Updated 060429
  1. TITLE: Squad Leader
  2. PUBLISHER: The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 and complexity.
  6. 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
  10. TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): From 2 hours for a short scenario; 6+ large scenarios.
  11. MAP SCALE: 40 meters per hex
  12. UNIT SCALE: Individual squads, leaders, support weapons and vehicles.
  13. TIME SCALE PER TURN: Two minutes
  14. NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: Function of scenario played; typically 5-10 turns
  16. 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 data Cards.
  17. WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: Tournaments have been offered from Avaloncon 1991 inception through 2014 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 occured until adopting the free form format. . 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. ACCOLADES: 1977 Charles Roberts Award Best Tactical Game winner.

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