24 August 2011

The Canadian ASL Open Prize Table

CASLO XV is only a few weeks away. The prize table is not big enough to do justice to all of the ASL candy on hand. The tournament runs 16-18 September in the Nation’s Capital (Ottawa). This post provides 30 compelling reasons to attend.
We are still waiting on a number of prizes from our sponsors, but I did not want to delay publishing a photograph of the prize table any longer. At last count there were four plaques (not shown), 26 prizes and a number of certificates (not shown) up for grabs.
Nine door prizes give everyone a chance to take something home. In addition, there are four sponsored raffles, and two special raffles. The prizes are also quite varied. We have everything from counter sheets and precision dice to a cool new historical module from Le Franc Tireur (LFT). In between these extremes are a host of scenario packs from five publishers. Multi-Man Publishing (MMP) has provided three prizes, including Action Pack 7. In addition to KGS: the Shield of Cholm, LFT has donated a fine selection of scenario packs, and their latest 80-page magazine.

The top-three finishers in the CASLO, or main event, will receive some terrific prize packages. 
The CASLO: First Place Prize Package
The winner of the CASLO will be a happy fellow. The grand prize is a copy of Kampgruppe Scherer: the Shield of Cholm, donated by the publisher, Le Franc Tireur. You can read more about this awesome module—designed by Andrew Hershey—in my earlier posts: KGS, and DHL. Were this not enough, the first-place finisher will also walk away with a plaque, a $25.00 gift certificate from Gamer’s Armory, and a set of precision ASL Anniversary BattleDice.

The CASLO: Second Place Prize Package

The second-place finisher also takes home some “wood.” In addition to a plaque, the CASLO runner-up will receive a copy of MMP’s Out of the Attic 2, a scenario pack from Bounding Fire Productions (BFP), a $15.00 gift certificate from Gamer’s Armory, and a set of precision ASL Anniversary BattleDice. I cannot say which pack BFP is donating, but all of their scenario packs contain cool map boards.

The CASLO: Third Place Prize Package
The third-place finisher will receive a plaque, and three prizes. The main prize is issue 12 of LFT magazine. The magazine comes with a semi-geomorphic mapboard, and ten scenarios, the latter on A4 cardstock. Complimenting the magazine is a set of two counter sheets from Countersmith Workshop, and precision BattleDice from BattleSchool. The sheets contain turret counters for every turreted vehicle in the American and Commonwealth orders of battle (as found in chapter H of the ASL Rule Book). The BattleDice will differ from those shown in the photograph because I intend to supply some cool, new dice that I designed in June. If received in time, one of these will be the new sniper die.
Sponsored Rounds
New for this year are sponsored rounds. Four sponsors have kindly provided prizes for rounds two through five. The idea is simple. If you play one of the sponsor’s scenarios in the appropriate round, you are eligible to win the sponsor’s prize. The winner of each prize is determined by raffle. It does not matter if you win or lose the scenario. Of the five scenarios in a sponsored round, three are published by the sponsor. Although the tournament staff encouraged the sponsors to recommend scenarios, we ultimately selected the scenarios based on merit, interest, perceived balance, and “fun-factor.”

