squad leader [updated August 2000]

   9   13   16    20     


Mike Pacheco, CA

2000 Champion

2nd: Allen Kaplan, NJ

3rd: Franis Spencer, CT

4th: Pete Pollard, TN

5th: Bryan Van Nortwick, NC

6th: -
Event History
1991    Scott Romanowski      12
1992    Jeff Miller      19
1993    Brian Laskey      14
1994    Eric Stranger      15
1995    Kevin Welsh       8
1996    Eric Stranger      10
1997    Kevin Welsh      12
1998    Peter Pollard      17
1999    Peter Pollard      19
2000    Mike Pacheco     18
AREA Ratings
 1    Kevin Welsh      6252
 2    Peter Pollard      6111
 3    Bill Pittman      5373
 4    Jay Yanek      5356
 5    Daniel Leader      5352
 6    Eric Stranger      5348
 7    Bill Thomson      5346
 8    Allen Kaplan      5332
 9    Alan Yngve      5272
10    Charles Leonard      5260

Ra-ta-tat-tat ... and other assorted combat sound effects optional

Squad Leader drew 18 players which appears to be the norm for this event, yet many of the players each year are new to the event. Granted, there is a core of the die-hard players who seem to make it here every year, yet it is good to see new ones making it to the convention.

The event's new format, instead of only having Squad Leader level scenarios, provided opportunities for players to choose from any level of the series. Though most of the scenarios chosen were at the Squad Leader level of play, a few enjoyed playing at the Cross of Iron level. Those players electing to play at the higher level of play benefited in the "Knight's
competition, a side event, sponsored by the Wargame Academy (WGA), for the player participating in the more difficult scenarios. Allen Kaplan and Pete Pollard tied for this honor.

Along with the flexibility of choosing various levels of play for each game, the competition included a Personal Leader Counter (PLC) competition. Each participant had a leader that continued his progression of advancement, or demotion, throughout the tournament. Many of the PLC's were given a 21 gun salute as they joined their fallen comrades in the storage box. However, a few shining stars were recognized for their bravery as they attacked the enemy with ferocity. A special plaque was developed by the Wargame Academy for the PLC competition. Winning this year's competition was Paul Risner, whose leader rallied his troops and directed the fire better than his opposition.

Also in this PLC competition, Bill Thomson, of WGA, included a plaque for anyone who killed Pete Pollard's PLC, one who has dominated the PLC competitions in previous years. During the second round, Allen Kaplan was in the position to secure this honor, but he kept to the goal of winning the scenario and regretably spared Pete's PLC for yet another battle. At the end of the tournament, no one had removed Pete's PLC from the competition, so the plaque will return next year, challenging a future marksman to the task. As a side note, the Pollard PLC was held to second place for the PLC competition so perhaps the "bounty" achieved its purpose after all.

Round 1

The first round saw a mix of scenarios from Scenario 2 of the initial Squad Leader game to an On All Fronts Cross of Iron scenario "The Workers Strike Back". Round 1 went to the Germans, winning all games except for two. Mike Pacheco's fanatic Russians overwhelmed the German assault engineers in a match of scenario 2, "The Tractor Works". The other Allied win came from David Van Bronkhorst's Americans as they gave Peter Chessick the "Eviction Notice".

Of note was Francis Spencer's German gun crew who held their ground during an American advance. In "Eviction Notice", the Americans are charged with clearing the two-story building on board 3. Francis' 50mm anti-tank gun was positioned to keep Joe Abrams' Americans from reaching their objective. However, the 50mm is only effective against the thin armor of half-tracks
and can only destroy a tank on a 2 or 3 dice roll. Nevertheless, the valiant crew destroyed numerous armored vehicles, stopping the GI's in their tracks.

"The Workers Strike Back" was a popular scenario for the round. In each game, the Russian workers were stopped from their objective. Pete Pollard's PLC took a commanding lead in round one. His PLC took up a position in the woods near the middle of board 4. With support of a PzKw IIIJ and a couple of squads, the PLC took on most of what the Soviet workers of the Kolpino tank factory could give them. The heroic actions of his PLC included immobilizing one KV1, single-handedly destroying another and winning two close combats.

Round 2

What victories the Germans gained in Round 1 were quickly countered in Round two. Of all the second round games, the Germans managed to win one. The scenarios of choice for the round were Alan Yngve's "Beta (zero)" and On All Fronts' "Russia 1941". Both of these scenarios center on the Germans trying to wrest the control of the village (board 3) from the Russians.

In almost all of the cases, the Germans were repulsed. Allen Kaplan's Russians were so successful they left their defensive positions and began routing Pete Pollard's hapless Germans from their hiding places. In a similar situation, Paul Risner's defenders enjoyed the benefit of poor dice rolls and broken equipment, as it seemed that David Hooten's Germans should
never have decided to attack that day. As the lone German victor in round 2, David Van Bronkhorst remains humble. His Russian opponent, Chuck Stapp, put up a good fight, but the Germans finally removed the last of the defenders from the objective after some tense fighting.

Round 3

It had become quickly obvious that this round would find an overall winner for the tournament. Only four games were played, since some of the participants left for other events or simply only hung around to watch the rest of the action. Half of the fighting for round 3 was found on the streets of Stalingrad.

Brian Van Nortwick's Germans forced out Paul Risner's Russians in "Stalingrad, 20 October 42". However, this wasn't accomplished until after a berserk Russian crew had taken out two squads and a leader in close combat. The Russian crew received the "Heroes of the Motherland" posthumously. Paul's PLC stood as the last Russian in the building. He tried to hold the building on his own, but he soon realized the folly of one man against the German army and saved his PLC. This move secured his PLC as the leading point maker in the competition.

David Hooten repelled the German attack in scenario 7, "Buchholz Station". Eric Philipkowski will think twice next time before he attacks the Americans during chow. David held out around the village center of board 3 and prevented Eric from making his way to the objective.

Pete Pollard's Germans stopped Chuck Leonard's Russians in "Land Leviathans". In a true tank-vs-tank battle, the German tankers out-gunned the Soviets. Chuck placed his T34 on the board 3 hill to overlook the battlefield and provide a good screen to his mobile forces attempting to run through the thin German line. Unfortunately, the dice were not on Chuck's side as most of his tanks were reduced to smoking wrecks.

The deciding game would be Mike Pacheco's Russians against Allen Kaplan's Germans in "Stalingrad, 20 October 42". This scenario, similar to ASL's Pavlov's House, has the Germans attacking a small Russian force holed up in a board 1 building. The fighting was back and forth, but in the end, the Russian defenders repelled the Germans. Mike finally made it to the top of the hill and walked away with the plaque.

 GM      Peter Pollard  [2nd Year]   7855 Autumn Hollow Dr. #5, Cordova, TN 38018
    Pete4258@aol.com    (901) 753-4382

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