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Subject: ASL Open 2012 - An Open AAR rss

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Patrick Martin
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Wisconsin
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Author’s note: The following is a combination review and session report, although it does not pertain to a specific product or scenario. Rather, it is a review of the recent ASL Open tournament in Chicago, along with some thoughts on the scenarios I played over the weekend. I hope that it proves enlightening and that it might convince someone else out there to pick up ASL or attend their first tournament.


ASL Open 2012 – April 20-22nd, Oakbrook Terrace IL.



Why did I decide to attend the ASL Open? Well, I was longingly consuming information on the internet about Festung Budapest, the promised Rising Sun release, and the most recent Action Pack and ASL Journal, and contemplating whether I could rustle up the funds to purchase any of the above before they went out of print. Then I thought back to the last time I had actually used any of my physical ASL mapboards... it was a couple years back, and the time previous was a few years before that. It just didn’t seem right to spend all that money without any prospect of the goods actually going to use. Besides that I had some “use it or lose it” vacation time at work, and some money sitting on the I-Pass account. The SSRs of my life seemed to decree it – it was time to go to my first tournament!

As the days wound down towards the arrival of tournament time I was excited, but also somewhat nervous. Would I have to clip my counters to fit in? Would I have to have un-clipped counters to fit in? Would everyone at the tournament be able to quote A.14 verbatim (and actually understand it)? Did I need to bring a custom crafted dice tower? Was I dumping myself into the deep-end like a bucket of chum for the ASL sharks?

In all seriousness though, I did have a few reservations. I was still using the old Avalon Hill version 1.0 rules. Also, taking a look at the scenario list I noticed that I only had two of the scenarios (out of ~50) in my possession. I was missing most of the more recent map releases, along with the French, Axis minors, and the entire PTO order of battle. Would I even have the kit to play anyone when I got to the tournament?

Despite these concerns I was looking forward to the chance to play a bunch of new scenarios with a bunch of new opponents. I had no expectation of winning, but I hoped to at least learn something new every game (either rules or tactics) and at least stay competitive until the end game. Of course, I assumed I’d have a lot of fun along the way as well.

Tournament morning finally arrived, and I set out with a backseat full of ASL gear and a cooler full of bento-boxes. Amazingly the drive down I-90 was unhindered by either traffic or construction, and I made such good time that I arrive over an hour before tournament start time. I knew I was at the right place when I saw a gentleman removing a large sheet of plexiglass from his trunk in the hotel parking lot.




Friday Afternoon – Round 1
Scenario: WCW5 – Abandon Ship!


My first round opponent had brought only his copy of the rules, so we decided to expedite things by playing the one scenario on the tournament list for which I had brought all the boards and counters – Abandon Ship. This scenario was originally released at the 1995 ASL Open and was evidently popular enough at the time to end up being published in the General a few years later as scenario G44.

Looking at the scenario, it appeared to be something like ASL 1 – Fighting Withdrawal transferred from the Finnish front to the Battle of the Bulge. The Americans set up at one end of the board 24 valley, and the Germans have to fight or drive through them, get past a road block and (roughly speaking) park more troops on the opposite side than the Americans can exit ahead of them.

The dice gave me the Germans. My opponent’s setup seemed to focus on a large woods mass in the front and center of my projected line of advance – apparently leaving more lightly defended corridors on the top and bottom edges of the board. After brief consideration, I decided to try and probe along both edges with my initial forces and follow up any weak spots with my turn 3 reinforcements.

Based on raw hex distance it looked like I needed to average over 4 hexes a turn to get my infantry to the victory area. Turn one saw me ahead of schedule, having revealed a few Americans for no casualties. During US turn 1 I recall thinking that my American opponent was being too aggressive to stand up and prep-fire against my seemingly superior force with armor support and I thought I might be able to simply destroy the American force and waltz to victory, but after a desultory turn 2 I realized that I had advanced less than 10 hexes with most of my force and I felt that I wasn’t advancing or destroying fast enough for my liking.

