At the entrance to the Bovington Tank Museum is a Challenger 1.
This is one of the prototypes of British main battle tank developed in the 1980s, crew of 4, powered by Rolls-Royce Meteor CV12 diesel engine. The production Challenger 1 was fitted with Chobham armour and armed with a 120mm gun and two machine guns.
At the back is a Challenger CR 1 Main Battle Tank.
Prototype of British main battle tank developed in the 1980s, crew of 4, powered by Rolls-Royce Meteor CV12 diesel engine. The production Challenger 1 was fitted with Chobham armour and armed with a 120mm gun and two machine guns.
Duxford failed to acquire a main production run vehicle (the Duxford vehicle is not fitted with Chobham armour, nor does it carry a TOG – thermo optic guidance – box) because all such vehicles were sold to Jordan and the MOD refused to save any vehicles for the nation, stating Treasury guidelines to maximise receipts from the sale of end of service items, which is a pity.
In the foreground is a Springer All-Terrain Vehicle. The Springer is an all-terrain vehicle developed for the UK Army by UK-based Enhanced Protection Systems (EPS). Supporting British troops in Afghanistan, the new vehicle fleet of 75 vehicles was delivered to the army in summer 2009 at a cost of $10.3 million.
So there I was flicking through the November issue of Wargames Illustrated when there was a Battlefront advert for a Team Yankee British army deal. Oh I thought just another way of getting some more Chieftain MBTs…
It’s a Challenger I for Team Yankee.
I hadn’t seen that before, or even heard it was coming out.
In the same Army Deal you get along with the five Challenger I tanks, two Lynx helicopters, two MLRS Rocket Launchers, two Chieftain tanks, two Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles with Milans, two Scorpion tanks and four Fox Armoured Cars.
I don’t recall seeing the Fox Armoured Cars either…
…in the meantime let’s take a look at the Germans.
One thing that I thought that Battlefront would do when they released the Germans for Team Yankee was that they would do a minimal release and was pleasantly surprised by the range of models they did in fact bring out.
With the initial releases for the US (and Soviet) I was slightly disappointed with the limited number of models that we got. Though we had the M1 Abrams, we didn’t get the M60A3 MBT.
It felt like a really limited release, so when I saw that Battlefront were going to release German and British forces my expectation was that we would get a limited number of vehicles. So to get thirteen sets for the Germans compared to the seven for the US was really refreshing.
I did like the Raketenwerfer model, something very different.
I also was pleased to see the Marder too.
I think it would be nice to have seen the Kanonenjagdpanzer, but you can’t have everything.
As a result I have higher expectations for the future British releases. I am hoping to see the following models release for the BAOR forces.
I would like to see both the Chieftain and Challenger 1 main battle tanks, but if the American releases are anything to go by then we might only get one tank and I suspect that will be the Challenger.
I think we might also see the light tanks or armoured reconnisance vehicles the FV101 Scorpion and FV107 Scimiatar. They are very similar vehicles I can see how we could have both. The Scorpion and the Scimiatar were part of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family. As they shared common automotive components and suspension I can see how easy it would be, if we get the Scorpion we could also get other members of the CVR(T) family such as the Spartan armoured personnel carrier (APC).
As well as the Sultan command and control vehicle, Samaritan armoured ambulance, Striker anti–tank guided missile vehicle and possibly even the Samson armoured recovery vehicle.
The main British APC in 1985 was the FV432 APC so I suspect that may be a likely contender for a model. 1985 is a bit early for the Warrior IFV that entered service in 1987.
In terms of artillery, though the British will probably get the M109 it would be interesting to see if we get the FV433 Abbot SPG. If we get the FV432 then we may get the FV438 Swingfire variant (as well as other FV430 series variants).
We already have the German Tornado, so no surprise if we have an RAF version.
I would also like to see, but don’t expect to see various British armoured cars such as the Humber Pig, the Ferret armoured car or even the Alvis Saladin Armoured Car.
So what do you think we will see for the Team Yankee releases for the British?
As well as the Brown Water Navy announcement in Battlefront’s Flames of War State of the Union, they announced a new period based on the Cold War.
October sees us diving into a brand new period as we release Fulda Gap. The period of the modern war when tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact were running high is a wonderful theatre to develop as the forces arrayed on both sides boast some of the coolest-looking equipment in history. And with the advances in technology, we are looking forward to seeing forces of M1-Abrams covered by A10-Thunderbolts pitting their might against the swathes of T-72s and BMP-mounted infantry. We plan for this to be a complete period with books covering nations and plastic sets for all the main vehicles of every nation. October is just the start and 2016 will have more books and additional miniatures.
Though there is very little information in the announcement, there is a mention of T72s and BMP-1s for the Warsaw Pact forces. So what of the NATO side? It appears that the US Army will be done first, with M1-Abrams and A-10 Thunderbolts, but I am looking forward to seeing the models for the BAOR.
It would make for a good game to have Chieftains, FV432s and Harriers in action against T80s and the odd Hind D Attack Helicopter.
As the announcement mentions the M1-Abrams, which entered service in 1980, we can assume that the period for the games will be the 1980s, the height of the Cold War. If Battlefront do decide to go with some BAOR British forces, we may also see the Challenger I which entered service in 1983.
As well as fighting across Europe, another possibility will be to recreate the original Red Dawn film and have Soviet forces fighting on US soil.
I might also look at doing some alternative history British Civil War games set in the same time period, this setting was described in an article I had published in Wargames Illustrated in the 1990s.
I also wonder what other nations we will see in 2016, the French possibly?