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Squad Leader (SQL) WBC 2019 Event Report
Updated February 3, 2020.
24 Players Pete Pollard 2019 Status 2020 Status Event History
2019 Champion & Laurels
 

Pollard Starts A New Streak

The Squad Leader event for 2019 drew twenty-four players who completed thirty-two games. Many new players this year for the event and the convention. After a plea for more players went out on the ‘Classic Squad Leader’ page on Facebook, Armand Cingelani came to play and brought two new players. Bruno Sinigaglio worked hard to recruit new players and helped swell the ranks above 20 players this year.

With all of these new players, it was no surprise that most of the games played were the initial Squad Leader level of play. Over 90% of the games played were of the Squad Leader level, three games of Cross of Iron and one game as Crescendo of Doom completed the mix of play. Many of the Squad Leader level scenarios played were developed Alan Yngve as a series of training scenarios including Forced March and Hasty Assault.

Since the Squad Leader event moved to the Grognard format, the number of games played have increased dramatically and it would not be a success without the support of Bruno Sinigaglio and Bill Morse. Bruno takes the Squad Leader event under his wings for the Pre-Con portion while Bill manages all of the score keeping and player rankings. These two gentlemen have helped the Squad Leader event become a more enjoyable tourney, allowing more games played throughout the WBC time frame.

We have seen old players return to the game, including Eric Stranger, Dan Leader and Chuck Leonard. During the demonstration on Monday evening one of the attendees did play a couple of games in the tourney. It is good to see both groups since it shows that this game has an appeal for return play while still providing an opportunity for new players. George Bott, who has participated in the event for a few years now, played eleven games throughout the week. It is obvious that he thoroughly enjoys the game!

Many of the games throughout the week were hard-fought battles which ended on the last dice roll. Bruno would have liked to see that happen in his annual grudge match against Eric Stranger when they duke it out the ‘Tractor Works’. Though moving into the streets can be a dangerous move, Bruno’s German engineers laid smoke to make it difficult for Eric’s Russians from finding their mark. Bruno probably needed to check the expiration date on that smoke, because Eric found the expiration date for those engineers. Eric has racked up a few wins against Bruno, one year at a time. In another game, George Bott rolled nine snake eyes during the play of his game, but that still didn’t get him a win. Good dice and excellent timing means the world in most play and George’s rolls didn’t help this time.

On Saturday, only three players arrived for the final play. Unlike last year when the GM, Pete Pollard, sat out from the play, he had to join in this year to round out the players needed for the two semi-final matches. These two games were pitted against the two veterans of the tournament, Pete Pollard against George Bott and Eric Stranger against John Sharp. Eric and John played ‘Hasty Assault’, a scenario where Eric’s Germans had to remove John’s Russian force from the village.

Eric advanced his infantry forward under cover on turn one, then advanced into position for the assault. On turn two, the real fighting broke out as the two forces clashed at close range. Heavy infantry fire was exchanged and Eric began to make advances into the village. John’s Russians held their ground keeping Eric’s gains to a minimum. With this short scenario though, Eric couldn’t sit back and try to reduce the defenders with his superior firepower, he had to make moves to continue to take the village. On the last turn, it down to the final roll. John’s forces held out and gave him the win and his second attempt to earn the first place plaque for the tournament.

George and Pete played a scenario designed by On All Fronts, ‘Russia 1941’. George’s Russians set up a defense in depth again Pete’s German army. The first turn saw Pete maneuvering his assault force into position above the village. His first attacks fell short, but George’s defensive fire broke Pete’s best leader and thus blunting the tip of the spear.

Pete soon recovered from the opening salvo and used his mobility with the four halftracks to infiltrate the village. These troops provided enough of a distraction and heartache on George to allow the main body of troops to push into the village. Also, George’s men were starting to feel the effects of the continued fire on them and were soon leaving the battlefield. In the end, Pete won and secured the other spot for the final.

In the 3rd/4th place match and the final, the scenario of choice was On All Front’s ‘Stalingrad 1942’. This is, in essence, a Squad Leader version of the Crescendo of Doom scenario ‘Pavlov’s House’. The Russians have a handful of men defending one key building and the German infantry, supported by one tank, must clear the building by game’s end.

Eric Stranger played the Russians and George began his attack. With only a few shots to soften up the defenders, George rushed across the open ground. Some of his troops did gain a foothold in the house, but in the end, Eric won the close combat, threw the Germans out and won 3rd place. Also, Eric won a hand-made cast aluminum, 4” square plaque commemorating this year’s Squad Leader event.

In the final match, Pete Pollard set up the Russians in Pavlov’s house and John prepared for the attack. John relied upon his superior firepower and range, shooting from a distance to reduce Pete’s forces. Pete’s lone anti-tank gun was ineffective and John’s return fire remove the gun after only two shots. While some of the shots were doing its job, John was not making enough of an impact.

Along with his tank, John advanced his troops while still trying to reduce more of the Russians with his killer shots. That firepower fell flat when John rolled boxcars and broke most of his support weapons. Pete continued to cause problems with breaking some of John’s troops and it came down to the last turn final assault.

The last turn of the game, John came across with all of his force. Pete was able to break or eliminate enough of the troops to prevent a German win. And so the final game ended. Holding out in Pavlov’s house, the Russian troops celebrated their victory. Pete Pollard wins another Squad Leader tourney.

 
2019 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 3
John Sharp Eric Stranger George Bott Donald Webster Frank Sinigaglio
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
 
Grognard leader Bruno Sinigaglio leading a squad
in WWII action,
GM Pete Pollard on way to another final.
John Sharp and GM Pete Pollard in final.
 
GM  Pete Pollard [14th Year]  NA
 Pete4258@aol.com  NA