The American prep fire on turn 2 was also instructive for both of us. My opponent revealed a concealed HS with bazooka and took a shot with good TH# against the front of my Panther VG. He hit easily, but then we computed the TK#... essentially even with a turret hit he had to roll snakes to get an improbable kill. Lesson learned by both of us – check your TK numbers versus your opponent’s armor values when you’re setting up the scenario!

Defensive fire during the American turn 3 left holes on both sides of the board that appeared to be free from coverage by American bazookas (a couple of broken HS with bazookas, and no concealed stacks with proper LOS). I decided to make a run for it with my armor in turn 4 – a risky move perhaps, but I didn’t feel like I was making enough forward progress with my infantry nor destroying the American troops quickly enough to justify sitting around (I also recall being quite scared of my opponents 10-2 leader in the middle of the board). My Panther ended up on the far side of town while a Panzer IV and the Jagdpanzer IV ended up in motion on the south side of town in the midst of some American infantry (unfortunately not enough MP to overrun).

The next two player turns saw what to me in retrospect were the key moments of the game. One of the two broken American HS with a bazooka managed to get a self rally and position itself with a hexspine LOS to my Panther on the far side of town. I neglected to make a motion attempt during the American movement phase and then (even worse) completely forgot to do anything at all with the Panther in my subsequent MPh! My opponent was not quite so forgetful in his DFPh and KO’d the Panther with a rear bazooka hit.

I was still able to break a trail through the woods adjacent to the roadblock and get my Jagdpanzer IV to the opposite side of the roadblock. The Americans had some difficulties withdrawing as they were caught between my armor and my pursuing infantry, but with the demise of my Panther, one stack with leader was able to double time their way along the north edge of the map and off the board to victory. I managed to confuse myself a little on the victory conditions, but with the Americans exiting that stack it wouldn’t have mattered, and we called the game with roughly a turn left.

In retrospect I think I may have been in too much of a hurry (my opponent suggested as much after the game) in rushing my tanks forward unsupported. Of course, had I managed to extricate my Panther, it would have been in a position to both garner VPS and prevent the American exit, so perhaps the game was closer than it seemed at the end.


Friday Evening – Round 2
Scenario: AP78 – Crossfire


My next opponent was a tournament newbie like me, and from the sounds of it had even less play experience than I did. We were able to borrow a couple of map boards and play Crossfire from AP 8 – Roads to Rome. The dice gave me the Americans.

I was quite intimidated by the victory conditions. Even though the Americans are able to attack from two sides and begin in control of the board 5a high ground, if the game goes the distance they have to control every stone building in the boards 10 and 46 villages – it seemed like a lot for 18 squads to manage in six turns.

My opponent’s setup seemed to be concentrated on board 46 – which also had more stone buildings than board 10. There were three stacks deployed forward on board 5a between the board 5a hill and the board 46 village, and there did not appear to be any non-HIP units along the board seam between 10 and 46. Of course there was one HIP MMC plus (presumably) four HIP emplaced guns somewhere on the board as well. I took a little time to examine the board, and I was drawn to the board 10 side of the German defense. Per the VC if I controlled all but one of the board 10 stone buildings in two turns I would be able to win. Since I didn’t fancy my chances on the end game victory conditions, I thought I would shoot for that auto-victory, and in the case that I didn’t get it, at least hope to annihilate the 30% of the German OB that was deployed there.

As I actually began setting up pieces, I noticed that there were actually six stone buildings empty of visible defenders that were actually within my theoretical movement range from my deployment areas. If I could occupy five out of six after my first APh I could win on the first turn! It seemed quite risky (a fair amount of open ground to cross under potential enemy fire), but it seemed worthwhile to commit some HS and a couple of my lower quality leaders to the attempt, if only to see what sort of reaction I might draw.

My prep fire saw an egg laid by my first mortar (no WP, but also a miss), but my second mortar got real lucky and dropped WP on the German MMG nest on board 10 and broke them! This suddenly opened up some avenues for movement free of enemy fire, and the odds of making five buildings in the first turn seemed to jump considerably. My luck continued when a German LMG team covering the middle of board 10 cowered on a high doubles roll – not only failing to inflict any damage on my guys moving in the open, but eliminating any chance for SFF to place another key residual in the road. My HS tasked with occupying one of the six apparently empty buildings did run afoul of a HIP infantry gun, but with double time combined with poor German dice on -2 shots and good morale rolls I had unbroken/unpinned troops adjacent to the remaining five buildings.

