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Steven Pleva

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Yeah, I saw Paul's AAR on your game. The Germans took this 6 to 1? I wonder if the bidding lop sided it..
Bids ranged from A2 to G2 with most bids being German. I doubt the bids affected these results much. If the scenario was perfectly balanced (I'm not making that claim) then there is a 12.5% chance it will end up 6-1 or 7-0. Sometimes the results are just natural variation...
Steve
 

Fort

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End of the Beginning is kinda big for a tourney round…I‘d be interested in learning who played it and what the bids were.
 

Bill Cirillo

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End of the Beginning is kinda big for a tourney round…I‘d be interested in learning who played it and what the bids were.
Fort,

The majority of the Round 1 scenarios are larger as the tournament is set up to only play one pre-selected scenario on that date.
 
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Bill Cirillo

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Fort,

The majority of the Round 1 scenarios are large as the tournament is set up to only play one pre-selected scenario on that date.
I know that Sean Deller was originally supposed to have played Chuck Tewksbury in this scenario until Chuck had to cancel. Chuck won the Japanese with a bid of J1.
 

Steven Pleva

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End of the Beginning is kinda big for a tourney round…I‘d be interested in learning who played it and what the bids were.
Guys are paired up a week or two in advance to make sure the setups are done ahead of time. Players have all day starting from 8:00am to finish. The Japanese won with a J1 bid. The British won versus a very bold J6 bid. Thursday is set up so that you can play a large scenario at a tournament...
Steve
 

Actionjick

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Guys are paired up a week or two in advance to make sure the setups are done ahead of time. Players have all day starting from 8:00am to finish. The Japanese won with a J1 bid. The British won versus a very bold J6 bid. Thursday is set up so that you can play a large scenario at a tournament...
Steve
PPPPPPP as Fish would say.🤔
 

Actionjick

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Not sure what that means, but I bet it is profound... :)
Steve
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. The Seven Ps. Not sure where he picked it up at but I always liked it.

While this saying may illustrate his cognitive approach to gaming I always thought that Fish's ability to react spontaneously to the unexpected was a major factor in his gaming prowess.
 

Fort

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Guys are paired up a week or two in advance to make sure the setups are done ahead of time. Players have all day starting from 8:00am to finish. The Japanese won with a J1 bid. The British won versus a very bold J6 bid. Thursday is set up so that you can play a large scenario at a tournament...
Steve
What were the bid level rewards? level 6 bid sounds ‘bold?!?’ Indeed.
 

Bill Cirillo

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All,

Rundown on my recent trip to the New York State ASL Championships (aka Albany Tournament).

So, it was great to be back at a Face-to-Face ASL tournament! The only downside from a tournament preparedness perspective was that since Sean Deller and I have been concentrating on the development and playtesting of a new ASL product for MMP, I realized that after Steve released the scenario list back in November, that I had played zero of the scenarios on the list. Not an ideal competitive state given the very high quality of the competitors that were planned to attend. Fortunately, I found out my first Round opponent and scenario in order to get in a playing of this scenario before leaving for the tournament. So, a big thanks to Clyde Longest for making the time to play this scenario with me!

Round 1 (Thursday AM, December 2, 2021)
The Thursday Round at Albany is specifically designed to include larger scenarios with an expectation of all-day play if necessary. So, no time pressure from the wall clock. Unfortunately, I felt game time pressure all day long.
Round 1 saw me matched up against Wai-Kwong Wong from Canada in OtO-29 The Cat’s Lair from the latest version of Onslaught to Orsha from Bounding Fire Productions. The bidding process saw Wai go with German 2 on the defense, while I went with German 1. Yes, it is really attractive to want three Panthers and two Tiger Is on the defense in the board 46 village lair. True to the scenarios title, Wai went heavy in setting up a German defense in the village area, including placing all three Panthers in two of the four stone VC buildings. Wai did leave one pain in the ass HS to lay down some seriously annoying DFF/Residual Fire against my two trucks. Key moments in the game saw Wai’s 9-2 leader stacked with three 4-6-8 squads survive a 1 SAN activation on Russian Turn 1, to then miss a close infantry bypass LOS from way out of left field, as he tried to move his leader out of his upfront position. Although the leader was only Pinned, he didn’t get back far enough during that MPh, that on Russian Turn 2, the T-34/85 with the bow mounted FT toasted him, along with an accompanying 4-6-8/MMG on with a 30 flat snake eyes (two shots later, this same T-34/84 went back-to-back boxcars on the MA & FT leaving me with a rolling 4FP CMG…easy come, easier go). While I was making decent progress against the first two VC buildings, the Panthers, along with the Turn 4 reinforcing Tigers hadn’t even entered Russian LOS yet. Fortunately, I was able to get to enough of the supporting German infantry, that my Russians were able to go full bore at the last two VC buildings and came out ahead just in the nick of time. If I play this again, I might be tempted to try and get the Germans and then hope that the FT goes down somewhat early in the scenario. While I had played Wai in a number of fun evening Euro games, this was our first ASL match up. Great game, great scenario, even better opponent. (1-0)

