Squad Battles Tactics and Grenada Demo version 4.03.2 Released.

Hi All,

Lots of news today for Squad Battles aficionados.

We are releasing a new version of Squad Battles Grenada Demo as well as a new series of linked campaign scenarios. Mark ‘Embis’ Bisson has written the following "Squad Battles Tactics" primer and created applicable training scenarios which are included in this latest build.

Please note, this is a full installation build. The reason for this is to align to the upgrades we released back in March here. There is no patch from the prior version available (4.01). If you already have a copy of the Grenada Demo, the latest game build should be available now in your Store account on the WDS website. You will have to uninstall any existing versions and then install the latest to be up to date.

Importantly, Grenada is being released as version 4.03.2. This includes the following changes beyond original version 4.01:

Grenada Release 4.03.2 Changelog

Please note version 4.03.2 is a Full Installer only, no patch from prior versions is available.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed: Fix CTD when opening the "Rolling Barrages" dialog.
  • Fixed: Added exception handing for the SoLoud audio engine.
  • Fixed: Map Editor wouldn't open sub-maps correctly.
  • Fixed: Map pasting in the Map Editor.
  • Fixed: Proper placement of asymmetrical hexside features.
  • Fixed: Embankment hexsides were not drawn in 3D mode.
  • Fixed: Slopes were clashing with certain map features.


  • Replaced DirectSound with SoLoud audio engine.
  • Added dialog-based volume control.

Content Changes

  • Added "The Range" training campaign.
  • Added "Tactics & The Range Campaign" document in the Manuals directory.

Grenada Release 4.03.1 Changelog (not released)

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed: Performance problems caused by excessive redraw.
  • Fixed: Clear scatter result for the AI.
  • Fixed: Missing screen display & sound playback when there's a draw.
  • Fixed: Missing toolbar tooltip display for Charge command.
  • Fixed: Prevent Windows 11 CTD by replacing MCI audio with DirectSound on the Splash Screen.

Grenada Release 4.03 Changelog (not released)

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed: CTD caused when displaying wrecked weapons.
  • Fixed: Stop all units being selected when toggling "On Ground".
  • Fixed: CTDs caused when using the "Target Units" highlight.
  • Fixed: Restore display of the Targeting Dialog.
  • Fixed: CTD caused when opening a new scenario in hot seat mode.
  • Fixed: Issue with Campaign Front End failing to invoke the game exe.
  • Fixed: CTD caused by not clearing the ‘spotter’ graphic when opening a new scenario or game file.
  • Fixed: Heavy Weapons tabs incorrectly displayed under FOW.
  • Fixed: Heavy weapon tab disappears when unit picks up a new weapon.
  • Fixed: CTD caused by "Target Units" highlight and single-use weapons.
  • Fixed: Ensure assaults pay the correct movement costs.
  • Fixed: Prevent Targeting on the Support Dialog when there is no valid leader by double-clicking.
  • Fixed: The width calculation on the Hex Info display now considers width of arrow buttons.


  • Allow sound files to play even when running at up to double speed.
  • Improved air support + indirect fire accuracy.
  • Weapon quality can now be altered in the OOB Editor.
  • Scatter hex for a leader now has an on-screen symbol.
  • Chosen leader for support calls now has an onscreen spotter symbol.
  • Set the assault cost to the greater of terrain movement or one third movement cost.
  • Allow hotkeys to be processed when the Targeting Dialog is open and has focus.
  • Adjustments to prevent invisible units being revealed as part of a movement attempt.
  • Put the Artillery no LOS penalty into the PDT.
  • Ensure the Artillery no LOS penalty is shown on the Parameter Data Dialog.
  • Allow the Support Dialog to be opened even if no valid leader or vehicle has been found.
  • Don't select wrecks or destroyed weapons when double-clicking on a hex.
  • When multiple weapons are selected show the explosion animation for the largest radius.
  • When multiple weapons are selected show the maximum range highlight for the largest radius.
  • Implemented changes to the game architectures in readiness for AI upgrades.
  • Replaced the Misc graphics with better versions.
  • Revised all 3D Infantry images.
  • Added new transparent bases for all 3D infantry as well as alternative versions of bases.
  • Added extensive background sounds and updated all scenarios to use them.
  • Rationalised and replaced many sounds with updated versions.
  • Added sounds to support the campaign.

