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Paul Ybarrondo
Worked at Los Angeles Times
Attended San Diego State University
Lives in Corona, CA
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Paul Ybarrondo

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Fun with Festung Budapest. This is the end of FB6, "Came Tumbling After." This is a tough challenge for both sides. The Russians are stretched thin, and the Hungarians need to get at least two squad equivalents onto level 5 hill hexes, with ground snow slowing the climb and a good portion of the Hungarian forces being conscripts with only 3 MF.

The Hungarians have three AFVs that are automatically recalled on Turn 5 (it's a 6.5-turn game). I used the AFVs to bypass-freeze some Russian units to allow the Hungarians to get up the hill, but in the end the Hungarians fell one hex short, with just one squad (a conscript!) and two leaders at level 5.

One interesting development during the game was a conscript squad going berserk, charging the Russian AT gun and dispatching the crew. I rarely see my berserkers live long enough to reach their target, so to have a conscript squad accomplish that was pretty cool. Normally the conscript squad would have surrendered, but No Quarter is in effect in Festung Budapest scenarios.
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Paul Ybarrondo

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FE 11, "Italian Winter," from Fanatic Pack 1. SS and Italians vs Italian partisans. Like all of Paul Kenny's scenarios, this one is a bit of an oddball. The SS are fielding captured T-34s. 
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Neal Durando's profile photoPaul Ybarrondo's profile photo
2 comments
 
This went down to the wire, with the SS just taking the last two of the four required victory hexes in the final half-turn. The partisans took out the 8-1 leader and an 8-3-8 assault engineer squad with a RoF run from the 81mm mortar on the hill. That left the SS stretched thin. If their Italian allies had not come through and seized the victory hex on the other hill, it would have been a partisan win.
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Paul Ybarrondo

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I decided to finally figure out how to play Solitaire ASL. No point owning something you don't play, right? I am not starting small. I will make many mistakes, I'm sure, but by the time this thing is over, I should at least have a pretty good idea of how the system works. Mission r1, "Assault on the Assembly Hall." This used more than two-thirds of the SASL Suspect counters, and every Roof and Cellar counter I have amassed over the years.
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Shawn Shifflett's profile photoJackson Kwan's profile photoPaul Ybarrondo's profile photo
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So of course after setting this up, life got busy and it sat there untouched for four days. But I had some time Sunday to get through the German half of Turn 1. It was slow going at first, but I'm starting to get the hang of when and how the suspect counters activate.

I made some so-so  progress toward the objective, the huge factory building at right-center of the map. Got some good luck to start off when I rolled a random event and got surprise Turn 1 reinforcements: three assault engineer squads with a leader, two flamethrowers and four demo charges, all riding in halftracks. Had some other AEs already in the mix who took out two Russian squads barricaded in a fortified cellar when I rolled snakes with a FT. Boy, being able to ignore the +4 TEM with a FT is something awesome. No better way to clear a cellar than that.

A few hexes away, ran into a T-70 tank hiding inside another building. He shot high, which was a relief. My FTs were too far away, and I couldn't get an ATMM when I rolled for one. I still had a good chance to take it out in CC with a 7 or less, but I rolled a 9. We'll see what he does in the Russian Turn 1.
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Paul Ybarrondo

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And I thought clipping counters was tedious. Making counters is much worse. I got the late version of Berlin: Red Vengeance from Heat of Battle, the one with a nice color map but everything else photocopied in B&W, and a pdf of the color counter sheet. Printed onto sticky paper and cutting and mounting to spare counters. Painstaking, but almost done.

A lot of people don't know, but Heat of Battle still exists online, and you can order from a dwindling stock of excellent products on their website, http://heatofbattlegames.com/order.php.
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Neal Durando's profile photoPaul Ybarrondo's profile photo
2 comments
 
I just make a sticky mess with glue sticks. It winds up all over my fingers. :) The sticky paper holds really well too. It's not the cutting that's going so slow, but applying the cutouts to the counters. These are printed right up to the edges in many cases, so placement is critical. Anyway, it's done now. :) 
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Paul Ybarrondo

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Lead and dust are a'flying in FE4, "Whirling Dervishes." A desert scenario (obviously) that pits Free French against Italians in Libya in February 1941, it begins as an Italian Auto-Saharan company arrives to try to break a French siege of the Italian fort El-Taj. Both sides have several armed but unarmored vehicles. The Italians win by scoring more VP than the French, with double exit VP for Italian units that escape the fort and exit the map. This is the start of Turn 2. 
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Christian Blouin's profile photoPaul Ybarrondo's profile photoJeromy French's profile photoDavid McGuire's profile photo
5 comments
 
Desert ASL is fun. Bring your own cover. ;-)
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Paul Ybarrondo

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I've been playing through Le Franc Tireur's Spanish Civil War scenarios in LFT Issue No. 6. So far I've played FT18, "Oviedo 34," and FT19, "A Leches en Larache," and I'm halfway through FT20, "Viva la Republica." 

