My West Coast Melee experience

Michael R

Minor Hero
Staff member
Moderator
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
3,022
Reaction score
1,433
Location
La Belle Province
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
My experience at the West Coast Melee was very enjoyable. The organizers did a great job to keep everything running smoothly. Their tournament format is unique and innovative. Thursday was an open gaming day. On Friday, they hold as many mini-tournaments as the number of attendees require. I think the minis are geared to 8 people; 3 rounds in one day. Each mini had a theme like paratroopers or Shermans. The truly innovative idea, however, is the way they handle the scenario choices; there is no choice and the scenarios are not released in advance. All participants in a particular mini play the same scenario in a given round. The removes the semi-time consuming process of choosing a scenario from three or more choices. As well, it means there is no preparing in advance for this tournament. I feel this is great for average players. I believe that expert players might not like it, but that is just my opinion. The rounds have no finite time limit, but since all participants play the same scenario, the organizers can see who is playing slow and encourage them to speed up. When there is only one match left to finish, that match is given thirty minutes to finish. If incomplete after that time, adjudication will follow.

The hotel (the tournament’s second year there) was fine. The hotel offers a perk of two free beer or wine during an evening cocktail period. On the negative side (for some people), the hotel does not allow other alcohol or outside food in the meeting room. The organizers set up a meal deal with the hotel for lunch and supper with a few choices for each meal. It works well and the food is okay.

Here is a quick rundown of my opponents and the scenarios that I played.

Thursday open gaming

J183 A REAL BARN BURNER with Jim Svette. I won with the Germans.

J190 TRIAL RUN with Nadir Elfarra. I won with the Canadians.

DB116 TAKIN’ EIBERTINGEN with Andrew McCulloh. I lost with the Germans.

Friday mini - Shermans

J98 LEND-LEASE ATTACK with Larry Reinking. I won with the Germans.

J62 LEE’S CHARGE with Pete Turner. I lost with the Americans.

Open game: WO23 A SIMPLE SOLUTION with David Nichols. I lost with the Germans.

Saturday mini - End of Days.

SP208 PORTOMAGGIORE with David Rosner. I won with the British.

SP147 THE ZEBRA MISSION with Phil Seymour. I lost with the Americans.

Sunday

Open game: J167 HART ATTACK with Jim Svette. I won with the Allied side.

I had a very enjoyable time and had the opportunity to meet some “names” that I have been seeing in the ASL world for a very long time. I hope to return one day.

Here is a link to my FaceBook photo album of photos I took at the event.
 

Nadir_E

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2004
Messages
877
Reaction score
193
Location
So. Cal.
Country
llUnited States
It was a pleasure meeting you at WCM, Michael! I hope we'll get a chance to meet again and play some more ASL. :)

-N
 

Mister T

Elder Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
1,293
Location
Bruxelles
Country
llFrance
The truly innovative idea, however, is the way they handle the scenario choices; there is no choice and the scenarios are not released in advance. All participants in a particular mini play the same scenario in a given round. The removes the semi-time consuming process of choosing a scenario from three or more choices. As well, it means there is no preparing in advance for this tournament. I feel this is great for average players. I believe that expert players might not like it, but that is just my opinion.
On the contrary IMO, average players are more apt to gack the setup/SSRs/VCs if faced with an unknown scenario, leading to quick and frustrating defeats for them. A little bit of prep time is necessary.
 

Ray Woloszyn

"Fire and Movement"
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
3,949
Reaction score
855
Location
Kernersville, NC
Country
llUnited States
On the contrary IMO, average players are more apt to gack the setup/SSRs/VCs if faced with an unknown scenario, leading to quick and frustrating defeats for them. A little bit of prep time is necessary.
Having participated myself, I ditto most of Michael's impressions. As to "average players", I would say your comment applies to new players as most of the scenarios were very popular and balanced oldies that most of the players had played in my opinion at one time or another.

I liked the meal deals and the hotel room for my ASL buddy and myself was huge with all amenities. I personally had a good run winning one of the mini's and advancing to the semi-finals where Dan Plachta and I took the game to the last CC which he won. I came back in my final game to garner some battle school dice and another plaque.

I think I was last at the WCM in 2008 and found that this version was a great improvement over that one.
 

Mister T

Elder Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
1,293
Location
Bruxelles
Country
llFrance
Having participated myself, I ditto most of Michael's impressions. As to "average players", I would say your comment applies to new players as most of the scenarios were very popular and balanced oldies that most of the players had played in my opinion at one time or another.
Looking at the four scenarios Michael played for the minis they doesn't qualify as "old classics".

Anyway my point was that every formula has pros and cons and the WCM one is not immune to that principle.

I certainly advise you to get there again. As long as you don't need a passport to get there :)
 

Ray Woloszyn

"Fire and Movement"
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
3,949
Reaction score
855
Location
Kernersville, NC
Country
llUnited States
Looking at the four scenarios Michael played for the minis they doesn't qualify as "old classics".

Anyway my point was that every formula has pros and cons and the WCM one is not immune to that principle.

