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Wings Over Flanders Fields  Between Heaven & Hell II  by OBD Software  The Fairey Swordfish 'Stringbag' was as far removed from ...

Wings Over Flanders Fields Between Heaven & Hell II by OBD (Old Brown Dog) Software Wings Over Flanders Fields Between Heaven & Hell II by OBD (Old Brown Dog) Software

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

June 2021

Wings Over Flanders Fields Between Heaven & Hell II by OBD (Old Brown Dog) Software




Wings Over Flanders Fields

 Between Heaven & Hell II 

by

OBD Software






 The Fairey Swordfish 'Stringbag' was as far removed from most World War II 400mph aircraft as it was from World War I planes. Yet, compared to planes in 1916 it was a marvel of engineering. What possessed those intrepid flyers to get up in those far from magnificent flying machines? Showing my age on that one. Parachutes that had been invented before the war, and worked just fine, were not allowed in plane cockpits for fear that the pilot would jump out to save his life and thereby lose the machine. So, many pilots kept revolvers handy to shoot themselves if their planes caught on fire. The ever present chance of shooting your own propeller off, or having a wing just decide to no longer be attached to the rest of the plane, was always in their minds. The soldiers in the trenches looked at the pilots as pampered pets who knew nothing of the 'real' war. However, if you look at the faces of the pilots that lasted in combat you will see a marked change. Their faces become lined and take on what looks like the pallor of death. In their eyes you can almost see them say to you "yes, I will be dead soon", almost in a glad sort of way. I believe it was Eddie Rickenbacker who, when taken up in his first flight, was asked if he saw any 'Huns'. He answered "no". The pilot answered their were more than a few in the sky with them. "Beware the Hun in the Sun", became a poster's cry. In reality the pilots had to beware everything, even their own mounts. To become an Ace was truly an act of intense bravery and tremendous luck. The Aces' names during and right after the war were more famous than most sport stars. This is the time and place  that OBD Software has chosen to take us: in the skies of France during the First World war. 




 I am the absolutely last person who should be writing this review. I bought into the original Over Flanders Field right at the start, and I have purchased every add-on or upgrade ever published. If you are a WWI airplane junkie you should already have this game, nothing else needs to be said. Of course, I must respect the usual forms of writing a review, so let us see what the game actually comes with, and why if you have not upgraded to Between Heaven & Hell II, you should immediately. This is a small synopsis of the game as it now stands on their website:


"OBD is proud to bring you our unashamedly single-player WW1 flight simulator : WOFF BH&H II.  What many are now saying is the most immersive flight simulator available for World War One, be absorbed into the WW1 Air War more than ever before.  Superb features.  The videos may look great but there are 100s of fantastic unseen features or improvements over our previous generations of WOFF.   From the visuals in the cockpit to AI, the superb Campaign engine, some of the best looking scenery and more you will discover yourself:  All whilst keeping performance at a similar level or better than previous versions.   Please see the “NEW Features” button just below to read more. Each one of over 80 FLYABLE aircraft now has cockpit vibrations, including vibration affected instrument needles and more, animated pilots intelligently look around for immersive flights and much more. WOFF BH&H II now includes a fresh Albatros D.II model, much improved 3 x S.E.5 series and 3 x Albatros D.III series aircraft, quality improvements to many others including all aircraft from the B.E.2c series, B.E.12 series and the R.E.8 and many more. (HD= home defence) Also includes over 35 main menu music tracks - favourites from previous WOFF’s plus 3 brand new stunning music tracks especially created by the musician Matt Milne for WOFF BH&H II. Immerse yourself in one of over 500 historically accurate fighter and bomber squadrons,  located in the historically correct location with the correct aircraft (over 80 flyable) of the time, anywhere along the Western front during WW1, or defend England from Gotha and Zeppelin raids! Spanning the period from 1915 through to the Armistice in November 1918 with front-lines that move as they did, there is no other combat flight simulator that can bring you the accuracy and feel of being a WW1 pilot, with all of the dangers associated with it!  Staying alive is your number one priority, and that of the AI pilots too."




 So, a few things stick out. First, it is single player only (Shock, gasp, wheeze, and catch your breath). Second, the word immersion. If you can find another simulation that gives you the immersion this does I will eat my flying scarf and goggles. Third, the absence of the name 'Snoopy'. This is a high fidelity simulation. You, however, will not need to start your engines and prime your plane for a half hour before you even take off (although those sims do scratch an itch at times). Even still, this is a simulation. A flightstick and rudders are essential. The goggles and the scarf I wear when playing it are optional. No Mikey, you cannot play the game with a mouse. 




