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squad leader (SQL) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 26, 2016 Icon Key
19 Players Pete Pollard, TN 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
2015-2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

… and one makes Six

Considering the overall attendance reduction throughout the convention, we remained relatively stable in 2016. Our 19 players logged 47 games with the vast majority at the basic Squad Leader level. 13 games were contested at the more advanced Cross of Iron level. All were played in more pleasant surroundings than has been the norm.

Greg Tanner, Andrew Menard, Steve Andriakos and Mark Sciera reinforced us for the first time. With the many positive comments on our new venue, hopefully these and many of those who didn’t show this year will return to swell the ranks next time. This event is also mentioned on the Facebook ‘Classic Squad Leader’ group, which has 675 members and is a good source for many more potential participants.

Squad Leader play started during what used to be the Pre-Con (now just the busy opening weekend) and continued in open format until Friday night. The top four players, as determined by a common point system used in all grognard events, would then meet in the semifinals Saturday morning to reach a conclusion.

Defending champ Pete Pollard was matched with four-time champ Eric Stranger in the first semifinal. Both players have seen more than their share of elimination rounds. They played “Back to the Sea”, a scenario by Alan Yngve, with Eric’s Germans attacking the hill and key objectives (neutralizing machine guns) against recently landed American troops in Normandy. Eric’s attacks started well, eliminating the outlying forces on one flank. The Americans cut their losses and withdrew on that flank to concentrate in the center. It appeared that the German advance would prevail, but American artillery destroyed a halftrack and key German troops. Suddenly, Eric’s left flank was crumbling. Further losses on Eric’s left continued to reduce his strength and any options for a win.

In the other bracket two relative newcomers to the tournament who had yet to win a SQL title were paired. They mutually agreed to play the SQLA scenario “King of the Hills”, at the Cross of Iron level. John Sharp’s task was to prevent Greg Tanner’s German forces from removing Russian troops from the main hill and take three of five victory positions. This game proved to be a back and forth melee with no clear leader throughout. However, the Russian Commissar proved an effective leader, rallying his troops time and again. As a result, the VIP guru held his ground and advanced to the Final.

The consolation match found Eric and Greg playing the “The Guards Counterattack” for third place. Eric’s Russian Guards immediately pressed the attack and seized one of the victory buildings. Greg’s Germans felt the continuing pressure when his key troops and best leader cracked and were routed. Near game end, one of Eric’s Guards went berserk, further complicating Greg’s diminishing chances.

The Final was fought in the SQLA “Tooth and Nail” scenario. John’s Russians assumed the burden of attack with a large infantry force supported by four T34 tanks. The attack started well with most shots connecting and causing a fair amount of damage. However, the attack began to bog down even though the tanks were connecting with every shot. John had nine shots with his main guns needing a 6 or less on two dice to hit their targets. He rolled a 6 for every shot, though the hits rarely achieved lasting results. Meanwhile, the German defenders were extracting a steady toll on the attackers. By mid-game, the attacking force had been reduced by a third. When German reinforcements entered play, the initiative changed sides. Pairing his best leader and an assault engineer, Pete dispatched two of the T34’s. With John’s attention focused on the engineers and concentrating the fire of his remaining tanks there, Pete slipped his two halftracks behind John’s line to harass the two Russian leaders. John quickly understood that he was losing the fight and when a third tank was lost, he acknowledged the inevitable and Pete had won his sixth SQL title - once again establishing his claim as the best Squad Leader.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 3
John Sharp, FL Eric Stranger, OH Greg Tanner, AZ Warren Day, AZ Bill Thomson, TX
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Scott Bramley vs interloper Phil Grasha John Sharp vs Mark Sciera
This semifinal matched former champs Pete Pollard
and Eric Stranger. The two had nine titles between them.
Two semifinalists looking for their first SQL title: John Sharp
and Greg Tanner—making the transition from VIP and PZB respectively.
Finalists Peter Pollard and John Sharp
The ending positions in the Final.
GM  Pete Pollard [11th Year]  NA
 Pete4258@aol.com  NA