I certainly advise you to get there again. As long as you don't need a passport to get there :)
I see what you mean. I played in different minis than Michael and I guess being around the ASL tournament scene since the absolute beginning everything but the latest from the new journal probably seems old to me. Hand me my cane, sonny!
 

bprobst

Elder Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
2,240
Reaction score
954
Location
Melbourne, Australia
First name
Bruce
Country
llAustralia
The truly innovative idea, however, is the way they handle the scenario choices; there is no choice and the scenarios are not released in advance. All participants in a particular mini play the same scenario in a given round.
Not that innovative. That's the way most tournaments have been run in Australia since, well, forever.

On the contrary IMO, average players are more apt to gack the setup/SSRs/VCs if faced with an unknown scenario, leading to quick and frustrating defeats for them. A little bit of prep time is necessary.
Eh, maybe. If that's a concern, some thought as to seeding opponents can alleviate it. In my experience, though, any time an "average" player faces a "quality" player (however you want to define those terms), a "quick and frustrating defeat" is not going to be put off by giving the "average" guy more time. And are such defeats really "frustrating"? IMO the "average" player should learn quite a lot from the experience, perhaps giving him the chance to evolve into a "quality" player as well. You don't want the wolves just constantly picking off the sheep, but sometimes it's not that clear-cut a decision.
 

Michael R

Minor Hero
Staff member
Moderator
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
3,022
Reaction score
1,433
Location
La Belle Province
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
My feeling is that there event is less about competition and more about a social ASL weekend.
 

Mister T

Elder Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
1,293
Location
Bruxelles
Country
llFrance
And are such defeats really "frustrating"? IMO the "average" player should learn quite a lot from the experience, perhaps giving him the chance to evolve into a "quality" player as well.
There is a difference between: (i) a defeat due to superior tactics, which can be sometimes crushing, and against which i have nothing in principle, as like you said, this is a good way to learn and evolve.
(ii) a dumb defeat, which happens because one player forget the VC, a critical SSR, which leads to an unsatisfactory result for both sides. It happens all the time and no one is immune to such blunders, but the risk can be mitigated if people have access to scenarios in advance.

Another disadvantage of the secret round is the increased setup time, which is a pity because it decreases the effective playing time ratio, especially if the TD is not policing setup times.

Now don't get me wrong, i like also the challenging and exciting nature of secret rounds so a mix of public and secret rounds is probably a good idea.

For instance, 3/4 public rounds followed by two secret ones.

Or better, conditional secret rounds. Only players in competition for the title (and their oppos) after three rounds (i.e people at 3-0) will play secret scenarios while the rest of the field will follow the pre-announced menu. Best of both worlds.

For once I agree with Bruce completely on both points
That does not surprise me :)
 

chapman

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2010
Messages
78
Reaction score
20
Location
CT
Country
llUnited States
Glad you enjoyed it Michael, when living in LA many years ago I always enjoyed WCM and the SoCal gang was a fun and organized bunch of ASLers.
 

Stewart

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
1,307
Reaction score
109
Location
California
Country
llUnited States
There is a difference ...
(ii) a dumb defeat, which happens because one player forget the VC, a critical SSR, which leads to an unsatisfactory result for both sides. It happens all the time and no one is immune to such blunders, but the risk can be mitigated if people have access to scenarios in advance.

Another disadvantage of the secret round is the increased setup time, which is a pity because it decreases the effective playing time ratio, especially if the TD is not policing setup times.
In Advance, you mean weeks before the tournament?
Well, at that point you'd be giving players with more free time to analyze and play the tournament scenarios a couple of times.


I think if you show up Thursday...they'd have all of the scenarios for you...(hopefully the setup doesn't make or break the game, good scenarios avoid this)
You could look over the scenarios, read the SSR and VC...misreading the VC and SSR is common for a lot of players especially Average ones. So, one thing I go over in just about instance where the scenario isn't CRYSTAL clear is talking to my opponent...."these are the VC hexes, I need X squads off the board, Falling snow does what again?...." stuff like that....

If your opponent isn't friendly enough to point out the nuances and agree with you, then take your damn sweet time in the game...

AND the DR's can at times dictate a victor.
 

clubby

Elder Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
2,241
Reaction score
533
Location
CA
Country
llUnited States
I'm not a good player or competitive at tournaments, but I enjoy the fact that the scenarios can't be played several times by the more experienced players, using VASL and playing more experienced opponents to prepare. You don't need to be Bill Belichick to beat me.
 

Mister T

Elder Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
1,293
Location
Bruxelles
Country
llFrance
I'm not a good player or competitive at tournaments, but I enjoy the fact that the scenarios can't be played several times by the more experienced players, using VASL and playing more experienced opponents to prepare. You don't need to be Bill Belichick to beat me.
Actually experienced players are expected to fare much better in front of an unknown scenario compared to an inexperienced player, as the former can relate the new stuff to a similar scenario played in the past. Preparation can level the field to some extent.
 

=FC=Gorgon

Minister of Propaganda
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
251
Location
Ryalside
Country
llUnited States
Actually experienced players are expected to fare much better in front of an unknown scenario compared to an inexperienced player, as the former can relate the new stuff to a similar scenario played in the past. Preparation can level the field to some extent.
Second that. Though I am not against "blind" tournaments. As long as the players know what is going on, it's all fair IMHO.
 

DWPetros

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2016
Messages
189
Reaction score
496
Country
llUnited States
Hi Nadir,

Hey, can I send a PM to you?
Don
 
Top