Round 2 (Friday AM, December 3, 2021)
Next up was a scenario against another first-time opponent, Michael Hershey, from the Volunteer State (Tennessee for our non-USA/geographically challenged friends). After secretly recording our top three choices, we ended up with DTF-11 A Greek Tragedy from the new Death to Fascism scenario pack, Not One Step Back. I’ve been pretty up front about my praise for the first DTF scenario pack, and I believe that Peter Struijf and Chris Mazzei design some of the best world-class/wonderful scenarios, which is why this scenario was my number 1 choice for the Round and Michael’s second choice. After a bid of Greek 0 to Michael’s Italian 0 (Michael had never played with cavalry before), I found myself on the attack again. Unfortunately, the old eye site must be failing me, as I completely missed that while an SSR makes all of the Greek cavalry Fanatic while mounted, they quickly resort to their inherent Greenness when dismounted. Oh well. Plus, Mud was in effect. Fortunately, most of my cavalry were mudders and made a nice showing of themselves in helping to crack open the first VC building on the Greek right flank. Unfortunately, they seem to have been traveling with the Greek army that couldn’t shoot straight. One early quality shot did stun one of the two Italian L3/35s, which did help in the long run, but by mid game it wasn’t looking great for the attacking Greeks as a combination of mud induced slowness and Michael's penchant for low rolls had pretty much stymied the Greek attack. By the end of Game Turn 4 it was looking bleak, but there was still a lot of Greek potential left, so I abused it with an all-out assault on the needed mid-board VC building. I will pause here to tell a nice side story viniéta (Greek for the French vignette, and the English story/tale…at least that is what Google tells me…so it HAS to be true). I had saved a couple of horsies for post-Turn 1 arrival, hoping that Michael would weaken his forces on my left flank. By Turn 3, I felt I had waited as long as I could and brought on the last lone ranger MMC as it made some amount of horse sense and I felt I could no longer horse around. I was able to get him in the neigh-borhood of the VC building on my far left where he promptly rolled up snake eyes on a MC. Sweet! Battle harden this F Troop, generate a Hero, and make some hay! And then the old Berserk status showed up. Ya, the one that makes an MMC NOT GOOD ORDER. The one where a GO unit is required to actually gain Control of a VC building. A Greek Tragedy quickly turns to A Greek Comedy as this MMC spent the remainder of the scenario MPhs chasing Italians AROUND the VC building in circles, only to see Michael continually break and rout them away. Well played ASL drama of the highest standards. Game came down to a series of poor Greek Prep Fire (16+1 managed to Pin one squad), followed by poor Greek maneuver during the MPh, followed by an equally poor set of attacks in the AFPh, only to be saved during the CCPh when two Greek Green squads and an 8-0 leader managed to survive after being Ambushed and win the CC to capture the required third VC building. Closest match of the tournament for me. Michael played an excellent game and was a great opponent. Another solid offering from the S&M design team. I was glad that I bid 0, not sure what side I would bid that again for if/when I replay this nice sized tournament offering. (2-0)

Round 3 (Friday PM, December 3, 2021)
Solid set of scenarios to choose from in Round 3, as I was now matched up against former tank driver and retired sheriff from New Jersey, Ron Duenskie. We both ended up liking the look of AP172 Hickory Lickin’ from MMP’s Action Pack #16 From The Land Down Under. As he had played this scenario once before, Ron liked the attacking American a little more than I did with a bid of American 2, so I found myself on the defense for the first time in the tournament. Amis 2 is a pretty nice deal, as it gives the Germans one additional 4-4-7 2nd Line squad. Fortunately, I was able to get my Turn 1 reinforcements into the German Alamo before Ron could tighten the noose, which really helped in the end game. Ron kept up the pressure on the Germans all evening long, but a number of fortuitous and well timed 75 INF gun results and PzIVJ attacks helped keep the Americans at bay just long enough to make it to the end game. I really liked this scenario, but I think it may lean a little pro-German. I think the Americans need to keep their armor intact and use as much SMOKE as possible, but the Germans have quite a few assets to negatively impact some of the best laid American plans. As always, I enjoyed my game with Ron and look forward to our next game. (3-0)

