Guards Yak 1

Unit Card:


Set - Number

Angels 20 - 14/31


The Yaroslav Yak-1 was a Soviet fighter first produced in early 1940. It was fast, maneuverable, easy to maintain and reliable. Some 37,000 fighters of the Yak variety (including the later Yak-3, Yak-7, and Yak-9 varieties) were produced during WWII, making it the most produced fighter in history. Losses were also extremely high. The Soviets lost 3336 Yak-1 from 1941-1945, including 1301 in 1942 alone. The Yak-1 represents the Soviet air force at the beginning of the war.


The Guards Yak-1 Veteran is a typical representation and I’ve personally seen solid performance out of it in games. The basic speed of 2-4, and a high speed of 5-6 allows it to maneuver quickly into position. A turn of 5 is the highest maneuvering stat, while a 4 in each of the remaining stats gives the Yak-1 a balanced and solid feel. A defensive line of 3-5-3 makes it a bit fragile when encountering a stronger plane at close range, especially if that plane has dice bonuses. The attack dice are relatively weak, with a 5-3-2 line. So you’ll want to use the Yak’s excellent speed in combination with its high turn value to avoid contact until you can swing behind your enemy and fire upon him from range-1. The Guards Yak-1 also sports two excellent SAs. Flight leader offers an initiative bonus as long as you control two other fighters, and remains one of the most useful initiative bonuses in the game. Killer Instinct offers a single die value when attacking a damaged target, extremely useful given the Yak-1’s lower dice values. A cost of 37 points seems fitting and appropriate for all of these abilities, and is in line with a number of other good planes with Veteran pilots (Friedrich, Navy Wildcat).

Tactics and Flight considerations: The Guards Yak-1 is the best Soviet pilot currently in the game, and like the Wildcat with its Flight Leader SA, it belongs in nearly every Soviet build, especially those above 100 points where it is easy to bring three or more planes. Unless you’re bring the Tomahawk with heavier dice, the Guards Yak-1 becomes your kill plane, and you’ll want to move it last so you can preserve the initiative bonus as long as possible. A climb of four is actually quite respectable for an allied plane, so you’ll want to gain altitude where possible so that you can add diving status to your list of dice bonuses, thereby increasing the chances that the Guards Yak-1 will do damage.

Plastic Figure Notes:

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