Content Changes

  • Minor updates to some OOBs.
  • Heavily revised the User document to reflect the additional capabilities.

Grenada Release 4.02 Changelog (not released)

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed: Weapon tab display error.
  • Fixed: 3D Display Bug - Snow & Mud conditions were not showing in all cases.
  • Fixed: Prevent wrecked parachutes from providing any vehicle protection.
  • Fixed: Only play crash landing sound when there are parachute landing losses.
  • Fixed: Remove landed parachutes from organization highlights.
  • Fixed: Wrecks should not be included as units that can retreat.


  • Updated toolbar wrapping code.
  • Support for double the number of elevations added (not enabled currently).
  • Support for new swamp terrain added (not enabled currently).
  • New 2D & 3D Assault and Automatic Cannon graphics added.
  • Several dialogs in both the Game and Editor are now resizable. Their screen positions will be remembered.
  • Options and dialog sizes/positions can be reset via a menu item.
  • The Weapon Data and Parameter Data dialogs are now non-modal.
  • Place All button added for reinforcements.
  • Always allow assault if full MPs remain.
  • Prevent invisible units being revealed as part of a movement attempt.
  • Prevent auto parachute landing from performing the superfluous unload.
  • Increase the number of org levels shown for arrived reinforcements.

Content Changes

  • Additional revisions and updates for the user manual.
  • New Summary Info manual (replacing the sqb manual)
  • New sqmap manual that details the map-making process.
  • New sqedit manual that details the scenario creation process.
  • Revised player notes manual.
  • New visual order of battles and encyclopaedia as per 4.01 changelog.

Before we launch into Mark’s article, make certain you add to your reading list Mark’s prior article on campaign game creation. The included campaign game from the article is now part of the Squad Battles Advance of the Reich build.

Without further ado, have a read of Mark’s article and then play along with the included training campaign.

Squad Battles Tactics

The focus of this blog post is on some of the aspects of Squad Battles that relate to tactical play. It is about gaining a more in-depth understanding of how some of the mechanisms of the game work and how to apply this knowledge to your games to improve your outcomes against both the AI and human opponents. This post builds on the Getting Started scenarios, which concentrate on the basics of how to move and fight to highlight some of the important features that help you to understand how the game works. Hopefully this will improve your chances against the AI and against your human opponents.

Together with this post there is a new campaign game for Grenada. This isn’t a campaign in the usual sense but more of a learning aid. A series of scenarios which illustrate some of the matters discussed here and allow you to see them working in a controlled environment, where you can concentrate on a single issue without being distracted by all the complications that are usually going on in a game. So, for example: in the screenshot below a squad of marines on a firing range helps demonstrate the Range Band effects and the effects of target density on casualty rates. That’s all you deal with in that scenario - there is nothing else going on.


“Real world” tactics isn’t something I will be covering here. The tactics that are used with military forces in the real world can be applied to Squad Battles and they will help you to win. What we are focusing on here is how some of the “mechanics” of Squad Battles operate and how you can use a more detailed knowledge of this to your advantage.


Let's start with something from the real world. The mnemonic METT-TC from the US military describes factors that need to be taken into consideration when planning a mission. These factors are referred to as Mission Variables. This is a useful checklist to have in mind when you are first looking at a scenario. It will help you to organize your thoughts before you start playing.

The six variables described by METT-TC are:



Terrain and weather

Troops and support available

Time available

Civil matters

Taking each of these factors in turn will help you get an overview of any scenario and allow you to assess what you face and start planning what you need to do.

Mission METT-TC

Understand what your objective is.

In Squad Battles I think of this in terms of the victory conditions. How many points do you need to achieve a victory and what’s the minimum you need to do to get that score?

