ASL SCANDINAVIAN OPEN 2020 (February 26th - March 1st)

bo_siemsen

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any news from ASO ? has it started ? pictures ?
The event is under way. We had about 10 players on wednesday and I think more than 20 for friendly gaming and a couple of Winter Offensive Bonus Pack mini tournaments. This extended format is working quite well for us.

For the tournament we had some cancelations among registered players. I think 3 or 4 people had to cancel over the last couple of days. So that means we're down to 38 in the main tournament, 6 players coming to play in the official mini tournaments over the weekend and there's another 6-7 players who play some friendly gaming at some point. We have 3 first timers at ASO for the main tournament joining us from all around Europe - Alex Koestler from Germany, Juan Santa Cruz from Spain, Michal Sedlacka from Slovenia, In addition to that we have Jim Bishop visiting us for 4 days of friendly gaming and a couple of new local players will be making their first appearance (Mikkel and Jon) to see what this tournament thing that we tell them so much about is all about.

I also think we have a really strong competitive group of potential winners - Toby Pilling, Rich Domovich, Mr.T., Mattias Ronnblom and our most recent danish winner of the tournament Kenneth Knudsen.

I got to play a couple of games yesterday - an interesting 3-player game with Toby and Michael Hastrup-Leth (RPT110 - Theirs not to reason why). Toby and I were coorporating as the romanians and germans trying to drive off Michaels russians from a couple of hills. The 2 pronged attack wasn't particularly well coordinated due to the random sequence of play and Michaels 1-hex NOBA just destroyed everything it hit. A couple of direct hits early on left Toby's troops somewhat decimated right from the get go. To be fair, Michael diced us quite a bit early on. It was fun though. In the afternoon and evening I got to play Jim Bishop for the first time in "The Closer" and my german attack closed him out completely. A 2-pronged attack - first group on the far left and the second group on the far right (not politically) had his thin line of defense spread waaaay thin. So when the third punch came in the 3rd round I could punch my way through.

So, overall, things are off to a good start.

The first round is (officially) set to begin in a couple of hours and the players are starting to get into the gaming room.
 

bo_siemsen

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The first round is completed and we're down to 19 undefeated players. There was a wide spread of scenarios played in the first round with one game of Messenger Boys going into the final minutes of the round. Top rated players like Toby and Rich came close to losing their first round game. Toby needed to survive some scary Close Combats in the last turn and Rich was helped by a perfectly timed sniper that took a whole stack by killing the best leader.

The 19 undefeated players are:

Toby Pilling
Michael Hastrup-Leth
Rich Domovic
G.Tournemire
Kenneth Knudsen
Ketil Høgenhaug
Andreas Carlsson
Jonathan Kay
Olivier Dietsch
Michael Hemmingsen
Jens Thomander
Hans Bugge
Juan Santa Cruz
Stefan Fiedler
Ran Shiloah
Derek Ward
Josh Kalman
Kåre Jacobsen
Björn Lorenzen

In the second round first time ASO participant Juan Santa Cruz gets to play against the danish winner Kenneth @Danish Knudsen. Another interesting game to follow is 2019 champion Rich Domovich going up against danish dark horse Michael Hemmingsen. Could be a potential upset there. The popular scenario in the second round is Red Horse Recon. The majority of players seems to be playing that one. There's only a few playings of "the Good shepherd" and "Elephants unleashed".

The room is almost filled to capacity with 45 active players and one supportive wife. And there are more players arriving tomorrow.
 

bo_siemsen

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After 2 rounds played we are down to 11 undefeated players. Toby, RIch, Michael and Mr.T. handedly dealt with their opponents and rank as the 4 topseeded players remaining in the tournament. The Red Horse recon was a very popular scnario in the second round with a good split of wins and losses.

The 11 remaining unbeaten players are:

Toby Pilling
Michael Hastrup-Leth
Rich Domovic
G.Tournemire
Jonathan Kay
Juan Santa Cruz
Stefan Fiedler
Ran Shiloah
Josh Kalman
Kåre Jacobsen
Björn Lorenzen

In the 3rd round there's a lot of Speed over Caution going on, with a lesser preference for Wrecking the rentals and the Closer. The 3 mini tournaments with a total of 12 participants are also getting under way - We have a Deluxe minitournament, a French in Focus mini tournament and a Best of Main Tournament Mini.
 

bo_siemsen

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As a new feature at ASO 2020 we have started tracking the results between the nationalities. The ASO participants have been split into 4 teams - Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the "International" team. The international teams consists of everybody not from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. We had planned to also have a Team Finland but that was disbanded due to late cancelations.

