"Ivan, engineers made Tri Tankista hymn reality again!"
- – Common joke amongst T-64 crews.
As the Soviet Union invested more and more into armored technology, it soon became apparent that a new platform would need to be developed to wield all of that fancy new tech. The result of that realization was the T-64, which was the first vehicle to be equipped with BDD armor, the Eastern equivalent of the famed Chobham composite armor.
For those who need the topquote explained: the introduction of an autoloader brought the tank crew back down to three men just like in the old BT-5 and BT-7 from WWII. And the Soviet Tank Corps' unofficial hymn is precisely about such a crew, hence the joke.
In Team Yankee
Updating this section for Team Yankee v2
The T-64B is the most advanced tank available to prospective Red Army Commanders, until the release of the T-80. Playing the role of a linebreaker and wolfpack tank, the T-64 takes on the role of solving uncle Joe's problems with judicious application of HE rounds.
While its armor value of 17 was previously barely adequate against its NATO counterparts, the appearance of the M1a1 and TOW2 missiles means that the T-64's front is barely better than a tin can against the new USA and NATO lineup. It can shrug off Milans and the equivalent with some effort, but must otherwise seek cover at all times. Close up, BDD provides a measure of protection against light anti-tank weapons and can resist Carl Gustavs, making this tank optimal for beating up US infantry, who can't do anything against this monster up close.
On the offensive, the T-64 wields the 125mm 2A46 gun, capable of firing Kobra ATGMs (Anti Tank Guided Missiles) in addition to conventional munitions. This boomstick has an AT value of 22 and a Fire Power Rating of 2+. Essentially, the T-64 can delete early model NATO tanks and can hammer Late model ones into submission with massed fire. Infantry also have something to fear as the Brutal rule will force them to reroll their successful saves. The advanced stabilizer is the defining feature of this tank and will be instrumental in allowing the T-64 to exploit holes in your opponent's lines to flank and spank other heavy tanks.
One may wonder why you would ever use the missile, the AT-8 Songster, as the AT value is one less at 21 and the firepower drops off to 3+. The missile adds an extra foot if you are an imperialist cyka or an extra 40 centimeters if you are a good communist worker. It is also guided and mounts a HEAT warhead, essentially ignoring the penalties for firing at long range, turning the T-64 into a decent sniper. Equipping your tanks with the AT-8 will cost you an extra 2 points though. However this is just a flat rate, meaning that it will cost you the same amount if you are running a minimum squad or a full company, making it proportionally less expensive the more tanks you have. Yankee Team's Opinion: Unless you want the option to snipe helicopters inefficiently, just ignore this upgrade.
Red Army Commanders may take T-64 Companies ranging in size from 3 tanks to 10, with an initial batch costing you a total of 13 points and every additional tank adding on 6 more, to a total of 55. In experience, a single large platoon of 5-6 tanks performs well as a mobile reserve and possesses enough shots to make an M1a1 sweat. Platoons of 3 should be avoided unles you are running the full company of 10 tanks.
Until the fifties, Soviet doctrine pretty much remained unchanged, i.e. drown the enemy in A LOT of individually cheap and easy to mass-produce tanks. The T-55 was the epitome of that way of thinking: with over 90.000 units it is the most produced tank in history and it was a robust, simple, easy to operate no-frills attached MBT with decent firepower and mobility.
By the end of the fifties, though, the rules of the game had sufficiently changed due to new technology that a simple zerg rush would no longer work. Individually better, more advanced designs that could go toe-to-toe with an enemy MBT were a necessity to support and cover the main bulk. Hence first the T-62, then quickly after that the T-64, who at the moment it hit the field was a lean, mean, state-of-the-art killing machine... But also a lot more expensive, reason there were only around 10.000 of them built. (Which is a lot by itself, but not when compared to the numbers of his T-34, T-44 and T-55 predecessors.)
The more astute reader will probably notice that the T-64 is a lot more capable than the T-72, which was developed more recently. This is because the T-64 was designed to only be utilized by the Soviet Union while the T-72 was meant to be more of an export model. The Soviets were keenly aware of the fact that things that they sent to their allies had a nasty habit of ending up in the hands of someone who really shouldn't be getting their mitts on soviet hardware, like the US as a completely random example. Hence the reds usually kept the best stuff to themselves. Also, the Soviet Union armed forces were big. This meant making a lot of tanks, thus the T-72 was used to equip the lessers, and it was intended to fight the older NATO tanks anyways. Similar to the later T-80, the 64 was meant to be produced in small-ish numbers and equip elite Soviet combined arms units, while the T-72 like the T-55 before it was meant to be produced in the biggest possible amount, issued to Soviet tank-only armies who would make up the bulk of any assault force, and be exported to the rest of the Eastern Bloc or any other potential allies. The idea was: T-72 attack perforates the Leopard 1s and M60s and M48s holding the line and takes less damage and casualties in return. Then the M1 and Leopard 2 came along and threw a wrench in the Kremlin's battle plans. Eventually the T-80 was brought in to bridge the gap, but numerous problems with its new gas turbine engine opened up another can of worms.
One might wonder about the conspicuous lack of Kontakt-1 ERA - Explosive Reactive Armour - that would normally be installed onto Soviet tanks of the relevant time period. The T-64 that Team Yankee uses is a T-64B, which can be converted into a T-64BV (conversions first started in 1985, meaning that it is possible for such converted tanks to show up in this setting) with the addition of ERA. Essentially how ERA works is that it’s basically an explosive charge mounted on the turret or hull which explodes with a sufficient impact force. It’s of questionable use against APFSDS (Armour Piercings Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot) rounds which are basically dense metal (usually tungsten or depleted uranium) darts, but against HEAT munitions it kicks ass. HEAT - High Explosive Anti Tank - warheads are basically shaped charges that rely on the Munroe effect (ie. the focusing of blast energy by a hollow or void cut on a surface of an explosive.) to penetrate armour. What ERA does is that it damages and deforms the concave structure of the warhead, rendering it from a shaped charge with focused blast energy to just a conventional explosive charge. In gameplay terms, it would make the first hit from a HEAT munition do diddly squat but would not protect from a second HEAT hit on the same area. There could be a T-64BV conversion kit in the near future, but then we’d have to see how Team Yankee actually decides to implement it.
To say that the T-64 is a great tank is a bit disingenuous. It was revolutionary although when the British showed off the Chieftan with its 120mm cannon the Soviets reworked the T-64. The first 500 T-64s had a 115mm cannon was hurriedly changed to have a 125mm cannon as the T-64A. It was the first tank to feature an autoloader, and the first to use composite armor. Of course, its entire design was such a revolution that engineers responsible for it running literally spent weeks in the hangars, working without rest or holidays and sleeping nearby. Currently, the tank has several upgrades making it more capable, and it is being used in the Ukrainian civil war.
|Soviet Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||T55AM2 - T-62M - T-64 - T-72 - T-80|
|Transports:||BTR-60 - BMP-1 - BMP-2 - BMP-3|
|Troops:||Motor Rifle Company - Hind Assault Landing Company - Afghansty Air Assault Company|
|Artillery:||2S1 Carnation - 2S3 Acacia - BM-21 Hail - TOS-1 Buratino - BM-27 Uragan|
|Anti-Aircraft:||ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher - SA-9 Gaskin - SA-8 Gecko - 2S6 Tunguska|
|Tank Hunters:||Spandrel - Storm|
|Recon:||BMP-1 OP - BRDM-2|
|Aircraft:||SU-25 Frogfoot - MI-24 Hind|