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Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit (ASK) WBC 2017 Report
Updated February 13, 2018 Icon Key
 
16 Players Steven Brooks 2017 Status 2018 Status History/Laurels
  2017 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.
 

ASL Starter Kit Makes Return to WBC

Steven Brooks hadn't played ASL in a long time. And he had never played Starter Kit. He was way late getting to the tournament, and he didn't have the game. Not an auspicious start.

Josh Coyle is just entering college (go Gamecocks) next month, but he has been playing games with his Dad, Jeff, for years and coming to WBC for a few, though he had never played ASL competitively before. "Longshot" would be an understatement.

ASL Starter Kit returned to WBC after eight years and returned to its roots with an infantry-only scenario lineup centered on ASL Starter Kit #1. The Monday night demo saw a mix of old and new faces in the group of eight, along with a more intense individual demo for a pair of newbies over Tuesday afternoon. "First year GM" Perry Cocke wasn't sure what to expect Wednesday morning. What he got was almost no one from the demos, but a wide range of players: from Starter Kit "pros" like past champ Pete Pollard and Andy Maly; old ASL hands like past champion Greg Schmittgens, Jim Miller, and Steven Brooks; dabblers like John Vasilakos and Jon Squibb; and neophytes like Wray Ferrell and Josh Coyle.

Players were matched randomly based on who had their kit, and all were assigned the classic Starter Kit intro Scenario 1 Retaking Vierville (7 June 1944). With only 15 players on hand, Jim Miller offered to bow out. Everyone else was matched up and playing, and Jim was already packing up to leave (which was OK since we only had 7 games) by the time Steve Brooks arrived to get the field up to the magic number of 16, and we broke out the MMP "big board" demo set for them to play on. When Greg Schmittgens went down in round 1, the betting odds shifted to Derek Pulhamus--last seen frequenting the full-ASL Valhalla in Cleveland (ASLOk). Scenario 1 was tweaked for the tourney to drop a half-squad from the American reinforcements, but with six German wins in Round 1, maybe they didn't need the help.

Round 2 used the classic Stalingrad battle Scenario 2 War of the Rats (26 September 1942) with the Russian reinforcement random entry changed to a turn-4 entry. (While fun, the randomness was just too random for tournament play.) After being almost crushed on turn 1, Josh Coyle rallied to defeat past champ Pete Pollard (getting the Russian balance helped). Andy Maly squeaked out a German win against Jon Squibb who was serving as an Eliminator, having lost to Josh in round 1 (the Russian balance didn't help him enough). Steven Brooks pulled out a Russian win against Derek Pulhamus in two endgame close combats when his 9-2 led reinforcements cleared out a stack of Germans and then his conscript squad took down the best German leader and squad accompaniment on a low-odds attack.

In round 3, Steven went on to keep Mike Masella's Americans from Clearing Colleville (Scenario 5) (6 June 1944) by keeping them out of the village for the first part of the scenario and thus unable to close on the German Alamo in the southeast corner of town. Meanwhile, Josh Coyle's 6-6-6s and 3-4-6s made hay early against Andy Maly. Although Josh had the clear edge, the outcome was still in doubt when Andy had to concede to go GM his Automobile tourney.

Thus, the scene was set for the final, matching the wily veteran vs. the young Turk in a scenario neither had seen before, the lone offering not in the Starter Kit #1 box, Scenario 19 Purple Heart Lane (currently available for download from the MMP website) representing Easy Company's charge into Carentan on 12 June 1944. Given a choice of scenarios for the final, both players jumped at the chance to play with MMP's big board and big pieces. Both also took a few minutes to look through the scenario before Josh chose to defend with the German fallschirmjaegers. He then made the mistake of not placing residual fire on the single hex on which the American paratroopers can enter. Steven compounded that problem by marching relatively unscathed through the open against Josh's machinegun fire and taking out half of the small blocking force. This put the Germans behind the curve as their reinforcements rushed up to stop Easy. Josh's second mistake was leaving a hole in his "wall of residual" that the Americans could dance through to get into German backfield. With the Americans having gained a toehold in the town proper, their firepower soon proved too much, and Josh conceded, leaving the field to 2017 champion Steven Brooks.

The reintroduction of ASL Starter Kit to WBC seemed successful, so we look forward to doing it again next year. Josh's success bodes well for new blood accessing the ASL system, and the WBC seems like the right place to try. Remember to bring your game.

 
2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: NA

Joshua Coyle Michael Masella Andrew Maly Derek Pulhamus Peter Pollard
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
 

GM Perry Cocke keeping an eye on an ASLSK semifinal between
Andrew Maly and Joshua Coyle

Semifinal action between Steven Brooks and Mike Masella
 
GM     Perry Cocke [1st Year]   NA
   perrycocke@comcast.net    NA