Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1
with Vick Ong

WWIII: Team Yankee is a conflict that spans the entire globe (checkmate flat earthers). As such, it doesn’t stretch too much of the imagination to drag another country into the fray! So why play an off-the-books country? Well, it gets you a truly unique army that only you will own. Nothing beats the feeling of local players associating your cool army with you, except rolling multiple 6s.

It is also great fun playing  the army you served in. You get to name your game piece after your “favourite” officer, and have him do a failed bayonet charge, or some other questionable and creative gameplay decision.

How to add your own army in Team Yankee
I dislike house rules, and will very much prefer to use an actual WWIII: Team Yankee army. This is because I trust that the existing armies are well balanced against each other, and any fan creations are usually subject to questionable game balancing. Furthermore, you avoid any problems with your opponents feeling uncomfortable playing against a non-official army, and you also get to bring your special army to a tournament to boot! (subject to your local organizers’ approval of course. Do check in with them first.)

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

As your army may not use the exact same equipment as another WWIII: Team Yankee army, you will find yourself having to proxy certain units. When proxying, remember that your proxy model should be the same size as the actual unit. If your proxy is smaller, you can include a base and agree with your opponent that he can draw Line-Of-Sight to the base. If your proxy is larger, it is a disadvantage, and usually nobody would complain about that.

When it comes to selecting which WWIII: Team Yankee army to use, I look straight at the main battle tanks (MBTs). This is because MBTs are so iconic to WWIII, and it is difficult to pass off, say, a Leopard 2 as an M1 Abrams. On the flipside, you can usually proxy support units such as Artillery or Anti-Aircraft units with other models.

In my case, the Singapore Armed Forces currently uses the Leopard 2 SG, and this limits my choice to either the West Germans or the Dutch.

I ended up selecting the Dutch army as my on-paper army after giving the West Germans a try. A good West Germany army tends to go towards the Leopard 1 and Gepard, which wasn’t a direction I liked for my SAF army. Mainly because the SAF does not have any SPAAGs, and the Gepard is such an important piece for a typical WG army. It all worked out well though, I get to field a lot more Leopard 2SG with the Dutch stats, and the Dutch’s 4+ across the board stats does give it that conscript-y flavour.

Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)
Singapore boasts the most technologically advanced military in South-East Asia, with the SAF forming the backbone of its diplomacy as a tiny city-state surrounded by larger countries. The SAF consists of about 1.4 million troops, with a large bulk of it made up of conscripted reservists. All male Singaporean citizens must serve in the SAF for two years, and can subsequently be mobilized as reserve troops for the next ten to twenty years.

The SAF has a lot of unique equipment not available in WWIII: Team Yankee, and I have had to either modify existing WWIII models, or rummage through Battlefront’s Fate Of A Nation series.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Leopard 2 SG MBT
Singapore bought a whole bunch of Leopard 2A4 MBTs from the Great German Panzer Sale in September 2008, and immediately upgraded them with slat armour, fourth-generation Advanced Modular Armour Protection, and improved fire control systems.

The Leopard 2 SG is my very first WWIII miniature, and I am particularly happy with how the slat armour turned out

Bionix II IFV
The Bionix family of vehicles is locally developed and produced within Singapore to replace the aging M113 APCs. The latest version, the Bionix II, features a M242 30mm Bushmaster cannon and officially entered service in October 2006

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Considering that I had to cough out like 13 pieces of this IFV, I opted to stop at a 70-80% similarity, else it would take too long to get my army ready for battle. I heavily modified Battlefront’s AMX10P for the body, and chopped up Battlefront’s LAV to create parts for the turret. Afterwards, I get to repeat the process another 12 times. Hurray.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

M113 Igla
Singapore has modified its M113s to run with various weapon systems, such as the M113 Ultra Overhead Weapon Stations, and the M113 Ultra 40/50 (40mm grenade launcher + .50cal machine gun).

Perhaps the most interesting variant would be the M113 Igla; a merger of the Russian SA-18 Igla surface to air missiles onto the American M113 platform.

This was a really fun and fast build for me. The radar domes were made from 100% pure, organic gluten-free ballpoint pens obtained from a SAF office during one of my annual reservist trainings.

AMX13 SM1
The AMX13 is the very first tank introduced to the South East Asian region. At one point in time, Singapore owned the world’s largest fleet of AMX13 light tanks, with about 350 individual tanks in service.

Because the AMX13 does not yet exist in WWIII: Team Yankee, I can easily use it as a proxy without causing too much confusion. In this case, I use it as my scout vehicle, to stand in for the Dutch C&V.

A4 Skyhawk

Singapore’s Air Force flew A4 Skyhawks up till its retirement in September 2000. During its 30-year service under Singapore’s RSAF, the A4 Skyhawk underwent numerous upgrades to its engine and avionics, and was even flown by the Black Knights aerobatic display team.

It is usually quite easy to swap out fixed wing aircraft for other suitable models, and Battlefront’s A4 Skyhawk models are a beautiful stand-in for the Tornado strike package.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Malaysian Armed Forces - Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM)
Malaysia signed the Five Power Defence Arrangement with Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in 1971. In the event of the threat of war against any of these five members, the FPDA will consult each other immediately to render any military assistance, if necessary.

In the scenario depicted in WWIII: Team Yankee, it is likely that the PACT forces will take a similar invasion route as the Axis Powers during World War II. Due to various geographical and geopolitical factors, Singapore will very likely send its troops North into Malaysia to hold the fort with their Malaysian counterparts.

As for me, I just simply felt it would be cool to combine my country’s army with our neighbour’s. Singapore and Malaysia have a very mushy love-hate relationship, and seeing both armies on the table together is always awesome, whether fighting together side-by-side, or against each other in a small friendly bilateral exercise for teaching new WWIII: Team Yankee players.

As Malaysia uses a variant of the T72M, I have opted to use Battlefront’s Iraqi stats to allow me to ally a small Malaysian contingent into my Singapore armed forces. Allying Iraq is also an easy way to legally create armies with mixed equipment, such as modern-day Poland or a unified ‘90s Germany.

PT91 Pendekar MBT
The Malaysian Armed Forces selected the T72 for its small profile and relatively light weight, believing that it would be naturally suited for the hilly terrain and soft, swampy grounds in tropical Malaysia. Coincidentally, Poland was developing the PT91, a modern T72 variant with improved armour, engine and autoloader. A deal was quickly struck, and the PT91M Pendekar officially entered service in 2006.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Adnan IFV
Malaysia collaborated with Turkey to develop its own IFV, which ultimately resulted in the ACV-300. Named after local WWII hero Adnan Bin Saidi, the Adnan IFV comes with various configurations, such as a M242 25mm Bushmaster cannon, Baktar Shikan Anti-Tank Guided Missile, 81mm Mortar and so on. The Adnan IFV entered service with Malaysia in 2000.

On the tabletop, the Adnans are represented by Iraqi AMX10Ps, with the Baktar Shikan ATGM variants proxying the Milan ATGM equipped AMX10Ps.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Merdeka Army
Here’s a sample of how I field my combined SAF-ATM army. In part II I will go into a little more detail on how I modified existing Battlefront kits to make Singaporean and Malaysian MBTs.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 1

Fielding a nation not yet available in Team Yankee can be great fun, and really spices up the game even further. Even if you do not get much table time, the novelty factor of your army will be the talk of the local playing group.

After all, you can’t call it a World War without involving the entire world!