08 September 2011

CASLO Countdown

The fifteenth annual Canadian ASL Open kicks off at noon on Friday, 16 September. However, we traditionally begin the festivities the day before. Like last year, early arrivals and locals are encouraged to meet at the Lieutenant’s Pump on Thursday evening. Reg, our venue organizer, has reserved a (CASLO) table for twelve at 19:30. Spouses, friends, and the curious are all welcome. Last year we had a number of wives, as well as people who were unable to attend the tournament due to other commitments. 
The Leftenant’s Pump
The Pump is located at 361 Elgin Street, near the corner of Waverly Street. It is four blocks south and one block west of the Embassy Hotel, the venue for the tournament. Inside the pub you will find 16 beers on tap, countless bottled varieties, and a respectable wine list. The Pump serves classic pub fare, finger foods, and a terrific weekend breakfast (0830-1430). The kitchen also features a veggie, and a celiac menu! You will be hard pressed not to find something to eat and drink at the Pump.
The toast
Another CASLO tradition is the pre-tourney toast. We provide a bottle of single malt scotch for the occasion. Everyone is welcome to participate in the toast, but no one is compelled to drink. I asked Reg to pick up a bottle of The Balvenie Doublewood. Although a bottle of The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Speyside Single Malt may have been more appropriate for the fifteenth CASLO, it was almost twice the cost. Never mind, the 12 year old Doublewood is a personal favourite. Moreover, it will likely appeal to more people because it lacks the strong peat and smoke flavours of a Bowmore or Lagavulin, and has a certain sweetness due to a second ageing in former sherry casks. For what it is worth, I actually enjoy a dram of an Islay malt such as Lagavulin once in a while. That said, I hope that you will join us for a sip of The Balvenie shortly after noon on Friday.
Sportsman Award
The last tradition that I wanted to make people aware of is the CASLO Sportsman Award. The player with the lowest score at the end of the weekend receives free entry to the next CASLO that he or she attends. I think that this is an excellent incentive for newer and less experienced players. 
Last year, Jim from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) won this award. This year, the Canadian ASL Association paid the CASLO registration fees on his behalf. Jim is just getting back into the hobby. We hope that more new and returning players will join him next week. Welcome back Jim!
Runner up rewards
Sam Tyson of Bounding Fire Productions (BFP)1 confirmed that BFP is donating a copy of High Ground 2 (HG2). This updated Battlepack contains 16 scenarios, four geomorphic mapboards, a large overlay, and rule pages. I am especially smitten with the hilltop town on board BFP K. The runner up of the CASLO (main) tournament will take home a copy of HG2, a copy of Out of the Attic 2 donated by Multi-Man Publishing, a $15.00 gift certificate from The Gamer’s Armory, and a set of ASL Anniversary BattleDice courtesy of the BattleSchool Kitshop.
Scenario list updates
I have updated the Remote On-line Automated Record (ROAR) statistics for the scenarios in each tourney. 
To reiterate from my earlier post, the first round of the CASLO includes a raffle prize donated by Alex Key. Everyone who participates in this round is eligible to win this handsome gift certificate and keepsake. It does not matter which scenario that you opt to play, as long as you play. I therefore encourage newbies and “rusty” grognards alike to participate in this round, which begins at 12:30 on Friday.

Astute readers will spy the surprise Round 5 scenario. Statistics for the scenario are based on the results of the recent Friendly Fire tournament in Linkoping, Sweden. I play tested “Order 831” twice. As you can see from the results of the Swedish tourney, Michael Koch’s new design is popular. I am certain that it will see a lot of play at ASL Oktoberfest in Cleveland. CASLO attendees get a special sneak peek, and a chance to play this late-war beauty a couple of weeks earlier. Herr Koch will be in Cleveland this year. If you cannot make CASLO, perhaps you will have a chance to play “Order 831” at ASLOK with the gentleman who designed it. 
Martin Svärd and Mattias Bergwall play FrF58 Order 831 at the Friendly Fire tournament last weekend (2-4 Sep). Photo courtesy of Klas Malmström

Who’s coming to town?
According to the Canadian ASL Open box in the sidebar to the left of this post, there are eleven people attending the tournament. This figure is misleading. Some people who are attending are either not aware that the event “gadget” (sidebar box) is here, or have declined to add their names to the list of attendees.
Moreover, some people have had difficulty using the gadget. It appears that Internet Explorer does not display the gadget properly. Firefox and Safari, however, work fine. If displayed properly in your browser, the gadget should have a map below the explanatory text at the top of the box. Below the box, you should see a link that reads: “Join site to RSVP.” Once you have become a follower (Squad Leader), you will need to “sign in” to the site using the link at the bottom of the Follower gadget. Once signed in, you should see two new links displayed below the map in the event gadget: “I’m going,” and “I’m not going.” Simply click on the appropriate link to update your status. 
It would be great if more of those who have registered or plan to attend would add their avatars to the CASLO attendee list. By doing so you may encourage others to attend. Note you can use an alias if you prefer. Your alias on BoardGameGeek, or GameSquad, for example, works well. 

