2016 is a day away from memory. Hard to believe the year has gone by so quickly. 2016 was an amazing year for ASL. I played 26 face to face games in the year gone by. That is my all-time record for ASL. And best of all, I actually managed to win 11 of those games...another record for me.
I only managed to attend one tournament this year, which was March Madness in Kansas City. Work and life conspired to keep me from attending the Texas Team Tournament. I am hoping that 2017 will allow me to attend both of these outstanding tournaments.
I enjoyed all three games that I played at this year's March Madness. Tournament play is just something special. I highly recommend it, if you have yet to try it.
My most humbling game this year, was at March Madness. Jim Burris and I played "A Lion in the Field". Jim schooled me in three turns as his SS Panzer Grenadiers made short work of my Tommies. Despite the game's brevity, it was great fun and a huge learning experience for me.
"When I Call Roll" was the most amazing scenario that I played this year. Just classic ASL emotions as I went from watching my GI's be mowed down on the beaches to winning the scenario in shocking fashion. This scenario was absolute proof that playing a game to the end is so important.
As for this year's most enjoyable game...well Hot Zemlyankas gets the nod. This gem created by Dan Best was fun from start to finish. And it was maddeningly difficult at times. Overall, this scenario tested me at each and every roll of the dice. Pulling out a win in this great game was one of my proudest ASL moments. And of course a tip of the hat to Dan Best for creating such an interesting, challenging and fun scenario.
And lastly, 2016 was the year that I stepped outside the box a bit to attend a games day with the Kansas ASL Group at the Hollis Renewal Center. I brought my wife and daughter along so they could have some shopping time at the Legends Shopping Center, while I rolled dice all day. That August weekend still stands out as one of the best times, I had all year. Dan Best and I had the opportunity to play test another of his creations. But beyond that I made some friends with the Kansas ASL Group. Standing outside on the porch talking with those guys was a highlight for me.
And to think...I almost didn't make the trip. Of all my choices this year...attending that Games Day was the best one I made all year.
As for Grumble Jones...2016 stands out as a year like no other. My Blog hit 75,000 Page Views as the year began and then in September it hit 100,000. And September set two other records for most views in a single day (692) and most views in a single month (5000+). Grumble Jones is now read on every continent, except Antarctica. The United States and Russia make up the bulk of my readership followed by Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Malaysia. And there are readers in many more nations all across the globe. ASL is alive and well my friends.
I often thought that the golden years for Squad Leader had come and gone with the 1980's and 1990's. But I believe we are currently living in the Golden Age of ASL. And one of the things fueling that Golden Age is technology. Our great game of ASL is more accessible than ever before. While, I do not play ASL via VASL, VASL is bringing more and more people to the ASL experience and certainly allowing people to play opponents, which they would otherwise never have the opportunity to play against. So I tip my hat to VASL. Then there is Gamesquad Forum, which is truly the "Hogwarts" of ASL. Like a tough NFL Football game, it can get a bit chippy at times, but it has no equal for the enthusiasm of its ASL followers. Facebook has also played a huge role in bringing our community together. While Gamesquad Forum is home to the ASL live fire....Facebook is the front porch, where we can relax and enjoy our shared love of ASL.
Of course, technology has also brought the world's Greatest Podcast into our lives. For me, the Two Half-Squads have no equal among any other site, blog, etc. There is something special about their podcast. There is just something personal and special about listening to Jeff and Dave that transcends any other communication medium.
I can't imagine 2016 without listening to the Two Half-Squads. I can't wait to see what they talk about in 2017. Banter, Letters, Box Art Review, and terrific interviews...can't wait! Also, my wife enjoys hearing Robin on the podcast from time to time.
MMP has a lot of new goodies for us in 2017, as does Bounding Fire Productions and Lone Canuck. So yes, my friends, this is indeed the Golden Age of ASL. Here's to 2017 and a fantastic year of ASL.
Happy New Year's to you and your families!!!
Thank you for visiting Grumble Jones this year and I look forward to sharing my love of ASL with you in 2017.