- TITLE: Squad Leader
- PUBLISHER: The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC)
- SCOPE: Game system for small unit tactical combat involving
Germans vs Russians and Americans. Twelve scenarios included in the game,
many additional scenarios published in external sources. Scenario generation
mechanism included both within the game and external sources. All boards 1-50+
in the SQL/ASL can be used with additional or substituted terrain rules.
- TAHGC CATALOG VERBAGE: True classic, re-creating the furious
action of WWII tactical ground combat between Russians, Germans and Americans.
Playing pieces represent infantry squads, crews, and individual leaders, vehicles
and guns. Also includes mapboards 1-4 and 12 scenarios.
- GAME BOX VERBAGE: Squad Leader is a game of WWII tactical
combat in Europe. Now you make the instant decisions resulting in life or
death of your men, victory or defeat for your army. Squad Leader utilized
programmed instruction to guide you through 12 scenario of increasing realism
- YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): 1977. 4th edition rulebook (1980),
3rd (1977), 2nd (1977)
- Historical Research & Design: John Hill
- Game Development: Donald Greenwood
- Production Assistant & MVP: Robert Medrow
- Cover Art: Rodger MacGowan
- Board Art: Scott Moores
- Counter Art: Scott Moores, Richard Hamblen
- Playtesting: : Arnold Blumberg, Jim Stahler, Dale Wetzelberger,
Bill Barr, Harvey Weston, R. Easton, J. Ferreira, W. Rose, R. Chiang,
S. Heinowski, R. Harmon, S. Wilkenson, D. Payne, J. Everndin, W. Coates,
G. Sipes, B. Milligan, P. O’Neill, C. Silverton.
- Printing: Monarch Services
- Composition: Colonial Composition
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2
- WGA COMPLEXITY SCALE (1-10): 5
- TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): From 2 hours for a short
scenario; 6+ large scenarios.
- MAP SCALE: 40 meters per hex
- UNIT SCALE: Individual squads, leaders, support weapons
- TIME SCALE PER TURN: Two minutes
- NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: Function of scenario played; typically
- PARTIAL ARTICLE LISTING: Click
- GAME INVENTORY: 520 two-sided 1/2" diecut counters,
192 two-sided 5/8 diecut counters, four 22x28" mounted mapboards, 36-page
illustrated rulebook and designer's notes, 12 scenario cards, 2 Quick Reference
- WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: Tournaments have been offered
from Avaloncon 1991 inception through 2003 World Boardgame Championships.
Tournaments allow players to compete at any of the four PREASL rulesets at
the lower ruleset compatibility of the pairing (SQL, COI, COD, GIA). Squad
Leader Academy has run all SQL and COI events (1996-1999) since 1996 and into
the future. Side competitions for the Best Personal Leader Competition and
Eliminating the previous years PLC winner occur in parallel to tournament
championships. SQLA encourages competitive play but also welcomes and mentors
new and 'rusty' players who wish to participate. SQL has run 25+ FTF and PBEM
to date and is the administrator for both Boardgame Player Association PBEM
events and SQL AREA Player Ratings.
- PBEM TOOLS: VSQL VASSAL
module is available and has become the standard for PBEM and real time Internet
play. This was preceded by a full Play by Graphics toolset using Claris Draw
(exists in the WGA archives) using a multilayer graphics file. This was followed
by VASL 3.02 for SQL play with extensive ASL counter labeling and substitution.
- PBEM OPPORTUNITES: Contact Wargame
Academy if interested. A Boardgame Player Association PBEM tournament
was completed in 2000 and the 2004 event is scheduled for a January, 2004
start. To date SQLA has administrated 25+ FTF and PEBMN events for the SQLA
series. An active PBEM ladder, email group and scenario record exists.
- WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: A masterpiece on small unit combat,
one of TAHGC all time best sellers and a common denominator in long time boardgamers.
John Hill's "Design for Effect" draws some criticism from purest
mathematic point of view but results in a game that is both playable and captures
the unpredictable nature of the topic simulated. More that a game, Squad leader
introduces game system with no limit to player scenarios that can be created.
The game system is expanded with extension 'gamettes' Cross of Iron (detailed
Eastern Front); Crescendo of Doom (early war Western Front, British, French,
Finns, Allied Minors); GI: Anvil of Victory (Late war Western front British
and Americans). These four games (PREASL), all used the programmed instruction
format which is both its forte and foible as the game evolved and serves as
the basis for Advance Squad Leader. The latter utilized a chapter form rulebook
with add greater detail, realism and player interaction at the expense of
playability and constant player interaction. Squad leader's turn based results
in suitability for PBEM with VSQL established as the common vehicle for remote
play. ASL is of greater realism but at the trade-offs of inherit complexity,
player interaction, expense and player commitment which in effect is a different
game than Squad Leader. The PREASL series is attractive to the occasional
player seeking greater playability, new gamer, former gamer returning to play
or whose lifestyles dictate turn based play.
- WARGAME ACADEMY GAME TOOLS: Multiple play copies, unpunched
games, softcopy rulebook, charts, maps, Order of Battles, all rulebook editions,
and extensive related magazine archives. Counter library, maps, and charts
in Claris Draw; maps and counters in GIF format.
- ACCOLADES: 1977 Charles Roberts Award Best Tactical Game
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