About Squad Leader
Hall of Fame Game Designer John Hill designed Squad Leader, one of the most complex and thrilling wargames of its time. It is virtually unique among World War II board games focusing on infantry combat in Europe. Squad Leader is the absolute natural extension of the trends toward realism. All of the pieces of Squad leader represent the regular squads rated for firepower, range and morale as well as weapon and vehicle crews and elite squads with high firepower and morale.
Squad Leader was produced in time to debut at the 1977 Origins Game Fair, an annual gaming convention that was first held in 1975 and is run by Game Manufacturer’s Association. The original print run of 2,500 copies of Squad Leader had a purple trim to them and have become a prize collector’s item.
Squad Leader Rules & Scenarios
Below are some Squad Leader rules and scenarios that are free to download in PDF. If you experience problems downloading the following documents, send an email to email@example.com and I will email it to you.
Squad Leader Game Rules (4th Edition)
Advanced Squad Leader Scenarios 1 through 74 (PDF)
For more information about Squad Leader, go to Squad Leader on Wikipedia.
Please review the Affiliate Disclaimer.
I spent many many hours playing squad leader in the early 80s..thing is I think it is more than a game..it is sort of like a theoretical training exercise in infantry combat…then I went off to war in Angola as national service infantryman ….much of my training was already ingrained into my head from what I had learned from squad leader…
oh and I still have my squad leader…cross of iron and the other expansion pack ..crescendo of doom?..forget the name..
Thanks Dave for sharing. Always love hearing those stories.
I was introduced to SQUAD LEADER in junior high school in the early 1980s. We were all young boys living in the shadow of the Second World War – Sgt. Rock comic books were still under a dollar a copy, reruns of COMBAT aired on late night TV, and model kits of all the various hardware was comparatively cheaper than today.
Plenty of interest in wargaming then, even among casual gamers – and being able to find Avalon Hill bookcase games at the local toy store certainly helped. The elegant SQUAD LEADER box with its dire warnings of how complex it was, was a beacon to a lifetime of enjoyable leisure time. In later life, as I became interested in the history of the games themselves, I read about the first print run of SQUAD LEADER – and the (in)famous purple box.
I’ve since acquired a couple of 1st edition purple boxes for my collection. A nice reminder of where things really began. Much respect to the late John Hill for his creativity, imagination, and – skill at designing. Still enjoying the later adaptations of SL that the original game spawned.
Thank you for leaving a comment regarding your experience with Squad Leader dating all the back to the 1980s when you were in junior high school. I was also in junior high school in the early 1980s and remember living in the shadows of WWII. There seemed to be much more interest in wargaming back then and most likely probably due to the era and generation. You may enjoy reading my article on History of Tactical Games: Evolution of Squad Leader because it highlights on the many aspects you have brought up.
Thank you for your kindest regards and respect for my late father. I know we would have loved reading your words you wrote today. I hope you return.
I remember the great games shop we had in Bristol [In the UK] the guy that ran it was very helpful and would open a box to let you look at the stuff inside and give you a run down on the game. I was looking at this cool looking box called Squad Leader, as soon as the guy opened it and talked a bit about it I realised it was the sort of game I would like. I immediately bought it.
I joined the Army shortly after that and the box travelled around with me wherever I went. The great thing was, it was all in one box and me and a couple of mates played it regularly.
I have now played Squad Leader, and its development Advanced Squad Leader some 30 odd years now, the game has given many many years of excellent gaming fun and enjoyment. As a result of the game I have met many people and enjoyed playing the game with them.
I have bought many boardgames over the years but none have consistently given me the same pleasure I have had playing it.
I later bought Johnny Reb as I have always been into ACW miniatures, again these rules also gave me much gaming pleasure and as soon as I saw ADF I knew that they would be excellent as well.
I know that if your dad hadn’t designed SL I wouldn’t have had so many years of enjoyment from one game.
That is an awesome story about how one game opened up for you a world of wargaming that you may not have otherwise experienced. Thank you for sharing with us here. That is the exact kind of story we love hearing. I am delighted you decided to post your experiences on this tribute site. I am not sure if you ever met him in person, but I know he would have loved hearing your story in person. Also, I wish to personally thank you for your service, heroism and bravery to your country. We must always honor our courageous service members. Thank you for your patriotism, be it the UK or the US.