My First ASLOK

volgaG68

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#1
Game 1: AP 131 "Crickets In Spring" vs Derek Ritter. My Germans lost. Unloaded the halftracks way too early and reloaded them way too late. Failure to grok the necessary German timing on this one. ASLOK Lesson #1, never play the only full-ASL vendor yet to arrive. With a mountain of cool s**t, your game will undergo constant interruptions. I did not consider it too bothersome though, but still felt bad when I interrupted two of his later games to buy dice myself. :oops:

Game 2: BAA 7 "Tip Of The Spear" vs Brian Martuzas. [Big Game Hunter Mini] Our 16-hour marathon playing of this big boy was perhaps my best pure gaming experience of ASLOK. There was a Mild Breeze at start and the wind changed direction 4 times on the first 4 turns! With over a dozen burning wrecks onboard, it was quite impressive.....until the final turn when Gusts took away all of the trailing Dispersed markers. We knew it was close towards the end, but not just how close and agreed to play it out and do the "math exam" at the end. Two final CCs, 2:1 and 1:1(-1), in which he completely wiped out my CC forces to regain Control of two buildings. We did the math and realized that had he not gotten complete wipe-outs in both buildings, I would have won by holding him to 49VP. He needed 50 or more, and got 52. A very well-balanced giant.

Game 3: FrF 89 "Red Tears Shed On Grey" vs Mark Pitcavage. Mark's Romanians mauled my Russians. I should have set up further back than I did. Lesson learned against a good player and real nice guy.

Game 4: AP 106 "Helluva Patrol Leader" vs Andy Rogers. My Americans mauled his Germans pretty good and I had him on the ropes in the last turn, but he noticed one small thing I didn't and that is what separates the good players from the decent ones. At the time he was 4-0 (World Cup) and I almost had my first win against a very good player. The laughs we had along the way were just as memorable as the game itself.

Game 5: A68 "Acts Of Defiance" vs Jonathan Kay [Godzilla Mini] My Germans were so close to victory I could taste it, but a good, methodical player like Kay wouldn't let that happen. I had him down to a full squad and HS occupying the first and ground levels of the same rowhouse hex respectively. In my final 1/2 turn I conceded, seeing no way to win. He told me a day or so later that he realized his Russians had the final 1/2 turn and I was likely precipitous in concession. DOH!

Game 6: Cii 2 "Drive The Canadians On Hard" vs Jeff Wasserman. Almost pulled out a Canadian victory (against another good Canadian player), but left one unseen route for him to get back ADJ to the VC-road. A very sardonic opponent whose hilariously wry sense of humor made the loss bearable.

Game 7: TBBA #3 "First Trial-By-Fire" vs Tom Cvetonich (sorry for butchering your last name!). His Italians got the needed EVP and then some. One of my favorite matchups. A fun guy who likes to play fast and instinctively like myself.

Game 8: Map Pad #1 "Time Is Tight" vs Martin Vicca. A surprisingly fun little scenario from Broken Ground's Mouse Pad Pack. I just managed the win in the final CCPh, but he carefully pointed out to me a crucial oversight of mine that would have cost me the game had he gotten the Ambush. Fun game against a very easy-going opponent, and my first win against a good player.

Game 9: J179 "Resignation Supermen" vs Andy Hershey. My Amis managed to scrape out a win in the final turn versus another top-shelf player. Once again, a better opponent showed me some tips post-game. One of my favorite match-ups as well.

Game 10: AP 107 "Better Fields Of Fire" vs Chris Mazzei. On the final Sunday morning, his Germans successfully defended the Alamo overlay. Not even a rubbled hex by my DC would get him out. I got 3 of the 4 needed hexes, no more, and he had all of the possible 4th hexes on complete lockdown. We then set up ASL 180 "The T-Patchers" but halfway through I began to tire and feel somewhat under the weather, so we scrapped it.

I had a couple of other games, both aborted due to time constraints. Besides the general congeniality, I am most thankful to three of my opponents for the tactic-specific advice they gave me post-game. Just a couple of "simple" things that could have turned a close game by me into almost a solid lock, barring all snakes in their dice glass the last 1/2 turn. I enjoyed my first ASLOK immensely, thanking Bret and Bill for the organization and hospitality; and of course Dave for hosting such a great get-together at his place. Also cool to match real people with GameSquad personalities! God willing, I'll be there next year!
 
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djohannsen

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#3
I very much enjoyed reading about your experience at your first ASLOk; thank you for taking the time to write it up for the envious masses. May I ask how you felt about the grind? After even a single game I find that I'm in a bit of a daze for the rest of the day and have a restless night's sleep (my mind is still racing, rehashing the morning game and mulling over all the things that I should have done better). I wonder how a first-timer copes with the mental grind of three games each day.
 

volgaG68

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#4
I very much enjoyed reading about your experience at your first ASLOk; thank you for taking the time to write it up for the envious masses. May I ask how you felt about the grind? After even a single game I find that I'm in a bit of a daze for the rest of the day and have a restless night's sleep (my mind is still racing, rehashing the morning game and mulling over all the things that I should have done better). I wonder how a first-timer copes with the mental grind of three games each day.
Three games a day? Hah! I made it a point beforehand to play only two each day, the Big Game Hunter being the only exception. I figured I would only commit to a third game if I was in a Mini Final, which was not likely. Firstly, I have worked graveyard shift for 28 years, and after 4 or 5 days of being on "normal people" time, I slowly start reverting back to my established bio-rhythm. I simply don't see how people get in 3 games a day there. You go up against just one "grinder" and I'm spent when it's over. I need a full 8 hours sleep each night, and kept shorting myself on consecutive nights. It eventually caught up to me, with day 4 and 5 having me sleep through the start of the Minis I had entered. The magic of that large a gathering is that no matter what time I walked in, Bret found me a game within 20-30 minutes.

