Play Fast and often
Derek Pulhamer & Chuck Leonard
watch the Pollard PLC escape again.
Eugene Riccio led all grognards with
15 SQL games played ... playing it exclusively.
The 2010 Squad Leader Series event joined the Grognardcon
format for the first time resulting in a significant increase
in the number of games played over the entire length of WBC despite
a decline in the number of players. A total of 58 games were
played between 19 players, more than doubling the 2009 total
of 28 games played by 21 players. The employment of the Grognard
scoring system standardized the final rankings, which have been
at issue in previous years when limited to four rounds of play.
At the end of the week, the top four places were clearly defined
lacking the usual debate.
Modification of the standard format was made to enable games
at each level (Squad Leader, Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom,
and GI: Anvil of Victory) to be treated as different games
played between same opponents. Repeated play of the same opponents
at the same level generated only one point per player, but served
the purpose of generating bragging rights and AREA points for
each. For many players, game play capability changed at each
level of the SQL series. Eugene Ricco (Coatesville, PA) achieved
"Berserker" status by playing a record 15 games during
the week. On a side note, Eugene gained additional notoriety
when a picture of him playing SQL was featured in the local newspaper.
The games level played broke down to 25 SQL matches, 14 at COI
level, nine for COD, and one GIA (the annual Chuck Leonard vs.
Bill Thomson matchup).
When the medics had evacuated the casualties from the preliminary
rounds, four previous WBC champions had adequately distanced
themselves to claim a seat in the single elimination process.
Although the records varied, it is a matter of who you defeated
per the Grognard scoring system. Seeding was clarified as #1
Bill Thomson (Garland, TX; 74 points, 12 games); #2 Pete Pollard
(Bartlett, TN; 62 points, 13 games); Phil Grasha (Chicora, PA;
58 points; five games); and through a series of late wins, #4
Andrew Cummins (Cambridge, UK; 48 points, eight games).
Perhaps fatigue proved a factor as both semi-final results
were viewed as upsets. However, considering the quality of the
players involved representing a combined eight previous titles,
the use of the term is subjective. Andrew Cummins defeated Bill
Thomson as Germans in SQL #7 Bucholtz Station, steadily building
a victory portion margin and avoiding a shift in momentum possible
in any die roll. Pete Pollard defeated Phil Grasha as Germans
in COI #108 Blockbusting in Bokruisk. The game was marred by
an unintended and unlikely building fire generated by a Russian
152mm round against a location the Russians needed to capture
in accordance with their victory conditions.
The Final matched Pete Pollard, as the Germans defending the
village, and Andrew Cummings, as the American player tasked to
clear the Germans. Andrew's troops quickly passed through the
mine fields and small holding force to obtain a foothold in the
village. Though the Germans entered the village center with a
sizable force, Andrew's firepower proved too much for the initial
meeting. After some rash advances, The German troops were quickly
disintegrated by withering fire from the GIs. The Final ended
in an anticlimactic way as Andrew Cummings secured his second
title by rapidly routing the Germans in SQL #10 Hitdorf on the
Bill Thomson overcame a poor start to defeat Phil Grasha in
the same SQL #10 scenario to claim a third place finish. Perseverance,
elaborate use of infantry and artillery smoke during a Turn 5
surge enabled the American engineers to surge into the village.
Extended Close Combat over several player phases enabled the
Americans to use favorable die rolls defeating the remaining
German armor and infantry.
There was plenty of competition for the Best Personal Leader
Counter side competition during the event. Using the Grognard
format required additional considerations for PLC scoring. One
main change for this year's competition was that a PLC could
only be used once per day and throughout the event the PLC points
were only gained in four matches. Pete Pollard earned the best
performance for the event. His PLC performance started slowly
in a match as the U.S player in Hitdorf on the Rhine, but quickly
gained points as a German .leader in a COD scenario "The
French Perimeter". Sealing Pete's win for Best PLC came
at the expense of Bruno Sinigaglio when Pete's forces wiped him
out in "Aachen Redoubt". Since Bill Thomson's PLC survived
this year's combat, the Pollard Memorial plaque was not awarded
for eliminating the previous year's PLC champion. In 2011, Pete
will have to defend his PLC from snipers, tanks, and others who
try to remove him from the battlefield in order to earn the Pollard
2009 champ Phil Grasha again made
Four-time champ Pollard meets Chuck