You should have a clear understanding of how the scoring system works so we will briefly recap that. In summary, you gain points for all the kills you make and lose points for all the kills you receive. On top of this “body count” you add the value of the victory locations you control. And that gives you your victory points. These are compared against the five victory brackets defined by the scenario designer and translated into a major or minor win, a major or minor loss, or a draw.

The important thing to note here is that Victory isn’t only about taking victory hexes. It’s also about the body count. To work this out we need to know some details of the games “accounting” system with regard to casualties. This is summarized in the table below.


Point value

Team member




Towed Gun (Hexagonal counter)

3 x Crew


4 x Crew

Vehicles whose armor value is > 48

4 x Crew

Vehicles whose armor value is between 24 and 47

3 x Crew

Vehicles whose armor value < 24

2 x Crew

Captured/Rescued civilians

10 points per team member (Determined by the Capture PDT value)


The actual calculation of Victory Points awarded to the First Side is:

Victory Points = Objective points held by the First Side – Point losses for the First Side + Point losses for the opposing side

The most important fact to take away from the table above is that losing vehicles can be very expensive!

So, with that scoring scheme in mind a good starting point is think about what you would need to do to get a minor victory and make that score your first objective. As the game progresses hopefully, you will get the chance to push that up to a Major Victory.

Review the location of the objectives and their point values. What type of objectives are they? If the game is going badly, are there any objectives you can sacrifice and are there any that are so valuable that you must hold onto at all costs. Make sure check each objective to see what type of objective it is. For example, “Capture” objectives can only be taken once - if you lose a Capture objective there is no point in trying to win it back, move on. On the other hand, if you capture one, you don’t need to defend it, move on.

Consider the value of your vehicles and those of your opponent, bearing in mind the summary above. It goes without saying that you need to try and protect yours and target your opponents' if you get the chance.  

Casualties, be they human or mechanical, matter. Losing vehicles can cost you a lot of points very quickly. One of the most “expensive” vehicles in the games would be a fully loaded Chinook Helicopter. If that goes down with a hold full of troops is going to cost you upwards of 50 Victory Points. Losing an asset like that can lose you a game with a single burst from an HMG. You must consider this in your game and balance the risks you take with your vehicles against the advantage that traveling quickly would give you.


The scenario description might give you an indication of the enemy you are facing. If it does, then compare that with the force you are commanding. What threat does the enemy present to you? what situations do you need to avoid and what vulnerabilities might the enemy have that you can exploit?

If you don’t have information about the detailed makeup of the enemy force then ask yourself what their posture will be. Are they attacking or defending? If they are attacking, do you have the opportunity to set up some ambushes? If they are defending, can you identify their actual positions or their likely positions?

Are you familiar with the weapon systems you might be facing? Pressing F4 will bring up a summary of all the weapons and loads in the database. This is probably more useful as the enemy reveals himself and you see the actual weapons being carried. You can use this to check ranges, lethality, and penetration. The Visual Orders of Battle PDF files can also be another useful source of intelligence in your mission planning.

Terrain and weather METT-TC

Study the map in your first turn and use the LOS tool (V) to get a sense of what you can see and what the enemy might be able to see. You need to have a sense of what sort of cover terrain provides you with. If you haven’t already looked at the Parameter Data Table (F3), then now is a good time to do that. See what values have been set for Terrain regarding movement and protection. Don’t forget the “height” of terrain. Terrain that is 1m high will conceal troops on the ground that don’t move or fire, terrain equal or greater than 2m will conceal troops that are standing who don’t move or fire.

Is there dead ground the enemy might exploit, do you need to find a way of covering that? Or is there dead ground that you can exploit? Where is the high ground? Squad Battles gives a defensive benefit to troops that are higher than a firing unit. This is determined by a PDT value. There are also big offensive benefits to units that assault downhill. Assaulting downhill doubles your assault value. On the other hand, assaulting uphill halves your assault value. That’s a big difference! You may need to think how you manoeuvre your troops to get them into an advantageous position for an assault or to defend against an assault.