FT18 pits Spanish Legionnaires with air support against a motley mix of Asturian militia and anarchist troops. The Legion needs to go the length of a board and clear an Asturian-held building, leaving no Asturians within two hexes of it. Asturians got to set up three squads HIP, and that proved the difference, as I was only able to root out two of the three from the other buildings within the two-hex buffer zone. This one has an interesting SSR that gives the Asturian randomly appearing bonus squads on sniper die rolls of 3 or 4. 

FT19 is a night scenario with the Nationalists needing to kill or capture the Mayor of Larache, a 6+1 SMC. This one has a really interesting twist in that almost all of the Republican OB and nearly half of the Nationalist OB are set up anonymously using Suspect counters from Solitaire ASL that are matched to randomly drawn playing cards, so neither side knows exactly where a good portion of their own or the enemy forces are located. Each player places 26 suspect counters, 13 of which will generate Nationalist forces and four of which will turn up Republican troops. The other 35 Suspect counters are dummies.

In FT20, the Republicans have to clear the Nationalists from the area within two hexes of L4. In the photo, I'm halfway through turn 3 of 6. British counters (and two French guns) represent the Nationalists, and the Republicans use Russian and Chinese counters. The cavalry at right have just ridden to the rescue as the Republican attack from board left has more or less dissolved after a critical hit from one of the 75s and heavy close combat losses.
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Paul Ybarrondo

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Another one from Fanatic Enterprises, "Ritpong Rampage." This one has a reputation for being seriously unbalanced in favor of the Japanese. It doesn't look that bad on paper. We'll see how it goes.
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Rui Serrabulho's profile photoPaul Ybarrondo's profile photo
2 comments
 
Well, it went about like all the other playings, I suppose. The Chinese could only manage to get three of the five needed victory buildings by game end. But the Japanese were bled nearly dry in a brutal slugfest. I would play this one again.
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Paul Ybarrondo

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A busy MPh. 
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Paul Ybarrondo

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Played FT198, "Full of Fire," from the new Deluxe Pack. Americans have to capture or eliminate all 3 of the German 105 guns. This is how it looked at the end, with two guns gone and the third captured in the final APh of the game. A fun affair from the American viewpoint. Not much fun from the German perspective -- one of those "try not to die too soon" contests. It's been awhile since I played the green side, but no matter how many times I do, it still impresses me how much firepower they can put together and how quickly they rally. 
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Paul Ybarrondo

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"Blood Brothers," Scenario HG-16 from Bounding Fire Productions' High Ground 2 pack. Sikhs, under command of the 89th Brigade of the British Army's 7th Indian Division, attack an Indian National Army position near Pagan, Burma, 15Feb1945.

The historical situation interested me, but also the magnificent mapboard, BFP J.

The Sikhs have four of the nifty British 51mm mortars that can fire smoke, and an SSR that makes them elite for special ammo purposes. So an 8 depletion number for smoke. They will need it, as the INA have 2 HMG, 2 MMG, 3 LMG and a pair of mortars of their own, and the Sikhs need to take 24 stone buildings to win. That means crossing the stream to take at least one building on the north side, as there are only 23 on the south side.
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Christian Blouin's profile photo
 
This is indeed a neat map!
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Paul Ybarrondo

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The endgame of the aptly named FE7, "Quick & Dirty,"  a 4.5-turn firefight between small Japanese and Dutch combined-arms forces over a one-lane bridge in Java.

This came down to the wire as the Japanese held on for an improbable win in dramatic fashion. The Dutch 20L ATR brewed up one of the Japanese tin cans on the wooden bridge with  3 game turns to go, but the Wet EC made all the difference. The blazing wreck refused to spread to the bridge, which would have meant a Dutch victory.

On the last turn, the Dutch broke a stubborn Japanese half-squad that had clung to control of the smoke-filled bridge, and assault-moved a squad in close in preparation to advance onto the bridge for control and the win.

The only one still able to fire and stop them was a wounded Japanese leader in I7 who had picked up a LMG left behind by his fallen comrades. A measly 1FP attack with a +2 smoke hindrance, and SNAKES! NMC. Down goes the squad, and the Dutch chance to win. You can't make this stuff up.
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Paul Ybarrondo's profile photoJim Moore's profile photo
3 comments
 
Just checked their site, you're memory serves you well.  It is indeed out of From the Cellar 3.
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Paul Ybarrondo

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An awesome song from the world's greatest sibling duo, the Brothers Mael.
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  • San Diego State University
    1993
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