ASLOK XXXI Official TD AAR

Bret Hildebran

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Minis for Wednesday and Thursday have been handed out along with the World Cup MVP's and for the first time the "Big Game Hunter" early Champ for those interested in playing Big Games. Historically I have done a terrible job facilitating the "Big Game Hunter" part of the pre-reg sheet so this year we decided to do a plaque to help motivate me to do match-ups in advance. This year only Brian Martuzas & Dave Perham expressed interest so they paired & played with Brian taking home the "Big Game Hunter" inaugural wood.

Thursday Mini Update
  • Night - Wes Vaughn & Kevin Meyer are currently dueling in the Friendly Fire night classic "Bad Moon Rising". Ed Beekman deserves a shoutout for ending Randy Rossi's reign of terror in the Night mini as Randy had won 5 straight before Ed defeated Randy's Americans in Old Hickory by burning down the VC building to keep Randy off of Level 2.
  • Pacific - Dave Reenstra triumphs over Aaron Cleavin in the final to take home a prestigious Pacific mini from a star studded cast of PTO studs.
  • Deluxe - Rich Spilky downs Don Holland in the finals to become king of the big hexes.
  • Tincans & Popguns - Andrea Pagni garners his 2nd wood by defeating Brian Wiersma in the finals.
  • Tincans & Popguns #2 - Derek Pulhamus is currently battling Jonathan Kay in a double jeopardy Grofaz mini where the winner gets the plaque, $10 and moves to 3-0 in the Grofaz while the loser gets a Grofaz loss. Derek has the Brits in FrF72 Mubo Decision. Update - Jonathan Kay advances.
  • Paper Tigers - Dave Deresinski wins his second plaque of the week with a win over Rich Domovic in the battle of the bad troops.
  • Battling Buckeyes - Native Buckeye Bill Cirillo triumphs over two-time Grofaz Champ Bob Bendis in Pete Shelling's newest SP offering.
  • Bringing It All Back Home - Georges Tournemire garners the win in a hard fought battle over Brian Sullivan. Amusingly, I twice misunderstood people and had originally recorded Georges as the winner around the time they had setup on the Mini boards & then misunderstood Georges when he reported that he won, issued errata putting Dr. Death up as the winner only to have to rescind that. I will claim a lack of sleep as my best excuse, but the good news is Mr. Tournemire received his plaque and the $10 while Brian got a souvenir pic of his name up as a Champ...
  • Friendly Fire's Greatest Hits - Neil Stanhagen downs perennial Grofaz Champ Steve "Gor-Gor" Pleva in an epic battle of Dying For Danzig (FrF52) where a single German squad nuked both of Steve's OT-34's. Neil wins his 2nd mini & has shown the rest of the field that Gor-Gor bleeds...
  • My Little Ponyri - Randy Glesing & John Bays are set to play the final in Pete Shelling's Historical playtest mini at a later date. John is currently Grofaz'ing while Randy is resting after an epic battle to defeat Philippe Briaux
 

Bret Hildebran

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Friday Grofaz Update

16 aspiring Grofazes are dueling in a pair of Grofaz Minis with several dueling in Open Grofaz play (although I've only identified 4 so far, I'm sure there are others lurking about)

Best of the Best Grofaz Mini
  • John McDiarmid's British triumph over Scott Holst in SP153 The Wrong Side of Victory to make John the first 3-0 Grofaz'er.
  • Jonathan Kay's Japanese overcame Derek Pulhamus's Brits in FrF72 The Mubo Decision. Jonathan credited his studying of the Japanese entry possibilities overnight.
  • John McDiarmid & Jonathan Kay are now poised to play AP119 Konev Cross where Kay has the Germans on the defense. Amusingly, both John & Jonathan are from Toronto yet had to come to Cleveland to meet and play...
  • Aaron Cleavin, the only "foreign" Grofaz, is playing Andrea "the Italian Stallion" Pagni in Elephants Unleashed. Andrea has the Germans.
  • Perennial Grofaz Steve Pleva is battling Pete Mudge also in Elephants Unleashed. Steve has the Russian.
Best of 2016 Grofaz Mini
  • Dave Deresinksi is playing fellow Dave, Dave Reenstra, in Bedburg Bite. Reenstra has the Germans.
  • Randy Schurtz & John Bays are throwing down in Bedburg. Randy has the Germans.
  • Bob Bendis is dueling rules guru JR VanMechlen also in Bedburg - Bob has the German.
  • Georges Tournemire & Rich Dominic are also hanging out in Bedburg (making it a clean sweep of this new Pete Shelling gem for the round). Georges has the German.
Grofaz Open Play
  • Wes Vaughn is playing spoiler Scott Holst in J178 Old Friends. Wes has the Americans on the attack while Scott is looking forward to finally having some proper tanks on the defense.
  • Neil Stanhagen and Bill Cirillo are also playing Old Friends. Neil has the Americans and was already accusing of Bill having broken the scenario in favor of the Germans. Shall we say no one will accuse Neil of being overconfident in today's game at least...
 

