By Tournament Director Darren Kovacs
Fresh from a successful summer campaign with an unification treaty (i.e. wedding), solidifying the western front, all eyes turned to the east and the fast approaching fall campaign yielding CASLO 2005. September had come quickly and faint rumblings of distant dice rolling could be heard approaching, slowly building up and producing tension in the surroundings. The 9th annual CASLO could not be denied.
This year would again see visitors from afar and not native to Winnipeg. Travelling from abroad in Canada included Michael Rodgers from Montreal, Lee Misselbrook and Brad Knoll from Alberta, and Blair Bellamy from Ontario. From our neighbours from the South, we were blessed with the presence of Jeff Papas and Craig Houliston from Minnesota. But our furthest traveler came from down under, Murray McCloskey from Australia who managed to squeeze CASLO in on his tour of North America.
There are many people to thank for this tournament. First of all, the CASLA organization and its support for the tournament. Of course, Jim McLeod, our CASLA director and his ongoing promotion of the tournament and CASLA which is invaluable. Bill Bird, the CASLA secretary-treasurer and his over watch of the financial end is much appreciated. We must also thank the members of CASLA whose membership and devotion to the cause help this thing keep going both financially and in spirit of the game.
At the stroke of about 12:30PM on the 16th of September, 2005 the participants of CASLO 2005 were called together by the trumpet call of Joseph Menard. The Opening Ceremony begun with the usual introductions and of course the toast of Scotch. With burning throat and flaming stomach the action would begin.
Round 1 was played with no real upsets to mention. The favourites during the round was split between Forest Fighting in Latvia and Kempf at Melikhovo, both quick and dirty scenarios.
Round 2 saw a more eclectic playing of scenarios as each scenario in the round was played as opposed to seeing only 2 out of the 5 possible scenarios being played, which was nice to see. The most popular scenarios were Mount Pissadori and Lend Lease Attack.
Round 3 began early on Saturday. Round 3 is where we usually separate the contenders from last years’ road kill. The 3-0s place themselves in the position to make a run for the cup. Especially with the smaller turn out this year, this could not be more true. Also Round 3 brings in the first round of the Mini-tournament with its Japanese theme, which saw 4 players competing for the coveted plaque.
For the Mini, Michael Rodgers defeated McCloskey while Dwayne Matheson defeated Jeff Papas. In the tournament proper, Jim McLeod and Blake Ball found themselves the only two left undefeated after the round through their victories.
Round 4 was set with Jim McLeod facing Blake Ball to see who would be the last undefeated player in the tournament and on the Mini scene, Michael Rodgers would meet Dwayne Matheson to determine Mini-tournament winner. Jim McLeod pulled off another victory against Ball in the scenario Panzer Graveyard and Michael Rodgers defeated Matheson in the scenario Pursuing Kobayashi. Jim left undefeated seemed poised to take championship again. Michael Rodgers won his claim of the Mini-tournament, congratulations Michael!
After Round 4, which was Saturday evening, much of the crowd just hung out and traded stories of ASL and life. The annual CASLA general meeting took place as it always does on the Saturday of the CASLO weekend. Point of interest: coming out of the meeting was the rumour that the use of the official paddle was made as some disciplinary action was required to quiet some non-CASLA members who were disrupting the meeting. Not mentioning any names, Blake Ball, was on the receiving end of the paddle, the smack I swear emanated through the halls of the Viscount Gort and probably spilled into the lobby area. Others were threatened with much the same. I do believe Ball insisted on another.
Putting aside the S&M atmosphere, the evening ended in a more relaxed setting with a round of Texas Holdem Poker, a first at CASLO. It went late into the night with Jeff Papas acting as dealer throughout; thank you Jeff. Going until 2AM in the morning, it was settled that the two remaining players Bill Bird and Brad Knoll would split the pot. Thanks everyone involved for an entertaining evening of poker.
Early Sunday morning, the stage was set for Jim to accept his second title in a row at CASLO but he still needed another win to insure victory. Only Craig Houliston could stand in his way by acting as spoiler and leaving it up to tournament points to decide a winner. Death at Carentan would be the deciding scenario in this case, but Jim was able to obtain American balance with the American side. It proved too much for Craig and Jim came out flags up.
Jim was crowned CASLO 2005 champion. Blake Ball finished second and Darren Kovacs finished third.
Auxiliary prizes were also handed out that Sunday. The Good-Sportsman award went to Colin Parker who attended his first tournament this year. Dice rolling awards this year saw a new prize award given in the form of a pair of red and white precision half inch dice with accompanying dice bag. Winners of these awards were as follows:
Most Boxcars: Jack Dionne
Most Snake-Eyes: Brad Knoll
Highest Sniper: Murray McCloskey
Highest Close Combat: Jim McLeod
ROF: Jeff Papas