Congratulations to ASLOK XXI Grofaz Champion Bob Bendis!
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  Thanks to the 165 registered attendees. Here are the weekend and mini-tournament winners. Please contact me if I misspell a name.

First Place: Mike McGrath
Second Place: John McDiarmid
Third Place: Mike Ziementz
Fourth Place: Doug Creutz

Theme Winner
Pacific: Hennie van der Salm
1941: Aaron Cleavin
General A-Z: John Stadick
Paratroops: Rob Seulowitz
East Front: Chris Spell
1944: Philippe Briaux

Theme Winner
1942 A: Jason Eickmann
Night: Paul Sidhu
1942 B: Chad Cummins
Mediterranean: Michael Black
Desert: Scott Romanowski
Stalingrad: Mike McGrath
Deluxe: Mike Zeimentz
East Front #2: James Taylor
Pacific 2A: Bret Hildebran
Pacific 2B: Scott Drane
No-Names: Philippe Briaux

Theme Winner
Tanks Only: Pete Belford
Journal: Darrell Wright
1939 A: Mike Reed
Red Barricades: Chuck Payne
1939 B: Dave Scofield
Pacific #3: Dave Lamb
1945: Bill Cirillo
DYO: Zeb Doyle

Theme Winner
1940 A: Rob Seulowitz
1940 B: Harold Hessler
1943: Wes Vaughn
NW Europe: Bill Cirillo
Shorties B: Joe Sylvester
East Front #3: Neil Stanhagen
General "T": Paul Sidhu
Shorties A: Lyle Sisson

Pete Shelling Team Tournament
Place Team Name Team Members Side Points
First: Windy City Murphy/Bendis/Serafin German   52
Second: New England Allenberg/Sullivan/Crowe Russian   52

Nikon's Whirlwind ASLOK XV Tour


Day One was something like January 1st, 2000. Woke up, drank coffee, thought about ASLOK, went back to bed.


Must be about April by now and I better get the ASLOK info out before David Goldman, Mike Zeimentz and John Stadick (the yearly early-birds) preregister without me. Get it done; pre-reg envelopes immediately begin to fill my mailbox. It's like affirmation of faith. Great to hear from all the guys every year. Even Brian Youse makes early contact to sign-up a half squad of MMP guys; Hennie van der Salm is the first contact from overseas.


First contacts from the Radisson are Saturday, September 30th. Joe Devine and Aaron Cleavin are in, looking to gun. Brian Martuzas hits town with Lars-Petter Simonsen, the floodgates open and the Radisson is swarming with Berserk dice rolling ASL Fanatics.


Sunday, October 1st and I'm still finishing off scenario choices for the Mini Tournaments. I rationalize it is always wise to wait till the last minute to ensure all the most recent scenarios published can be included, but in the back of my mind I truly do understand the likelihood these past few days might have seen publication of yet another Journal or perhaps volume #7 of Schwerpunkt were remote. Typing the lists of scenarios into my laptop drags and the power goes out. Battery is dead as well. I fret. That bit about waiting till the last minute begins to haunt me. I consider hand writing the lists but realize that would look amateurish, especially when compared to the beautiful name badges being Federal Expressed my way that very moment by good buddy Timbo. With this thought in mind, I persevere; power returns and the lists are completed. Now my scenarios will look every bit as professional as Timbos badges. Why haven't I heard from him? I fret anew.

Reach the Radisson around 3:00 and get into a game of Weissenhof Crossroads with Joe Devine. Great to see Joe again after an absence of several years. His .50cal with the 9-1 is in a perfect spot. Yeah right, a perfect spot to take a smoke round from a siG 38 that is. Smoke spreads across the front and my Germans swarm into the US lines. My 150* guns start hitting and pretty soon I have basically diced up a victory. Joe probably played a better game than I did, but what ya' gonna do about the dice?