von Marwitz

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Best of 2016 Grofaz Mini
  • Dave Deresinksi is playing fellow Dave, Dave Reenstra, in Bedburg Bite. Reenstra has the Germans.
  • Randy Schurtz & John Bays are throwing down in Bedburg. Randy has the Germans.
  • Bob Bendis is dueling rules guru JR VanMechlen also in Bedburg - Bob has the German.
  • Georges Tournemire & Rich Dominic are also hanging out in Bedburg (making it a clean sweep of this new Pete Shelling gem for the round). Georges has the German.
A set of AARs of these four games would make an exceedingly interesting read IMHO. Would be interesting how these renowned players take a different (or maybe the same) approach to the scenario.

von Marwitz
 

Ganjulama

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Friday Grofaz Update

16 aspiring Grofazes are dueling in a pair of Grofaz Minis with several dueling in Open Grofaz play (although I've only identified 4 so far, I'm sure there are others lurking about)

Best of the Best Grofaz Mini
  • John McDiarmid's British triumph over Scott Holst in SP153 The Wrong Side of Victory to make John the first 3-0 Grofaz'er.
  • Jonathan Kay's Japanese overcame Derek Pulhamus's Brits in FrF72 The Mubo Decision. Jonathan credited his studying of the Japanese entry possibilities overnight.
  • John McDiarmid & Jonathan Kay are now poised to play AP119 Konev Cross where Kay has the Germans on the defense. Amusingly, both John & Jonathan are from Toronto yet had to come to Cleveland to meet and play...
  • Aaron Cleavin, the only "foreign" Grofaz, is playing Andrea "the Italian Stallion" Pagni in Elephants Unleashed. Andrea has the Germans.
  • Perennial Grofaz Steve Pleva is battling Pete Mudge also in Elephants Unleashed. Steve has the Russian.
Best of 2016 Grofaz Mini
  • Dave Deresinksi is playing fellow Dave, Dave Reenstra, in Bedburg Bite. Reenstra has the Germans.
  • Randy Schurtz & John Bays are throwing down in Bedburg. Randy has the Germans.
  • Bob Bendis is dueling rules guru JR VanMechlen also in Bedburg - Bob has the German.
  • Georges Tournemire & Rich Dominic are also hanging out in Bedburg (making it a clean sweep of this new Pete Shelling gem for the round). Georges has the German.
Grofaz Open Play
  • Wes Vaughn is playing spoiler Scott Holst in J178 Old Friends. Wes has the Americans on the attack while Scott is looking forward to finally having some proper tanks on the defense.
  • Neil Stanhagen and Bill Cirillo are also playing Old Friends. Neil has the Americans and was already accusing of Bill having broken the scenario in favor of the Germans. Shall we say no one will accuse Neil of being overconfident in today's game at least...
I got Wes Vaughn playing Dave Reenstra in the finals. Time for a Dark Horse to win it all.
 

bprobst

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Derek has the Brits in FrF72 Mubo Decision.
Ahem. There are no British units in "Mubo Decision".

I once asked Bret why the US got it's butt whooped every year, and he replied "You don't travel 3000 miles to play ASL if you suck at it!".
Well, yeah, you do (looking at self). I think the important thing to take away here is that the guys who aren't travelling that far (the US) clearly do suck.

The anomaly here is why do the World players consistently dominate the World Cup but rarely manage to dominate the Grofaz? I think it's all about early expenditure of energy. Having come spectacularly multiple times in the first few days, they then have issues in getting it up for the long haul. Still, what a way to go, hey?
 

Ganjulama

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The anomaly here is why do the World players consistently dominate the World Cup but rarely manage to dominate the Grofaz? I think it's all about early expenditure of energy. Having come spectacularly multiple times in the first few days, they then have issues in getting it up for the long haul. Still, what a way to go, hey?
Yep, game fatigue could definitely be a factor.
 

von Marwitz

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The anomaly here is why do the World players consistently dominate the World Cup but rarely manage to dominate the Grofaz?
I believe it is no surprise that the World consistently dominates the US.
People willing to travel from the World to the US need to invest a significant amount of funds for the journey. And I think that World players not really dedicated or very deep into the game will be less inclined to do so compared to the average US attendant. That way, the US in general might have to face way above average World players, which is mirrored in the results.

Yet the very best players might still be from the US. The air is very thin in the top ranks, and there are not that many different GROFAZes. Furthermore, most US GROFAZes, so I guess, will attend every year (and thus have a shot every year). For the very cream of the World players, it might be not as easy to make the longer voyage and cover the costs every year (and thus they might have less shots for the ultimate victory).