Round I Free-for-all
The photograph above is of a gift certificate provided by Key’s Games and Hobbies. Alex Key has once again provided an attractive keepsake. If you win this certificate, you may keep it. We will contact Alex on your behalf and advise him that you have a $25.00 credit. Unlike the remainder of the rounds in the CASLO, everyone who participates in the first round is eligible to win the raffle for this gift certificate.
Round II Le Franc Tireur
From the Cellar 6 is the latest scenario pack from LFT. It contains ten scenarios, all of which play fast and furious. In addition to this round, one of the scenarios in this pack—"The Price of Persia"—is featured in the second round of the Mini tournament. I have played several of the scenarios already. They are perfect for playing in the evening, especially during the work-week, when time is limited.
Round III Lone Canuck
George Kelln of Lone Canuck Publishing does not sell Panzer Aces. You can only win the pack at a tournament. Here is your chance. Panzers, as the title suggests, are to be found in each of the six scenarios in the pack. There is also no shortage of armor leaders. To be fair, two of the scenarios in this pack were published recently in MMP’s Out of the Attic 2. I have played both of these more than once. So all is not lost if you come up short in the raffle.
Round IV Friendly Fire
We are hoping to receive the latest pack from Friendly Fire in time for the tournament. If not, we will substitute a copy of Friendly Fire Pack 6. This explains the lack of a picture for the Friendly Fire Round. However, Pack 6 is hardly a consolation prize. The pack contains eight scenarios and a geomorphic mapboard. Board FrFA is used in several scenarios in the pack. “One Last Mighty Hew” in this round, and “Totensonntag” in the Mini use this board. I have played every scenario in this pack at least once since its release last October. I highly recommend the pack. Friendly Fire is a popular Swedish producer of scenario packs with an international cast of designers.
Round V Multi-Man Publishing
The latest Action Pack from MMP includes ten new scenarios and three new boards to play them on. I am particularly fond of board 60. I have only had time to play three of the scenarios in this pack. I even managed to win a couple. The boards alone make this pack a priority purchase.

The Purple Heart Mini
Lone Canuck Publishing has sponsored the Mini this year. The single-elimination format has only enough spots for eight players. We selected the scenarios with newer or less experienced players in mind. Two of the scenarios in the first and second rounds do not involve vehicles. None of the scenarios require knowledge outside of the first four chapters of the ASL Rule Book (exception: chapter H notes for the scenarios with ordnance and vehicles). The Mini starts Saturday morning and runs until Sunday afternoon. 
The winner of the Mini will receive a customized plaque, a copy of George Kelln’s Battle of the Hedgerows:  Purple Heart Draw, and a set of precision BattleDice (the actual dice will differ from the ones shown in the photograph). Purple Heart Draw consists of a well-rendered historical colour mapsheet, five scenarios, and a campaign game with all the necessary rules pages.
Mini raffle prize
Lone Canuck has also provided a scenario pack entitled The Battle for the Abbaye des Ardennes. With one exception, all of the scenarios feature Canadian troops battling 12. SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. Any one who plays at least one round of the Mini is eligible to win the raffle for this unique scenario pack. And before you ask, no, George does not sell this pack. Good luck in the draw!

Door prizes
Everyone who registers and attends the Canadian ASL Open is eligible to win a door prize. To date, five producers have supplied prizes.

Le Franc Tireur
Xavier Vitry, the editor of Le Franc Tireur, has been very generous in providing prizes for our event. Along with providing three desirable prizes for the CASLO, Xavier has donated two scenario packs as door prizes. From the Cellar 4 is a themed pack that focuses on the Russian Civil War. The pack is bursting with 20 scenarios, a historical booklet, and a small counter sheet with commissars for various factions, hasty roadblocks, ice sangars, Taczanka, and more. The scenarios feature American Marines, Bolshevik Partisans, British, Czech Legion, Japanese, Magyar (Communist Hungarians), Manchu Chinese, Mongolians, Red Russians, Social-Revolutionary Party, and White Russians. There are even nationality characteristics for Red Koreans. From the Cellar 5 is only slightly less grand. It has a couple of articles on the Battle of La Horgne (France, 1940), 14 scenarios, and a reprint of mapboard LFT2. One of the scenarios, “Avanti!,” is featured in the LFT round of the CASLO. The author of one of the articles, and designer of the scenario, “La Horgne,” is the late Ian Daglish.

