Guest article by Mark eudes Teoh
The time has come for The Nordic Forces to finally come into play for Team Yankee after a long wait. In the novel "Team Yankee" by Harold Coyle, the Swedish Army is one of the components of the Nordic Forces, which is a fictional coalition of Scandinavian militaries fighting against the Soviet Union's invasion of Europe
during World War III. The Swedish Army is depicted as a highly trained, well-equipped fighting force, with an emphasis on mobility and flexibility. They are a mix of conscripts and professional soldiers, with a strong emphasis on individual skills and marksmanship.
They also deploy a variety of vehicles, including the Stridsvagn 103 (S-Tank), which is a unique Swedish design that features a fully hydraulic suspension and an autoloading 105mm gun. The army also uses the APC Pbv 302 and the IFV CV9040.
The Swedish Army, however, plays an important role in the defense of the Nordic
region and in the battle against the Soviet Union in "Team Yankee". In this article, I will bring players over to see the good news of the Swedish Army as one of the main army of the Nordic Forces.
Swedish Army Doctrine In The Cold War
During the Cold War, Sweden pursued a policy of non-alignment and remained neutral, but it had to maintain a robust military to defend its territory. The Swedish Armed Forces focused on a combination of conscript-based defense and high-mobility mechanized forces, and their strategy was geared towards the use of mobile units to stop an invasion force.
This involved the use of a layered defense tactics, with a forward line of defense involving mechanized units supported by anti-tank artillery and air defense systems. Behind the line of defense, there were mobile armored units (such as the STRV-103 tanks) that were supported by fast-moving infantry and artillery brigades. The armored units were tasked with counter-attacking and disrupting enemy offenses and then withdrawing to more defensible positions.
The Swedish doctrine during the Cold War also included a significant emphasis on civil defense, with the aim of protecting the civilian population through the use of civil defense shelters and preparedness training.
In summary, the Swedish doctrine during the Cold War was based on a combination of defensive tactics and a mobile, well-equipped military force. The STRV-103 tanks and other mechanized units were an essential component of Sweden's defense strategy, which aimed to stop a potential invasion before it could reach the populated areas of the country. Additionally, the Swedish emphasis on civil defense highlighted the importance of protecting the civilian population in case of a conflict.
We were given 3 Formations of the main Battleforce of the Swedish Army for this Team Yankee Nordic Force, which consists of STRV 103 S-Tank Tank Company, STRV 104 Centurion Tank Company and PBV 302 Armoured Rifle Company, excluding other Allied Formations such as the Nato Forces as well as the Finnish Allied Forces.
It is a rather decent Formation tree we have here. Players are able to play around whether if they want to go pure defence or offence or both at the same time depending on the mission given.
For the S-tank formation, players get to choose up to 3 Formation of S-Tanks, each S-Tank formation can field up to 3 S-Tanks in a platoon. This formation also allows you to bring in the PBV 302 Armoured Rifle Platoon which are the Swedish infantries as well as the Recon Platoon. Good and decent enough formation to play around with and it can easily achieve a quick 100 points game depending on how the players want their game to be, be it a fast or slow game.
History of STRV-103 tanks
S-Tank is a common nickname for the Strv 103, which was a unique tank designed and built in Sweden during the Cold War era. The "S" in S-Tank stands for "Stridsvagn", which means "battle tank" in Swedish.
The development of the STRV-103 tanks began in the aftermath of World War II when the Swedish government decided to build a new and modern tank. The new tank was supposed to be able to handle the rough terrain conditions in the country, and it needed to be able to be produced domestically.
The Strv-103 was the first main battle tank to use a gas turbine engine and the only mass-produced tank to not use a turret. The design was rather unique which attracts the attention of many. Despite being turretless, it was a very low-profile tank with an emphasis on survivability and heightened crew protection level. While the majority of the turretless armoured vehicles are classified as assault guns or tank destroyers, the Strv-103 is considered as a “tank” since its designated combat role matched with the other tanks that was within the Swedish doctrine. Its service ended in 1997 in favour of Stridsvagn 121.
Today, many S-tank variants can be found in various museums. For example, Strv-103C can be found in The Swedish Army Museum, Bofors Industrial Museum while Strv-103 can be found in Bovington Tank Museum, Kubinka Tank Museum.