Seems to make sense to me, but hey - I am only an average player! :dontknow

von Marwitz
 

Sparafucil3

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The anomaly here is why do the World players consistently dominate the World Cup but rarely manage to dominate the Grofaz? I think it's all about early expenditure of energy. Having come spectacularly multiple times in the first few days, they then have issues in getting it up for the long haul. Still, what a way to go, hey?
The best American players generally don't get to Cleveland until Wed. Notice, no Pleva, no Tracy, no Sidhu, no mention of Bendis, Andy Robin doesn't usually play outside NY, no Fortenberry, etc. -- jim
 

Justiciar

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The best American players generally don't get to Cleveland until Wed. Notice, no Pleva, no Tracy, no Sidhu, no mention of Bendis, Andy Robin doesn't usually play outside NY, no Fortenberry, etc. -- jim
In addition, I have never heard jrv enter for Grofaz yet he is a high caliber player... and one for this list...
 

Jacometti

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The best explanation is a conspiracy.

You let us win the World Cup and we let you have the GROFAZ champion.

And then there is the Asian betting on the outcomes, of course.
 

Bret Hildebran

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Grofaz Late Friday Update
Two former Grofazes exit the Grofaz battle as Aaron Cleavin & Bob Bendis fall...
  • John McDiarmid and Jonathan Kay are still battling in Konev Cross. McDiarmid's student body right with the Russians seems to be working well, but I couldn't see what turn to judge just how well.
  • Steve Pleva's Germans beat Aaron Cleavin's Brits in Panzer Graveyard to push Steve to 4-0.
  • Randy Shurtz knocked off 2-Time Grofaz Bob Bendis in SP255 Anatoly's Ambush. Randy had the German's on the attack, but gave up the balance to get them.
  • Rich Domovic knocked off Georges Tournemire to advance to 2-0 but opted for fine dining over a 2nd Grofaz game today so Derek Pulhamus pinch hit for him in the next round.
  • Dave Deresinski advanced to 4-0 by knocking off Derek Pulhamus in WO18 A Quick Strike. Dave had the Japanese and setup some nasty bunker positions full of interlocking fire to KO Derek's Americans.
  • Stan Jackson advanced to 2-0 ending Wes Vaughn's Grofaz dreams.
  • Bill Cirillo advanced to 4-0 by beating spoiler Brian Sullivan's Russians in DB92 Streets of Kharkov.
Planned games for Saturday:
  • Steve Pleva will play the winning Toronto John/Jon in the Best of the Best final.
  • Dave Deresinski & Randy Shurtz are poised to throw down in J166 Maximum Aggression. I believe Dave has the Brits.
  • Bill Cirillo is battling 2-0 spoiler Rich Domovic for a chance at 5-0.
  • Bob Bendis & Aaron Cleavin are dueling at 3-1 for a shot at Spoiler status and hope to work back into the top 4...
 

Bret Hildebran

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As to the World Cup question - this year the World only used 12 players while the US had 25 play at least 1 game. If you look at roughly the US's top 12 players to compare (and I'm SWAG'ing the top 12 players & not looking at top 12 performance in World Cup - one of the strongest Americans went 0-3 this year) the margin is likely more on the order of +2 World this year instead of +22. That's a relatively significant difference - albeit this year, still likely a World win. And that's just picking the top 12 Americans that played and not necessarily here then etc.

I'm not sure that's a huge problem for the system - but it's part of the explanation as to why the US has a nasty losing streak going...
 

ActionBurk

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As to the World Cup question - this year the World only used 12 players while the US had 25 play at least 1 game. If you look at roughly the US's top 12 players to compare (and I'm SWAG'ing the top 12 players & not looking at top 12 performance in World Cup - one of the strongest Americans went 0-3 this year) the margin is likely more on the order of +2 World this year instead of +22. That's a relatively significant difference - albeit this year, still likely a World win. And that's just picking the top 12 Americans that played and not necessarily here then etc.

I'm not sure that's a huge problem for the system - but it's part of the explanation as to why the US has a nasty losing streak going...
I don't think it's a problem at all, just the reality of the situation. The " 3000 miles/you don't suck " answer is probably correct and I would add that such players have to be deeply committed to the system. While commitment doesn't always reflect skill level it certainly helps.
I think the fatigue answer is also a good explanation as to why the US does better at the Grofaz. Jet lag and four days+ of gunnin' before the Grofaz starts has to have an effect.

The World Cup was probably started to solve the same problem that led to the Thursday Theme Tournament/Minis, how to entertain/keep busy those players who arrive early. Just like the TTT/Minis I doubt if that much thought was given to the consequences of the event. In the case of the Minis it may have been the dilution of competition for the Weekend Tournament or Grofaz as it's now known. For the World Cup it's the dominance of The World.
Regardless of unintended consequences I think both the World Cup and Minis are great fun and not bad ideas in the long run.

Why more of the " top " US players don't arrive earlier is another question .
 
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ecz

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Probably we should start to consider the ASL competitive events around the world as one thing. Wherever they happens.
The Yearly World Cup could include results from Europe and Asia/Oceania as many US players partecipate regularly to those tournaments
 
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