Section 31 for Squad Leader Academy’s SQUAD LEADER 5th edition rulebook.

In the interim, these are now added to the SQLA Rule Conventions (version 980201).

Revised 020419

The following rules replace in entirety section 31 of the basic Squad Leader game. The rules below applicable to truck or halftrack loading and unloading also apply to those vehicles.


* SMC= single man counter (Leaders, Snipers, Scouts, Heroes)

* HS=Half Squads introduced in COD

Editor’s Notes: The original rules do not prevent a variety of ‘creative’ tactics players develop over time and whose legality is controversial in the Squad Leader ruleset. However such gamey tactics are prevented by upgraded rules in later gamette and sustained into ASL. For this reason, GIA rules(section144.9) are pulled forward into the Squad Leader Academy unofficial 5th edition ruleset.

An example of such tactics include:

An AFV with squad stops two hexes from its target, which is not in the AFVs LOS (other side of a hill, woods, and building). In the AFPh, the AFV fires at a real or suspected target; unloading it passengers into an adjacent hex. The unloaded passengers can AF against the target and advance into CC against a unit, which had no DF opportunity.

Another irregularity is the original Loading rules. To move a HT/truck to pick up passengers is a three-turn event (one to move the vehicle, one to load the passengers, and one to move when loaded. However to load a gun, a more complicated maneuver, it requires one LESS turn to load a gun. (The HT/truck moves into the gun hex with 1/2 MP remaining and can move away with the gun.

Another frequent issue of contention regarding fire opportunities by passengers unloaded due to fire or hit of their transporting AFVs. Although ‘technically legal’in SQL one can create situations where firing an AFV in DFPh can unload its passengers into an adjacent hex with beneficial LOS of the phasing players moving forces although the original AFV hex has no LOS. In in this manner, Defensive Fire opportunities can be created although the phasing player did not have a Prep Fire opportunity against such units.


31.1 MOUNTED ASSAULT: Mounted Assault is a form of exposed infantry transport on the top of a tank, TD, SPA or Assault gun. Mounted Assault cannot be used with any other type of vehicle.

31.11 (Design your own pre GIA scenarios only). Mounted Assault cannot be used prior to 1942, and even then only by the Russian. The Germans may use it starting in 1943. Infantry of any nationality may use in tin 1944-45.

 Note: as scenarios prior to GI: Anvil of Victory were designed and playtested with rulesets that allowed mounted assault being an available option to all nationalities and time frames, scenario balance would be jeopardized if 31.11 was enforced.

31.2 PASSENGERS: The maximum passenger capacity is one squad (or two crews/HS) and a SMC. Up to 10 SMCs may be substituted for a squad; up to 5 for a HS/crew. There is no reduction of MP’s to the AFV for carrying infantry, but infantry may not use Mounted Assault while the AFV is moving through woods, Wooden buildings, rubble or (in the case of amphibious AFV’) water. Units being transported are placed on top of the AFV counter. Infantry units beneath an AFV counter are on foot.

 31.3 LOADING: Vehicles may be able to move in the same MPh in which they take on passengers, but may not move in that MPh until they have loaded any passengers. The vehicle used 1/4 (FRU) of its MP’s during the MPh for each MF expended by infantry, which board it. If more than one infantry unit boards the vehicle, only unit expending the most MF’s is counted. It cost 1 MF to board a vehicle provided the passenger does not carry more aboard than its IPC (inherent portage capacity). If a passenger does carry aboard more than its IPC, it must expend an addition MF in the boarding hex beneath the AFV for each additional PP loaded beyond its inherent capacity. And AFV may carry up to 5 PP in Mounted Assault. Loading (or unloading) may never occur during the APh. A vehicle may start or enter a scenario with passenger already mounted where applicable. A SW may not be loaded onto or remain about an AFV (EXC: any halftrack, or Bren carrier not already carrying ordnance or IFE weapons) without infantry accompaniment.