The effect of weather in Squad Battles can be thought of as being represented by two factors: “Ground Conditions” and “Maximum Visibility”.

Ground conditions can be in one of four states:

  • Normal
  • Soft
  • Muddy
  • Frozen 

Again, PDT values determine how ground conditions effect the game. They will have implications for both speed of movement and for the chances of vehicles becoming immobilized through bogging - this might determine if it’s worth risking going “off-road”.

In many daytime scenarios with clear weather the visibility is often set to 50 hexes. To represent conditions of poor visibility such as snow, rain, or fog, the scenario designer may set this to be lower. Both good and poor visibility have their advantages and disadvantages. In poor visibility you are at increased risk of being spotted and fired upon at very short range, where a weapons' effectiveness is enhanced. If visibility is very good you might be vulnerable to hard hitting long ranged mortar or artillery fire.

To check the ground conditions and maximum visibility, click in any hex and check the Status Bar and the Hex Information area.

Troops and support available METT-TC

Maintain command

Keeping units in command is a golden rule.

If you are in a scenario where you have some senior officers as well as some junior officers, try and make sure the juniors stay within the senior officers' command radius so that the juniors stand a better chance of receiving a positive modifier to their Command Rating. This will improve the squads’ chances of recovering quickly from states of disruption. Again, the closer the better, but balance this with the risk of exposing high ranking officers to enemy fire. Try not to leave officers in a hex on their own if there is the remotest possibility that the enemy is nearby. Officers on their own are likely to be lost if they are assaulted by even the weakest of squads.

With the command range selected from the menu (hotkey 'C') you can see that the platoon leader illustrated above is keeping his fire teams within his command radius of 1 hex. If there was another higher-level leader also on the map then he should try and remain as close as practicable within his command radius to his subordinate, in this way modifiers can be passed right down the chain of command to the troops in the front line.

Review your support

You can check what support you have available with Ctrl-B. The accuracy of your targeted off-map artillery and airstrikes is determined by the Quality of the leader that targets the strike. Scan the map and ask yourself where your high-quality leaders are in relation to radios you need to try and get those “A” quality leaders up with the radios. And remember it is Quality and not rank that matters here.

Some scenario designers include radios with units even when there is no support available to be called. This may be a nice detail to add to a unit, but if you haven’t got support available in the scenario you don’t need radios. If your radio operator is carrying a rifle AND a radio he is “overcarrying”, so his movement will be penalized. In this case drop the radio at the first opportunity.


In most Squad Battles scenarios you will only just have enough time to complete the mission, you are unlikely to have the opportunity to carry out wide outflanking manoeuvres. So if you are on the offensive, it’s all about maintaining momentum: keep moving forward keeping your troops in command so you can remove disruption and rally pinned / demoralized status quickly. If you are on the defensive, then it’s about slowing down the enemy. Disrupting as many units as you can. If you can run the clock against the enemy, the game might be in the bag. In Squad Battles, time can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Civilians METT-TC

Civilian matters don’t play much of a role in most Squad Battles games. However, where civilians do appear they are often very valuable units, and may well be the centerpiece of the scenario. The presence of Collateral Damage hexes would perhaps also come under this heading, but that would probably be part of your consideration when looking at scenario Objective hexes overall.

Ok, that’s all the preparation done, time to move your troops over the start line!

No plan survives contact with the enemy.

This paraphrase of Von Moltke, the 19th Century Prussian strategist, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan.

It means that your plans should be flexible so that when circumstances are not as you anticipated you can adapt your plans accordingly. Von Moltke achieved this by issuing orders that were broad, rather than detailed. He conveyed his intent without getting bogged down in the finer points. He encouraged his junior officers to find their own way to achieve his objectives. This resulted in a fighting force that was adaptable to unexpected situations and had greater autonomy and flexibility to achieve objectives.

So that’s where we will go next and look at some of the detail in Squad Battles and then, when your plan feels like its falling apart you are better informed and have some ideas you can use to pull everything back together.

