squad leader 

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

Grognards Pre-Con
2014 WBC Report    

 2015 Status:  pending 2015 GM commitment

Eric Stranger, OH

2014 Champion


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
2005    Mike Pacheco    18
2006    David Van Bronkhorst    22
2007     Bill Thomson    21
2008    Eric Stranger    25
2009    Phil Grasha    21
2010     Andrew Cummins    19
2011    Andrew Cummins    22
2012    Bill Thomson    17
2013    Scott Bramley    19
2014    Eric Stranger    20

PBeM Event History
2000    Andy Cowdery    16
2006    David von Bronkhorst    26


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Pete Pollard       CA    14    253
  2.  Bill Thomson       TX    13    247
  3.  Andrew Cummins     uk    13    182
  4.  Eric Stranger      OH    14    125
  5.  David v Bronkhorst VA    06     86
  6.  Scott Bramley      NJ    14     84
  7.  Phil Grasha        PA    13     81
  8.  Mike Pacheco       CA    06     78
  9.  Chuck Leonard      PA    11     40
 10.  Michael Day        AZ    13     33
 11.  Michael Hennessy   VA    05     30
 12.  Allen Kaplan       NJ    00     27
 13.  Eric Filipowski    MD    09     22
 14.  Bryan Van Nortwick NC    04     21
 15.  David Gubbay       TX    07     18
 16.  Bill Pittman       VA    99     18
 17.  Warren Day         AZ    01     16
 18.  Francis Spencer    CT    00     15
 19.  Neal Ekengren      FL    06     12
 20.  John Blazel        WA    06     12
 21.  Bob Menzel         MA    05     12
 22.  Dan Leader         WA    99     12
 23.  Andy Cowdery       IL    00     10
 24.  Rick Northey       MA    10      8
 25.  Jeff Hacker        PA    14      6
 26.  Bill Sosnicki      NJ    08      4
 27.  Mario Ales         it    14      3
 28.  John Sharp         FL    07      3
 29.  Eric Dunsmore      CA    03      3
 30.  Stefan Eriksson    sw    06      2

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists:

Scott Bramley, NJ

Pete Pollard, TN

Bill Thomson, TX

Jeff Hacker, PA

Mario Ales, it

Past Winners

Scott Romaowski, MA

Eric Stranger, OH
1994, 1996, 2008, 2014

Kevin Welsh, NJ
1995, 1997

Peter Pollard ,TN
'98-99, '01, '03

Mike Pacheco, CA
2000, 2005

Andrew Cummins, uk
2002, 2010-11

Bill Thomson, TX
2004, 2007, 2012

David von Bronkhorst, VA

Phil Grasha, PA

Scott Bramley, NJ

 Chuck Leonard and Bill Sosnicki relive old battles.

Bill Sosnicki, Bill Thomson, Mario Ales and John Sharp renew old rivalries during the Pre-Con preliminaries.

For 24 years, Bill Thomson and Pete Pollard have been 1-2 in the Squad Leader tribe. Here they battle it out for third place.

Still daring to cross that street ...

The 24th year of Squad Leader drew 20 players for 37 games. Over a third of that total was at the Cross of Iron level, with one game each of Crescendo of Doom and GI: Anvil of Victory. The remainder were fought at the original base Squad Leader level. Many of the Cross of Iron level actions played were recently developed scenarios chronicling the German attempt to cut off the Allied advances in Operation Cobra.

Since we moved to the Grognard format, the number of games played have increased dramatically with the support of Bruno Sinigaglio and Bill Morse. Bruno takes the event under his wings for the Pre-Con portion while Bill manages all of the scorekeeping and player rankings. These two gentlemen have helped the event become a more enjoyable tourney, allowing more games played throughout the WBC timeframe.

This year saw some players join our ranks. During the demonstration on Monday evening, there were five people intently learning the game. Also, a few old vets have returned to the game, including Rod Coffey, Tom Shaw and Chuck Leonard. It is good to see both groups since it shows that this game has an appeal for return play while still providing opportunities for new players. The game that took the hobby by storm in the 70s still has appeal many years later.

Many of the games throughout the week were hard-fought battles which ended on the last dice roll. For example:

~ Eric Stranger's Russians tried to wrest a village out of Chuck Leonard's German hands in 'Russia 1941'. The noose kept closing in on Chuck's troops as the Germans pressed on. On the last turn, a desperate attempt was made on the stone buildings for the victory. Five close combats raged with Chuck pulling out the win.

