squad leader [Updated October 2004]  

2004 WBC Report    

 2005 Status: pending 2005 GM commitment

Bill Thomson, TX

2004 Champion

2nd: Andrew Cummins, UK

3rd: Pete Pollard, TN

4th: Bryan Van Nortwick, NC

5th: Chuck Leonard, PA

6th: Michael Hennessey, NY

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
2001    Peter Pollard     20
2002    Andrew Cummins     22
2003     Peter Pollard     21
2004    Bill Thomson     24

PBeM Event History
2000    Andy Cowdery      16

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1. Peter Pollard


 2. Bill Thomson


 3. Andrew Cummins


 4. Mike Pacheco


 5. Michael Day


 6. Allen Kaplan


 7. David Von Bronkhorst


 8. Michael Hennessy


 9.  Bryan Van Nortwick


10. Bill Pittman


11. Warren Day


12. Francis Spencer


13. Dan Leader


14. Andy Cowdery


15.  Chucl Leonard


16. Eric Filipowski


17. Eric Dunsmore



Past Winners

1991: Scott Romanowski - MA

1992: Jeff Miller - NY
1993: Brian Laskey - CT

Eric Stranger - OH
1994, 1996

Kevin Welsh - NJ
1995, 1997

Peter Pollard - TN
1998-99, 2001, 2003

Mike Pacheco - CA

Andrew Cummins - UK

Squad Leader celebrates 25+ years!

24 participants completed t27 matches in this year's event. The field included five past Avaloncon/WBC Squad Leader and Cross of Iron champions numbering 12 plaques amongst them. The balance of the field was composed of other returning veterans with eight newcomers added. Matthew Spitznagel (Parkton, MD) emerged as the top rookie earning an 8th place finish.

This event is run by two co-GMs, Pete Pollard, who takes care of the scenario selection, pre- and post-convention paperwork and operations such as event introduction, round schedule, etc, and Bill Thomson, who runs the event in respect to the player pairings, match adjudication, etc. In other words, Bill plays the part of the "bad cop" (making sure that the event continues as scheduled), while Pete enjoys the tasks of player interaction and playing the part of the "good cop".

Although initial pairing was randomly determined, later rounds used tournament record and AREA seeding. Within a pairing, players were allowed to determine the SQUAD LEADER series rules level to be used, which in turn defined the scenario played for that round from a predetermined list. By module, the tournament scenario breakdown was 24 SQUAD LEADER, three CROSS OF IRON and one GI: ANVIL OF VICTORY. By source, 11 matches used scenarios authored by the Squad Leader Academy, eight by The Avalon Hill Game Company, three from "On All Fronts" magazine; three from the AdvancePhase.com; and two from Casus Belli. Unlike previous years, this year's scenario selection spanned many of those on the tournament list. Only one scenario was played four times, whereas, many of the remaining scenarios were played either two or three times. This is encouraging to see the less-played scenarios getting some action from these seasoned squad leaders.

In round 1, the Streets of Stalingrad saw some action as the Germans tried to pry the Russians out of the Tractors Works. In all of these games, the Germans were successful in ousting the Russians. Jimmy Chau's Russians fell to Eric Filipkowski's determined assault, those who fell included Jimmy's PLC, who made a valiant sacrifice for the Motherland.

Round 2 saw action in both SQL and COI level of play. Fighting on the Western Front was comprised of a game of "Hitdorf on the Rhine," with Andrew Barry (a newcomer to the event) and Michael Pacheco, and three games of Bill Thomson's "Reconnaisance in Force,".

Bill Thomson displayed tactical skill, boardcraft and physical agility (to avoid salvos of "defective" dice by the frustrated Russian attacker and scenario designer of ,"Jadhe's Tigers,") as he defeated Pete Pollard in round 2. As this was the 52nd match between these two top-seeded players, the familiarity led to a running commentary of good natured insults which amused and mystified onlookers.

By round 3, the numbers of players started to dwindle. Five games were played, including a match between the rookie Matt Spitznagel (Russians) against Eric Filipkowski's Germans in "Forced Entry,". Matt's forces overwhelmed the German defenders. It must have been something about being on the wrong end of an SU-122,'s gun barrel. Matt utilized his combined arms well to earn another victory.

Round 4 was the championship round. and decided the placement for the final standings. In one game, deciding the placement for third or fourth place, Pete Pollard's Russian conscripts were no match for Chuck Leonard's mobile force. Needless to say, it's tough to beat back even conscripts when a couple of them go berserk! In the end, Pete was able to well fortify the heights and gain a victory in On All Fronts scenario "Mogilev," Leonard had to settle for fifth place, amking him the only new Laurelist to join the list in 2004.

The Championship match pitted Bill Thomson and Andrew Cummins in"Tooth and Nail," The Russian's (Andrew) fortunes rose and fell as the German (Bill) reinforcements initially performed poorly before turning the tide. Bill's STGIII(75) was immolated with passengers by a trio of T-34Cs upon entry into the battle. This unexpected sacrifice allowed halftracks transporting engineers (not of the Georgia Tech variety) to plant a dud Demo Charge (the required To Kill roll of 10 and he rolls an 11) on a T34. Bill then twice failed to convince his troops to close assault a T34, but survived a T34C overrun (after which the T34 immobilized and destroyed itself in woods terrain). The Germans used their superior range to keep the bulk of the Russian infantry at bay. Good dice allowed the remaining German forces to regroup, earning the victory.

Bill Thomson (Austin, TX), who played in the finals of the previous two years but never emerged victorious, survived four rounds undefeated to earn the 2004 championship title for his third wood. This path was through both Andrew Cummins (Cambridge, UK) the 2002 Champion and Pete Pollard (Bartlett, TN), the 2003 Champion. Both Andrew and Pete accumulated 3-1 records finishing in second and third place respectively.

A feature of Squad Leader Academy (SQLA) administrated tournaments is the inclusion of the Personal Leader Counter (PLC) competition which occurs concurrent to the main event. Players attempt to earn Elan points and cheat death to earn the top PLC honors and the corresponding plaque provided by SQLA. Players can remain in contention for the plaque regardless of their standing in the primary tournament. PLCs start at an 8-1 rank and are substituted into the scenario force as an equivalent leader. Aggressive use of the PLC usually leads to a high casualty rate often meeting glorious deaths within the tournament. SGT Paul Risner earned the admiration of his peers before being quickly forgotten, survived two flamethrower attacks before becoming toast on the third strike. Chuck Leonard (Muncy, PA) earned the "Pollard Memorial"plaque by eliminating the previous years PLC winner (SGT Cummins) in the course of play. The plaque is so named for Pete Pollard who has achieved PLC distinction by winning this competition so often it is synonymous with his name. The Pollard Memorial plaque will be aptly named in the 2005 WBC contest since Pete Pollard won this event once again. SGT Pollard earned a net +34 Elan edging out SGT Bryan Van Nortwick (Wake Forest, NC) whose late charge totalled +33 Elan.

Both new and old participants comment that this Squad Leader event is both challenging and enjoyable given the demonstrated camaraderie displayed to both veterans and newcomer alike. This event has seen some changes through the years, but we are always open to suggestions for future improvements.

 GM      Peter Pollard  [6th Year]   8038 Breezy Meadows Lane, Bartlett, TN 38135 
    Pete4258@aol.com    901-384-6811

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