EX: A crew carrying only 2 PPs of SW’s could cross on open ground hex and board an AFV in the same MPh, leaving the AFV with half of its MP’s, but a squad carrying a HMG (5 PP’s if not dismantled) would have only 2 MG’s, and could not load the HMG onto the AFV even if is started the MPh in the same hex with the AFV unless it was accompanied by a leader. The leader would give the squad an additional 2 MP’s thus allowing the squad to expend one MF in moving into the AFV hex and still board with the HMG in the MPh, but the AFV could not move during the at MPh.

31.4 UNLOADING: Infantry may disembark with no penalties only during their own MPh. If infantry must debark during any other phase, they are considered to be "bailing out" and pay appropriate penalties.

31.5 Disembarking infantry and any PP's they loaded onto the AFV may move only to the same or an adjacent non-enemy occupied hex (EXC: crossing cliff or double-crest hexsides) during that MPh regardless of the MF expenditure such a move would cost a unit on foot. Infantry which disembark into the same hex as occupied by the vehicle are considered to be using Assault Movement and if fired on in that hex would be eligible for the +1 TEM for being beneath an AFV should the AFV remain in the hex. Infantry who disembark into an adjacent hex would be subject to the +1 DRM for DF movement in either hex (plus the prevailing TEM of either hex). Infantry may not disembark without taking all SW's with them. If eliminated while on the AFV, their SW's are eliminated also.

31.6 Infantry may disembark only if the vehicle pays a 2 MP penalty, unless the vehicle is bogged down or immobilized (in the latter cases the infantry my disembark is the vehicle had at least 2 MP remaining when it became bogged or immobilized). That MP expenditure would be considered in determining TO HIT DRM's (69.8) and ESB.

31.7 BAILING OUT: If the AFV providing Mounted Assault fires any armament other than AAMG, smoke candles, dischargers, or smoke mortars, or is hit by any type of ordnance or FFE not resulting in elimination of the AFV, all passengers must "bail out". Passengers, which bail out, must take a NMC and are placed in the same hex beneath the AFV. If broken, they would be under the effects of DM attributable to their nationality. There is no 2 MP penalty to the AFV in that or subsequent phases. Units, which have bailed out, may move no further during that phase and if fired on again in that DFPh would be considered to have used Assault Movement.

31.8 Any SW's carried by bailing out passengers are eliminated if the carrying unit breaks. Even if the carrying unit does not break as a result of bailing out, its SW's must be taken off the AFV and a die rolled for malfunction: dr 1-3 = good order, dr 4-6 = malfunction (elimination in the case of X# SW's).

31.9 If an AFV carrying mounted assault troops is hit by an HE round, the TO KILL DR used against the vehicle is also used as a CE (+2 DRM) attack vs. the passengers on the IFT. If the HE round destroys the AFV, the passengers are also subject to the Survival DR (31.13). If neither of the above requirements breaks the unit, it must still bail out (31.7) and faces that attendant NMC.

31.10 Mounted Assault passengers may not fire while aboard an AFV. Passengers, which have bailed out, may not fire during that player turn and should be so indicated with Prep Fire counters where necessary. Passengers who have disembarked may fire at half FP during their AFPh. In each case, passengers may attack in CC.

31.11 Mounted Assault passengers do not receive DF movement DRM's, nor do they receive beneficial TEM's (EXC: 144.942) from the AFV itself (RE: 32.1). Broken units may not be transported by Mounted Assault. Broken units need not take a bail out NMC if broken while on board; they are simply placed beneath the AFV. There is no MP penalty to the AFV. All PP's carried by the broken units are eliminated.

31.12 When an AFV is destroyed by any means other than CC (72.84), any passengers it is carrying are subject to the same Survival DR as the inherent crew (33.9) except that if the passengers survive they are immediately placed beneath the wreck and not subject to the - 2 hazardous movement DRM.

31.13 AFV’s may start or enter scenarios with passengers already mounted where applicable