Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Player Profile: Bill Dorre

Banzai: Tell us a little bit about your gaming background. How long have you been gaming? What was your first game? Are there any particular games that stood out over the years?

Bill Dorre: Well way back in the day my Dad got me Panzer Leader for Christmas, I think it was 1975. Which in retrospect it was a tall order for an 11 year old, but I plowed through with some help from an older friend. It seemed like it took months to finally get through the rules. We played together for a few weeks when I was just about to give up I finally won a game. I guess I really kicked his butt, because he never came back over to play again. The guy was like 15, I was 11, so I think it got to him. But it did start me on looking for other opponents who were... let's say "a whole lot less than enthusiastic"... I gotta read how much? So I played solo for a while. Then I met a friend who was interested in the WWII vintage model building I was into at the time. I showed him this really cool game, we learned the rules together (again for me) played many, many games as well as building the models of all the vehicles that we could find from the game. Then later that year he went to a (I think he said) Toys 'R' Us and found SL. We opened the box together and began to play which was great 'cus you didn't have to read the whole book before you could play you first game -I WAS HOOKED!

We also played 'War at Sea' a lot and a very early electronic board game called 'Sub Search'. After a few years he had moved away and once again I had no opponent. So I did the solo gig for quite awhile, bought all the expansion modules. I played them solo as well. Some time had gone by when I didn't play at all. In High School thru College I guess I found myself in the “Geek” world so I put it away.

Banzai: When and how did you discover ASL?

BD: I was living & working in Austin and met a chap who I thought had the “Right Stuff” for such a game. I got him to read through the rules (for the most part), played a few scenarios and things were lookin' good I had found an opponent. Then one day I was in Kings Hobbies and saw My Boy Krieger on the cover of a box that said ASL - Advanced Squad Leader. Holy S*** I said gave the guy at the store $10 if he would hold it for me. Picked it up 2 days later. Boy what a shocker! Man this is serious sh** I said to myself. But my friend had finally had enough so it was back to the solo gig!

Banzai: What nationality do you enjoy playing the most?

BD: You know, I've been asked this question at least a dozen times and each time I've given a different answer. So without going through the list I'll just say that right now it's the USMC's. Their ability to “take it” as well as “dish it out” is truly amazing

Banzai: Describe your favorite kind of scenario.

BD: Well I like the meat & taters type scenarios. A lot combined arms stuff, Tanks, other vehicles and OBA. But by far my most favorite are a company level usually facing off against a similar sized unit which really pits your skill level against your opponents

Banzai: What would you say are your ASL strengths and weaknesses?

BD: I would say one of my best strengths is in the infantry movement & combat. I also feel like I have a solid base of tactics for the ground pounders.

Banzai: What is the best part of ASL? The worst?

BD: Oh man! Whew! Gotta be AFV combat. I think my aggressive style tends to lead me into trouble, but I'm improving. As a convert from the SL days this has been difficult transition but not insurmountable, and I believe I'm getting better each game! And that's all I can wish for.

Banzai: What are you most looking forward to with regard to ASL?

BD: I love meeting and playing new guys with different ideas/tactics. I hope that both our games improve by the time were done, and that I have made a new friend & ally. Ask 10 ASLer's what they would do in any situation and you'll get 10 different answers. That's great!

Banzai: You're attacking in 1944. Would you rather have four Greyhounds or three Stuarts?

BD: I'll take the Stuarts. These are solid AFV's. Yeah, they may seem small, but they have just enough firepower and speed to make anybody nervous, except for maybe some of the Behemoths.

Banzai: What was your most enjoyable ASL moment? Your worst? Funniest?

BD: Most enjoyable moment had to be taking the Mojo at last years tourney. The worst had to be loosing Merzenhausen Zoo. I in trouble but still in it and as I roll on my first King Tiger. Roy (My Nemesis) takes a frontal shot- snakes - boom boom, out go the lights! Not sure I would have won with them, but I would have enjoyed blowing the crap out of some of those FT tanks!

Banzai: What area of your play would you like to improve on most over the next year?

BD: Well I will want to improve in my AFV combat for one! I think this year I would like to do more night scenarios. And Airdrops. Not much experience in either of those areas.

Banzai: Do you plan to defend your Major Johnson title at the tournament this year? If so, how?

BD: Oh, Absolutely. I know a lot of guys will be gunning for me there! Beware guys, I bring an awful lot of enthusiasm, and more importantly energy. And I'm really into doing beach landings right now, which tend to be rather large. Do a few of those and couple of other large scenarios I have in mind, and I should be in the running!

Banzai: What advice would you give to players who are just starting out, and what advice would you give to ASL clubs in trying to attract and retain new players?

BD: Well for the newbies you really have to learn patience, this is an extremely complicated game as far as mechanics. Along with that you have to learn tactics to match rules of play so in essence there are really two learning curves - How to play within the framework of the game rules AND how to learn and apply tactics to that framework.

Banzai: What's your favorite AFV (or other game piece) in ASL and why?

BD: Tough Question - I would have to go with some of the later versions of the Sherman like the M4A32(W) with a gyro. It has so many kewl things to play with like WP Sm. Also I like the IJA Type II for the jungle. This is a solid tank, with the 57mm gun, 4fp MG, and small target. Makes for enough trouble not to be taken lightly.

Banzai: We'll get to your favorite ASL scenarios in another issue, so how about telling us what your other favorite games are?

BD: I've always been an avid chess and backgammon player, and I've been known to throw down on Axis & Allies as well. I also have and old SPI game of War of The Ring played on a geomorphic map of hexes - hexes of all things! It's very cool! And of course the old favorites: Panzer Leader (which I still own)... Ever hear of the Buck Rodgers Game? That was always fun. I even have an OLD copy of Dark Tower which I understand is going for about $600 on eBay... but of course I'm keepin' mine.

Banzai: What are your other interests outside of gaming?

BD: I like to play golf as much as I can. Basketball, and not to brag, but I'm a damn good bowler. So, anybody up for a challenge - Bueller - Bueller ... Anyone seen Ferris!??

Banzai: Any final comments to wrap up?

BD: Sure! I am very pleased to have run across your website for my gaming had almost come to an end. Go long enough without an FtF and you begin to think 'Why am I still holding on to this stuff?'. So I think all of the ASL community really needs to try to recruit more personnel, and not just for easy pickens. We really need to try and assist the new guys and get them up to speed.

One more quick note. I must say you guys without knowing it have set the bar extremely high, mostly from the wealth of games played. It can be rather daunting to enter your name on the ladder not because of the points of the guys at the top of OUR HUMBLE LADDER but because of the sheer number of games played by those guys. I realize there has been some discussion on this very subject. I don't suggest changing the format of the ladder. But perhaps we could set up something along the lines of a tier system based on the number of games played. Ex: 1-50= Novice 51-100= intermediate 101 or more = grognards.

This would help some of the newer and younger player to not be so intimidated as to shy away from a great experience that will carry through a lifetime.

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