One of my first experiences with Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) was to play in a tournament. In fact, my very first full-rules ASL game was at a tournament. I lost 3 games and won one. But right then and there, I knew that I was hooked.
Once I moved to the Northern Virginia area, I discovered the DC Conscripts, a group of ASL players who got together about once a month. My first match was a disaster for me: I was destroyed. Completely. But I learned so much from that game. The bite was getting deeper and I was out playing in more tournaments. I went to Tussle in the Tundra, Huzzahcon (my first), Nor'Easter, NY State Championship and the ASL Oktoberfest.
What I was missing was a local tournament. So I decided to take a leap of faith and organize one locally. I had met some pretty heavy hitters in the local area when it came to gaming ASL, so I knew that we would have a good core of players. Going with the theme of us being "Conscripts" (the local crew has a schtick in which we emulate the poor bloody infantry of the Red Army), I named the tournament "Human Wave". If I had to describe the tournament as it turned out using just one word, that word would be "Success". People had fun and there was some pretty epic gaming.
So the tournament was set for 8 to 10 June. There would be a main tournament of four rounds (16 gamers) and a mini of three rounds (8 gamers). We also made room for open gamers and of course Starter Kit players. In the end, we had 16 signed up for the main and 8 for the mini, though 3 people had to bow out just before the tournament due to unforeseen circumstances. In addition to those 21 players, we had 8 open gamers show up, including 3 for Starter Kit.
29 people over the weekend far exceeded all expectations. Also present was Perry Cocke of MMP. It sure was nice having him there, especially when a rules question came up. I would give the answer, pause, turn to Perry and then see if he was nodding or shaking his head.
Another perk of the game was all the prize support. Prizes were donated by the following great organizations:
|I moved on up!|
|So much travel!|
|Starter Kits: The Gateway to ASL Awesomeness!|
|So Many Prizes!|
- Bounding Fire Productions
- Lone Canuck Publishing
- Yankee ASL (aka "The Bunker")
- The Gamer's Armory
- Multiman Publishing; and
- Key's Games and Hobbies in Moline, Illinois
In all honesty, there is no way that this could have succeeded without their support. Also of note is that two members of the Conscripts donated some loot.
|Main Tournament Trophy|
|Mini Tournament Trophy|
|"Box Cars" booby prize|
The trophies were a hit. Our very own Scott Bricker built and painted these wonderful trophies and they were the hit of the tournament!
|The Game is afoot!|
The games kicked off on Friday Night for round one. Unfortunately our room was unavailable due to a failed Air Conditioning system, but we made do. Having two air conditioners in there on a hot and muggy DC-area weekend sure did help! After a quick intro, the dice were being tossed and the games were underway!
|Round 2 Main and Round 1 Mini underway|
Saturday was a tight day. That room was packed. The patience of all involved was amazing and there were no complaints to be heard. Like most gamers, they were able to made do and all made their personal morale checks. On day 2, it was off to round 2 and 3 for the main tournament as the mini went through all 3 rounds in that one day!
|Mini Tournament Champion, Jim Bishop|
It was no surprise that Mr Jim Bishop (as seen as a 9-1 in the ASL Starter Kit Expansion Pack!) emerged with a perfect 3 and 0 record to claim the top prize in the mini tournament! He took home a gift certificate along with the amazing trophy that Scott did. Congratulations, Jim!
|Last Men Standing!|
|The Last Scenario|
In the end, Tom Arnold and Neil Stanhagen were the final two standing for the main tournament. They squared off on Sunday morning playing J103 Lenin's Sons. Neil drew the Soviets and Tom the attacking Germans. it was a tight game that came down to the final phase of the final turn! In the end, the winner was...
|The Winner! Neil Stanhagen|
Neil! In addition to the trophy, he received a gift certificate from Lone Canuck Publishing.
|Scott (left): "I designed that Box Cars model"|
Andy (right): "And I own it now! I think I set a record!"
Finally, the winner of the Box Cars: Andy Hoskins! What a champ! We think he had loaded dice! Ha! I think the final number of 15 box cars in four games. The next nearest was maybe 7. Poor Andy. But he did get a sweet trophy!
So, in the end, a lot of ASL was played and the tournament ended up one shy of 30 gamers. What a great success. To all who came out for Human Wave 2018, thank you! And I look forward to seeing you again at Human Wave 2019! I promise, the room will be bigger!