I just love the end of June. The Austin ASL Tournament is one of the highlights of my year. Once again I'm up and on the road by 0600 to drive to Austin Thursday June 22, 2006. Zeb Doyle is planning a mini tournament covering Barbarossa and it starts at 0900. 201 miles later I pull into the La Quinta, ready to roll dice, with 5 minutes to spare.
Zeb's mini consist of two scenarios that 2 man teams play, one team mate is on the Russian side and the other plays the Germans. The team that scores the highest total points wins. I would play Sam Tyson then Matt Shostak, as a Russian player I defended then attack. These are excellent players and I really enjoyed my games even if Sam handled my poor Russians rather roughly. I really liked the format as one player tries to prevent points and the other is trying to accumulate them. The final total was very close between 1st and 2nd place. Great start to the weekend. Zeb passed out T-shirts to the contestants dated in the language of each nationality, really cool. Thank you Zeb.
Friday, I had arranged a game with Mike Seningen Friday morning to kick of the main Tournament. We chose A Hotly Contested Crossroads DB035 from the Bunker guys. I have played few scenarios as intense and gut wrenching as this one turned out to be. Mike is an ace ASL player and he put my Germans through the ringer, both of us played on the edge all game. In the end I took a chance with my OBA and it worked., The OBA had a 50% chance of nailing my guys if not accurate, it landed right on target and a I just escaped Mike's pending rampage through my rear area. Mike continued to attack with his few good order units and I managed to just hold on to win. 1-0 My second game Friday was against Walter Eardley from Houston. Walter is rather calm and mild mannered and after the 1st game a welcomed opponent as I was a wreck. We chose Lend-Lease Attack J98. I would be the Russian and Walter would take the Tigers. Walters luck was just average and he could not stop my exiting enough CVP for the win. 2-0 I was spent and went to bed around 0130 and did not sleep well as I continued to think about my ASL play.
Saturday, I was waiting for a match and Scott Bell asked if I needed a Game. We settled on A Siege of Their Own. This was a playtest scenario and Scott wanted the attacking Russians. I fell back against the advancing Russian horde and waited for my reinforcements and they proved decisive. Scott is relatively new, however, his attack was planned very well. It was just not to be. 3-0
I was matched up with Brian Roundhill and we decided to play after the annual Saturday Barbeque Dinner the Austin guys provide. Most excellent! Brian and I settled on Deadeye Smoyer SP43. Brian forgot that the M26 entered on the west edge and ended up losing his Panther early. Brian defended the victory building with tenacity and skill. The game would come down to the last close combat phase. Well played Brian. Sometimes you need a little luck and I rolled a snakeyes at the right moment. 4-0
Late Sat. is reserved for diehard ASL and cards. I played cards until 0200. Sleep is restless and Sunday Morning arrives and I drift into the game room. I will be matched with Zeb Doyle and depending on the outcome of another match ours could be for the title. We were asked to pick a scenario that could be played in a reasonable amount of time. Zeb pulled out some scenarios and I settled on Twilight of the Reich SP97. Zeb had played it before but it is one that struck me as providing an exciting ending. The dice gave me the defending Germans. The Germans are fragile and must try to conserve his infantry and that was my plan. I fell back and my squads slowly died off. A 2-3-7 and 8-0 leader are the heroes, they managed to survive turn 3 an 4 of CC at odds of 3-1 and 4-1. The 8-0 would withdraw Russian turn 4 when Zeb rolled a 12. He would run down the ISU152 and advance into CC and lock the Beast in CC, no Prep fire turn 5! My Jagd Panthers rummbled into burning wreck hexes and remained in Motion. Zeb would need a series of snakes to win and the dice would not comply. 5-0 and the Tournament 10-3 award as the other game's outcome made ours the Title game. The Austin Tournament is well organized and a blast. Texas hospitality is waiting for all of you next year. Rick, Mike, Zeb and all the others made this an excellent place to spend a few June days come see us next year.
Thanks, Jim Ferrell