Many of the factors discussed here are influenced by a Parameter Data Table value, referred to as a “PDT” value. These values are editable so they can vary from game to game or even scenario to scenario. So, it can be worth checking the table that applies to your scenario to see what some of the important values are (hotkey F3). For example, the road stacking limit (the maximum stacking that is allowed to still benefit from speedy movement along roads) is usually set to be about 16 in most games, but in Squad Battles First World War it is set to 45 so it’s worth checking. And that brings us neatly onto another golden rule…

Be careful of over-stacking

If in any hex you exceed the road stacking limit and your units get fired upon, they will take very heavy casualties. In Grenada, the road stacking limit is 16 and most of the squads have five or six members plus an officer, so unless you are very careless you are unlikely to do this by accident. Some games have squads of 10 or 12, so stacking two of these squads together is going to push you over that magic number. See the section in the user manual on “Target Density Effect” for a complete explanation of how this is applied.

Take full advantage when the enemy over stacks, that’s a mistake you can’t afford to miss. Hit the over-stacked hex with whatever you can, because you will cause higher casualties: over-stacked units are very high priority targets.

The only time you might purposefully decide to over-stack is when you are assaulting a unit. In this situation you might want to sway the odds in your favor by outnumbering your enemy and maximize your chances of winning the assault; you will still suffer higher than average casualties, but you will have more chance of winning the assault. If you decide to do that then try and only combine the assaulting units into an “over-stack” when you are at the adjacent hex to reduce your exposure during the advance to contact. We will explore assaults in more detail later.

Range effects

We have three range bands: short range is 20% of the maximum range. Medium range extends from the end of short range out to 75% of maximum range. And long range extends from the end of medium to maximum range.

Through medium range the Fire Value is constant at 100%. Long range extends from 75% maximum range to 100% of maximum range and here Fire value reduces from 100% to 25%.

Weapon effectiveness

Weapons can lose effectiveness each time they are fired. As they lose effectiveness this feeds into the Fire Value and that too decreases. Resting a weapon gives an opportunity for it to recover some effectiveness. Resting a weapon could mean firing just one or two bursts instead of all three, this will reduce the opportunities for loss of effectiveness to occur, or if the situation is appropriate, avoiding firing the weapon altogether. If you aren’t careful and you do a lot of firing with some units you can see the effectiveness, drop to 25%, at this level you will hardly be scratching the enemy. This is particularly a problem in longer games. Remember that the tracer graphics give you a visual representation of effectiveness and even if you have fog of war on you can see from this your opponent current effectiveness. To preserve your weapons effectiveness, use some “Hold fire” orders to stop weapons from conduction opportunity fire at extreme range. Although Opportunity fire doesn’t consume movement points or fire count it does reduce effectiveness.

Combining weapon effectiveness with range effects

Let’s look at these two factors alongside each other now, as there is a link.

Let's just recap how short medium and long range effect the fire value of a weapon:

At an adjacent hex the Fire value is 200% gradually reducing to 100% at the beginning of medium range. At medium range the fire value is at 100% throughout. At long range the fire value is reduced gradually from 100% to 25% at maximum range

In Grenada a lot of the infantry are armed with assault rifles which have a relatively short range; the M16 has a range of 5 hexes and the AK47 a range of 6 hexes. This has the effect of making the extremes of range very small; with these weapons both the short and long range bands extend from their origins for just 1 hex as illustrated below.


With weapons that have longer ranges such as the M60 machine gun (range of 27 hexes) the range bands are much broader and it is when the enemy is in the long-range band of these weapons where you might want to hold fire and preserve your weapons effectiveness, rather than reduce the weapons effectiveness and reduce your firepower.

In the example shown above, if an enemy walked into the long-range band, he is probably going to take two turns to get into medium range. It might be worth considering if you really want to open fire on him until he gets to your medium range.

If, when preparing to fire, your habit is to double-click a unit and thereby automatically select all the various weapons a team is carrying; be more selective. Choose the weapons that will be hitting within medium range and hold fire to preserve effectiveness with those shorter-range weapons until they too can reach the enemy at medium range and 100% of fire value.

