build.  There are also some objective markers, and other tokens for both sides, but these are built into the box and aren’t easily removed.  A little frustrating, but no worries though.  I had already planned on building customer markers which gives me the chance to exercise those extracurricular hobby muscles.

One of the interesting things I find about the game in general is the prevalence of armor, support vehicles, artillery, and air support.  Which is very different from my Flames of War experience.  A lot of the lists I was exposed to in FoW were typically balanced, but leaned a little heavier towards armor.  Not so much in this case.  Below is a breakdown of vehicles included:


American starter box sprues.
  • M1 MBT x3 (1-3 can be built as an IPM1)
  • M60 Patton x2
  • M3A2 Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle x2

Built per the starter list given you have seven vehicles weighing in at 41 points.  The Americans are the typical quality over quantity we’ve come to know between the world superpowers.  All around armor on the vehicles is better and the crew stats are slightly better than their Soviet counterparts.


Soviet starter box sprues.
  • T-80 MBT x4
  • T-60 x3
  • BMP-2 x2

Again, built per the starter list you have nine vehicles weighing in at 48 points.  Compared to their American counterparts the overall armor on each vehicle is a little weaker and the crews aren’t as well trained.  However, you do have an extra two tanks, one of which could be enough to swing victory in your favor.

Building and Painting

Completed American M1 MBTs.

As far as model quality goes it’s a bog-standard starter box.  Not bad by any stretch, but it’s certainly not going to win top prizes.  But that’s fine because it’s not the intent.  Overall building went quick once I started getting the hang of things.  The most challenging part of the Americans was putting the track skirts onto the M1 chassis.  There are three tabs on each side of the tank with three corresponding holes in each skirt.  It’s very easy to place too much glue on each tab and then misalign things.  After a couple of starts and stops I completed those easily enough.

Completed M3A2 Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicles.

The Soviets were a different beast.  The instructions were not the greatest to say the least and honestly a little confusing.  Each tank had its unique set of issues, but this was especially true for the T-60s.  Starting with the T-80s each tank has a small mud flap looking piece that stretches across the front of the tank between the tracks.  Each flap has grooves that are supposed to align with teeth along the same space.  Unfortunately, the grooves didn’t always align with the teeth, so placement on my tanks may be a little off.  Does it look ok from three feet?  Yes.  Are there any major issues with appearance? No.  But I can be a little OCD when it comes to this stuff, so I know it’ll bug me every time I look at them. 

The T-60s, on the other hand, were simply a pain to build.  Between unclear instructions, the track skirts, fuel tank on the back, commander’s hatch, and pintle-mounted machine gun, I couldn’t wait to be done with them and glad I saved them for last.  I don’t know if individual kits are any better, but I have no desire to find out any time soon.

Fully finished American starter box force. Front row, L-R: M1, IPM1, M1.
Back Row, L-R: M60 x2, M3A2 x2

Painting, though, goes super quick.  I started out wanting to do a camo scheme for at least one M1 but quickly put the brakes on because I realized I can’t paint camo.  If you really want to go full historical, there is a great write up on the Team Yankee website about historical color schemes that focuses on MERDC.  With that being said, I opted for a basic all over forest green scheme that was common for newer vehicles at the time.  I started by priming each model black, then built up the base green with Vallejo US Dark Green (70.893).  The black underneath provided good shadow depth without the need to do an all over wash.  From there I picked up the drybrush again and went with a light coat of Vallejo Afrika Korps Tank Crew (70.336). 

For the road wheels and machine guns I again dipped into the Vallejo range and used a thinned down German Grey (70.995).  On the road wheels I intentionally left a little bit of the US Dark Green showing through.  For the rust on the tracks and road wheels I applied a thin coat of GW Mournfang Brown.  Next step was to reinforce the shadows from the primer in some spots, and for this I applied spot washes of GW Seraphim Sepia.  Coming straight out of the pot the sepia was a bit too strong, so I thinned it with a little water on my palette.  For the final step I drybrushed a light coat of Vallejo US Army Tank Crew Highlight (70.322) around the tracks and skirts to give the appearance of dust.  Once I got in a groove, I found that I could easily knock out multiple vehicles in about 90 minutes.  The longest wait was for the sepia wash to dry.

Completed T-80 MBTs.

For the Soviets I followed the exact same steps, but instead of the Afrikacorps paint for the second drybrush I opted for a 50/50 mix of US Dark Green and GW Gorthor Brown.  This gave the Soviet vehicles a good, neutral green but allowed some additional browns to come through.  Overall, I was very happy with the painting pace and how all the vehicles turned out.

Completed BMPs.

The Future

Project status?  Mark this one down as Complete.  Overall, I’ve enjoyed the contents, quality, and value that comes with the Team Yankee starter box.  Other than the few snags encountered during the build portion, models were completed quickly and painted up super quick.  For me one of the marks of an interesting game is whether I can be snagged to buy additional models before I’ve completed what I originally purchased.  So, will I be purchasing additional vehicles before playing?  Absolutely.  I haven’t played yet and I’ve already built and painted a flight of A10s, if nothing more than to fly them around the house going “BRRRRRTTTT” while the dog gives me confused looks.  And those AH60s they offer?  Sign me up, please.  I know 2023 will allow me to actually learn the rules and play, but for now I’m content in eyeing progress made on a basement shelf.  For more information on Team Yankee visit Battlefront Miniatures to find updated painting guides, rules packs, faction information, and videos.  Now to figure out how to avoid any more of those T-60 tanks…

Those dastardly T60 tanks.  I really don’t like them.

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


A New England transplant that originated from parts westward, Ryan is a bit of a nerd that knows a little bit about a lot of things, all while claiming to know nothing about anything.  Seemingly part Khajit a logistician by trade, he’s the kind of guy that can get you virtually anything if there’s coin to be had a problem to solve.  Ryan began to learn the scrounging arts while serving time in parts east as a Loggie and has been perfecting them steadily over several decades.  He has a problem with continually purchasing models, paints, and terrain that he doesn’t really need but his wife doesn’t seem to mind.

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