Round 4 (Saturday AM, December 4, 2021: Semi-Finals)
Of all the great opponents I have played over the years, the closest most stressful scenarios I have ever played most consistently come down to one man (and one dog), Bob Bendis and his faithful companion, Stanledo. Not liking the look of most of the scenarios in this Round as they did really offer up any meaty combined arms options, Bob and I took a trip to the past and ended up selecting DB159 Autumn Approach, a scenario from Dispatches from the Bunker #51. I’m going to keep this short, but suffice it to say, this scenario did not go Bob’s way in the end due to a misinterpretation of the Victory Conditions. Yes, we talked over the VC before bidding. Yes, Bob and I both bid German Defender 1, yes, I won the roll off, and yes, Bob misplayed the scenario and neither of us realized it until the damage had been done. I absolutely hated to win this way, but in the end, not much could be done. In the end, I enjoyed the scenario and thought it seemed reasonably Balanced. Bob felt otherwise. Steve Pleva has weighed in on his views of the scenario over on GameSquad and indicated that he would take the attacking Brits any day of the week, but I digress. (4-0)

Round 5 (Saturday PM, December 4, 2021: Championship Game)
Over the years, there is one opponent I have played at various ASL tournaments than any other, Neil Stanhagen. Neil and his brother Danny are simply awesome human beings. If you ever have a chance to play either or both of them, do not pass up the opportunity. I’ve had the rare treat of playing both Stanhagens on more than one occasion. Good stuff. Additionally, if there is one person in the ASL community that I would wish a Championship victory upon, it would be Neil. So, as far as I was concerned, in the larger sense, I couldn’t lose on Saturday night in Albany. Yes, I could lose the game, but then my friend Neil would win, and well, the world would probably be a better place. So, on to the action. Neil and I went off-list. We talked it over, conducted a brainstorming session based on two search criteria: 1) play a scenario that neither of us had ever played, but had some amount of combined arms on both sides and that had a good buzz about it, or 2) play a scenario that both of us had played, had liked a LOT, but still had some amount of combined arms on both sides. Which brings us back to the aforementioned design team and their first product, Death to Fascism. And if you're going to go DTF, why not go all in and play the scenario that the pack is named after, DTF-4 Death to Fascism. We had both played it; check. We both felt it was a great scenario; check. Combined arms on both sides; check. Here we go. Oh, one more reason that I wanted to play it: Steve Pleva had simply kicked my ass in this scenario at ASLOK in the 2018 semi-finals. From a personal perspective, I need scenario closure. From a psychological perspective, I needed to play the defending Romanians again and give a better accounting of myself than I did three years ago. Why? Because I had simply not given Steve the game he deserved. He deserved better, I failed. Simple as that. So, I bid Romanian 2.5, Neil bid Romanian 1. I set up a complete reverse slope defense., Neil came at me. In the end, Neil’s Russians ran out of time and on the first several shots of the game, well I completely diced him: KIA, KIA, K/2, KIA…and not on some decent 16 flats or anything like that. 8 flat: snakes, 2-1: 3, 2-2:3…I felt bad, my Romanians held firm. Neil, still the same great guy. Graceful in defeat, as always. Still has the support of a great brother. Talked like Neil only Neil can talk right up until the end. Just an awesome guy to push cardboard around with. Tells the best “Bill” stories. I never felt worse about winning a game of ASL in my life. (5-0)

Time to go home.

P.S. Photos of the Joe Leoce created Championship diorama attached.
 

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Bill Cirillo

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If anyone has a pic of the Championship Ceremony, please send it my way for Dispatch #53. Please send to:

aslbunker@aol.com

Thanks in advance to any replies.

Enjoy your Holidays and Happy New Year, Vic.
Vic,

I only had this photo from the cover of GQ. Hopefully, it is sufficient. :)

Bill
 

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