Be selective with weapons

There are three occasions when it could be useful to fire a burst at long range.

  1. If the target is in the open and standing.

Troops that are standing are twice as vulnerable to fire compared with those on the ground if they are in the open as well that’s even better. You might cause casualties and disrupt them, and they will probably be forced to hit the deck. Either way that’s going to slow them down and that’s good enough. Fire just one burst and preserve your weapons effectiveness.

  1. When a distant target is demoralized, pinned or disrupted.

Here the aim isn’t to cause casualties but to prevent the disorganized team from being able to recover from their disorganization without the intervention of an officer. Again, a single burst is enough. A pinned or demoralized unit can’t recover independently in a turn where they receive fire. Even fire from a weapon whose effectiveness is down to the minimum 25% and that is firing at maximum range will do the job

  1. When a target has over-stacked

Here you might take advantage of the higher kill rate that over-stacking presents.

Choose the right tool for the job

Take a close look at the weapons that your squads and vehicles are carrying and check for alternate loads. Right click on the hex info area, if a weapon has alternate loads the number of alternate loads will be listed at the bottom.

In the example illustrated above, we can see this M16 with M203 grenade launcher has two other loads in addition to the 40mm HE (High Explosive) rounds currently selected. You can select or view alternate loads using the shortcut Ctrl-W.

Make sure you have selected the appropriate load before you fire. For example: In Grenada the M203 canister round is deadly at close range with a lethality of 66 and a penetration of 6. This is what you want to have selected when you move adjacent and are preparing for an assault. By default, the M203 is set to fire a 40mm grenade which only has a lethality of 36 and a penetration of 4, and if you have the 5.56 M16 round selected the lethality will be just 18 and the penetration of 5. So, make sure you consider alternate loads and choose the right one for the situation. This is particularly important for Tanks which will usually have an HE and AP (Armour Piercing) load that can be selected. Fire an AP load at a squad of infantry in the open and you have just wasted a shot, it won’t touch them. It’s easy to forget to switch loads; you won’t get reminded that your tank still has an AP round in the chamber when you want to fire on infantry in the woods, you will only know when you’ve wasted the shot with no effect on the target.

Aim to disrupt

Disruption seriously reduces combat effectiveness.

Once a unit is disrupted, its movement costs are doubled and its fire value is halved. This is exactly the same penalty for movement and Fire value as a unit that has been pinned. If a unit is not an immediate threat, i.e. not adjacent and likely to try and assault you, be satisfied with disrupting them and move onto another target. Pinning becomes more important when units are getting close and likely to be preparing to assault. And if you are the one with the disrupted units, get them in range of their leaders so they have a better chance of un-disrupting.

Don’t be demoralized by demoralization!

I think I spent a lot of my early games desperately trying to move leaders up to a pinned unit to rally them, while doing that I lost many leaders and didn’t rally half the units I wanted to. I never retreated them because I think I was terrified of seeing the dreaded “red” informing me my unit was now at the highest state of disorganization “Demoralized”. But being “demoralized” has one advantage over being pinned or disrupted. A Demoralized unit has its normal movement allowance so even though it can only move away from the enemy at least it can move away quickly. This means you can move it into cover and out of LOS of the enemy. If it doesn’t receive fire, it has a chance of automatically recovering to disrupted status. You can perhaps also move the unit closer to a leader so that the leader can help in removing the disrupted status. The golden rule is Always, always, always keep your troops in command and it will hugely increase your troops chances of recovery from states of disorganization.

Marshal your fire

If you are trying to keep a pinned enemy unit from automatically rallying, then you may as well choose just one weapon group to fire at it.

You then achieve your objective of keeping the pinned unit under fire and unable to rally, but you don’t reduce the effectiveness of every weapon the squad is carrying. The pinned unit just needs to receive one shot from one weapon, and it won’t be able to rally itself. Pick your weakest weapon, even a weapon at 25% effectiveness will do the job, and just fire off one shot each turn. 