Spend the rest of the evening carousing and drinking a couple Norwegian beers, courtesy of Lars. Make mental note to remind others from overseas they might bring local brews for comparison; promptly forget mental note, courtesy of Lars' Norwegian beer. (top of page)


Monday dawns and ASL players are all over the place. For much of the morning I'm doing some mystic duty that has to do with running the tournament but I sure don't remember what. Get into a game of King of The Hill (Deluxe 18) with Tom Cvetinovich. I don't really have any good reason for it, but when ya' got Tankdozers and bocage ya' sorta just feel compelled to use 'em, so my boys proceed to plow the landscape to their liking. If only we had the optional planter affixed to one of these Shermans there'd be one helluva nice apple orchard in Haut Vents, France. Whatever, Tommy makes the critical error of allowing me to use his own dice against him so I pass every Bog check and ESB roll and by the end of the game he decides he doesn't like those dice any more so gives them to me. This is huge to make off with these dice, as my future opponents will discover. My first win vs Tommy, who is always a hoot to play.

Throughout the day I continue to wonder about Timbo's excellent badges. Soon enough the horrible truth becomes quite clear (that is, he calls me) that none are forthcoming. But at least the honorable Timbo has the grace to blame it on his wife, so he gets huge style points. ALRIGHT!!!! He is with us in spirit!

Monday night is out on the town with the crew from Indy and we manage to find the high spots and the low spots. Mike Daniel seems to know every dancer in Cleveland and the one I am massaging is pretty cute…….but I digress. It should be pointed out that Tommy and I thrash Mike and Jason Eickmann at darts (cricket) and do it without even using Tommy's super dice.


Tuesday the influx of gamers reaches such a level that I lose track of all time and space. Do not play but continue the mystic tradition of tournament directorship. Let's see now, that is: run out to buy more beer, talk with new arrivals, cut out little Squad Leader circles to glue on plaques, pass out T-shirts, buy more beer, so on and on, you get the idea. At some point in there I am quite sure I drink a beer or two.


Wednesday brings an 8:00 AM crowd to Ballroom #5 for the first Mini Tournaments. Official gaming begins as 7 Mini events kick into gear. Everything runs smooth and the only complaint is that I have failed to make enough extra T-shirts. My day is spent running around and not playing, but that cannot continue for Tommy's dice are still glowing and waiting for action.


Thursday 8:00 AM and 11 new Theme Tournaments begin including GROFAZ. We are in full swing now but I manage a game of Ils Ne Passeront Pas (SP62) vs Jason Eickmann. I forget Tommy's nuclear dice but use Jason's own against him to even greater effect. My heroic 10-3 is unstoppable and the final blows land when my 9-2 armor leader in a Sherman IIIa takes out Jason's two reinforcing PzIVH's as soon as they enter the board, frontally, in one First Fire phase. Ya' gotta like that! Jason gives me his dice. (top of page)


Friday brings another 7 Mini Tournaments and Schwerpunkt runs an event as well. We are up to 162 players at this point and a lot of them have been here for days and days. Signs of exhausted delight are everywhere: glazed eyes, staggering walk, stumbling speech, disorientation, you know the feeling if you've been there. I get in a game of Round One (84) with Jim McCormick, another ASLOK vet returning after a long absence. My Poles seem destined to get totally annihilated by Jim's FT so I have to quit Jason's dice and haul out my ace-in-the-hole……….Tommy's dice, and they save the day as Jim gets way too aggressive with his weak armor. I think he has the game if he plays cautious with his armor, but we are playing fast and furious and it works to my advantage.

Pete Shelling starts up his team tournament which features East Front action for three-player teams. Each player need play only one game and it proves interesting to see who plays whom and how the points add up, for each ensuing round is affected by performance in preceeding rounds. How Pete decides opponents is one of those unexplainable mysteries which, son of a gun, I cannot explain, so ask Pete. Our ASLOK STAVKA team sends Rick Troha up against Tom "JAZZ" Jazzbutis, he of the infamous Wild West Fest fame and wielder of the all-powerful "coffee-sock". They play a scenario which lasts about all day and seems to give and take fairly even. In fact, all but one game goes well, but the Windy City team manages to totally cream their opposition, I think Bendis is probably moving double with triple Fanatic infantry or something like that, and so 1st place is immediately out of reach for everyone else.


