Polish People's Army in Team Yeakee

A few weeks ago I revealed that I'd been working on a Team Yankee campaign, using 2mm figures as campaign tokens.  Now I'm going to share some pictures of the 15mm Battlefront miniatures I've been working on over the last few weeks.

A new scale - and a new game

I've never really been into Flames of War - we did try it once, but found the rulebook very complicated.  Recently, I've found a new gaming pard'ner at work and he introduced me to Team Yankee.  I still don't know how it caught my imagination; the 1980s have never really interested me, even from an alternate history perspective.  But catch it did.

As one of wargaming's Big Beasts, like Games Workshop, Battlefront attract a fair amout of criticism and its popularity is by no means unanimous.  I won't wade into the debate, except to say that the newly-updated Team Yankee rules (which are very similar to the 4th Edition Flames of War rules) are very enjoyable, simple and realistic.  More details will follow in a future battle report.

The Polish People's Army

I decided to collect a battalion-level force for the Polish Army - mainly because I enjoy being quirky and defying the well-trodden groove for no good reason.  But I also feel that the plight of many of the smaller nations in the Warsaw Pact, swept up by the rising tide of Communism with more or less enthusiasm, is quite forgotten today.  People have a conception of the 'Soviet Army', disregarding both the disparate social and political groups forcibly grouped under that banner, and the quasi-autonamous nations like Poland and Hungary which stood alongside the USSR as unequal partners - sometimes fighting hard for their own independence against impossible odds.

Anyway, enough chit chat.  For various reasons I've painted lots of 15mm models recently, and it's my favourite scale for speed painting.  I can smash out a platoon of these in an evening without too many issues.  I should say that the vehicles were expertly painted by my friend Ian, whose skill with a paintbrush far eclipses mine.  Particularly with vehicles, he does a stunning job with weathering powders and details, as you'll see from the pictures.

A scratch-built battalion command post.  The struts will eventually support some camouflauge netting.
An AGS-17 team, whose fully-automatic grenade launchers are devastating weapons in Team Yankee.
Standard infantry, advancing across a beach towel.  I use the standard Soviet infantry, but painted in an OD uniform.

An RPG team (left) and platoon commander (right).  I experimented with some new basing techniques, including those rudimentary gorse bushes.

Alert - I didn't paint this fantastic T-72, that was Ian.

Just love the shape of those BMP-1s.  You can see the influence GW designers were labouring under when they designed the Leman Russ and the Chimera in the '90s...
A ZSU-23-4 quad-barrelled anti-aircraft gun.  I seem to use it against poor bloody infantrymen cowering behind hedges most of the time, rather than aircraft.
This is the homemade rulebook I'm coming up with to represent Polish formations in Team Yankee.
Hope you enjoyed those pictures, and I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts about Team Yankee, if they've played it yet.  I enjoy it so much, it might help me overcome my aversion to Flames of War and start a Second World War force one day.

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Don't forget that the ZSU23/4 is a divisional asset. So flufftastically, you're playing a division.

    I can recommend the novel "Team Yankee"; it is contemporaneous although fictional account by a serving officer. The ending doesn't even hint at the disparate nature of the Warsaw Pact forces that you mention although I suspect most readers of such esoterica are well able to make their own extrapolations.

    "Chieftains" by Bob Forest Webb is, unsurprisingly, a Brit view of what isn't the same war (as Team Yankee don't win in time) and is somewhat more bleak. But it is the army I served in, even if it does all go to hell in a hand cart - a crackin' thing to put on your e-reader.

    Love your Poles.

    1. In the army list it's listed as part of a load of Divisional Support Options - I suppose I'm just lucky that my battalion is always the one which gets supported!

      I should have mentioned I started off by reading Team Yankee on holiday, smashing in in a few days since it was so un-put-downable. Chieftans is downloading as we speak (type)... Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. Great Poles Ed, they look awesome!

    I also highly recommend Cheiftans and Team Yankee as great Cold War Hot fiction.
    If you like those check out "Red Army" by Ralph Peters. You also cant go past "Red Storm Rising" by Tom Clancy as a must read for this genre.

    Looking forward to seeing them in action!

    1. Thank you Paul! And I'll be sure to look those up - as I say, this is a new era for me and I've only read TY and War With Russia, so I'll have to build up a read list for the summer.

  3. Lovely work, man - I really dig the ZSU23 in particular!

    1. Thanks mate :) It's quite an odd-looking tank, but one which has really grown on me over the weeks I've had it. It's also devastating (if fragile) in game.

  4. Your friend has a lovely way with painting boring drab green.

    And your own painting on those infantry looks pretty cool to mate.

    Those poor lesser Soviet nations were given the shaft right from the outset when they were liberated from Nazi control during the 2nd half of WW2. The Romanians were used as meat shields (And died in the 100's of 1000's) by Stalin and the Poles weren't treated much better. Something tells me some of them might have chosen a different direction had they known the treatment their newly met liberators were going to bestow upon them.

    1. He really does - I had a go at first and it looked pretty boring, but he's an absolute whizz with an airbrush and all those complicated powders.

      It is a really interesting part of history, all the more so for the fact that it's not widely known.


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