STRV-103 Tanks Variants
Several variants and sub-variants of the STRV-103 tank were developed over the years. Here are some of the most significant ones:
The very first production of the Strv-103 that was produced in 1967.
As time goes on, due to the early variants turns out to be underpowered, hence an upgrade was carried out which is a more powerful version of the same gas turbine was manufactured by a company named Caterpillar Inc.; which was an American construction equipment manufacturer and also the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment. Thus, all the early Strv-103 tanks were upgraded to B-standard.
Around 90 tanks were upgraded to this variant during the 1980s, with improvements such as the addition of laser rangefinders, new night vision equipment, and improved armor. It had a new radio system and an upgraded fire control system that improved its effectiveness.
This was an upgrade to the STRV-103C variant, intended to improve its mobility in deep snow. It had broader tracks and modifications to the suspension system to handle the harsh winter conditions. (editor's note: this was a one-off modification to a STRV-103C as a last ditch attempt to modernise the ageing fleet in the 1990s and served as a test-bed for other modern retrofitting to future MBTs in the Swedish army)
The S-Tanks in Team Yankee
As everyone has known by now that the Strv-103 has always been the eyes of the public as well as military enthusiasts around the world which is also one of my favourite tank unit. For Team Yankee, they did a pretty good job for the stats of the S-Tanks although it is not as accurate as its real life counterpart but still doable for players whom wants to start the Swedish Army.
What really caught my attention was the Special Rules of the S-tanks, pretty interesting. One of them was the Ambush Tank special rules. This rule allows the S-tanks to remain Gone to Ground while shooting its main gun, thus giving it a much more harder to hit from any opponent that may potentially pose a threat to them as the S-tanks are a 4+ to hit. So, as long as players put them in concealed area, it will be a 6+ or potentially 7+ to hit them.
They also have Slat Armour which is a mounted slat bar armour equipped on its front hull and used “Jerry” fuel cans as a form of spaced armour side skirts which allows them to raised their Front and Side Armour rating against HEAT weapons. The only cons that the S-tanks have is none other than Overworked Special Rule as they do not have a stabiliser as they relied on short halts while ring on the move. Thus, giving them a +1 penalty To Hit when moving despite them having a good Anti Tank of 21 and 2+ Firepower (105mm L74 Gun) which it is at 48” Shooting Range.
However, do not worry if opponent were to Bailed you Out as a 3+ Remount back to the tank is required, so it should not be a problem to players, plus they also have a Skill rating of 3+, this also allows players to be able to use Movement Orders during the Movement Steps if players were to reposition their S-Tanks. Each Platoons however only allows you to bring in 3 S-Tanks in a Platoon, no more, no less with the exception of the HQ which allows you to bring in 2 S-Tanks.
Overall, it is a good and decent tank to be played but it also requires a tactical strategy as players must know when to rush and when not to rush especially when they are facing opponent that bring high Anti Tank that could pierce through the heart of the S-Tanks.
STRV-104 Centurion Tank Company
Aside from the iconic Strv-103 S-tanks, we also have Strv-104, which is also a Swedish variant of the British Centurion tank, modified to meet Swedish military requirements.
The Strv-104 inherited the Mark 10 Centurion’s 120mm thick sloped armour which have added Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) blocks that cover the glacis front, part of the turret ring, front, mantlet and turret roof which also increases their Armour against HEAT weapons. They also comes with decent Anti-Tank of 19 with a 2+ Firepower as well as Stabiliser. The other part would be their ability to shoot out Smoke Ammunition which allows themselves to be cover in concealment. With a good Skill rating of 3+ which allows players to be able to do their Movement Orders before the Moving Step as well as a 4+ rating for their To Hit On. So, do play them wisely as Strv-104 tanks can be very aggressive if they are being deployed properly in the battlefield.
PBV 302 Armoured Rifle Platoon
Next, I will be introducing the Infantry Units of the Swedish Army which is the PBV 302 Armoured Rifle Platoon. The platoon consists of 3 Ksp-58 MG team with P-skott m/68 anti-tank, 3 Grg m/48 anti-tank team and 3 PBV 302 transports. You may also replace all P-skott m/68 anti-tank weapons with P-skott m/86 anti-tank weapon as well as replacing 1 Grg m/48 anti-tank weapon with RBS-56 BILL missile team.
