The World War III: Team Yankee Oceanic Championship came to Melbourne, Australia on the weekend of 18 – 19 November 2023, and was a huge success for the wargaming community downunder. Hosted by the Simpson Barracks Gaming Group on an active Australian Defence Force base, the event attracted thirty-odd signups to raise money for charity and smash tanks together for fun. At the end of four rounds, the undefeated winner was Nick Ashby with his US Light Combined Arms force.
As we talked about in our Oceanics event report, a streak of four wins in the WWIII: Team Yankee system is a serious achievement. This is a game system in which a mutual loss is the default outcome and every victory is treasured, and in this event only the top six players succeeded in winning two or more games. While we won’t speculate about Nick actually being three tiny Field Marshals in a trenchcoat, we had to learn more about how someone can go so hard at an event like this.
Nick's American and British list of victory (click to expand) American Combined Arms Light Attack Company Support Allied British FV432 Mechanised Company
American Combined Arms Light Attack Company
Allied British FV432 Mechanised Company
Sockbert sat down with Nick, trenchcoat and all, to find out what makes him tick.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get into Team Yankee? Was it your first game, or were there others before?
I’ve been wargaming for 40+ years; I got into Flames of War when it first came out and was going to play Fate of a Nation for something more modern but then saw team Yankee was to be released and knew that was for me. Loved the book Red Storm Rising – but now the Soviets can win!
Would you describe yourself more as a gamer, or a painter/hobbyist?
Primarily a gamer. I do a lot of painting and will try to get a result I’m happy with but it’s never going to be best painted.
Talk us through your army list. What was your plan? What attracted you to the glorious freedom loving United States?
Well as mentioned above I’m normally a Soviet player – spreading the joys of Socialism to oppressed capitalists. However a few things made me go NATO for this event: allowing allies, limits to the number of infantry and vehicles of one type (which made my list from last year illegal), the game size, and lastly counting wins first rather than victory points. For the list there were plenty of AT missiles including eight Milan 2s, four IPM1 tanks (these and T-80 are the best in the game I reckon) and British infantry who are fantastic at assaulting. So the idea was to destroy armour with massed missiles and take objectives with the tanks and Brit infantry.
You destroyed Sockbert’s hopes and dreams in the first round. What’s a good tactical takeaway you can offer to help push down the pain they’re feeling right now?
Well they were the only player to take 2 points off me. Their defence was very solid – I think I just had too many numbers which eventually pushed through.
What was your toughest match of the event or a moment where you thought it might be all over? What happened, what adjustments did you make?
Definitely yourself Sockbert! Really tough battle with me taking significant losses. I got lucky in quickly clearing the woods on the flank which then allowed me to get my tanks around and into your rear. If you had held there for longer I don’t think I would have broken through in time.
[Editor’s note: the audio for this segment was corrupted or something, we couldn’t remove what sounded like the muffled laughter of three tiny Field Marshals]
How did you find terrain at the event, and how did it factor into your game plan?
Terrain was excellent with a really good mix. I did my best to come with an army that could fight in both open (missiles) and dense (plenty of good infantry) terrain.
How did you find the meta at the Championships? How does it differ from your local area?
More NATO than I’m used to seeing but I think that was at least in part to the competition setup – which is good to keep things fresh.
How do you feel the balance is in Team Yankee at the moment?
Pretty much spot on – I do think some things are overcosted (e.g. British warriors) but on the whole it is a really well balanced game with a solution for every threat.
What advice would you give to someone starting off with Team Yankee?
Don’t forget the infantry, they really are the most crucial thing in the game – particularly for defence but in attack as well.
Standing at the top of the mountain, what’s next for you? What are your goals for 2024?
I’ll be traveling to Cancon, Australia’s biggest wargaming convention, and hopin to win the Team Yankee Doubles Championship with my team mate Garry.
Anyone you’d like to thank? Anything you’d like to plug?
Four great opponents and of course thanks to Andy and the Simpson Barracks gaming club for putting on such a great event.
Thank you, Nick, for a great little chat!
The Oceanic Championships were a huge success, and players like Nick were key to it being one of the best weekends of tabletop gaming we’ve ever enjoyed. Check out our Oceanics event report, featuring a series of unfortunate character growth moments, the furriest tank ever, and a GOONHAMMER G R U D G E M A T C H.