The American Advance

Our 15mm WWII game using A modification of the SQUAD LEADER IN MINIATURE rules

Played at HOBBYTOWN in Flowood Mississippi, November 4, 2006

This is our third game using a miniatures version of Avalon Hill's SQUAD LEADER boardgame. It is the second on a hex-gridded table. Our game table which is 6' x 8' is about 1.5 times the width of a scaled-up Avalon Hill game board, but only about .6 of the length of what a game board would be with 4" hexes.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The American Players: Travis Melton is seated closest to camera. Game-master Jay Stribling, is standing, facing away in plaid shirt. Then, left to right, are Phil Young, Fred Diamond, Sean Pitts (the American commander).

Every one of the German players (Ed Sansing, Jim Pitts, and John Murdaugh) was equipped with a digital camera and all used them as furiously as they did their machine guns. Yet not ONE picture exists of the German players.

The game-master (who is writing this report) belives that he overloaded the game with too many units but we had fewer than our previous test in September 2006. Most of the players at this game had been at that previous game so had some idea of what was going on.

The U.S. Players were: Sean Pitts - who commanded an infantry company and also wore the "hat" of the American infantry Battalion commander, Fred Diamond - commander of the American armor platoon (5 M-4 Medium tanks and an M-8 Howitzer Motor gun carriage), Phil Young - commander of an American infantry company, and Travis Melton who commanded the last American infantry company.

The German Players each had a "Kampfgruppe: of combined arms. Ed Sansing commanded the right, and Jim Pitts held center, and John Murdaugh commanded on the left. The Germans had early successes, using defensive fire to blast the American "point" units.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Sean Pitts' American infantry company, supported by an M-8 75mm Self-Propelled Howitzer from the regimental cannon company, deploys before beginning its attack. Sean was the American left flank and his early advance was roughly handled, losing the SP Howitzer and a platoon of infantry (3 squads, a leader, and supporting weapons) as soon as he emerged from cover.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The American beginning of their attack. Looking from the German center-right. The American jeep sped out in front in a kind of Cavalry recon. It's crew has broken after coming under German infantry fire, and may be seen with a red ring on it, signifying broken. An American tank is following up, and Phil Young's U.S. infantry may be seen at the left of the photo andvancing towards the camera.

Photo by Jim Pitts

This fuzzy image shows Fred Diamond's American tank platoon deploys before beginning its attack. Fred would end up losing four of his M-4 Sherman tanks before the battle ended - two to a German 88mm gun, one to a panzerschreck team, and one to a Sturmgeschutz III assault gun. His last tank, the platoon leader's, would finally move through artillery-blasted center of the field and overrun a German rifle squad.

Photo by Jim Pitts

One of Fred Diamond's M-4 Sherman tanks "brewed up" after being hit by an 88mm antitank round. Some of Sean Pitts' infantry are sheltering in shell holes. This didn't do them much good as the accurate German small arms fire wiped them out.

Photo by Jim Pitts

American artillery fire impacts in the center of the German position. Jim Pitts' 88mm FLAK gun, two infantry squads, and a Sturmgeschutz III self-propelled gun were destroyed by the accurate American fire.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Jim Pitts' last position in the ruined church was continuously blasted by artillery fire. After the "Amis" fired many MANY 105mm howitzer shells at it, the defenders were finally reduced to a small team led by the rattled battalion commander.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Sean Pitts' 75mm SP howitzer was destroyed by a German panzerschreck team as it attempted to provide close fire support. There is a tendancy to use this like a tank. It has enough range to stay far back and still support the infantry.

It was "brewed up" before it could get a round off.

Sequence of action (somewhat simplified)

Items in COLOR are changes made to the sequence of action in this game






ROUT Phase



After all of the above is complete, the defending player becomes the attacker and all of the above is repeated. After the second player has done all of the above, the turn is over. It all then begins again with the second turn.

Photo by John Murdaugh

American artillery fire impacts on the center of the American line. For each 105mm "shell" we required the U.S. Player to throw a D6. If the result was 1 or 2 then the shell hit right where the "Spotting round" had been located. If the result was 3 or more, then he threw another D6 to see in which of the adjacent hexes the round hit.

As you can see here, most of the rounds hit on target!

Photo by John Murdaugh

Half of a Phil Young chortles as Fred Diamond, the American armor commander gestures futily - "No not THAT tank.." Every tank sent into the center of the field died abruptly, from the attentions of the 88mm FLAK gun, or the panzerfausts of the enemy infantry.

Photo by John Murdaugh

American artillery has set the German farmhouse ablaze. This was one of the American objectives, and at the end of the game, it was a blazing ruin.

Photo by John Murdaugh

A similar scene from further back shows that the woods on the extreme German left are not on fire also. These flames, caused by artillery fire, required the German infantry to exit the woods. They were promptly eliminated by U.S. infantry and mortar fire.

Who was the victor in this game?

The Americans won - Barely. The American victory condition was to attack and seize an area delineated by three buildings. Using their artillery, they bludgeoned the Germans untill only a handful of German leaders and two AFVs were left.

Then the U.S. infantry advanced and took the blazing ruins of thier objectives. The U.S. Players had an unlimited ammo supply. The game-master goofed here. This will be changed in the next game.

How did the rules work?

There were problems. The American artillery was too powerful, yet unrealistic. Battery fire will have to be kept together next time, or the game-master will allocate a section of two guns to each American infantry company, as was done in real life. The arrival of artillery fire needs to be less certain.

The rules will be changed to allow Tanks to fire in the prep fire phase, then move a half-move or move a half move and then fire in the advancing fire phase. We will also use the concept of the "fire fight" from the Advanced Squad Leader rule book.

Go to the first of our Squad Leader with Miniatures game played at Hobbytown.

Go to our Squad Leader with Miniatures Page

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