After my advance phase carried some CX HS and SMC into five previously empty stone buildings, I half expected a HIP unit to come popping out to deny me control. No such units existed however, and I had managed to win on turn 1. I felt kind of cheesy about the whole approach, but I think that barring a succession of good dice I wouldn’t have been able to make it work (at least in one turn). Thankfully my opponent was quite gracious about the whole ordeal.

While prior to setup I thought the Americans had a tough time with the VC, after playing once (and seeing the game next to us end with American victory on turn 4), it seems like the victory conditions are really hard for both sides. The Germans seem to need to manage their “collapse” very carefully, while the Americans need to both destroy German units and capture territory with some speed. I would certainly play this scenario again as either side.


Saturday Morning – Round 3
Scenario: PBP 28 – Peningkibaru Push


Moderately refreshed (I forgot to close my blinds and was woken at 6:00am with bright sunlight in my face) on Saturday morning I found myself matched against an opponent who appeared to be a veteran (at least based on the size of his collection). I asked whether he felt comfortable with PTO, and he did, so I proposed we play the one PTO scenario from the third round selections. I was eager to play against someone who knew the rules well since I had not yet played any PTO against a live opponent (I missed out on CoB and GH! during the AH days – waiting patiently for RS).

My opponent allowed me to take the Australians, as I wasn’t certain I would be able to make full use of the Japanese national characteristics. The scenario has an interesting hook – both sides enter from off board, but the Japanese get to setup a pillbox with an AA gun, some known mines and a tunnel roughly in the middle of the board. The first move decided by a dr!

I felt confident about my chances, with better morale and armor support making up for the slightest inferiority of numbers. I imagined that I would be able to occupy enough buildings and huts on my side of the board to win without having to capture (or even approach) the pillbox. The Japanese set up the pillbox towards their side of the board facing the relatively open crossroads in the middle of the map. I planned on having my invulnerable (to 25mm fire anyway) Matildas move up the middle while a platoon of infantry advanced on the victory buildings on either flank.

The Japanese got the first move and pushed forward across the board as far as they could with double-time movement. My entry was limited to sending my tanks up the middle, one platoon down a jungle path on the left, and the other platoon up the road in the middle of the board (to avoid a large kunai field on the far right). Turn two saw both sides push further forward, with the Japanese occupying the bunker and several victory buildings, while I positioned the left hand platoon to cover the middle of the board with fire.

Japanese turn 3 saw a single leader banzai charge at my right hand platoon, which soaked enough fire up to allow Japanese squads to capture a couple more victory buildings. In my turn, after defensive fire I had two possible advances I could make that would give me 3:2 odds with a net -1 on the ambush roll. As victory would allow me to capture two victory locations, I decided to go in on both. Disaster! Even with the advantage on the ambush drm I lost one of the ambush rolls and was promptly eliminated by HtH CC. The other close combat turned into a melee, which the Japanese promptly reinforced and won on their turn 4.

With the loss of nearly a third of my squads to these two CCs, and the Japanese already in possession of sufficient victory locations, I had to step up my aggressiveness, opening myself up to some tank hunter and DC heroes. The dice were with me however and on the last turn I actually had a shot at getting troops into a sufficient number of victory locations (of course, I would have to win four or five CCs... it was a longshot). Defensive fire finally broke the last of my moving units before it could get adjacent to the last victory location, and the game was over.

In retrospect, even with the favorable ambush roll I would probably have been better off sitting around for another turn at close range. With my 8 morale, I failed very few morale checks during the game, and an additional turn of fire from my tanks might have opened gaps for my troops to exploit.

It was a fun loss however, and I was quite glad to learn that I really knew the PTO rules (at least jungle terrain and Japanese nationality characteristics) fairly well. I am definitely looking forward to playing some more PTO scenarios!


Saturday Afternoon – Round 4
Scenario: WO6 – The HEAT Is On


I really liked the look of the opposing forces for this scenario and was pleased when my fourth round opponent agreed to play it. We diced for sides and I received the Russians. While my opponent set up I took a stroll around the tournament floor and noticed only a few others playing this one – perhaps its size was intimidating. I brushed up on the mechanical reliability and platoon movement rules, and thought about my strategy.

