Counter-Air Defense In Team Yankee

Counter-Air Defense In Team Yankee

Counter-Air Defense In Team Yankee
With Jokull Gislason
"All measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action."

Air power in Team Yankee comes in two forms, attack aircraft Close Air Support (CAS) and attack helicopters Close Combat Attack (CCA). Both can be devastating but must first clear the Anti-Aircraft defences or Counter-Air Defence of the enemy.

The focus of this article is to look at what units are the most effective at Counter-Air Defence. This serves both sides as it also defines priority targets for SEAD – Suppression of Enemy Air Defence.

It depends greatly on the gaming meta in your area how much air power is used. As a Soviet player I like my Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters and most of my opponents have been looking into ways to counter them. The Hind is priced at the same point value as a T-72 but with their mobility and fair survivability and with two Hinds costing the same points as a single tank I prefer them to the T-72. At the same time the Harrier attack Aircraft is popular. It has a very strong Salvo attack with BL-755 cluster bombs that can take out columns of Soviet vehicles and tanks. This added to the Jump Jet rule that changes them from the 50:50 chance to a rather reliable 66.7% chance of arriving. The only drawback of the Harrier is its vulnerability. There is however a major advantage as only a few specialised weapon systems are able to effectively counter air attacks and if one sides achieves SEAD then their Air power can dominate and win the game.

Counter-Air Defense In Team Yankee

Counter-Air Defense In Team Yankee

In this article I will compare each weapon system. I will run the numbers against my nemesis the Harrier to show their effectiveness. NATO has the advantage of being harder to hit than Soviet units but this does not effect the outcome as that is built into their points value. We will only be using the Harrier so we can compare the Air defence units against the same base target. In my calculations I will be using a multiplier of 6 with all units for the easy of calculation. This is often useful since the game uses a 6 sided dice for the random factor. What I will be looking at is units, the likelihood of each team hitting and downing a Harrier, points value and if the system is medium (M) or long ranged (L). This is simply a bonus, but in Team Yankee a long range anti-air unit can easily provide cover for the entire gaming table while medium range anti-air most follow close behind the units it is assigned to protect.

For the calculation I take the basic stationary ROF of one team and multiply by 6. Then I take the total and divide by half to see how many hits, then take the firepower saves of the Harrier (5+), then the number of passed firepower tests and the number that is left is the likelihood of a kill per shot. The final number is the ROF multiplied by the kill per shot to measure the effectiveness of each team (statistical average – we have all had our good/bad luck). 


ROF and Firepower

Max Size Points

ROF Stationary

ROF x6

To Hit 4+

5+ Save



Chances of Kill Per Team (ROF x Sum)

SA-13 (L) 2 / 4+ 4 / 4 2 12 6 4 2 1 / 6 1/3
Shilka (M) 6 / 5+ 4 / 4 6 36 18 12 4 1 / 9 2/3
Gremlin SA-14(L) 3 / 5+ 1 / v 3 18 9 6 1 / 9 1/3
Gaskin SA-9 (L)  2 / 5+ 4 / 2 2 12 6 1.3  1 / 9 2/9 
Gecko SA-8 (L)  3 / 3 4 / 8  3 18 9 6 4 2 / 9 2/3 
West Germany                 
Gepard (M) 5 / 4+ 6 / 15 5 30 15 10 5 1 / 6 5/6
Roland (L) 3 / 4+ 4 / 6 3 18  9 6 3 1 / 6 1/2
Flieger-faust (L) 3 / 5+ 6 / 6 3 18 9  6  2 1 / 9 1/3 
Rapier (L) 3 / 3+ 4 / 6 3 18 9 6 4 2 / 9 2/3
Blowpipe (L) 2 / 4+ 4 / 6 2 12 6 4 2 1 / 6 1/3
M163 VADS (M) 7 / 5+ 4 / 6 7 42 21 14 4.7 1 / 9 7/9
HMMWV SAM 2 / 4+ 4 / 4 2 12 6 4 2 1 / 6 1/3
M247 York (M) 5 / 4+ 4 / 8 5 30 15 10 5 1 / 6 5/6
M48 (L) Chapparral 2 / 3+ 4 / 8 2 12 6 4 2.7 2 / 9 4/9

It may come as a surprise to see it is the medium AA units, like the Shilka, Gepard, M247 York and M163 VADS that have the highest chance of success of downing aircraft per team. Followed closely by the Gecko and the Rapier. But the medium units also have the advantage of being able to support ground attacks if there are no enemy air units. The Gepard and York are tailor made against BMP transports. It is also interesting to note that small units like the Gremlin infantry team is as effective as a SA-13 on a team to team basis.

With the arrival of the new Army books Counter-Air Defence has become very strong and since air units tend to be expensive anti-air has become a strong deterrent. Never the less if Aircraft can achieve air dominance you have a very strong unit that has freedom of movement across the table and can easily set up flank shots. So I would not cross it of my lists. If there are two air units they can overwhelm AA defences. It is good to concentrate on the enemy AA and start with the lesser unit firing at the AA forcing the opponent to commit their fire or hold back against the more dangerous unit, but a reduced strength. So choose your AA defences well. In smaller games the units with dual use units are tempting, since you want to get a return on the points. In larger games it is clever to have a second AA unit with wide area coverage. 

Counter-Air Defense In Team Yankee

For the attacker the statistics can give you a fair idea about the capabilities of the anti-air and sometimes a calculated risk is still worth it even against strong anti-air.

In a recent game a British player sent both Lynx attack helicopters and Harriers against my only AA unit of SA-13. Seeing as the SA-13 was the only counter to the Harriers he chose to target them with his Lynx helicopters first. I decided not to fire and lost one and another bailed so I only had two to fire at the Harries. I got two down but lost my entire SA-13 unit giving the British player Air dominance for the reminder of the battle.

As in many games a combined force is often your best choice. The ability to select the right tool for the job can make all the difference. You must play to your strength and the opponent’s weakness. Running the math on various units also helps in making an informed choice on what units to include in your army and when to take risks.