ASL Bell Tolls

Danno

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Colman Quill from North Dakota. A regular attendee of mid-western tourneys he was always great fun to play. Very nice to all, he was the kind of person you go to tourneys to see again and play some ASL with. He is greatly missed.
 
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Chris Bryer

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Fred Ingram

I never met him personally, nor have I been in personal contact with him. He used to be active in this forum now and then.
When I was looking at the player ratings of the ASL Scenario Website, I was impressed by the number of playings he had logged there - more than 800!

View attachment 16061

I think this is still the largest number of games logged in that list.

von Marwitz
Fred taught me a lot about this game.
RIP
 

Perry

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The Dotts owned this entire building at Read and St. Paul which is shown here after it was sold and renovated. Entrance to design HQ was on Read St in the far left of this picture, which indeed was a few steps up from the sidewalk. All three buildings were dumps, with Glen Arm (where Rex Martin lived during the week rather than commuting to Gettysburg) being the dumpiest, followed by Read St, and then Hartford Rd.
 

Perry

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Thanks! I know in the 2 Half Squads interview Fish talked about Reed Street possibly being where he first met Perry while playtesting. Perry agreed that he did playtest at Reed Street but he recalled first meeting Fish when Charlie brought him to the second Oktoberfest.

As I said my recall of the building, as well as that entire trip, is pretty hazy. My misspent youth catching up to me, time for Prevagin or some other memory supplement. 🤪🤔😉
Did I say that? My recollection is that I first met Fish at the 1987 Origins in Baltimore, which might have included a Wednesday evening play test at Read St prior to the Con.

Memory is a funny thing. ;)
 

Perry

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Speaking of Fish, Bill “Fish” Conner, mentioned only in passing above, could easily lead this list.

I was lucky to count him as a friend, along with Cloyde, Christian, Jim, Ian, Kent, Gord, Derek, and Darrell.

I knew and interacted with Patrick, Fred, and Jean without quite reaching friend status.

They and the others I didn’t know will be missed, and the roll will only be getting longer.
 

Actionjick

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Did I say that? My recollection is that I first met Fish at the 1987 Origins in Baltimore, which might have included a Wednesday evening play test at Read St prior to the Con.

Memory is a funny thing. ;)
That is what you said in the interview but as you say memory is a funny thing. Origins was held prior Oktoberfest ( if my memory hasn't gone funny 🤪 ) so that's a distinct possibility. Either way quite glad we met you and the other old grognards wbitd.
 

Actionjick

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Speaking of Fish, Bill “Fish” Conner, mentioned only in passing above, could easily lead this list.

I was lucky to count him as a friend, along with Cloyde, Christian, Jim, Ian, Kent, Gord, Derek, and Darrell.

I knew and interacted with Patrick, Fred, and Jean without quite reaching friend status.

They and the others I didn’t know will be missed, and the roll will only be getting

longer.
I didn't post about Fish here as I assumed most people were aware of his passing. Still in my thoughts every day and I am very grateful for the time I was able to spend with him. A remarkable gamer and a great guy. Not without his flaws but who of us doesn't have our flaws, major or minor?
 

Carln0130

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Darrell died in 2019. It was tragic and unexpected. I think enough time has passed to tell the story and perhaps people can learn some lessons from it. As many of you know, Darrell traveled all over the world for work. He was staying in a hotel in downtown Baltimore. He did not show up for work and the site he was working at called the hotel. They did a wellness check and found Darrell's body. The police were called and they checked his wallet. The only contact information they found was for Anthony F. Anthony called me because I have a contact list for the Bitter Ender. We did not know Darrell's family. We had no way to contact them.

I called various people on the B.E. contact list who knew Darrell better and might know how to contact his family. Let's just say that some people on the list surprised and disappointment me, while others really stepped up to the plate--John Dober in particular. John did yeoman's work going through Darrell's Facebook feed and via tagged photos found Darrell's family. John took it upon himself to convey this awful, unexpected news to Darrell's brother.

At Darrell's funeral, I was astounded by the effect he had on other's lives. I knew his affect on mine but I guess I did not realize how beloved he was to a WIDE circle of people.

I urge anyone who reads this and travels to always have contact information on their person. I utilize Road ID service. For 10 bucks a year they maintain all of my insurance information, all of my emergency contacts, and provide a bracelet you can wear so first responders can contact Road ID. There is a code on the bracelet that the 1st responder gives to Road ID so all information they need is provided to them.
John Dober is truly good people.
 

Tooz

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Colman Quill from North Dakota. A regular attendee of mid-western tourneys he was always great fun to play. Very nice to all, he was the kind of person you go to tourneys to see again and play some ASL with. He is greatly missed.
I only met him once and played against him once. We played that big Texas... scenario from Fortenberry. It was a very enjoyable experience playing against him for over ten hours. It was a very pleasant way to pass the time. He was an easy going, very likeable man. It was time well spent and is now but a very pleasant memory.
 
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Chris Bryer

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Sadly, this thread makes me understand that there are more of us dying within this hobby than new people coming into the fold. Not a great prospect for the future of ASL...or board wargaming in general. I think it's incumbent upon us all to try to recruit new blood into the game. God knows, I tried with my son. His responses were always something like...

"There is no way I want to play squares versus squares, dad"
 

bendizoid

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I only met him once and played against him once. We played that big Texas... scenario from Fortenberry. It was a very enjoyable experience playing against him for over ten hours. It was a very He was an easy going, very likeable man.