Updated 14 Sept
Still sitting on the fence? Check out who is coming in the spread sheet above. Add your name to the list today!
Program guide
I have created a program guide that will be posted at the venue. Attendees are also welcome to request a pdf copy in advance. Please email me at: battleschool@rogers.com.
Local attractions
For those with a interest in military history, I strongly recommend that you take a day to visit the Canadian War Museum. But even if you are strapped for time, you can always take a stroll between rounds on Friday and Saturday. During these breaks there is enough time to explore Confederation Square, from where you can snap a picture of the Peace Tower, the centrepiece of Parliament. Located in the square are the National War Monument, the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and bronze busts of several prominent Canadians. The square is one block west, and about six blocks north of the tourney venue. If you would rather just clear your head after a round, why not take a walk along the Rideau Canal, which is less than 300 metres east of the hotel. 
Helen will have KitShop open on the weekend. I will have a limited supply of scenario packs with me on Friday (Winter Offensive Bonus Packs 1 and 2, Action Pack 7, Friendly Fire Pack 6, Le Franc Tireur: From the Cellar 6, ASLSK Expansion Pack, etc.). If you would like me to bring something specific for you on Friday, feel free to contact me in advance. There is never any obligation to purchase if you change your mind. 
If you are coming from out of town and would like something out of the ordinary—an ASL map bundle, for example—I recommend that you let Helen and I know ahead of time. We will try to have most publications on hand, but we do not intend to bring many copies of larger items. If you would like to plan your purchases in advance, you can request a pdf copy of our catalogue from: battleschool@rogers.com

For more information on the tournament, check out the links in the events page.
1. Bounding Fire Productions has announced the pending release of Crucible of Steel, a new East Front Battlepack stuffed with 32 scenarios, two new sheets of counters for use with these scenarios, three new double-wide 16” x 22” geomorphic mapboards. These maps represent the “tank-country” and villages of Kursk, and are printed in two 8” x 22” sections on heavy card stock (BFP DW-2, DW-3, DW-4). Also included are three new 8” x 22” geomorphic mapboards, also printed on heavy card stock (BFP L, M, N). The pack comes with an attractive magazine with articles on this latest project, slopes, fortifications, and dug-in tanks, and rule pages describing new terrain counters, vehicles and special units. 
Given that there were some complaints regarding the white-core stock used to print the counter sheets that came with Blood and Jungle (4), and Operation Cobra (½), BFP has kindly included a complete set of replacement counter sheets (with grey core) for these publications as well.
Crucible of Steel will be released at ASL Oktoberfest in Cleveland. KitShop will have a limited number of copies in stock as of 12 October. I will post pictures of the contents shortly thereafter.


Unknown said...

Can't wait!

Chris, maybe you could say a few words for the tournament newbie about what we should be bringing to the tournament. How do people keep their kit organized? Do people put their names on things?

Liam Whalen said...

Yes, information about what to bring and how to bring it would be great. The only counters I have here are from the Starter Kits. Do I need to bring my maps?

Keith said...

OMG i am sooo excited for CASLO that i can hardly contain myself! won't be in 'till about 21-2200, think you all will still be at the pub?

Chris Doary said...

Martin and Liam,

I am working on it.


I will probably be on my way home by then. That said, Eric may still be holding the fort by the time you arrive.

Liam Whalen said...

I just got a glass pitcher to roll my dice in at CASLO, its a bit big, but it should work. However, the bottom is a little convex, so the dice tend to not sit exactly flat on the bottom, is that a problem?

Mike Rodgers said...

Unfortunately, I will not arrive until Friday morning this year. I usually get to enjoy the Thursday night gathering; I will miss being there.

Nathan said...

I am the mysterious "Nathan" with no additional information on the list of attendees there. (Since I haven't preregistered and only found out about this a week or two ago!) I'm local to Ottawa though, and I'll try to make it out to for Thursday night too.

Chris Doary said...


It will be a pleasure to meet another local player. There are more than a dozen of us in Ottawa. But getting everyone out on a given day is a challenge due to differing family and work schedules. We are pleased that you can make it. If you are free on Thursday evening, the first drink is on us. :)