In an odd occurrence the Grofaz finale was Saturday night.
We were down to 2 5-0 players as we headed into Saturday night:
- Rich "Destroyer of Grofaz Dreams" Domovic knocked off Bill Cirillo's Brits in Panzer Graveyard which meant we were down to only 2 undefeated.
- Steve "Gor-Gor" Pleva knocked off John McDiarmid in a playtest version of something - I initially thought it was MMP, but it may have been a FrFire. It looked grim for the defending Grofaz for awhile as glancing at the mapboard, admittedly w/o knowing the scenario well, I and others thought Steve was on the ropes, but Gor-Gor does not go down lightly and managed to come back for the win.
That setup a final of Steve Pleva versus Randy Shurtz and they picked a playtest version of a new Friendly Fire scenario from Peter Struijf & Chris Mazzei with lots of colors in the name involving Romanians attacking Russian factories in 1941 on a terra-formed board 1. Looks like an interesting scenario that was getting good reviews already. Randy had a great turn 1, but Steve's Russians stemmed the tide and his mostly conscript force held on long enough for the Russian reinforcements to arrive and stem the tide for a Russian win.
Steve wins his 10th Grofaz title in 31 years which is a rather amazing accomplishment and Randy finishes 2nd in his first return to ASLOK in 14 years.
In a first, the battle for 3rd & 4th place plaques was a 3 way duel of J171 Whom Gods Destroy. We had 3 players at 4-1 all interested in playing for a shot at 3rd/4th (which yields a plaque & $50) rather than going to tie-breakers and/or a dice off to see who got to play for 3rd, a 3 player scenario was suggested. Whom Gods Destroy ended up the winner as the FB one likely would have presented a slight advantage to Mr. Cirillo who designed it. Early Bill's troops were pounding on Aaron which effectively precluded Aaron from having a real shot at winning while John moved out in front. At that point Aaron decided to play for a plaque and Bill moved to play for the win and John slid from the front to the back of the pack. It sounded like an epic 3 way battle which resulted in Bill Cirillo placing 3rd, Aaron Cleavin 4th & John McDiarmid 5th. Dave Deresinski places 6th at 4-1, but had a flight to catch and thus missed a shot at a 4 player scenario...
Final Grofaz Standings
- Steve Pleva 6-0 [CT]
- Randy Shurtz 5-1 [KS]
- Bill Cirillo 5-1 [VA]
- Aaron Cleavin 4-1-1 [Australia]
- John McDiarmid 4-2 [Canada]
- Dave Deresinski 4-1 [CA]
When I left Sunday Peter & Hennie were still dueling for the last Mini plaque and there were 3 or 4 other games still going as ASLOK XXXI was winding to an end. Wild Bill pointed out we had 4 games going at 7AM Sunday including the annual Epic "Battle for Rock Boy" which raged all night. Once again Tommy Cvetinovich & Pete Mudge triumphed in To the Last Man over Wes Vaughn & James Taylor in their annual overnight battle of somewhat drunken ASL which always yields some epic stories and exciting moments.
Official Attendance ended up at 145 which is pretty good for the year after a milestone ASLOK like XXX. The hotel was a little rough around the edges, but overall a good time was had by all and after a long tiring week full of ASL everyone seemed to head home dreaming of returning next Oktober for ASLOK XXXII. It will undoubtedly be October 1st thru 8th officially in 2017 although the site is still TBD. Hope to see you there...