In considering my attack, I was most worried about the HIP German 88mm AA gun which could knock out even my KV-1s without too much trouble. There seemed to be fairly open fields of fire in the middle of board 57, but I had my doubts that the Germans would set up their heavy hitter that far forward. I got the idea looking at another German player’s setup that the 88 could placed to support the defense of building 65CC6. With that in mind, I decided to try and position myself to go for both victory conditions at opposite ends of the board and hopefully stretch the German defense to the breaking point.

Sitting back down and inspecting my opponent’s setup I felt even more confident in my plan. The Germans appeared to be spread fairly evenly across the mapboard, with (to me) a surprising number up front to challenge my entry. The pillbox covered the middle of board 57, while a concealed stack was at level 2 in the 65CC6 building. I would throw the vast majority of my infantry directly at building 65CC6, while my tanks with enough desant troops to allow me to threaten the exit victory would charge across the southern edge of the map towards an exit. Given the German deployment it looked like I would have a 4:1 advantage in squads around the victory building, which I thought would make that the more likely route to victory, but I would pounce on an exit VP win if the Germans didn’t commit forces to stop my armor.

Turn one saw the Soviet hordes surge forward. I took some defensive fire, and found to my surprise that the folks at level 2 were actually manning an ATR and not an MG -- so much the better for my approaching infantry! No 88 opened up on my armor as it ended the turn around the board seam, and my infantry made good time, ending massed around the board 57 village crossroads. German fire only succeeded in generating a berserker. Meanwhile, the German HMG turned out to be on the side of the board opposite my tanks, and after laying a firelane that proved ineffectual at breaking any of my desant troops, its manning squad and leader started legging across the open ground towards the victory building and my mass of squads.

Three of the German StuGs ended up parking themselves so as to interdict my armor should it try to exit around 65I1, while one motored up to the wall surrounding the victory building. I liked the odds that left for both the potential armor duel and my infantry assault on the victory building.

Turn two saw my heavy tanks work their way past the end of the gully to around 65H8, facing down one of the StuGs down the long roadway towards U2. The Russian infantry amoeba continued its advance through the village and orchards east of the victory building. My berserkers led the way, shrugging off any fire but not actually getting into contact with any Germans. No 88 yet discovered.

The dice gave some extreme results on turn three as a poor mechanical reliability roll and subsequent DR gave my T-34 and its KV-1 platoon-mate just enough MP to start. This was balanced by the incredible rate tear one of my 50mm mortars got, culminating in a shock result on the one StuG facing down my advancing infantry. This was perfect timing, as the leading squads were in a perfect location to rush the wall, which they did. Despite leadership they failed to kill the StuG in CC through two player turns of shock and UK status, finally nailing it only after it had recovered and overrun them once!

I did manage to find the 88 this turn with my un-platooned KV-1 as I pulled around the corner in 65N5. He was sitting in 65P0 (presumably to enable coverage of most of the exit hexes) and managed to shock both me and my KV-1. At this point I felt as if the exit victory was unlikely, but my tanks were at least pinning most of the Germans armor on the opposite side of the board from the victory building.

My infantry swarmed into the compound, another squad went berserk, and I began slowly surrounding the defenders in CC6. Wire in front slowed my progress, but the second StuG was destroyed in CC as it attempted to reinforce the defenders. We were forced to call the game at the end due to time constraints, and my opponent was gracious enough to concede (although frankly I was a little worried about whether my infantry would be able to make it through and around the wire in time at the end...).

I must say that my opponent this round was great fun to play against. He had a great sense of humor and was not above adding in sound effects when I rolled 11s on my mechanical reliability or 6s as I attempted to cross the wire. The scenario itself was quite fun as well, and I could imagine several other ways to go about the attack and defense. This one definitely merits a replaying at some point.


