First Timer ASLOK AAR

Kihmbar

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This was my first year to ASLOK. Though I have been to other tournaments regularly since 2000, this was my first time running with the big dogs.

I ended up 5-3 for the long weekend. Eight games is more than I’ve ever played at a tournament, but I had an early start on Wednesday. I will go into detail for each of the games played, but first I must comment on my opponents. My opponents for this tournament were the best I’ve ever had. I would gladly play any of them again. Though we were in a competitive environment, all of them were gentlemen and all were skilled with ASL.

I arrived early afternoon on Wednesday and saw Darrell Wright, a friend from the Raleigh ASL group. We went to lunch together with Hennie, a Dutch ASLer. After lunch, Darrell and I played Kamikaze Gorge (SP193) from the new Schwerpunkt pack. I played the Americans, and had to take two of the three hills from Darrell’s Japanese. With a few feints (and a lot of luck), I soon had a win to start off ASLOK. 1-0.

The action continued at 8:00 AM on Thursday when I entered the Deluxe ASL mini-tournament. All three of the games on Thursday were on the Deluxe maps – the ones with large hexes. I don’t get to play Deluxe ASL much and saw a great opportunity to play with some of the maps I love.

I started off against Ryan Schultz, from Virginia, with Charging Chamount (J123). As the Germans, I was able to delay Ryan’s Americans enough for the win. On a side note, Ryan was a joy to talk to while we played. We chatted about several things and it was nice to play someone who also likes to take the time to know their opponent (outside of ASL). 2-0.

Next on Thursday, I played Clifford Smith, from Pennsylvania , in Mayhem in Manila (A103). Once again, I was the Americans attacking a Japanese defender. Clifford played very well and probably should have won, but one of my half-squads which was broken for the entire game managed to rally and CX to the victory building for the win. 3-0.

Finally on Thursday, I played Sean Deller, from Virginia, in Cobra Kings (J124). If you recognize Virginia from earlier, Ryan and Sean rode up to ASLOK together and shared a table. Sean had congratulated me when I won my first game and mentioned, “Maybe we’ll see each other in the finals.” His words were almost prophetic, since we did see each other in the final round of the mini-tournament. Sean picked the scenario and it looked like it would be a good one, especially since neither of us had played it before. However, my roadblock placement really slowed down his advance and he conceded early realizing that he would not be able to make his victory conditions. 4-0.

Friday started off at 8:00 again, this time in one of the Grofaz mini-tournaments. These were for folks who were 2-0 since Thursday and were going for the ASLOK championship – The Grofaz. I started off against Joe Steadman, from Michigan, in Obian Highway (BFP95) from the new Crucible of Steel pack from Bounding Fire Productions. I played the Germans, who were attacking a small village in central Russia. This scenario started well until his AT gun broke a third of my troops. These troops didn’t rally like I thought they would and my attack was broken up. When I realized there was no chance of winning, I conceded the game to Joe. 4-1.

I did earn some style points from Joe. When he first revealed his AT gun, I was driving a tank down the street and came around a corner looking straight down the barrel of an anti-tank gun (his bore-sighted location). Joe’s first shot missed, but my tank was without anywhere to go for cover. If I continued down the street, he would have gotten me. If I turned to move around the buildings lining the street, he would have gotten me. So I drove into the nearest building to get out of the way. +1 style point.

I rounded out Friday with the Fritz-Fritz grunge match. My dad and I started Taking Heads (AP59) Friday night and finished it Saturday afternoon. I played the Americans (again), but this time I was on the defense against my dad’s Japanese. This scenario was a bloodbath. We both ended the scenario with less than 1/3 of the guys we started with. It was brutal and wholly worthy of a father-son faceoff. My dad pulled it off eventually, but not after hours of intense fighting. 4-2. (As a side note, my dad had played this scenario before – a fact he conveniently “forgot” when choosing a scenario. Thanks go to Jim Bishop for schooling my dad in this scenario earlier this year. He learned how not to lose it twice.)

Saturday night I got another game in against a familiar opponent, Jamie Cribbs. Jamie is one of the guys I taught to play ASL. We had a series of games in Raleigh just before I moved to Illinois. I ran through as much of the basics as I could and he soaked it up as fast as I could give it to him. We had not played in over a year, and I wanted to see how far his skills had progressed in my absence. (And if the boys back in Raleigh were taking care of him.)