Countersmith Workshop
Countersmith Workshop is a new start-up based in Hong Kong. Not surprisingly, Countersmith specializes in counter sheets. They have kindly donated several sets of counter sheets. Four sets are door prizes. Two consist of German and Russian turrets, and two consist of American and British (Commonwealth) turrets. The German and Russian sets include three sheets, enough to provide a minimum of six turrets for each turreted vehicle in the German and Russian sections of the chapter H notes. The sheets in the second set are identical. There are enough turrets in these sets to provide a minimum of four turrets per vehicle type.1
Multi-Man Publishing
MMP has provided a great little scenario pack called Out of the Bunker. The “bunker” of the title refers to the long-running newsletter Dispatches from the Bunker. Vic Provost and the rest of the “Bunker Crew” have been delivering quality ASL scenarios and articles since 1997. The pack has 14 scenarios that originally appeared in Dispatches. All of the scenario cards have been updated/amended and laid out in accordance with MMP standards. I cannot recall how many of these scenarios that I have played. I do know that I have played at least two within the past year. What I like most about this pack is the variety, including a couple of rare “desert” scenarios. “First Clash in Tunisia” is a must play.
Lone Canuck Publishing
Included with one of the scenario packs from George was a small set of scenarios originally published in the Maple Leaf Route (MLR). Canada at War is a collection of six scenarios designed by the late Jim McLeod, the editor of the MLR. For those who are not aware, Jim was largely responsible for creating the Canadian ASL Association (CASLA) and the Canadian ASL Open (CASLO). I thought that someone would appreciate owning this piece of Canadian ASL history.
One lucky attendee will go home with some nifty, new BattleDice. I will post pictures of these new dice when they arrive (hopefully) later this month.

Play options
I have had a few questions regarding how the CASLO will work this year, specifically what events and activities are available to attendees. There are four.
1. Open play
2. Mini + Open play
3. CASLO + Mini
Here is how it works. The first option is to play whatever you like, including scenarios from the tournament lists. However, you do not actually participate in a tournament. This is referred to as “open play.” You remain eligible for all door prizes. Because you are not scored on your performance, you are ineligible for the prizes specific to each tournament. This includes the raffles for the sponsored rounds of the CASLO, and the Purple Heart Mini raffle.
The second option is to participate in the Purple Heart Mini tournament and engage in open play. What this means in practice is that you would engage in open play on Friday. On Saturday, you would enter the first round of the Mini. If eliminated in either the first or second round, you would return to the open play format thereafter. In this case, you are eligible for all door prizes, as well the two prizes associated with the Mini.
The third option is to participate in both of the tournaments. If you opt to do so, however, you are requested not to engage in open play for the duration of the weekend. Instead, you would play two rounds of the CASLO on Friday before entering the Mini on Saturday. If you are eliminated from the Mini, you would return to the CASLO for the following round. If you chose this option, you will have an opportunity to win prizes associated with each tournament, in addition to the door prizes. Note, however, that a handicap may apply to higher-seeded players while playing in the Mini.
The fourth option is to play in only the CASLO, or main tournament. In this case, the only prizes that you will not be eligible for will be those associated with the Mini. Players registered for the CASLO are requested to commit to playing all five rounds. That said, players posting two losses on Friday, retain the option to enter the Mini on Saturday. One advantage of this option is that you will likely accrue more points toward winning the CASLO, as you (usually) will be facing tougher opponents in the later rounds.
Who is coming?
The treasurer of the Canadian ASL Association is currently away on vacation, but the last I heard, about 15 players had paid their registration fees. About a half dozen local players, who are expected to attend, have yet to register. I also have received word that a number of players from Montreal, and possibly New Brunswick, are planning to attend. There is a western contingent flying in for the weekend, including the current President of the CASLA, Steffen Knippel. The usual suspects from south of the 49th parallel have already registered, but we hope to see a few more. When all is said and done, we could have as many as 24 players this year. 
The Rideau Canal in September
Our downtown venue is about 100 metres from the Rideau Canal and a short stroll from the Parliament Buildings and many other Ottawa landmarks. Come help us set a new attendance record.
1. I took the liberty of removing one sheet from each pack and creating a third pack. The third pack forms part of the third-place prize package for the CASLO. In my experience, players will rarely require six turrets during a scenario employing American or Commonwealth vehicles. So I thought this was a good way to spread the wealth. In any case, individual sheets of these counters are available from KitShop, as are modest of the prizes discussed in this post.

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