Saturday Evening – Round 5
Scenario: FrF22 – Wunderwaffe


I was matched up with another fellow Wisconsinite for this round, and despite a professed desire on both our parts to play a quick scenario and get some sleep we managed to choose one of the larger scenarios available. I once again diced to receive the early war Soviets. My force felt similar to the previous scenario, though more armor heavy. This time the Germans would face me with not one, but two anti tank guns capable of one shot kills against my tanks (the Wunderwaffe of the scenario title). Once again I was faced with two possible victory conditions.

The concealed German setup didn’t suggest any particular line of attack. I was really drawn to board V however. There appeared to be a sort of valley between two level 1 hills – a feature that looked very strange to me, but seemed to offer a covered approach to the middle of the board. Rather than risking running into both anti-tank guns by spreading my tanks across the board, I decided to enter all of them on the left and try to maneuver them to the middle of the board through the valley feature. Roughly half my infantry would enter with the armor, while the other half made for the board 4 woods clusters nearest the north edge.

My left flank entered without incident, managing to break and subsequently capture a lone half-squad that was on outpost duty on the far left of my advance. My right flank infantry took some breaks going in, but got enough force into the woods to lock up the defenders in CC. The defenders mostly skulked, and on turn 2 my tanks ended up bypassing into the little village area around vL8, facing down some German infantry at level 1 in the vK10-L9 building. Some lucky defensive fire rolls, and the German 9-2 was revealed and broken, along with his squad – taking the German MMG out of commission in the process.

At this point I thought I would be able to easily sweep to a building control victory, since it appeared such valuable elements of the defender’s force had been eliminated without commensurate loss on my part. However, after my turn 3 movement phase towards 4P1, the first German AT gun revealed itself right in the middle of the board and knocked out one of my KV-1s. In subsequent prep fire a second of my tanks was turned into a burning wreck. Thankfully the rest of my tanks were loitering back around vL8 out of sight or the damage could have been even greater.

I had dismissed the utility of the motorcycles with the German reinforcements, but my opponent used them well, and just as I had identified a potential victory target (in the now identified AT gun), he motored reinforcing infantry up to support the gun crew. Meanwhile, I had seven of ten victory buildings, but was at a loss as to where to capture the last three. It seemed most expedient to drive up the middle of the board through the woods towards 4P1, 4S2 and 4T3 while also threatening the AT gun position with capture. Of course, that wooded approach would only work for my infantry, so I sent a tank back and around on board 4 to attempt to flank the German anti-tank position. Perhaps unsurprisingly I found the other anti-tank gun covering the open ground on board 4 and lost a tank for my trouble.

The German turn 4 saw reinforcing vehicles move up to support the anti-tank gun on board 4 near the 4O6 building, while the German infantry consolidated their positions around the gun in 4O1. Suddenly my infantry was facing some significant firepower to advance and my tanks were essentially trapped in the “village” area between the lines of fire of two anti-tank guns. In my prep-fire phase however, I got lucky with another mortar critical hit that took out the Marder, and a sneaky line of sight let one of my T-34s knock out the German armored car. My remaining KV-1 created a trail-break through the woods around 4M0 that would allow it to move out of sight of either anti-tank gun, and I managed to get one squad into the building adjacent to the anti-tank gun in the middle of the board – before being forced to rout out due to defensive fire.

At the start of turn six the building control VC looked doubtful, so I put all my effort into seizing the anti-tank guns. My KV-1 motored into 4Q2 where it became a burning wreck, but used up the German ROF. One of my T-34s overran the gun-crew, breaking it and remaining in motion while the Germans failed to malfunction their weapon during reaction fire. A 4-4-7 and a 5-2-7 managed to survive defensive fire adjacent to the gun position! All I needed to do was advance in and gain possession of the gun.... and hold off the inevitable counterattack in the German player turn.

By this point it was rather late and we were one of the last games still going, and we had a few spectators. In advanced both squads. I got possession of the gun with the 5-2-7 in the rally phase. The German player had five MMC that were in a position to do something about my possession of their wunderwaffe, and due to the smoke from my burning KV-1 next door, they decided to move up for CC rather than attempt prep fire. One squad went down to defensive fire, but the others got through some tough morale checks with their 8 morale. That didn’t hurt either when two and a half squad equivalents out of three and a half managed to pass their PAATC and advance in for close combat. It was going to be tough – I had to survive the German attack, and then get lucky on my CC roll to avoid getting stuck in melee.

