Battling Father Time ...
Tim Carnahan vs Pete Pollard
Chuck Leonard vs Andrew Cummins
2013 was Squad Leader's 23rd year of competition under
Don Greenwood at The World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) and
it's predecessor Avaloncon. A little less for wear and tear is
true of both the game boxes and a few players in attendance this
year, each with color fading and sides starting to bulge a little.
Although the 'new game smell' is long gone, both the game and
player base remain remarkably resistant to the passage of time.
The players sit across the board through years untold, with many
opponents long ago a memory, to face off once again in the Streets
such worthies tested their tactical prowess and luck in 39 games
of Squad Leader (19), Cross of Iron (13), Crescendo
of Doom (3) and G. I.: Anvil of Victory (2.) Eight
of them had participated in at least seven of the past eight
years and six put their toe in the water for the first time.
This year's first ever demonstration of the game as a "B"
event actually added to the players list. The GM assisted players
in finding games and play occurred in free form throughout the
week and the preceding Pre-con. Players earned points for winning
and bonus points for defeating better players. The four highest
scoring players faced off in the elimination rounds at the end
of the week.
Players could select from among 38 approved scenarios (and
by mutual agreement many more unapproved scenarios) that covered
specific actions in WWII including the American crossing of the
Rhine at Hitdorf, the 82nd Airborne charged with blocking German
troop movement in Sicily, the German capture of Balta, the Russian
37th Guards counterattacking German positions in Stalingrad and
many more. The average scenario size was 60 counters with the
smallest having ten counters and the largest having 164. Scenarios
are rated by their record and an 'infantry to AFV' scale that
assists the selection of an appropriate scenario. The scenarios
included choices of infantry only, combined arms and AFV only.
Squad Leader play slowed on Thursday when several die-hard
squad leaders dropped their rifles and took to the skies for
a game of B-17: Queen of the Skies. These downed Air Crews were
quickly captured and immediately returned to the front lines
of Squad Leader, this GM was personally credited with four such
Nevertheless, the creme always rises to the top. The semifinals
paired four veteran foot sloggers with ten titles between them
who were determined to up that number to 11. Bill Thomson and
Pete Pollard played Mogilev, an On All Fronts scenario that charges
the Germans with clearing a hill and roadway of all Russian units.
The Germans receive seven squads and half-tracks, two PSW 222
armored cars and one Panzerjager I with a 47L gun. The Russians
are challenged with keeping alive at least one unit out of eight
inexperienced squads, eight regular squads and two T-26s. The
inexperienced units, as they often did, broke and ran at the
sight of the German half-tracks. Concentrating force and rolling
low sealed the demise of the regular Russian troops and their
armor was soon smoldering from the Panzerjager positioned on
the hill. German victory.
Scott Bramley and Andrew Cummings played Eviction
Notice, a Squad Leader Academy scenario in 1944 France with
the Americans assaulting a German observation post. Six American
squads and armor, including a 24 IFT M-16 'Chopper' strike hard
at eight fanatic German squads guarding the observation post
and their reinforcing STGs and Demolition Charge toting Assault
Engineers. The OP was almost in American hands when their Demolition
Charge rubbled the only stairs up to the second level and denied
them access to the sole German leader occupying the OP. The last
turn found the German leader hoping the building would offer
enough protection from withering point blank fire and the Americans
exhausting almost all of their firepower before eliminating him
for a victory.
So fate thus found Bill and Scott squaring off in 'Tooth
and Nail' which takes us to the Yelnia Salient during August
of 1941. We find the Germans denuded of Panzer support and fending
off Zhukov's first sustained offensive. This Scenario charges
the Russians to occupy with a non-broken, non-berserk, melee
free squad any six of nine victory hexes dotted across the board.
They have a force of 24 squads and four T-34s to accomplish this
task. The Germans start with nine squads, two ATGs and are reinforced
with three Assault Engineers toting a Flamethrower and Demolition
Charges, a STG III and two armed half-tracks.
Bill fought his Russians down the board and found himself
in need of one more victory location for a win. The brave Russians
try firing to clear a path for the T-34 but it is stopped by
an IM roll of '1,1'. The last two charging Russian squads found
an untimely demise in another KIA from the STG. The Germans hold
four Victory Locations for a win and Scott Bramley joined the
Band of Brothers of WBC champions.
The full After Action Report of 'Tooth and Nail' is here,
remember to click 'display images'.
Eviction Notice Scenario Card: https://www.googledrive.com/host/0BxBhV3GHa1N8WGNrN0JJZGxRaUk/ADA00103A.pdf
Tooth and Nail Scenario Card: https://www.googledrive.com/host/0BxBhV3GHa1N8WGNrN0JJZGxRaUk/ADA00102A.pdf
Tooth and Nail AAR:
Squad Leader Academy Scenarios: http://www.wargameacademy.org/sqla/Scenarios/ScenariosSqla/index.html
Frequent adversaries Bill Thomson
and Pete Pollard meet again.
Defending champion Bill Thomson loses
title to Scott Bramley.