Set Ambushes

 A unit lying down in terrain with a height of 1m that doesn’t move, or fire; will be unseen by any enemy that subsequently moves within LOS.

The same applies to a standing unit in terrain over 2m. If those units move or fire whilst in LOS of the enemy, then their position will be revealed. If you have troops in this situation using “Hold Fire” (Ctrl+F) allows you to set ambushes.

If you are playing against a human opponent who is advancing you can set a unit that is in the path of advance to hold fire and wait for the enemy to literally trip over them, this will trigger an assault. If you can position this as the enemy is moving from a lower elevation to a higher elevation they will be “assaulting” at half value and that is going to give them a very rude awakening. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work when playing against the AI. The AI will spot you when it is adjacent and take some defensive action but against a human player it can make life very unpredictable for your opponent, that might make them feel a bit more cautious and that alone might slow them down. A good tactic particularly in games like Vietnam where there is a lot of jungle fighting.

Beware of “Danger Close”

If you have support in the form of artillery or air strikes take a moment to check the quality of your leaders and where the radios are in relation to them.

The higher your leader’s quality the more accurate the strike so you need to try and get your best officer up with the radio. Note that this doesn’t mean the highest ranking, its quality that matters.

The accuracy of support is dependent on three factors:

  1. the quality of the leader targeting the strike
  2. the quality of the unit firing it
  3. whether the targeting unit has a LOS to the target hex or not.

 The highest level of accuracy achieved by an “A” quality leader and an “A” quality firing unit with a LOS to the target hex would be plus or minus 2 hexes for artillery. In the worst-case scenario with a quality “F” leader and quality “F” Firing unit with no LOS the accuracy would be plus or minus 17 hexes; these deviations can be in any direction from the target hex.

Air strikes are a little more accurate, an “A” quality leader and an “A” quality aircraft will deliver ordnance on target every time. With and an “F” quality leader and an “F” quality aircraft delivering ordnance the deviation may be as much as 15 hexes.

So, it’s very important you make sure you allow for these variations, remember the scale of the game; if you call artillery fire on a unit that is just two hexes (80m) away don’t be surprised if it lands on your head more often than it lands on the enemy’s. 

Taking objectives.

To take an objective the attacker must clear the defenders out of the way. The last stage of this may well involve assaulting positions, but assaults need to be chosen with care. Assaults have a much bigger impact on reducing the effectiveness of squads and weapons than firing alone, so the position to be assaulted must be prepared to make it as vulnerable as possible; and the units assaulting need to be as fresh as possible. Once a unit has assaulted its effectiveness may have been reduced so much that it is much more vulnerable to becoming pinned if it takes any fire. Your troops have limited stamina, and an assault represents hand to hand combat that’s tough on everybody and you shouldn’t expect to be able to repeat that in quick succession without serious consequences.

Ideally you need the key defenders to be pinned or demoralised before you assault, and you should outnumber them if you can. You might start by using artillery or airstrikes if you have them, this will soften up the enemy may well cause some disruption and enable you to advance with your forces more easily. You really want to use artillery before your assault forces get too close to the objective, we have already discussed how inaccurate it can be and you want to avoid “Blue on Blue”. Bring up all the units that you can and try and concentrate fire from several units on the units you plan to assault. If you have smoke use this to cover your advance so you can get to close range. It is important to know that smoke not only obscures lines of sight, but it also halves the value of any fire originating from the “smoked” hex, or any fire entering the smoked hex. A disrupted enemy unit will fire at half fire value, place smoke on that unit and you can halve that value again, that reduces the attackers’ chances of taking casualties or having their effectiveness reduced and that means they might get up to assault range in good order.

If you have armour use this to provide some protection to your infantry, either by providing covering fire or advancing armour and squads of infantry in the same hexes. Infantry occupying the same hex as a non-wrecked vehicle benefit from the infantry protection PDT value. Infantry stacked with a vehicle have 4 added to their protection value.