The only disadvantage about this Rifle team would be the numbers of the units in a platoon, this may force players to field lots of Rifle Team. The PBV 302 transport also comes with “Anti-Helicopter” rules which allows you to shoot at enemy’s helicopters that just hower over the Battlefield.
The Swedish Jeeps, Pvpjtgb
The Swedish’s Pvpjtgb has 2 different platoons; the RBS Anti-Tank Platoon and the 90mm Anti-Tank Platoon. The RBS side equips with either RBS-55 (TOW) Missile or RBS-56 BILL Missile which one comes with the Anti Tank of 21 whereas the other comes with the Anti Tank of 22. Thermal Imaging also applies to the RBS Anti-Tank Platoon. The second variant would be the 90mm Anti-Tank Platoon which comes with Anti Tank of 17 which is a decent Firepower but unfortunately for the 90mm Anti-Tank Platoon, they do not come with Thermal Imaging. The common trait of these 2 platoons is that both comes with Scout special rules which enables them to Remain Gone to Ground when moving as well as Unarmoured Tank Unit, this allows them to rolled their Saves Rolls normally; they are saved as long as you rolled a 4+. They are overall can be a very good Ambush unit to play with especially when you placed them properly in concealment.
Swedish Self-Propelled Cannon, Bandkanon 1
Let us not forget the Bandkanon 1, meaning “Tracked Cannon 1” which is the Swedish primary self-propelled 155mm Cannon. Its chasis was based on a lengthened Strv-103 S-Tank with one extra road wheel and armed with Bofors 155mm L/60 automatic-cannon.
Bandkanon 1 has a good stats for being an Artillery, it has the Autoloader Special Rule like the French AMX AuF1 155mm Howitzer. Autoloader will reduce the score required To Hit Teams under the Template by 1 when it res Artillery Bombardment. The other good thing which I nd in this Artillery is that players can choose to either red Smoke Bombardment or Direct Fire using Smoke Ammunition which gives them concealment from any approaching Enemy team if the situation is dire. This allows them to change the tide of the game depending on the mission or situation.
The Strike Fighters, Viggen Attack Group
Last but not least, Viggen, also known as the Saab 37 Viggen takes the last spotlight for the Swedish Army in Team Yankee. Like all Strike Aircraft Units, it comes in with the roll of a 4+, equipped with Maverick Missile which gives Anti Tank 27 with a 2+ Firepower with the Guided Special Rules; it also comes with a 135mm Rocket Launcher which players are required to use a SALVO template that gives Anti Tank 5 to all Top Armour but it is only One Shot; One Shot only allows it to be used once per game. Viggen also comes with a 30mm cannon which provides Anti Tank 7, Firepower 5+ that comes with Anti-helicopter special rule.
Overall, Viggen Attack Group is a good support unit that comes with good repower but players still have to be aware of Anti Aircraft Units that has been deployed on the sides of their Enemy Team.
In conclusion, I would say that the Swedish Army of Team Yankee Nordic Forces does comes with pros and cons. The pros would be players are able to get access to many varieties of newly stuff such as good Anti-Tank Platoons, new equipments as well as new Special Rule; the cons would be the limited slot of the Formation as not much choices were given for the Swedish Army even though they get access to Nato Allied Formation and Finnish Allied Support.
However, players can still play without any Allied Formation Support cause end of the day, it is all depending on whether how the player improvise his tactics into the game. For me, I would personally field the Strv-104 Centurion Tank Company as my Main Attacker as I will be making use of their Smoke Ammunition to provide me with Concealment while both Strv-103 S-Tanks with the PBV 302 Armoured Rifle Platoon will be staying behind to Hold their Objective or vice versa depending on the situation as I can also use the PBV 302 transport to dash into the Enemy frontline, with my infantries readied for Assault. Other support units such as Bandkanon 1 and Viggen Attack Group will be there to support my units that is pushing forward into the Enemy line.
In the end, there is no such thing as a good or bad lists, it is all depending on how well a player knows or understands the usage of their units well and I do believe it is achievable as players just need to keep practising to get more familiarised with their units and how they want to achieve during the game. Here, I hope to see more and more new nations and new things that will be coming for Team Yankee in the far near future.