Currently Team International is kicking everybody's ass. They are beating Team Denmark 6-1, Team Sweden 3-1 and Team Norway 5-0. Team Denmark is beating Sweden 4-2 while the Danes and Norwegians are tied at 2-2. So the team international has taken a healthy lead in the inaugural International Team tournament at ASO. Denmark is in second place, Sweden in 3rd and Norway in 4th.
 

Jacometti

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I have heard of other tournaments where there is such a competition and the home side always gets its big AZZ handed to them......

Nice tradition!

Speed Over Caution rocks.....great design.
 

bo_siemsen

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3rd rounded ended a couple of hours ago. A couple of the front runners fell by the wayside. Rich Domovich failed in his attack as he tried to wreck the rentals. Toby Pilling and Jonathan Kay played the same scenario and it was a real nailbiter as Toby's attacking hoard overcame early hiccups for it to become a closey contested game. Unfortunatly the clock ran down on them and we had to judge it. The judges could not split them apart before the end game and it had to go to the 50-50 dice which decided that Jonathan should progress as undefeated in the tournament.

The tournament semifinals are under way. Michael Hastrup-Leth is battling with Jonathan Kay for a trip to the ASO 2020 final table. In the other semifinal Mr.T. is playing Stefan Fiedler. Both Jonathan and Stefan are first timers in the ASO semifinals.
 

Jacometti

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3rd rounded ended a couple of hours ago. A couple of the front runners fell by the wayside. Rich Domovich failed in his attack as he tried to wreck the rentals. Toby Pilling and Jonathan Kay played the same scenario and it was a real nailbiter as Toby's attacking hoard overcame early hiccups for it to become a closey contested game. Unfortunatly the clock ran down on them and we had to judge it. The judges could not split them apart before the end game and it had to go to the 50-50 dice which decided that Jonathan should progress as undefeated in the tournament.

The tournament semifinals are under way. Michael Hastrup-Leth is battling with Jonathan Kay for a trip to the ASO 2020 final table. In the other semifinal Mr.T. is playing Stefan Fiedler. Both Jonathan and Stefan are first timers in the ASO semifinals.
what games are being played in the semi-finals ???
 

SFiedler

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I played AP 94 show of Force vs George T in one of the semifinals, closer than expected given the disparity of experience and ranking. I had the Russian who lost several Kvs to the German super Tiger. Finally got it and then charged onto the VCs with the remining forces (3Kvs and a bunch of squads a.k.a the Horde (TM) ).

George called for the judges to decide the outcome at One a clock (when the official play time was over att the start of the final turn). George had the upper hand so I lost.

Stefan
 
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Eagle4ty

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Seems like a lot of adjudication is happening this year. I wonder if it’s relayed to slow play?
Not knowing what time the round started but looking at the forces presented and number of turns (5.5) in the scenario, it seems as if this one should have been adequately finished in about 4 to 5 hours. It's very possible because of the importance of the play (final rounds) that moves were very meticulous, thence extending normal playing time. Also, it seems as if a night round in this tournament is limited to a time limit (not always so in some tournaments), so some players take advantage of that fact consciously or subconsciously (something akin to to an attack/defense phase timing thing).
 

bo_siemsen

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what games are being played in the semi-finals ???
To no avail and Show of force
The ASO 2020 final will be Michael Hastrup-Leth and George T. The scenarios that have to choose from are Order 831, Badgers breath and Bocage Blockage.

There has been more judgings this year than in past years. Some part of the responsibility falls on us as tournament directors with the choice of scenarios. Maybe some of the options were too big. But sometimes it just happens that two players who play a bit slow gets paired up and picks a scenario that is too big for them realistically finish it. I think it is a shared responsibility for players to best judge which scenarios are a good idea to choose. I mean, some of the scenarios that used up the full allotment of time by some players were also finished in half the allotted time by other players. It is a tight rope walk when choosing scenarios as TD's.
 
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bo_siemsen

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ASO 2020 is over and we have a new champion - Michael Hastrup-Leth won his first ever ASO tournament by defeating George T.
Michael stepped into the tournament at the last minute to even up the numbers due to late cancellations and beat out the strong field. We had a lot of new first time players and they all made a good impression. The final results are still subject to validation and will be made available later today.