Saturday Mini's get the go ahead at 8:00 AM, as always, and we manage to muster enough bodies for 8 events plus another Schwerpunkt tournament. My team event pairs me with Brian Youse and I set-up my Russians all HIP. Mines, Wire, guns, good golly how I hate HIP! Brian manages to hit my strength and we trade a lot of shots in what I think is an even exchange, but Brian seems disturbed by all the HIP crap and fails his personal morale check. But he carries on and we actually end fairly even; okay so I need a critical hit on one of his HT's to get the upper hand, it all counts and so Tommy's dice do me well yet again. My first win ever vs. Brian and I don't even mention his past win which involved several critical hits from King Tigers against my 10-3 and 9-2 leaders in……….oops, did I say that? (top of page)


Sunday brings an amazing number of stalwart players into the ASLOK arena. Wild Bill Hayward, a guy I cannot thank enough for running the all-night shift every night, turns over the helm yet again and play continues. Most of the day is spent on Open play and on getting the remaining Mini's finished off and, oh yeah, something called the GROFAZ has to be resolved. Details of all the winners can be found on this website. The day brings founders Bill GROFAZ Conner and Darryl ACTION Burk into the arena; it is great to see them again.

Something seems wrong because I have played five games so far and won them all. It's time for a change, so Sunday evening we open things up and Doug Creutz and I sit down for a speed game of First Crisis at Army Group North. The only thing slow about this game is the damned Russian MMG's progress across the board; it just can't keep up with those tanks. My tanks crash into Doug's lines and even Tommy's dice can't pull out a win with this stumble-bum attack. However, I'm not taking anything away from Doug's play, for he makes all the right moves and my attack might have worked had he not. Game over in about an hour and now we need more serious fun.

We throw together an eight-man tag-team match of Timoshenko's Attack and ad-lib the details. Players rotate boards so there is no point thinking too much since each turn brings you the shambles left behind by your teammate on a different board. The odd man tags in and one player sits out for a rest (like, right, read that, to drink beer). My German teammates include Tom Cvetinovich, Steve Flicker and Steve Tinsley opposed by Russians Doug Creutz, Jason Eickmann, Hennie van der Salm and Shaun Carter. Others are in there at some point I believe, for I recall Jazz in the neighborhood and surely some others. Whatever, the highlight of the game is Tommy's "brilliant" positioning of a LMG behind the platoon of T-28's. Baby, those tankers have no idea what they are dealing with. Of course Tommy moves on to the next board before he gets to shoot and Doug moves in, starts up the tanks and starts moving. Tommy hollers out, "Flicker, you gotta shoot at those tanks", so we all get a big laugh, Ho-Ho-Ho, "Yeah Steve, nail 'em up the butt with that LMG". Astute player that he is, Steve rolls up EYES followed by EYES to nail it up the butt. Next tank, slam bam, thank you mam, up the butt and dead. Third tank gets through this awesome line of defense and Steve has to resort to using the 37L ATG to kill this one, hardly sporting. Doug makes a lightening quick assessment of the situation and dumps this board. Russians proceed to win on one of the other boards, but it is anticlimactic to the preceeding action

Now it is late and what do we have enough energy to do? TANK RUMBLE!! This is yet more fun and I can't even whine about my Firefly landing in the middle of woods, as Hennie is kind enough to come straight at me and let me nail whatever behemoth tank he is driving at the time. The RUMBLE lasts till we all grow weary and I cannot recall the winner.


Monday morning, a total of 166 have come to play, but it is time we say "so long" to the last of the stragglers. It has been another great time. Look forward to another one in 2001, but for now, it is time to catch up on some sleep.

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