Some of my initial observations on the game you ask? Delighted to answer that question! First of all the ranges prescribed are probably written for 1/285 micro-scale games so I doubled ranges for 1/72 plastics and that seemed to work much better.
The game was comfortably played on a 2.5' squared section of my table with modest terrain.
Beside range, there are some very simple things to work out here and once done, the Squad Leader system works extremely well for miniatures. (wasn't it actually written to be a miniatures game??) You will have to work out the morale and morale bonuses of your squads and leaders before the game as they are not conveniently printed on your wargaming stands. Additionally, you will have to work out terrain types to ascertain the cover they provide before the dice start rolling.
|Armourfast Stug-III in the woodline!|
|Looks pretty good with light dry-brushing and decals applied!|
In this instance, it wasn't enough to suppress the 3 German squads on the defense. The ensuing firefight knocked out one German squad (with the LMG!!) but broke 3 US squads in the process. Lesson learned is use a base of fire element is critical on the attack. The other lesson is bring plenty of support weapons with you to suppress the enemy, no matter who you are. (intrinsic squad firepower values, for the most part, include their rifles but not necessarily the LMGs for earlier war stuff. The higher firepower squads (Americans) include the BARs with their firepower values but the Germans and Soviets are simply bolt action rifles and have a modest firepower of "4")
|Move out! 2 American squads move to flank the enemy position at the outskirts of the village|
|broken American squad!! Much harder to rally without the leader attached. It took these guys 3 turns to roll the necessary "6 or below" with the 2D6.|
|In the background you can see the Company Command stand and the Platoon Leader stand reconnoitering the enemy.|
|American squad moves up! Defensive fire is "point blank" and is doubled at this range. Germans roll a 3!! NOT GOOD!|
|And the US Squad is eliminated per the firepower table...|
|The Stug fires an HE round at a moving US squad and it hits! Damn you defensive fire!!! The US Squad routs into cover.|
|STUG Victory Lap!|
|Germans end the game still in possession of the village. Leutnant Stahler commanding!|
|Germans holding the other building in the village. No forces had anti tank in this game but the close assault against AFVs still brutal none-the-less.|
For stacking purposes, I just make sure a squad stand or leader stand is physically touching another stand and you have an instant stack for firepower and protection purposes. Leaders also convey their crucial bonuses to units they are stacked with. Using square Crossfire stands with the smaller leader stands, it's not difficult on the plastic battlefield to tell leaders apart.
The best advice I would give before going down this road is to print yourself a "cheat sheet" with firepower, movement, morale values etc and book-mark in the rulebook sections you want to play. For example I was hazy on the vehicle HE Anti-Infantry rules so I pre-marked them in the interest of time.
The Squad Leader original rules along with their supplements can be downloaded for free from the yahoo group as well as the Squad Leader in Miniature supplement.
This was alot of fun and I'll have to paint up more troops and vehicles, as well as terrain! This makes me want to play some scenarios from the first boxed set!!! Not to mention paint up more GIs and Brits to fight against my battle-hardened Panzer Grenadiers.
Gosh am I glad I tried this out. I really forgot how much fun Squad Leader was, and in miniature is that much more enjoyable.