Tussle from an sk player’s view

It has been a difficult year and half of gaming if you don’t VASL. My wife threatened to sell my games because I wasn’t using them anymore. And, I missed the regulars at the Greenfield Bunker. So, when the Tussle was going live, I knew I had to be there despite not being an ASL player.

With encouragement from Chuck and Joe Gochinski, I signed up to play the Saturday Starter Kit mini-tourney. Joe said the rule book is only 12 pages. Chuck said he needed the entrance fee to pay for the room rental. So, in addition to reading, I listened to some great Youtube tutorial videos on gameplay while commuting to work and my hour drive to the venue..

Arriving at about 8:30 AM, I was impressed with the number of tables with players pushing chits all over the place. As my opponent was not there, it gave me a chance to say hello to many familiar faces. The room was full. Ralph McDonald said it was the biggest TITT he had seen. Seeing all the T-shirts from past events told me that there are a lot of experienced TITT players.

Emery Gallant was my first challenger and we did a learning game with the aptly named Welcome Back scenario. If we never rolled a die or moved a counter we could have spent hours “catching up” (which is odd because we just met) and talking about our favorite games. Because Emery had to return home sooner than expected, I won the game by default. But, the reality is that it would have been, at best, a draw as I think he had a slight advantage as to position.

Welcome Back is a simple game of German exit. Basically, the Americans have 5 1/2 turns to prevent the Huns from getting 10 or more victory points across the map. I played the U.S. and Emery took Fatherland. Good and bad dice were evenly shared. We never rolled snow. We spent time going through the rule books and trying to confirm that we were doing things correctly. Both Mitch and Chuck were a shout away when we had a question.

Having won the game and, now, in a three way tie for first, with Steve Oliver and Scott Hamilton, I was going into my second game. I was hoping to play Workers Unite, but my opponent, Mark Dennehy, said that was the only game he did not want to play. As I had no armor or artillery experience, we selected Joe Gochinski’s Battle in the Ardennes. It was another stop the exit scenario and I had a 100% win ratio with them, so I was feeling confident. BitA is an interesting game as it allows the American player to select from one of three victory conditions after the Krauts set-up. The Americans can exit 13 or more victory points, destroy 14 points of Germans, or a 17 point destroy and leave split. Based on the selected victory conditions, the Germans get additional supporting troops. Figuring the Germans only needed to deny the Americans, I took the blue counters.

Mark was out of the running for the championship trophy as he lost his first game.

Playing with Mark was different from the mellow casual style of Emery. Mark is five Red Bulls before breakfast intense. He is direct and precise. I found out later that he is a Mathematics major software engineer. I set up my units, Mark did the same and selected the exit victory condition. Midway through my first turn, I lost the game. My additional troops broke upon board entry from the burst of a distant machine gun that cut my team in half based on its position. These men never fully recovered.

Mark used the American smoke to flank his pieces right and through the woods. I was getting high rolls on 2 and 4 IFT charts. If I was “lucky” or I could get a higher table, I was able to roll a pin check or plus one morale check. Two turns in, I lost my medium machine gun. Mark used it to effectively keep DM status on my easily broken men. My only opportunity (short lived) in the game was that his board splitting machine gun malfunctioned and I was able to quickly goosestep them across its death path using the additional CX movement factors. Mark was unstoppable. My cowering leaders and half squads just watched the Americans Yankee Doodle right past.

Mark crushed me with kindness as he had me slow down to explain the calculations and correct some of my die roll modifiers (usually in my favor). He also provided some play advice as he got closer to the map edge. All helpful for “next time.”

Mark dropped a lot of smoke, including one where he was adjacent to me. As the action consumes two movement points, it raised the question whether I could get a defensive fire against him for merely dropping smoke. He expended movement points, but was already adjacent to me and did not move. We stumped Chuck and Mitch on that one. But, the instructions appear to require actual movement. (Editor’s note that Cole is referring to Final Protective Fire here and didn’t ask me about it!)

Scott Hamilton went on to win the ASLSK mini.