Also, I walk constantly at work for eight hours a night. I didn't realize how poorly my body would react to no longer getting that daily exercise. I'll be bringing sneakers next year so I can use the fitness center on a daily basis. Two, do not think that just because you are not physically exerting yourself that you can simply eat sparingly. The mental drain requires equal replenishment. I felt best after eating two hearty meals a day even though I had only been sitting at a table for the most part. Sprinkle in a slightly increased alcohol intake, and I was mixing a recipe for disaster.

Regional tourneys are wind sprints, and a full ASLOK is more like a marathon. Fortunately, I now know what to expect from my mind and body next year! Lesson learned.
 

Justiciar

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#6
...May I ask how you felt about the grind? After even a single game I find that I'm in a bit of a daze for the rest of the day and have a restless night's sleep (my mind is still racing, rehashing the morning game and mulling over all the things that I should have done better). I wonder how a first-timer copes with the mental grind of three games each day.
Oh, that is just part of the ASLOK experience. Now just wait until you have a few beers in the post day wind down session with us that will help you sleep well...but not got up at zero dark thirty for the next day's round. Again all part of the experience.

You need to be able to handle 3 games a day, except on the day you arrive when you play what you will if you have time depending on when you get on deck. I usually play 1, having arrived around 1700.

[This answer based on a Wed-Sat ASLOK...not the full Monty that Chris outlined his plan for. "slightly increased alcohol intake" <cough>.]
 

Brian W

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#7
I stopped doing ASLOK when I realized that more than 2 games in one day wasn't enjoyable for me. By the end of the second game, I felt like it was a chore to continue.
 

jrv

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#8
I stopped doing ASLOK when I realized that more than 2 games in one day wasn't enjoyable for me. By the end of the second game, I felt like it was a chore to continue.
I sort of reached this stage, but I just limited my play to two games a day over the past couple years. I would continue on for a third in a mini, I suppose, but this year I only got in one game in total.

JR
 

ASL1

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#9
Have not been back to ASLOK in about three years. Really miss it but two Hurricane evacuations in a row in the last two years and having to cover some of my Mom's unexpected debts after her passing, really put a crimp in my ASLOK travels. Hopefully, 2019 .. should be financially recovered by then. But on subject, two games a day is doable for me especially since I usually arrive on Saturday and leave the next Sunday. In the mean time, may your DR's never go Berserk!

Cheers ya'll!
Pierce
 

rdw5150

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#10
I very much enjoyed reading about your experience at your first ASLOk; thank you for taking the time to write it up for the envious masses. May I ask how you felt about the grind? After even a single game I find that I'm in a bit of a daze for the rest of the day and have a restless night's sleep (my mind is still racing, rehashing the morning game and mulling over all the things that I should have done better). I wonder how a first-timer copes with the mental grind of three games each day.
Back in the day I could roll out 3-4 games a day, staying up until 4 am. now? I just cannot do it. I sleep terribly normally, and at ASLOK it is even worse, as its a hotel and the mind will not shut off. This year, by 2:00 PM Saturday I was done. My brain drained of all its power. I have slowed my pace considerably.

Peace

Roger
 
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rdw5150

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#11
You need to be able to handle 3 games a day, except on the day you arrive when you play what you will if you have time depending on when you get on deck. I usually play 1, having arrived around 1700.

well to be fair, you need to handle three games a day if you enter minis. If you want a slower pace, you can have just as much fun playing two games a day (slightly larger perhaps) and enjoying the social aspect of the event, which I have come to enjoy. Or play huge stuff and leave it set up for two days and when ya want to stop, you can stop.

When I was entering minis it started to feel like work. Slower pace is just fine by me.

Peace

Roger
 

Mister T

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#13
Kudos for Bill who left the room at 6 am, had only a couple of hours of sleep, then started the final early sunday morning (8 am?) and won it.
 

Michael R

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#16
I plan on one large or two small-medium games each day. I enter the mini-tournaments, but I can't remember if I ever made it to the third round. Next year, however, I plan to do only two mini-tournaments because I don't enjoy the 8 AM start time.

Shutting off the brain to sleep at night can be difficult. I watch a bit of television before going to sleep.
 

Smedley

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#17
I played 12 scenarios this year. This is down from my usual 15 or 16. I played less but enjoyed it more. The one mini final I played was started the next morning as a double jeopardy match. Playing three times a day may be a thing of the past for me.

Rob