"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."
- – Margaret Thatcher
The Chieftain is among the first successful designs which would embody the modern concept of a main battle tank. Deployed in 1966, the Chieftain was a breakthrough of tank design. While contemporary designs like the Leopard 1 and T-62 placed a premium on mobility at the expense of crew protection, the Chieftain swung the focus onto firepower and survivability at the expense of mobility. Toting the rifled 120mm L11 gun, a cupola mounted 7.62mm machine gun and a co-axial 7.62mm machine gun intended for ranging the main gun, it was among the best tanks at the time. Even in 1985, the Chieftain remained an intimidating foe for Soviet armor, despite 19 years of aging. Updated with laser rangefinders, NBC protection and the Stillbrew Package (Additional armor for the turret ring and turret front, not a box of Earl Greys), it served as the backbone of the British Armored Divisions, alongside mechanised infantry.
Contrary to US and German doctrine which placed an emphasis on anti-tank training in their Armored Corps, the Chieftain was expected to engage anything from BMP-mounted infantry to enemy T-72s. This is reflected in the force organisation of their battlegroups, whereby anti-tank capabilities were primarily entrusted to Anti-Tank Ground Missile(ATGM) equipped units. This is not to say that the Chieftain was ill-suited to fighting enemy armour; just that they served a far more general role to British military thinkers.
In Team Yankee
Despite being a generation behind the M1 Abrams and the Leopard 2, the Chieftain remains an excellent tank, with a cannon capable of turning tanks and entrenched troops inside out at the expense of mobility. For 6 points, you get a main gun with Stationary ROF 2, AT 22, 2+ Firepower, Laser Rangefinders, Smoke, Stabilizers and most importantly, BRUTAL. This rule sets the Chieftain apart as the only tank capable of effectively threatening infantry on the board, in addition to punching through NATO tanks with some luck. Canadian and ANZAC Leopard 1s are indeed cheaper and better at killing troops, but are dead in the water against the latest tanks: something the Chieftain giggles at, meancingly. With the option to purchase Stillbrew for 1 point per tank, which bumps the Chieftain's front armor rating from a 17 to an 18, allowing it to survive BMP-1 missiles en-masse, and potentially saving a tank from a T-72 hit.
However, the Chieftain does not lack its weaknesses. In fact, it is the only NATO tank with moving ROF 1, making it a poor choice for the commander wishing to hit things with their sword. Lacking Chobham armour is another weakness of the tank, rendering it vulnerable to almost any side shots by anti-armor, with a pitiful side armor of 6 (10 vs HEAT with Bazooka Skirts). RPG teams, BMP-2 autocannons and anything heavier has a very high chance of bailing a Chieftain, if not killing it outright. Should the tank be outfitted with Stillbrew, it begins to suffer from a 3+ cross check, meaning that 1 in 3 Chieftains would bog down should you need to take a new firing position from that forest you just came out of. The lack of thermal vision also means that cunning Soviet commanders can simply blind the tank with smoke.
The decision to take stillbrew depends on your meta, rather than any tactical decisions on your part. Given that Chieftains are best suited to destroying the enemy from a fixed position, the 3+ cross check should not matter too much unless something has gone terribly wrong. Stillbrew would improve your chances against ATGMs and enemy tanks, but units like the Sturm, Hind and Frogfoot boast AT23 and AT27 missiles, easily killing Chieftains with or without Stillbrew. Even then, a flanking shot by these aircraft would automatically destroy them if hit.
TLDR: Good if opponent cannot deal with stationary tanks, terrible otherwise. Also, these are amazing campers. Keep them as snipers if you bring Stillbrew.
The Chieftain comes in Troops of 2-3 vehicles. Each Chieftain costs 6 points, so the troop of 2 cost a total of 12, and the troop of 3 costs 18 points. Stillbrew is +1pt per tank.
The Chieftain has served from 1966 to 1995 in the British Army as part of the Royal Armored Corps, with its successor; the Challenger 1 borrowing many of the core concepts laid out by the Chieftain. A revolutionary design for its time, it introduced a reclining position for the driver which not only reduced the hull profile, but also greatly improved protection against enemy fire and is used in virtually all main battle tanks today. Contrary to contemporary designs like the T-62 and Leopard 1 which emphasized mobility and firepower (to a smaller extent), the Chieftain focused on protection and firepower at the expense of mobility leaving it as an unreliable, 60 tonne monster with the largest gun of the day. Doctrine of the time relied on Defence in Depth and Dynamic defense, resulting in NATO forces leapfrogging away from the Soviets along a series of defensive positions, giving them ground but making them pay dearly for it. Unlike the Patton and the Leopard 1, the Chieftain was far better suited to a stand-up tank on tank engagement due to its excellent armor. To make up for the chieftain's mobility issues the British saw fit to rethink their defensive fall backs and opt for more aggressive counter attacks. These flank attacks would be mobilized in such a way that NATO assaults would strike at the Soviet's heavily centralized command structures. Essentially cutting off the head of a snake as Soviet doctrine specifically forbid independent initiative.
Today, the Chieftain is considered obsolete, (it took on T72s in Iraq without suffering a single loss) having been replaced by the Challenger but is deployed by some Middle Eastern countries such as Jordan. It's design is still capable of taking on many of the Middle East's older Soviet platforms though.
By the way: about the challenger? Team Yankee starts in 1985, and the Challenger 1 was introduced in: 1983. While hardly a mainstay vehicle at that point It's quite likely we will get some Challengers as an expensive option at some point. 19 front armor. Period. The turret of the Chally was extra thicc. There were no guns at the time that would penetrate it. The Challenger has been succeeded by the Challenger 2. A contemporary of the Leopard 2 and the M1 Abrams. Considering how expensive the Challenger 2 is. Any replacement during the 2040s is likely to be a foreign platform.
|British Forces in Team Yankee|
|Transports:||Spartan Transport - FV432 Transport - Lynx Transport|
|Infantry:||Mechanized Company - Milan Section (Mechanized) - Airmobile Company - Milan Platoon (Airmobile) - Support Troop|
|Artillery:||Abbot Field Battery - M109 Field Battery - FV432 Mortar Carrier|
|Anti-Aircraft:||Spartan Blowpipe - Tracked Rapier|
|Tank Hunters:||Striker - Spartan MCT - Swingfire|
|Recon:||FV432 FOO - Scorpion - Scimitar|
|Aircraft:||Harrier Jump Jet - Lynx HELARM|