Thanks to all our participants and our sponsors - MMP, Le Franc Tireur, Bounding Fire Productions, Trojan Games and Lone Canuck Publishing.

See you all at ASO 2021.
 

Del

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Thanks to Bo and Michael for yet another fantastic ASO. 5 great games with 5 great opponents, what more can you want from a long weekend?
 

MichalS

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With less than 2 years of experience and only about 60+ games played, this has been my first ASL tournament and getting a taste of what advanced competitive gaming can look like. I had a wonderful reception - played two friendly games on arrival, Feast Day with Toby Pilling and the classic Bidermann's Escape with Michael Hastrup-Leth. Understandably I was quite nervous which led to some rule lapses and tactical mistakes but found both of them very supportive, thank you guys!

In the tournament I lost 4 games and won 1:

Round 1: Messenger Boys as the defender against Mr. T - After my discussions on the setup of this scenario with Juan Santacruz I decided to forego defending the forest road very strongly, which was a mistake. George waltzed through there and despite me trying to divert my scattered defending forces over there and build up at least some defense, he managed to send one squad as riders in my rear as early as Turn 2. My reinforcements managed to hold on to one of the two major buildings, but failed to hold two more of the minor ones... George, it was a pleasure meeting you in person, a game in a relaxed and yet meticulous manner...

Round 2: Red Horse Recon as the attacker against Mikael Strand - This one I played as a defender against Juan Santacruz in preparation to the tournament where I gained some valuable lessons. I opted for a careful strategy against Mikael's well-placed defensive forces. I hoped to break them early and continue my advance across the whole width of the map board. However, the dice were against me and his three squads managed to resist for 2 turns... So I chose a different strategy and focused on securing the road. On my turn 3 I managed to position my vehicles in key positions on the map along the northern road and after I prevented Mikael's reinforcements' advance he conceded.

Round 3: Speed over Caution as the attacker against Olivier Dietsch - Oh boy, where do I start... Olivier prepared a clever ruse and I ran into it full force. As the scenario title suggests, I went for the careless aggressive approach and it did not pay off. I sent my three best gyro tanks through the orchard to outflank his beast and I stumbled subsequently across three HIP squads with the result of three (!) burning wrecks. (A lucky firelane shot also KIA'd one of my leaders and reduced my infantry forces.) So the trap sprung shut in the most effective manner. The orchards went ablaze and the wind picked up, soon covering half of the map board in a fire and smoke inferno, which helped the advance of the rest of my forces but of course it was doomed.

Secret Round 4: To No Avail as the attacker against Søren Sørensen - I had a real shot at this one, had a good advance going. But after hitting a wall of wires on the left flank and a sequence of very nasty sniper shots which killed off my 9-1 and broke two squads, my spearhead lost focus and I let myself be embroiled in a to-and-fro in the center. In Turn 4 I developed a plan of attack which actually went very well, but alas a bit too late: I needed just 2 more MF with one squad in my last turn (and average dice rolls) to win...

Round 5: Order 831 as the attacker against Jens Thomander - It started really well but both of my tanks lost smoke in my first prep fire on turn 2... and I kinda forgot that they also had smoke mortars. Plus I also lost focus in my advance, was a bit too careful and slow in turn 3 and realised in turn 4 that I would not be able to reach the bridge in time (perhaps if I would have sent Riders, but I did not properly plan for that). In the last two desperate turns Jens started rolling threes and fours on his prep and def shots, which sealed my fate. I will replay this one this week with my buddy Gerhard to see what happens when the smoke works better :) Overall, a game in a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, Jens you make for a great company!

Overall, I really liked the structured bidding system and the depth it adds to the scenario selection. (Of course it favours experienced and well-prepared players, but that is the point of a tournament...). I would like to thank Michael and Bo for faultless organisation, I came home drained like a grapefruit but inspired and my play has benefitted enormously! Looking forward to seeing everybody again (Gothenburg in November?) or playing on VASL!

P.S.: I am Slovak (SVK), not Slovenian (SLO), I would appreciate much if you could please update my player profile :)
P.S. 2: What is the member nick of Jim Bishop? Thanks!
P.S. 3: We had national elections on Saturday which I missed due to the tournament and my party did not make it into the parliament by just 962 votes... Eh!
 
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