1994 ASLOK Archives
Grofaz Top Finishers
|| Mark Nixon
||Second Place |
|| Bill Hayward|
An amusing side note is that
Perry's Night plaque was awarded at ASLOK XXI. A mere 12 ASLOKs (and 2 TDs)
after the fact. Who said good things don't come to those who wait?
1994 AAR by Mark Nixon
PDF of Mark's AAR
PDF of Mark's PIS & all 26 or so games
(which he may have failed to turn in it seems)
Recollections by Bret Hildebran
ASLOK IX saw ASL's biggest
tourney return to Youngstown after two years in, uh, call it the more
"interesting" side of Cleveland. Rumor had it that Fish & Action Burke were
worried about attendance growing too large and thus returned ASLOK to its roots
in Youngstown, far enough away from a major airport to give some attendees
pause. No idea if the rumors were true, but it makes for a nice story. ASLOK IX was only my third ASLOK and my first in
Youngstown. The following are my recollections of the tourney, 13 years
after the event to provide at least some flavor of the first decade of ASLOK.
Any errors are my own and likely due to a faulty memory.
'94 was a tumultuous, yet
exciting time in ASL. Avalon Hill's support of ASL was on the wane, at
least for the near term, with the cancellation of the '94 ASL Annual and
reallocation of key ASL resources like Bob McNamara towards computer games.
Into this breach, many third party publishers were just beginning to leap.
MMP had just released Backblast #1, an amazing bargain at $5. Critical Hit
had just been formed combining Rob Wolkey's Fire For Effect with Ray Tapio's
once published newsletter, Trailbreak. With the principle parties from MMP,
CH & AH heavyweights like Charlie Kibler in attendance, it was a veritable
"Who's Who of ASL".
Bill "Fish" Conner and Darryl
"Action Burke" created, organized and ran ASLOK and really did an amazing job in
building ASLOK to be the destination ASL tourney for the masses. Between
just the two of them they provided 24/7 TD services which by week's end left
them quite worn down. Back in the day it seemed like there were a ton more
rules questions than now, keeping them quite busy interpreting the tome for
ASLers. The gaming area was split into two rooms, one a conventional
convention space, but the other was more like a cafeteria which was far more
spacious, but somewhat lacking in lighting unless you managed to snare a window
seat providing natural light, quite a novelty for an ASL tournament, for at
least part of the gaming day.
Drove over bright and early
Thursday morning w/Chris Farrell and managed to make it in time to slide into
the DYO mini being run by Mark Nixon. Back then it was a little more
flexible getting in a mini as they did NOT tend to go off right at the crack of
8 AM like today. We drew playing cards for pairings amongst the 8 of us
and I drew Rodney Callen in round 1. Mark walked us through the rules for
"Son of Squad Bleeder" which was a fairly ingenious, partial DYO setup where each
side had limited knowledge of the opposition's forces and had purchase points to
choose from various OB groups. Even the boards were randomized as you'd
take two boards and then roll to randomly pick which two half boards to play on
and then the direction was randomized too. You scored based on CVP and how
many VP you had on your opponent's half of the map at game end. Unopposed
armor caused your ELR to drop, giving you incentive to buy tanks and keep them
alive. Really it was an innovative design that was great fun - it would be
nice to see it redone for a new mini.
In the first scenario my
British managed to get by Rodney Callen's Germans. The second match saw me
paired with Steve Pleva. Unfortunately Steve randomly got the board with
the L2 building while I got the grain fields to attack across. My
Americans struggled as Steve's Germans sat in overwatch and peppered them to
death in the grain. After the game we decided that making the buildings
all ground level would go a long way to making things fairer, but that at least gave
me a good excuse for losing to Steve, beyond the simple fact that he's the better
Friday I matched up with Stephen
Frum in Totsugeki! My Chinese couldn't protect the guns and I was out of
the Grofaz running. Next I squared off with Brian Laethem in Panzers
Marsch. In four tries I still haven't won that early Tactiques classic
and this was the one time I lost as the Germans. Next I matched with
Darryl Wright in End of the Ninth. My little odd French gun tore up his
German armored cars allowing me to decisively win the armor battle and take the
With 3 games under my belt on
Friday and a 1-2 record in the Grofaz, I settled into playing Charlie Kibler's
epic fog of war miniature battle. Charlie acted as the "game master"
while Perry Cocke and I took the Germans against another duo (that I think
changed a couple times as the day wore on). IIRC the Germans did well, but
the only highlight I remember is one of our Panthers getting smashed by a
Russian AT gun firing special ammo which had a TK of 22. Given the fog of
war we had no idea what it was that could pack such a punch, but severely
questioned what it could have been. Later after suppressing the mystery AT
gun we realized it was merely a Russian 76L which our opponents had accidentally
misread the APCR TK chart having American APCR ammo rather than the correct Russian 14 TK variety.
Saturday I played Larry Halpern
in Going to Church and managed to pull out a tight win as the Germans. I
had the German 1 ABS balance in the BackBlast version which gave some
concealment which was crucial in the early stages. I also matched up with
Russ Hall in Cold Crocs. My Brits were able to overcome thanks in part to
a heroic 10-2 which allowed him to avoid a few key pins. Saturday night I
matched up with Warren Smith. I had just watched Warren lose a
heartbreaking game of Among the Ruins as in the heat of battle both sides
managed to forget the Americans have to exit between the roads. Warren had
the 20L flak gun and at least one firelane setup to cover the exit area.
It was tragic to watch and avoid kibitzing, but I kept quiet. After the
tragic loss and long after A.2 kicked in, I mentioned Warren may want to read
the VC again.
After such a tragic loss, karma
was on Warren's side in Zon with the Wind. My Germans came close as I had
a firelane setup on the board edge, but Warren was able to run a hero to and fro
until the LMG broke and get off with just enough VP for the W. Sunday I
paired up with Jeff Wasserman in Whoa Mohammed! a Tactiques scenario still in
its original French. It was a little different having to rely on your
opponent to read all the SSRs and VC for you, but it was a decent scenario with
the Germans fighting a fallback defense in the face of attacking British
paratroopers (who I think were Gurkhas). Ironically the other time I had
played Jeff was in the same type scenario as he had the Russians in Fighting
Withdrawal. Much like that time, he played an excellent fallback defense &
I was never able to breakthrough.
All in all it was an excellent ASLOK
with the highlights being Mark Nixon's "Son of Squad Bleeder" & Charlie Kibler's
miniatures battle as they presented some fog of war which you
seldom get a chance to partake in...