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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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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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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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A busy MPh. 
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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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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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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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"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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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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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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