This game took on some added entertainment value because we were setup right next to Anthony Flanagan, another North Carolina ASL player. For those of you who have never met Anthony, he is very…how can I put this…animated. And Anthony brings out this quality in other players. Jamie and I were almost as much into Anthony’s game as we were our own. This game was by far the most fun one I played all week. Part of it was Saturday night and no one cared. Part of it was the craziness of the game. Part of it was a great opponent who laughed with me at Anthony’s antics. All of it was fun. But let me tell you about the scenario too….

The actual scenario was Cohort and the Phalanx (HG-3), a reprint of HOB’s scenario by the same title. I played the Italians and Jamie played the Greeks. The Italians had a bridge garrison holding the east side of a bridge across a river. The rest of the Italians come running down the hill trying to get away from the Greeks who are hot on their tail. I taught Jamie some early lessons in fire lanes to keep his Greeks at bay for a turn, but it wasn’t enough. Eventually, I had one Italian 9-1 leader making a mad dash down the bridge with bullets raining down all around him. He finally breaks and routs to the other side of the bridge. The garrison follows suit and runs across the bridge, voluntarily breaking and routing to the safe side of the bridge. All this under the fire of Jamie’s Greeks, which have the bridge covered from the shore. Mr. 9-1 sheds his DM status and then self rallies on snakes – berserk, taking one of the squads with him. He gets up to charge back across the bridge, but is cut down before he makes the other side. I manage to get enough guys across the bridge and inflict enough casualties to squeak out a win. 5-2.

I got one more game in on Sunday morning. My first international game was against Dave Ramsey, from London, and we played BB Gun and the Baby Parade (ESG86). Tired of playing the Germans, I requested the Poles and Dave agreed to play the Germans. After my main attack was broken up by an impressive Prep Fire attack on Dave’s turn 3, I decided to make a run for the board edge. I managed to get 15 of the 16 EVP I needed off the board and was running my 8-0 off for the win. He threw everything at me that he possibly could, and on his very last possible shot he got an NMC. I failed the NMC with a 10 and that was the game. Exciting right down to the very last possible die roll. 5-3.

I also earned some style points from Dave. I decided not to exit my tanks for EVP early on and simply drove them (platoon movement) around a woods hex right back to where they were originally. +1 more style point.

The rest of the day I got to watch the Grofaz game – Gary Fortenberry against Bob Bendis. Though I wasn’t playing, it was exciting to see two of the best battle it out. And it is nice to know that dice plague even the best of players.

I would like to add one picture to commemorate ASLOK 2011. There was a large contingent of North Carolina ASL players at ASLOK this year and we took this picture on Saturday afternoon.
From left to right: Ed Fritz Sr., Ed Fritz Jr., Ray Woloszyn, Darrell Wright, Jamie Cribbs, Nelson Harris, Doug Sheppard, and Anthony Flanagan. Not available for the picture were Al Saltzman and Scott Blanton.
 

Fred Ingram

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Glad you had a good time at ASLOK.

My last venture there was in 1997 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

daveramsey

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Ed, thanks for the game on Sunday. You played a great game and it was a cruel ending for such a close finish. You also didn't mention that it was you that pointed out I had one final shot, given you jumped the hedge. Lesser guys would have taken the victory there and then - so full credit to you there. That was your true style points.

Thanks for the AAR - the game from my perspective is here: http://asldave.blogspot.com/2011/10/homeward-bound.html

Hope to get a chance for another game against you.

Cheers,

Dave
 

jameycribbs

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What a good looking bunch of guys in that photo!

Yes, between Anthony and all the craziness that occurred in our game, that was the most fun I have had getting my head handed to me! :)

See ya at Bitter Ender, my friend!
 

RobZagnut

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Anthony is one of the coolest guys ever.

I love watching his gyrations and how big his eyes get when something weird is happening on the board. I swear one of his eyes are going to pop out one of these days.
 

Pocky101

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Anthony is one of the coolest guys ever.

I love watching his gyrations and how big his eyes get when something weird is happening on the board. I swear one of his eyes are going to pop out one of these days.

I didn't get to play Anthony but I did get to play next to him. What a hoot that guy is.
 
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