I would talk to Colman once and awhile, he was friends with Stanledo.
 

von Marwitz

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Sadly, this thread makes me understand that there are more of us dying within this hobby than new people coming into the fold. Not a great prospect for the future of ASL...or board wargaming in general.
Actually, I would not be to sure about that. Remarkably, the 'most played' scenarios of the last months, year and even of all time feature a surprising number of ASLSK scenarios. Comparing the time SK and ASL have been around, this means that a surprising number of people must play SK. And I believe SK will cause a constant and not insignificant influx of players that make the transition to ASL. I believe - without having access to numbers of SK sales - that its success has exceeded MMP's expectations. At least, reprints of the SKs have been more frequent than for any core module or the ASLRB.

Generally, of course, computer games have become much more popular. But at least for the time being, ASL is simply too complex to be made into a computer game (much less any AI for it). You can observe that for the case of 'World in Flames' as an example, which is a lot shorter rules-wise than ASL. This means that for the niche ASL caters to - hardcore complexity wargaming - there is no alternative 'computer' approach for the overseeable future. Whoever wants to indulge in this niche, has to do it 'non-digitally' currently (counting VASL an eASLRBs as tools rather than an electronic game).

But I do not want to further digress in this thread which is dedicated to those that have passed away keeping our hobby alive.

von Marwitz
 
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Michael Dorosh

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I think it's incumbent upon us all to try to recruit new blood into the game.
Not sure I understand why. We had our fun with it, why should I care if people are still playing it 20 years from now? We're not curing cancer here, we're killing time and in the end, blowing a bunch of money on ourselves. It's not like it's some noble undertaking that your son should feel obligated to carry on.

This thread highlights the positive impact of the hobby - getting to know people, from across the planet, and making lasting friendships while learning a little about history and sharing passions for that history. That's all good stuff. But ASL is just the vehicle for that - an old, clunky, expensive vehicle. When you buy your son his first car, will he get a rusted out 1977 pickup truck, or does your son deserve something with decent gas mileage, air bags, crumple zone, heated seats, and collision detection?
 

Actionjick

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Not sure I understand why. We had our fun with it, why should I care if people are still playing it 20 years from now? We're not curing cancer here, we're killing time and in the end, blowing a bunch of money on ourselves. It's not like it's some noble undertaking that your son should feel obligated to carry on.

This thread highlights the positive impact of the hobby - getting to know people, from across the planet, and making lasting friendships while learning a little about history and sharing passions for that history. That's all good stuff. But ASL is just the vehicle for that - an old, clunky, expensive vehicle. When you buy your son his first car, will he get a rusted out 1977 pickup truck, or does your son deserve something with decent gas mileage, air bags, crumple zone, heated seats, and collision detection?
Nicely put. Funny too!
 

pj norton

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Speaking of Fish, Bill “Fish” Conner, mentioned only in passing above, could easily lead this list.

I was lucky to count him as a friend, along with Cloyde, Christian, Jim, Ian, Kent, Gord, Derek, and Darrell.

I knew and interacted with Patrick, Fred, and Jean without quite reaching friend status.

They and the others I didn’t know will be missed, and the roll will only be getting longer.
I only got to know Fish at the last few ASLOKs before he passed. He took an interest in our Saturday Night Guitar Jam and started bringing his guitar and harmonica. He and I would be the last ones jamming after all the other guys went to bed. We would stroll around the game hall at 3am and he would serenade people. I wish I had written down the words to his ASLOK song. It was so funny. Awesome.
 
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von Marwitz

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I only got to know Fish at the last few ASLOKs before he passed. He took an interest in our Saturday Night Guitar Jam and started bringing his guitar and harmonica. He and I would be the last ones jamming after all the other guys went to bed. We would stroll around the game hall at 3am and he would serenade people. It was awesome.
I really like this 'post gaming phase' of tournaments. Of course, ASLOK is a much bigger thing as GRENADIER, but sitting around with the folks talking in the small hours of the night talking 'n' joking and sharing the drinks that everyone has brought has always been held high there. It brings the people together more than the actual playing does IMHO. Every year it feels like a little reunion.

Actually, I have not visited many different tournaments (merely GRENADIER, Westwall, and Arnhem), but this was something I felt was special for GRENADIER. Talking about it, I am missing it this very moment. Hopefully, we will be able to join ranks this November again...

von Marwitz
 
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Actionjick

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I only got to know Fish at the last few ASLOKs before he passed. He took an interest in our Saturday Night Guitar Jam and started bringing his guitar and harmonica. He and I would be the last ones jamming after all the other guys went to bed. We would stroll around the game hall at 3am and he would serenade people. I wish I had written down the words to his ASLOK song. It was so funny. Awesome.
His lyrics I remember were " new world orderly ". Funny stuff. 🤣
 

Actionjick

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I really like this 'post gaming phase' of tournaments. Of course, ASLOK is a much bigger thing as GRENADIER, but sitting around with the folks talking in the small hours of the night talking 'n' joking and sharing the drinks that everyone has brought has always been held high there. It brings the people together more than the actual playing does IMHO. Every year it feels like a little reunion.

Actually, I have not visited many different tournaments (merely GRENADIER, Westwall, and Arnhem), but this was something I felt was special for GRENADIER. Talking about it, I am missing it this very moment. Hopefully, we will be able to join ranks this November again...

von Marwitz

von Marwitz
Our thoughts when originally planning Oktoberfest was that it wasn't to be an event with strict rules, timetables and the need to determine a " champion ". We wanted to get people together to play and revel in the game that meant so much to us. We gave the attendees what we wanted from an event and it seems to have worked pretty well. Fish came up with the idea to call it Oktoberfest and that name exemplifies what it became and thanks to Mark, Bret and Wild Bill what it remains. Well at least until everyone gets too old to party on.
 
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