My opponent and I were both on our feet as we calculated the CC odds. The dice went into the cup.


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surpriseNooooooooooooooooooooo!cry



Well, any game that goes to the last CC is a good one in my book.







Sunday Morning – Round 6
Scenario: OB1 – Riding the Coattails


For the last round I was not in the mood for a game that went as long as round five, so I ended up picking what looked like the simplest of the scenarios that my opponent proposed. The dice this time gave me the defending Poles, so I got ready to have fun with the uncommon Tachanka.

While I considered my setup, I recalled having seen the scenario being played during an earlier round and watching the Poles’ tachanka getting mortared to death on the very first prep fire phase due to setting up behind the wall up front. I decided to do it, to use my very first 5/8” dummy stack. They went up front at the wall, while my concealed tachanka set up in the orchard behind, still having some LOS down the middle of the board road. Besides that bit of trickery I tried some other setup subterfuge with my support weapons and leaders being hidden on the bottom of stacks. I was rather ticked off to learn that I couldn’t gain VP for holding buildings and I really didn’t fancy my chances against a 3:2 squad advantage, being down a leader and having fewer support weapons, so I wanted to maintain concealment as much as possible and slow down the Slovak advance as much as possible to prevent any building capture.

As I finished setting up I did notice that there was a 1-hex gap at the very west edge of the board where my opponent could theoretically double-time units on the first turn and begin out-flanking my position. Even though it looked like one of the illustrations from the article in Journal 8 about mistakes that newbies make, I decided not to reposition anything to address the gap.

Of course, after my opponent set up I could tell that was right where he was headed. The Slovaks were entirely on the west side of the board in the woods – leaving the large grain field entirely empty. A little bit of ineffectual mortar fire came in, and then the Slovaks started marching. I held my fire as they appeared on the other side of a brush-filled opening in the woods, and then watched with chagrin as a leader-led stack CX’d up to L10. My front line’s right flank was already turned!

I had no defensive fire, despite some movement adjacent to my concealed front-lines with some probing HS. My opponent made what I thought was a mistake here by advancing a CX HS into the same CC as a non-CX HS, and my dice ended up punishing him as I ambushed the whole lot and KIA’d them, maintaining concealment. His advances though did leave my front line with only one movement option that would allow them to retain concealment. That’s the route I took, but it didn’t allow me to withdraw as far as I would have liked. If I recall correctly during defensive fire of this turn my opponent broke one of his mortars.

Turn two saw the Slovaks surge forward on my right flank again, getting to near the far edge of the woods mass. Once again there was no defensive fire, and everyone on both sides jealously guarded their concealment. I was able to mostly skulk during my turn, and my opponent only managed to break an LMG in his defensive fire.

The breaking weapons combined with the inability to entice or force me into dropping concealment seemed to frustrate my opponent a bit. In his next move he made a move that in terms of odds favored him, but still had the downside of possibly costing him the game if it failed – most of his flanking infantry advanced into CC with two separate stacks of my troops. This was a sizable portion of our respective orders of battle, and the Slovaks had an advantage in numbers (and even the ambush modifier in one case). The dice were in my favor however, and despite winning an ambush the Slovaks couldn’t get a KIA, and I CR’d them in return.

With support weapons malfunctioned, and a large portion of the Slovaks tied up in melee, it was trivial to reinforce the melees and gain a numerical advantage during my turn, and combined with unequal dice rolls gave me even more victory points while whittling down the opposition. My opponent put in one more turn of attacking, but after I rolled a snakes in one of the remaining melees to end the turn and seal the fate of another four CVP worth of Slovakians he decided to resign. He had been well and truly diced, but for the second time in the tournament I saw firsthand how dangerous it can be to stake your success on close combat.




