13 May 2018

Well, What Aboot That Then....Eh*? Canadians in Team Yankee

*With apologies to our Canadian friends...we just couldn't resist.

I reckon that the Canadians were one of the most hotly anticipated additional nations for Team Yankee. Since we saw the release of the Leopard 1 for the West Germans, there have been scores of questions asking when the Canadians are coming, and I'm pleased to say they're here!

Free Nations allows you to run a couple of different formations bearing the Maple Leaf; a Leopard C1 Armoured Squadron and an M113 Mechanized Company. There is specific Canadian brigade level support as well.

Let's get stuck in then.

Leopard C1 Armoured Squadron

The Canadians ordered over 100 Leopard 1 tanks and fitted them with a Belgian fire-control system called SABCA and this tank effectively became the Leopard C1. Armed with the mighty 105mm L7 gun, there is enough firepower here to take on any Pact armour but be warned, you aren't that heavily armoured yourself.

Your Armoured Squadron HQ can be fielded as 1, 2 or 3 tank options, which I think is great. Additional firepower never hurt anyone....well, except the enemy...

You must have at least 2 Leopard C1 Armoured Troops in your formation and these are bought in either 3 or 4 tank troops.

You can then fill your formation our with optional choices. There are 2 more slots for further Leopard C1 troops if you want them. You then have the option of taking:

- an M113 Mechanized Platoon (which we'll cover later)
- an M150 TOW Anti-tank section, and
- 1 - 3 Lynx Recce Patrols.

The M150 is an M113 that has been adapted to mount an Improved TOW missile for some additional AT support. You can buy 2 or 3 TOW tracks in your section.

The Lynx offers you your Scout/Spearhead option to get your tanks closer to the enemy if you need it. The Lynx is similar to the M113 but is much smaller and lightly armed. It excels at finding places to hide though and the MG fire should also be a deterrent to infantry getting too close. There are 2 Lynx's in each patrol.

M113 Mechanized Company

As we've seen with the other nations in Team Yankee, Mech Infantry is now the standard and the Canadian forces are no different. They're riding into battle in the versatile M113 that many other nations use.

Your Mech Company HQ consists of a C1 Rifle team riding in their own M113.

From there, you create your formation. You have to take at least 2 Mech Platoons and they can be fielded as either of the following sizes:

- 3 x C2 SAW with integrated M72 LAW, 3 x Carl Gustav AT teams, 1 x C5 GPMG team and a M19 60mm Mortar team. They all ride in 4 M113's.
- 2 x C2 SAW teams, 2 x Carl Gustav teams, 1 x C5 GPMG ans 1 x M19 60mm Mortar. There are 3 M113's to ferry these guys around.

Once you've bought these, you then have optional slots which can be filled with:

- another M113 Mech Platoon,
- a Leopard C1 troop,
- 1 - 3 M150 TOW Anti-tank Sections,
- 1 - 3 Lynx Recce Patrols, and
- an M125 Mortar Platoon

The M125 Mortar platoon gives you some artillery on the go, just in case you need to give some infantry the impetus to get out of their foxholes. You can buy a platoon of either 2, 4 or 8 tubes!

So with your formation options looked at, we can have a look at the Canadian brigade support. There are a couple of choices to look at here.

For your Brigade level artillery, the Canadians field the M109 SP Howitzers. You can field a battery of either 3 or 6 guns and there's also an M113 OP to help them spot their targets.

In your air defence slots, you have a couple of choices. First up, let's have a look at the ADATS Air Defence Platform. This is a Swiss made short-ranged SAM missile, that could also be used as an AT weapon as well. These are currently being tested for use by the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and you have access to either 2, 4 or 6 systems.

Finally, you have a choice of taking 3 or 6 M113 Blowpipe tracks which have a man-packed portable air defence system in them (MANPADS).

As you have no Canadian options for either Helicopter or Fast Air support, you also have the option of taking both US and West German support options in limited numbers which can give you access to both the heavier tanks such as the Abrams and Leopard 2, as well as air assets such as Cobras, PAH and A-10s.

This makes the Canadians a pretty well rounded option for your force of choice in my opinion and are definitely worth a look into.

The final volume in our Free Nations degustation will be the Dutch forces. Keep an eye out for that one!

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