On the way home, I called Joe to talk about what I thought were weaknesses in the scenario. Having played two games and come in second (as did everyone else) in the tourney, now makes me an expert. To which, Joe quibbed it’s the player not the scenario. We are going to play it next time we see each other sometime in 2026.

It was a great time. The Manchester Best Western Plus (because no simple BW will do for this group) was perfect. The people were great. Both Mitch Abrams and Chuck T. made you feel like you were returning TITT veterans. A lot of great swag, raffle prizes for everyone, nice prizes. Unfortunately, I missed the custom playing cards.

With six ASLSK players ultimately in the tourney, I hope it will be a permanent addition.

I can say that I love TITTs! I am looking forward to the 2022 Tussle in the Tundra!

Respectfully submitted,

Cole Mills

Tussle XIII recap

Another Tussle in the Tundra has come and gone! This year we had over 30 attending between our different events, a record since I took over running this tournament since 2013.

The main tournament had 24 entries, our top finisher was Paul Chamberland with an undefeated 5-0 record, beating Ron Duneskie (4-1) in the final round match.

The Saturday Mini tournament had 8 entrants with Paul Sidhu defeating Rob Loper to claim the wood in that event.

This year was also our very first ASL Starter Kit event. Scott Hamilton won two games to claim the trophy for the SK Mini. edging our Steven Oliver.

My heartfelt thanks go out to a number of folks. Mitch Abrams for running the SK Mini, Alex Key for some amazing sponsorship of our raffle prizes and cool unit patches for handouts to all our attendees. And especially to all our player attendees!

Our sponsors also made excellent contributions to the winner’s prizes. Be sure and check out these fine purveyors of ASL products and accessories. Their information can be found on our Sponsors and Prizes page.

Final Standings for the Main Tournament are below:

Paul Chamberland (5-0)
Ron Duenskie (4-1)
Paul Sidhu (4-1)
Mark Evans (3-2)
Carl Nogueira (3-1)
Jim Dostie (3-1)
Keith Hill (3-1)
Sebastian Manikowski (3-1)
Tom Morin (3-1)
Chad Mekash (2-2)
Norman Benjamin (2-2)
Paul Anderson (2-2)
Ralph McDonald (2-2)
Rob Arrieta (2-2)
Rob Loper (2-2)
Derek Dunn (1-3)
Steve Anderson (1-3)
Will Willow (1-3)
Carl Herzog (0-5)
Ross Mulcare (0-4)
Ted Wilcox (0-5)
Kedge Johnson (1-1)
Chuck Tewksbury (1-2)
Richard Vieira (2-1)

Tussle 2021 – Day 3

Main Tournament Round 3 and more happening today

We are well into round 3 in our main tournament, six stalwart competitors remained undefeated going into today. The Saturday Mini has 8 players working their way through their first round, with two rounds to go and one player to be crowned Saturday Mini Champ!

Also happening today, is our first official ASL Starter Kit mini tournament. We have six SK players battling it out and hoping to win the plaque for their bracket as well.

All in all, we have 30 attendees, a record since I’ve been running this event and I hope that trend continues into the future. Here are some photos from the action thus far….

Scenario playlists for 2021 ready

Hi everyone – we’re now just about two months away from Tussle 2021! The play list for the Main and Saturday Mini tournaments have been assembled. You can find them by clicking here.

We will also have some representation of the ASL Starter Kits. Several SK players are attending for the weekend AND we will hold a mini SK tournament on Saturday as well! That playlist is forthcoming.

Don’t forget to Register for Tussle and I hope to see you there!

Tussle 2020 Wrap-up

Tussle 2020 is in the books! We were able to hold our humble event this year, despite the pandemic and 8 stalwart players made the trek again to Manchester, NH to fight it out.

With our short window of planning, a new format was used. 8 players were broken into two groups of 4. Within each group, every player played each of the other players once. The end result was one player emerging from each group with a 3-0 win-loss record to face off for the championship. Keith Hill of Maine and Ron Duenskie of New Jersey faced off in AP142 “The Closer” for the top spot. Ron’s German force was able to defeat Keith’s Canadians for the win and this year’s championship!