Conclusions:

Six scenarios in the course of forty-eight hours. Twenty-six hours of play. Over fifty player-turns. I ESB’d without breaking down. I stalled several Soviet transmissions. I survived a DC hero’s 30+2 in the enemy MPh. I KIA’d a THH. I played an entire scenario without taking a DFF shot with a net negative DRM. I fired WP, SD and S. I fought against the Japanese. I created a leader on a CC snakes. I got hit by an infantry target type APCR collateral attack critical hit (and found out that A.14 boiled down to 2 FP). I CC’d a UK’d enemy AFV (and learned that Shock/UK counts as immobilized – gotta read that index more often!). I discovered that it can be difficult to remember that brush is inherent bamboo in PTO when the map graphics don’t get automatically adjusted. I desperately used VBM freeze on the last turn of a scenario (without a hint of derision from my opponent).

Besides all these on-board antics, I also played with six new opponents (any of whom I would gladly play again) and met other ASLers from five states. I came away feeling like a better player, with a firmer knowledge of the rules, and excited to play more.
If you are in the Midwest and able to get to Chicago next spring I highly recommend you head to the 2013 ASL Open – no matter how much experience you think you have or how well (or poorly) you think you play. And while it is possible that the Great-Lakes region contains the only friendly ASL players in the world, it seems unlikely, so I’d suggest even if you’re in another part of the country (or world) and want to have a great time get to the next ASL tournament in your area. I doubt you will regret it.
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Chuck Tewksbury
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Fitchburg
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great AAR - seems like a tournament experience to be envied!
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Robert Hawkins
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Good stuff! You did a great job portraying the narrative depth of the ASL experience. I look forward to someday attending a tournament of this type.
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J. R. Tracy
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New York
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Great report, Patrick - thanks for sharing. Abandon Ship is one of my all-time favorite scenarios.

JR


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Patrick Martin
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Wisconsin
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Quote:
Good stuff! You did a great job portraying the narrative depth of the ASL experience. I look forward to someday attending a tournament of this type.


http://home.roadrunner.com/~cpayneasl/

Keep an eye out there for next spring! Looks like their turn-out this year was about two-thirds as great as this year's Open. You can make it!

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Patrick Martin
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jrtracy wrote:
Great report, Patrick - thanks for sharing. Abandon Ship is one of my all-time favorite scenarios.

JR




Glad you enjoyed it!

I would certainly play Abandon Ship! again any time as either side -- seems nicely balanced, and just large enough to allow either side to recover from a mistake or two (if their opponent lets them).

In fact, the only scenario that I wasn't thrilled with was the last one I played, Riding the Coattails, mostly because the terrain and relative lack of firepower and morale on both sides seemed to force both sides to adopt roughly the tactics that my opponent and I ended up adopting.

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Mark Hendricks
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New Mexico
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I went to the ASL Open back in 03 and 04, I think. That many games in such a short time was just brutal but great fun. Nice AAR. It reminds me of how much fun I had.
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Robert Hawkins
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Excellent...I will keep this one in mind!


funnymarx wrote:
Quote:
Good stuff! You did a great job portraying the narrative depth of the ASL experience. I look forward to someday attending a tournament of this type.


http://home.roadrunner.com/~cpayneasl/

Keep an eye out there for next spring! Looks like their turn-out this year was about two-thirds as great as this year's Open. You can make it!

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Matthew Morocco
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Great review, thanks for sharing....

I've heard alot about the ASL Open on 2HS podcast but a goggle search doesn't really show up much? .......

Is there a website that has the dates & location?

Around what time of year is it?

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Patrick Martin
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madmat wrote:
Great review, thanks for sharing....

I've heard alot about the ASL Open on 2HS podcast but a goggle search doesn't really show up much? .......

Is there a website that has the dates & location?

Around what time of year is it?



Funny, that's one thing that the tournament director mentioned at the end of the tournament... that the event didn't have a very good web presence. All the information that I found was on the gamesquad ASL forum, (http://forums.gamesquad.com/forumdisplay.php?30-Advanced-Squ...) so if you're not already a regular there it would be easy to miss it. I believe it's generally in April as it was this year, so come new years start refreshing the forum to see if/when the info gets posted. I'm not sure if the tournament director is on BGG or CSW besides being on the gamesquad forum.
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J.F. Van Natta
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Thanks for posting the AAR, I quite enjoyed it. I've never had the opportunity to attend a convention, but it sounds like a lot of fun.
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Brilliant writing. I enjoyed reading this very much.
 
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