Wednesday, October 14, 2009



I went to my first ASLOK (Advanced Squad Leader Oktoberfest) in Cleveland this year and had a blast. I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and left on Saturday after midnight. I didn't know what to expect but went full of optimism. The convention fully blew away my best hopes and has earned an annual place into my future schedules.

I have owned ASL for years and years but have only really been playing it “seriously” for about 6 months. My concerns about being an ASL newbie at ASLOK were unwarranted and there were plenty of newer players then even me there having a good time.

I arrived Tuesday after about a 6 hour drive. It was about 1 pm and I had no problem finding the hotel. I immediately went up to the top floor where they were holding the convention and located the main event table. This is where I met night shift master “Wild” Bill and the overall event “boss” Bret Hildebran. Both were friendly and got me my ASLOK badge right away. Bill immediately asked me if I was ready for a game and we sat down and he “schooled” me. After being broken in ridden hard by Bill and wondered around and admired all the ASL goodies that were sitting out. There was table after table of ASL stuff set up and all those expensive hard to find modules just laying around. There is a high code of ethics between ASLers and leaving your huge collection sitting around is not an issue and no one I asked had ever heard of anything being stolen. Wild Bill stays up all night to watch the stuff, but I think that is more to watch it from the hotel staff then the other players.

Wednesday I tried my hand in the “Gunned Up in the Desert” mini tournament and was quickly defeated in round one. Never having played a Desert battle before didn't help. Wed – Sat there are many “mini-tourneys” that you can enter in an effort to win the convented “wood”. The winner of each mini receives a wooded plaque. I was also eliminated Thursday in round one of the mini I entered. The competition at ASLOK is top-notch and I was happy with my win-loss record my the end of the week (4-7). The GROFAZ (GROeSSTE FELDHERN ALLE ZEI, Greatest Field General of All Time) is the big tournament where the winner is deemed the best ASL player in the world for the year and gets all the bragging rights! I didn't bother to even try to qualify for that tournament but wow it was fun to watch those guys play.

I stayed up overnight twice, each time playing a battle. I won one and got spanked in the other. I got in a lot of games over the week and as far as the game of ASL goes had a huge blast but I have to admit the best part was the social aspect of ASLOK. I was able to meet with old friends, meet some ASL legends, and make a bunch of new buddies. We had fun between games eating the free snacks and drinks and trading war stories. There is a strong scene of fraternity in the ASL crowd that I just don't feel in other genres of gaming. I was able to sit down and get to know guys like Steve Pleva (officially one of the best ASL players around), newer players like me, and ASL celebrities like Mark Pitcavage and Perry Cocke. Everyone was very friendly and being able to put a face to many of the guys I read in the forums or play on VASL was really cool.

I am on boat for 2010 and watch out Steve Pleva (GROFAZ winner) I am coming for you!

No comments:

Post a Comment