So the fundamental question of which army to play in Team Yankee depends on Doctrine you like to adopt and the Technology/Tanks you like the best.
The soviet Doctrine against the NATO doctrine is as different as you could expect. And the typical quantity vs quality which has been debated to death on forums can be found elsewhere. Lets go over the Technology of the Soviet union. NATO classified 7 big problems for WWIII should the Soviets have decided to try and Unite Europe under the socialist banner. They are as below
The Anti Aircraft weapon of choice for the Soviets in close support. Armed with 23mm autocannons, rather than their 57 mm Predecessors may be bewildering to some but don't it fool you. They proved themselves more than capable of taking out low flying Aircraft in the Yom Kippur war, Iran-Iraq war and even the gulf war set after the TEAM YANKEE Timeline. These bad boys outclassed all NATO AA at the time of development and roll out. Probably at least until the West German Gepard came out. But joining the legacy of making practical technology (such as the AK-47), it is interesting that the Shilka is still in active service today.
In Game, the Shilka represents the non guided Anti aircraft system, this mean that it generally trades off Long range (which guided missiles can achieve), with the ability to be able to target ground units. Its 23mm autocannons can blast away and suppress infantry units and even clear enemy light vehicles with ease. If any Aircraft unit decides to ry its luck close to a shilka unit, it would be weathering 6 shots per Model of these. Product can be found here.
The hind was a close support Aricraft developed by the soviet union in 1970s and being in active operational serivce in 1972, the HIND followed in the footsteps of the sthurmovik in WWII, it was effectively a flying tank. The armour plates were thick enough and designed to fend off up to 37 mm rounds (the only NATO Close AA to use that round is the Gepard) and still be combat operational. The Hind was armed with missiles that could take out any NATO tank with Ease. It also had the ability to transport troops, and had a gatling gun for good measure to be able to shoot at other helicopters. The MI-24s also can boast a longer service than most of their NATO counterparts, only leaving the service as recent in 2015. It will no doubt stay on second tier forces around the world for many years to come.
In game, The hind presents a fearsome foe, the bane of any NATO Armour, these helipcopters can fly behind enemy lines, weather amazing amounts of fire and still shoot the vulnerable side armours of tanks. All tanks wouldn't get a save against a side shot of the Spiral missile. They can normally be brought in a group of 6 which gives them enough numbers to survive.
The Hind can be found on our online store here here.
The most famous thing about the Soviet doctrine is that their BMPs can engage and win against Enemy MBTS. They are armed with both a 73 mm smooth bore, and a AT3 Sagger missile. Both can pose a danger to Chieftans, Abrams and Leopards from their flanks. This only got worse when the BMP-2 got introduced with the AT-5 Spandrel which could engage MBTS from the front and K-Kill them. The BMP1 is still used in armies around the world and the Russian military (even the Russian police have them. IKR, but why dont you see what the Russian mafia is armed with) Even civilians can buy one! for as low as $40,000 USD on some website (I hear it is technically legal to drive one in Britain)
In game, the BMP is the ulitmate IFV. It can kill Tanks with its missiles and most other light vehicles don't even get to roll saves if hit by its main gun. They are cheap and can carry infantry to the battlefield. The actual doctrine as per Russian field manuals seem to work well in games with carrying the infantry forward, dismounting to advance and then push forward behind the infantry and provide supporting fire. The game also seems to always reach a climax with your infantry clashing with NATO troops to push them off an objective, so you would almost always need one unit of these boys.
A Tank that was sometimes given a bad reputation by licensed produced models, and export versions. For the uninitiated, the world powers sell their top tier Tanks but with different kinds of Armour and with some key technologies missing. This goes for the Abrams the US sell to Saudi Arabia (you can see these have been blown open by Spigots at long range, something that would unlikely happen to the actual US Abrams) and to the T-72s sold to all the middle eastern countries as the armour in front is pretty thin compared to what they use themselves. The tank is amazingly still in service today but probably will be phase out by 2020.
"The July 1997 issue of Jane's International Defence Review confirmed that after the collapse of the USSR, US and German analysts had a chance to examine Soviet-made T-72 tanks equipped with Kontakt-5 ERA, and they proved impenetrable to most modern US and German tank projectiles. A U.S. Army spokesperson claimed at the show, "the myth of Soviet inferiority in this sector of arms production that has been perpetuated by the failure of downgraded T-72 export tanks in the Gulf Wars has, finally, been laid to rest. "
In game, This is the most common Soviet tank to be seen on the table. It has a very average statline, is at a points cost much cheaper than that of the NATO tanks. It does have lackluster performance with most of its dice rolls requiring a 4+ to save meaning a close to 50% attrition rate in Tank duels. Its anti-HEAT side skirts help considering NATO close AT weapons generally dont threaten the tank is any significant way. These can be found on our online store here
5. SA-8 AKA (Gecko)
On of the best AA assets in the russian army at the time of Team Yankee. Do not forget that in 1985, the Russians had learnt how air superiority could cost armoured columns all kind of disasters. NATO would be trying to use their air power as a force multiplier to even the odds against the superior numbers the USSR would field. They would have to have integrated AA to ensure survival to take out enemy air power. The SA-8 was the ans to this problem, unweildy as it was ( it needed a dedicated radar system to be brought with it). It cleared the skys at ridiculous ranges. and worked in Tandem with Gophers and Shilkas.
In Game, there boys are unfortunately fragile, being unarmoured, they have no machine guns or anything to protect themselves but are the best AA points can buy at this point. they have a range of 72 Inches, virtually the whole board if placed 6" in from any short side. They fire 3 rounds each and have a very potent firepower. Many commanders would not think of calling air support onto the table unless these were clear.
The Russians love their artillery. having fought the great patriotic war (WWII), the soviets knew that the fighting in Russia and in Europe revolved greatly around rivers and crossings. Even though infantry could make crossings, the infantry without forward support would suffer. Thus all their guns has been made mobile by putting them on platforms, none of the old towed guns (although they still actually have units of those). They also made these artillery pieces amphibious to be able to keep up with forward forces.
In game, these are the entry level Soviet artillery, while on paper and in points, they seem similar to the Acasia, these are in fact different in one very important way, they can be integrated into most soviet formations meaning they are part of your core formations. These can be found here
7. 2S3 Akatsiya AKA Acasia
The carnations bigger brother, the Acasias feature a better firepower rating with an even higher powered round of the 152 caliber. They are also able to fire laser guided projectiles called the Krasnapols which were pin point accurate and able to clear infantry with ease.
In game, these bad boys can call on regular bombardments or be upgraded with the lase guided krasnapols. these are able to clear NATO dug in infantry with ease with the 'Brutal' special rule and shouldn't be missed if you have alot of enemy infantry to clear. These can be found here