~ In 'Mogilev', Bill Sosnicki's Russians were poised to stop Pete Pollard's German mobile force. Bill's conscripts held back the German attack with his leader rallying at least four squads throughout the game. Bill's reinforcements were crushed as they moved into the battle. Taking advantage of the reduced infantry threat, Pete moved his tank destroyer onto the main hill's summit only to have Bill kill it with one shot. The whirlwind fight continued till the last turn. In a last ditch effort, the Germans tried to remove Bill's T-26 on the summit. Racing down the road in a halftrack and unloading a squad and leader next to the tank, their goal was to close assault the Russian T-26. After surviving four shots while moving in the open, the squad entered close combat against the T-26 needing a 5 or less on two dice to win. Fate delivered a 5 and Bill loses again on the last dice roll.

~ Andrew Cummins faced off against Scott Bramley in the Avalon Hill scenario 'Slamming of the Door'. Scott's hedgehog defense held strong against the Russian onslaught. Though the dice overall were balanced, the majority of the low rolls went to Scott while Andrew's Russians failed to extract a deep enough toll from the Germans to pull out a win.

On Saturday, the two semifinal matches were announced as Pete Pollard (64 points) against Eric Stranger (45 points) and Bill Thomson (54 points) against Scott Bramley (48 points). Four former champions with 11 titles between them would duke it out again.

Bill and Scott played 'King of the Hills' where Bill's Germans tried to remove Scott's Russians from one last hill. It looked like Bill was going to cruise to a win when the tide turned and his advance slowed. With the Russians now reinforced, the last attempt to clear the hill became tougher. Like so many other games, the results were decided on one last dice roll with Bill needing a 7 or less on two dice to win. Fate delivered an 8 instead and Scott moved on to the Final.

In the other bracket, Pete's Americans swept onto the board and positioned in front of the main objective, the only two-story building on Board 3 as Eric's Germans tried to win 'Eviction Notice', a Squad Leader Academy scenario. Though the U.S. has plenty of firepower, many of the shots ended with either no result or with Eric sloughing off morale checks. Eric's well placed antitank gun made the crucial kill on a halftrack trying to slip in from behind the main line of advance. Now, with only a frontal assault, Pete had to slog through several layers of defense. Though the Americans had a foothold in the building, a few Germans held out upstairs so Eric advanced to the last round.

In the consolation game, Pete's Germans held against Bill's Russian attack in 'Slamming of the Door'. Bill Thomson's luck went south as three of his five tanks broke their main guns. Pete's assault guns eliminated the rest of the Russian T-26's and the remainder of the Russians disappeared into the woods from which the attack had started. Pete took third and the latest chapter in a multi-decade rivalry.

Scott and Eric selected 'Winter War' for the Final. This is a small scenario with only a few units for each side and played on only half of Board 4. 'Winter War' pits a mobile Russian force against freezing Germans in the Napoleonic winter of 1941. Scott played the Germans. Three German squads were entrenched and listening to the sound of approaching T34s. Supplementing their firepower was one PzIV frozen in place, a 50mm antitank gun and a Demolition Charge. The three approaching T34s were accompanied by six snowsmock clad Guard squads mounted and on foot. The Russians must push through the German line and exit seven squads or their equivalent for a victory.

The Soviets assaulted the defensive line with infantry and sent the mounted T34s far north of the line. The Germans concentrated on the mounted infantry, trying to break them with the antitank gun. The Soviets flanked the line and threatened to exit the T34s.

A T34 exchanged fire with the antitank gun and bested it. Soviet Guards then rushed the defensive line while armor pushed toward the exit. German defenses were stretched thin. The smoke settled leaving the Guards mauled, but the tanks were in position to exit just as soon as they could shift into gear. The Germans were left with a bleak situation; either stop one T34 with a headlong charge or watch them drive off the board to victory. They charged forward pulled by the heroism of LT Falck as much as pushed by the bitter cold. Into the fire they bravely charge...and fall soon to be covered by the frigid wind and drifting snow. The T34s moved off, leaving behind only the dead of winter.

And so the issue was resolved. Through maneuver and firepower, Eric pushed his Soviets to victory over Scott's Germans. Eric Stranger wins his fourth Avaloncon/WBC Squad Leader tourney and ties Pete Pollard for most SQL shields.

Pete Pollard goes down in the semifinals to Eric Stranger.

A couple former champs: Scott Bramley and Andrew Cummins.

 GM     Pete Pollard  [9th Year]  8038 Breezy Meadows Ln, Bartlett, TN 38135
   Pete4258@aol.com  NA 

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