Once you see the troops on the objective are disrupted you can probably risk moving forward more aggressively. Remember the factors that are going to contribute to a successful assault are:

  • Assaulting downhill
  • Assaulting a smaller force with a larger force
  • Assaulting with units in good order
  • Assaulting pinned or, even better, demoralised units.

You can add vehicles into the mix but if you are assaulting into “Covered” terrain, such as trees, there’s always going to be the chance of immobilisation, so you need to consider if the situation warrants that risk.

When infantry is in any significant structure such as bunkers or pillboxes, caves, city, or industrial hexes AP rounds are what you need to cause casualties and disrupt or pin. Don’t waste AP on troops in the open, you won’t cause any damage. For infantry in the open or soft cover switch to HE. When you come to make the actual assault on the victory hex ideally you want the defenders to be demoralised and outnumbered to maximise your chances of success. If the advantage in numbers, or disruption lies with the enemy then you will almost certainly find that your assault hurts you more than it hurts them. Ideally your units should not be disrupted, if they are disrupted, they will assault at only 50% of their assault value. Assaults reduce effectiveness twice as much as ranged combat so troops on both sides will have a limited appetite for close assaults before you start seeing squads becoming pinned. If you can bring enough forces up to conduct a series of consecutive assaults on a single position you will wear the defenders down fairly quickly. 

Using helicopters and other vehicles

As we discussed previously vehicles are valuable assets not just in terms of what they can do but also in terms of victory points, they need to be preserved.

Trucks and helicopters are often used to deliver troops close to the front line, but you don’t want to lose these expensive assets unnecessarily. Once they have done their job get them to the edge of the map as soon as you reasonably can and remove them from the game (Ctrl+X). You can exit any unit from a map edge hex, you don’t have to use a “formal” exit objective, although if there are any obviously will want to take advantage of them if you can. Removing surplus vehicles like that prevents the enemy from scoring easy victory points later. There is nothing worse than seeing a major victory slide to a minor and then a draw just because the enemy happened to locate your truck park and threw an artillery strike at it. You are offering your opponent easy points if you leave these around for them to pick off in the late game. The same goes for helicopters, both gunships and troop transports; once they have done their job get them off the map if you can.

With helicopters, if the alternate rule, “Helicopter hovering” has been set (not an available option in Grenada) then it is essential you understand how to prevent a helicopter from entering a state of hovering accidentally. Once a helicopter is hovering it is going to be twice as vulnerable to fire. Where possible helicopters should only be flying into areas where you feel confident, they are not going to be vulnerable to ground fire, this won’t always be possible, but it is a question of balancing risks and benefits.

Tanks can have “riders” in some games, (not in Grenada) it’s a good way to get infantry to the front quickly unless you run into resistance. If the tanks get assaulted by infantry the riders are all going to die. If it the tank gets fired upon there are likely to be many casualties; and the tank isn’t going to be able to fire whilst the riders are riding. Dismount riders before you get too close to the action. This applies to any vehicles carrying passengers, there will be a heavy cost to the player who loses a few truckloads of infantry. So, before they become targets dismount your troops. 

You might now want to look at the campaign. There are four scenarios each of which demonstrates some of the principles discussed above. You might want to read the relevant sections of the manual before you start to help you understand what the scenarios are trying to demonstrate.

The campaign games are set on a USMC training range. All are quite small and intended as aids to learning. If you play it and learn something, then you have won otherwise it’s a draw. But you can’t lose! 

The Scenarios are:

The Firing Range: Range Effects & Target Density

The Assault Course: Leadership & Recovery from Disruption

The Gunnery Range: Artillery Strikes

Close Quarter Battle: Conducting Assaults


Thank you Mark for the latest insights and scenarios. If you don't already have the free Squad Battles Grenada Demo, what are you waiting for? Click the link and get a copy!

There is always something going on at WDS, and we are fortunate to have so many individuals like Mark providing their expertise and amazing contributions.


  • SwamYankee

    Worthy read. Thank you.


    Great article, I really love reading these and will be buying my first Squad Battles game today. They look fantastic!

  • Mike Amos

    Good read!!

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