asl starter kit [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report  

  2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment

Daniel Leader, MA

2005 Champion

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Event History
2004    Kevin Boles     30
2005     Daniel Leader     24


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Daniel Leader      MA    05     30
  2.  Kevin Boles        AL    04     30
  3.  Peter Pollard      TN    05     18
  4.  Allen Hill         MD    04     18
  5.  Bob Runnicles      FL    05     12
  6.  Andrew Maly        MD    04     12
  7.  Mark Guttag        VA    05      9
  8.  Nathan Hill        MD    04      9
  9.  John Vasilakos     VA    05      6
 10.  Alan Dickson       ME    04      6
 11.  Michael Pacheco    CA    05      3
 12.  Matt Kirschenbaum  MD    04      3

2005 Laurelists

Pete Pollard, TN

Bob Runnicles, FL

Mark Guttag, VA

John Vasilakos, VA

Mike Pacheco, CA

Past Winners

Kevin Boles, AL

The Rebirth : ASL Deja Vu

Pete Pollard and Daniel Leader had a full day on Friday. It started at 9:00AM when 24 people showed up for the start of the ASL Starter Kit tournament. The previous night designer Ken Dunn and I had held a Starter Kit demo on the big board at the MMP demo booth, and Friday's entrants almost all had a decent grasp of the mechanics and rules. Basic questions were minimized, especially after Round 1 saw the most inexperienced players go down. One player specifically asked to be set up with a more experienced player in order to better learn the rules, and past ASL champion Gary Fortenberry volunteered to school our newbie for us. Eight players were back from last year, although none would progress to the top six so its back to school. Several players were veteran Squad Leader fans who would also play in the Squad Leader tournament the next day, several others would play in Saturday's Memoir '44 tournament, and only a couple were real ex-ASL players. (Besides Fort, Bob Runnicles and Jim Miller spring to mind.) Same set up as last year. Single elimination, one scenario per round announced at the beginning of the round, players matched randomly between those who had a game and those who didn't, and the promise of a strong mocking to any ringers who tried to slip in amongst the sheep.

The first round scenario was S2 War of the Rats, a popular Stalingrad scenario (and last year's Round 2 scenario) that split evenly between German and Russian victories, with only one real upset. It played a tad longer than I was hoping, however, and more than a handful of scenarios had to be called before they were finished. Even so, I only had to make one actual adjudication despite a number of very close games. Phil Bradley and John Palm were notable for playing good games despite losing, as was last year's fourth place laurelist Nathan Hill who fell to Mike Pacheco. First round comment from Daniel Leader: "I diced him [Dale Long]."

Jim Miller and Fort both dropped out after Round 1, leaving us with ten people to play S8 Ad Hoc at Chef du Pont from Operations magazine. This split 3-2 in favor of the attacking Americans. Form mostly held again, although last year's fifth place laurelist Alan Dickson fell to Mark Guttag in this round. Second round comment from Daniel Leader: "I diced him [Mike Pacheco]."

Round 3 saw the Russians attacking the Germans in S6 Beast From the East. With five winners going into advancing, I elevated Alan Dickson as "The Eliminator" and matched him against Pete Pollard, the Squad Leader GM. This time, the Russians won all three close matches. Quote of the round from Daniel Leader: "I diced him [Mark Guttag]."

In Round 4, I was able to bring in (against Pete) "The Eliminator" I had planned to use last year, Grognard Supreme Bruno Sinigaglio. Bruno formed his defending Germans up into big firegroups and was unable to slow down the Americans when his few but potent fire attacks failed, allowing Pete to get behind him and gobble up victory buildings. Daniel Leader had to play a more nuanced attack to take down Bob Runnicles, spreading the German defense thin and then cracking it in the middle. Quote of the round from Daniel: yeah ... "I diced him."

Twelve hours after the start of this continuous single elimination event, the two most experienced Squad Leader players were paired in the championship round. Luckily, a few of their games had been finished quickly, allowing them some time to eat and rest up a bit, but Friday wasn't over yet. Borrowing a tradition from the ASL event, the two finalists were allowed to choose from any of the available unplayed scenarios. Since these two had not previously played any of the ASLSK scenarios, they were happy to go with the appointed scenario for Round 5, S4 Simple Equation, the same scenario used in last year's final. When Daniel's Americans seemed to leave their right flank a bit weak, Pete sent his Germans on a "student body left" maneuver that seemed to have him poised for victory after one turn. Pete didn't press home the advantage as strongly as he might have, however, and Daniel was able to redeploy his forces to his right and, with the aid of a few key dice rolls, contain the German attack. He stayed cool, did what he had to do, and let the dice help him. Each turn Daniel got the key rolls, and each turn Pete's chances of victory slipped further and further away. By the end, all three of us were laughing at the dice.

After it was all over 'round about midnight, Daniel "Mr. Lucky" Leader couldn't do much other than shake his head at the good luck that he had seen that Friday. To win five straight scenarios of ASLSK (or SL or ASL) you have to be both lucky and good. And to do it all in one day, you have to be strong as well. Daniel had been all three that Friday.

I thank all 24 of the good sports in this tournament, none of whom gave me even the whiff of a problem. I thank also Asst. GM Ken Dunn who (among all the other things he does to help) hung around all day after his Round 1 loss in Monty's Gamble.

 GM      Perry Cocke  [2nd Year]   NA   NA

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