Final Standings over the three rounds are below. Thanks to all the participants for turning out and pitching in to keep Tussle going! We’re all looking forward to 2021. Dates for 2021 are August 5th-8th at the same location, Best Western Executive Court Inn, Manchester, NH

Ron Duenskie4-0
Keith Hill3-1
Chuck Tewksbury2-1
Kedge Johnson2-1
Mark Evans1-2
Gregg Lupaczyk1-2
Rob Loper0-3
Michael Stultz0-3

Some photos of the action over the weekend!

Tussle XI Recap

Tussle XI is in the books!  A great long weekend of ASL action was had by all who came out for our event.

Thursday saw quite a number of attendees roll in for some open gaming.  Meaty scenarios and other games hit the table as folks got settled in and warmed up for the tournament starting the next morning.

The Main tournament got started mid-Friday morning.  The playlist was loaded up with some HASL greatness.  The most popular choice was “Anchoring the Line” from the “new” Red Factories module.  Of the nine pairings, this scenario was played six times!  Eight players advanced to Round 2 with “Anatoly’s Ambush” getting a lot of love.  Four players emerged for the semi-finals that started Saturday morning.  Ted Wilcox faced Dave O’Dell and Keith Hill played Richard Vieira.  All battled it out until finally Keith Hill and Dave O’Dell were victorious and went to the final round.  They chose “Sporck’s Eleven” from Friendly Fire.  After a grueling match, Dave was able to sneak his Russian AFVs off the board for the win and claim the Tussle XI Trophy!  Congratulations Dave!


On Saturday, the three-round mini tournament saw eight players in head-to-head matches throughout the day.  Bill Burtt and Steve Pleva played for the wood in the third round in “The Brickworks” from a March Madness pack.  In the final close combat Steve was able to extract a hard fought victory!  Way to go Steve!


We had a great turnout this year.  19 full-weekend attendees plus three for Saturday kept the action going through the whole weekend.  Big thanks and gratitude go out to Rob Loper and Sean Deller for putting together a fantastic play list, the heart of any good ASL event.


Our sponsors contributed an excellent pool of prizes.  Humble thanks to Alex Key Hobbies, Battle School, Bounding Fire Productions, MMP, Lone Canuck, Dispatches from the Bunker, Hollandspiele Games and DVG Games.  Their generosity really put the icing on the cake!

Tussle XII is scheduled for August 6, 2020 at the same location, the Best Western Executive Court Inn in Manchester, NH USA.  Put it on your calendar now, and I hope to see you there!

July 1st Update

Hi everyone! Tussle 2019 is just about a month away and I’m excited to report we have an excellent roster of attendees registered and ready for an awesome ASL weekend.

I’ll be setting up Round 1 match ups closer to time. Please take some time between now and the start of the event to dig into the SSRs on your top round 1 choices. That’ll help both you AND your opponent both be ready and enjoy the scenarios in that round even more.

Remember Thursday the 8th is open gaming. You can play anything you like, even non-ASL if that’s your poison. Also, you should be able to do any of the larger setups for the start of the main tournament on Thursday night so when you roll in Friday morning, dice can drop right away.

Looking very much forward to seeing you all there!

Tussle XI is Coming!

August 8th-11th 2019 in the same location, Best Western Executive Court Inn, Manchester, NH USA! 4 days of ASL action, open play, a Main Tournament and a Saturday-only mini! Come one come all! Playlist is being assembled and will be posted on/about April 1.

Tussle X is in the books!

Another great weekend of ASL action was had at Tussle this year!  Thanks go out to our attendees, regulars as well as new folks; our sponsors who make the prize pool possible and to the hotel for the great venue.

Our Main Tournament was won by Brian Wiersma, being the last player with an undefeated record.  The Saturday Mini was won by Mike Allexenberg.

Dates for Tussle XI have been set for August 8-11th, 2019!  You can register now and we hope to see you next year.

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