asl starter kit [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report  

  2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Jim Munson, UT

2006 Champion

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Event History
2004    Kevin Boles     30
2005     Daniel Leader     24
2006     Jim Munson     22

 Laurels

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Jim Munson         UT    06     30
   2.  Daniel Leader      MA    05     30
   3.  Kevin Boles        AL    04     30
   4.  Buck Markowitz     DC    06     18
   5.  John Vasilakos     VA    06     18
   6.  Peter Pollard      TN    05     18
   7.  Allen Hill         MD    04     18
   8.  Bob Runnicles      FL    05     12
   9.  Andrew Maly        MD    04     12
  10.  Scott Sirianna     NY    06      9
  11.  Mark Guttag        VA    05      9
  12.  Nathan Hill        MD    04      9
  13.  Andres Dunn        MD    06      6
  14.  Alan Dickson       ME    04      6
  15.  Gary Phillips      MD    06      3
  16.  Michael Pacheco    CA    05      3
  17.  Matt Kirschenbaum  MD    04      3

2006 Laurelists

Buck Markowitz, DC
2nd

John Vasilakos, VA
3rd

Scott Sirianna, NY
4th

Andres Dunn, MD
5th

Gary Philips, MD
6th


Past Winners

Kevin Boles, AL
2004

Daniel Leader, MA
2005


 ASL Starter Kit is showing surprising legs for an introduction to the system but is still declining every year.

 Less surprising for an introductory product is that there has been only one repeat Laurelist in the two years since its debut.

The Rebirth : ASL Deja Vu

After a demo that saw around 15+ people come and go over the course of two hours Thursday morning, at noon 22 players were matched randomly depending on who had a copy of the game (as they were throughout the event). Congratulations to Jim Munson of Utah for going 5-0 to win the event this year. Jim had played a lot of regular ASL up until five or six years ago when he ran out of opponents in Utah, but had yet to crack open ASLSK. While sometimes rusty on some of the rules, his overall tactical skill was some of the best I have seen in three years of this event. He took down Bill Thompson, the Squad Leader GM in the Round 1 scenario S7 Prelude to Festung Brest while playing the Germans. The general perception was that this scenario favored the Americans a bit, as they won seven of the 11 games in the first round. Another notable first round defeat was dispensed by Matt Miller's Americans to last year's runner-up, Pete Pollard.

Matt dropped out, leaving us with an even ten players for round two, and an unpublished scenario, Purple Heart Lane, where Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment attacks into Carentan. This scenario broke 3-2 in favor of the Germans. Andrés Dunn beat Philip Yaure's Americans in the teen vs. teen match this round. The Americans of Bob Runnicles (last year's third place) ran into John Vasilakos (last year's fifth Laurelist) and some bad luck-first in not getting smoke when they needed it and second in failing several morale checks while running through the 1 firepower residual attack left in the entrance hex. Meanwhile, Jim Munson's Americans rolled over Gary Phillips, and Scott Sirianna's Americans squeaked out a win against Forrest Atterberry, with Forrest conceding as time ran down.

Forrest was kind enough to play the eliminator in Round 3, which saw the ASLSK event's first ordnance scenario (using the rules from ASL Starter Kit #2)-S18 Baking Bread. This bare-knuckle Stalingrad scenario split 2-1 in favor of the Russians, with Jim Munson again winning with the "underdogs" taking down Scott Sirianna. Buck Markowitz beat Forrest, and John Vasilakos beat Andrés Dunn. These players (minus Forrest) ended up as the top five finishers, with Andrés as top teen. These last two were the only scenarios that needed to be adjudicated in the tournament. Between a slightly larger force composition and the introduction of ordnance, this scenario ran a little longer than the others did.

In Round 4 Andrés was "volunteered" into being the eliminator in S8 Ad Hoc at Chef-du-Pont, taking the Americans against Buck's Germans. Andrés got smacked hard as he entered on Turn 1 and had trouble recovering. He got his amoeba attack working on his left flank but never got the right flank fully engaged. Although John Vasilakos had played this scenario in last year's tourney, he was no match for Munson's relentless American attack, as "Slim" Jim Gavin and his paratroopers drove deep on the American left flank before making a hard right at the board edge to exit in the center, while Jim used his right flank to tie down the German forces that John had covering the center.

Jim Munson and Buck Markowitz were left to square off in the final round. A bigger difference in player history would be hard to achieve, with Jim-the once veteran ASL player-against Buck, who has just been learning the ASLSK ropes. Round 3 was the first ordnance scenario Buck had ever played (Baking Bread). He wanted to avoid making the final round his second-ever ordnance scenario, so he was looking for an infantry-only bash. As traditional, the two finalists get to pick their scenario and they chose S6 Released From The East, the only scenario from ASLSK #1 that Buck had yet to play. It was getting pretty late, so I suggested that they might want to hold the Final Friday morning or later, but both were gung ho to go right then, so they diced for sides, with Jim getting the defending Germans.

Jim set up a ferocious upfront defense that caused Buck to try an extreme end-around with his elite Siberians. This would have fared better if Buck had not missed the fact that Jim's flank guard had LOS to the big stack of units that Buck was moving in the open. As happened all day, Jim got the hot dice when he needed them, inflicting a 1KIA-killing one squad and breaking two other squads and the leader. Buck would have had an opportunity to recover against a lesser opponent, or one with normal dice, but against a superior opponent with continued hot dice he had no chance. Two o'clock Friday morning saw Jim Munson claim the championship and with his victory. Jim propelled his second round opponent-Gary Phillips-into sixth place.

Thanks again to all 22 players for exhibiting non-stop good sportsmanship throughout. I heard some minor whining about the balance of the Round 1 scenario Prelude To Festung Brest, and some higher grade whining about the balance for the Round 2 scenario Purple Heart Lane. The only other complaint heard was from one newbie who didn't like the rule that LOS can only be checked after an attack is made. There was nothing I could do to help him about that, but I probably disappointed him some more when I ruled that stacks could not be inspected when out of LOS. (The ASLSK rules are not so clear on that issue).

Thanks to Ken Dunn for helping so ably to assist. Thanks to Forrest Atterberry and Andrés Dunn for agreeing to serve as eliminators. Congrats again to Jim Munson. He may have had hot dice through all five rounds, but he was clearly the best player.

 GM      Perry Cocke  [3rd Year]   NA
   PerryCocke@comcast.net   NA

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