 This is the very long list of the planes that are in Between Heaven & Hell II:

German Aircraft:


Albatros D.I                                 

Albatros D.II

Albatros D.III (early)

Albatros D.III OAW

Albatros D.III

Albatros D.V

Albatros D.V (Later)

Albatros D.Va

Albatros D.Va 200 PS

Aviatik BI

Aviatik BII

Aviatik C.I

Aviatik C.I trainer (x2)

D.F.W. C.V

Fokker D.II

Fokker D.III

Fokker DR.I

Fokker D.VI

Fokker D.VII OAW

Fokker D.VII

Fokker D.VIIF

Fokker E.I

Fokker E.II

Fokker E.III

Fokker E.IV  (Twin gun)

Fokker E.V  (mono-wing)

Gotha G.IV bomber

Halberstadt D.II

Halberstadt D.III (Argus Engine)

Hannover CL.III

Pfalz A.I  2 seater

Pfalz E.III

Pfalz D.IIIa

Roland C.II

Rumpler C.IV

Zeppelin R Type (AI only)

Zeppelin P Type (AI only)




Allied Aircraft:


Breguet 14 A.2

Bristol Scout type D

Bristol Fighter F.2b

Caudron G.4

D.H.2

D.H.2 Early

D.H.4

D.H.5

F.E.2.b

Morane "Parasol" Type L 2 Seater 

Nieuport 10

Nieuport 12

Nieuport 11

Nieuport 16

Nieuport 17 Lewis gun 

Nieuport 17 Vickers gun 

Nieuport 17 Bis  (2 guns)  

Nieuport 23 Vickers gun  

Nieuport 23 Lewis gun  

Nieuport 24 Bis Lewis gun  

Nieuport 24 Bis  

Nieuport 24 Lewis gun  

Nieuport 24 Vickers gun  

Nieuport 27 Lewis gun  

Nieuport 27 Vickers gun  

Nieuport 28  

R.A.F. B.E.12     

R.A.F. B.E.12 HD     

R.A.F. B.E.2c Early     

R.A.F. B.E.2c     

R.A.F. B.E.2c HD     

R.A.F. B.E.2c trainer (x2) 

R.A.F. R.E.8     

R.A.F. S.E.5  (Early,150HP)

R.A.F. S.E.5a    

R.A.F. S.E.5a Viper    

Sopwith Camel

Sopwith Camel - Bentley 

Sopwith Pup 

Sopwith Snipe 

Sopwith Strutter B1 

Sopwith Strutter A2 

Sopwith Tripe 

Sopwith Tripe (RNAS twin vickers)

Spad VII 

Spad XIII


 I would like to post the updates to the game that BH&H II gives you, but I do not have enough room on the page. You will just have to read it for yourself on the link below.


 You can in the game play both Quick Scenarios and Quick Combat, but the heart of the game has always been playing a Campaign. In the Campaign you will see just how hard it was to survive to fight again in the skies over France.




 The simulation is a tinkerer's dream. You have so many decisions you can make in the different Workshops screens.




 So, you have Single Player, and with that comes no need to have an internet connection, or to fly with a group of twelve-year old kids.  Immersion, Immersion, and even more Immersion (okay I stole it from Danton). You have the ability to adjust settings to get the simulation to play just the way you want it to on your older or super new fangled computer. Then you have 'The Planes, The Planes' (once again stolen). One thing that WOFF does not have is experimental or planes that had just come off the drawing board. These birds were all used, and some of them for most of the war. My favorite year to play is 1915. This really taxes your skill to get kills. You have wing-warping instead of actual control surfaces. For the newbie, I would suggest playing in 1918. The planes are effectively how you would fly in WWII, but still rudimentary. Of course, the later years have that many more chances to run into enemies also. If I was to give any advice to a newbie, I would say pick up a book on the WWI Airwar, and commit to memory what the different pilots said. You have no radios, so continually search the skies. Also before you get into a furball learn your plane's idiosyncrasies. Meaning, find out what maneuvers you can and cannot pull off before the wings rip off. If you dive into this game straight from a WWII sim hell bent for leather, all you will end up as is a smoking hole in the ground. 




 The simulation is a labor of love for the OBD Software crew. It is their attempt to give the computer pilot the closest thing they can to being a pilot in the Great War. You can actually see the ground war taking place and the lines move throughout the conflict. The planes are an absolute joy to just fly and take in the sights. I am still in awe with what the OBD Software crew have been able to do, starting with an over twenty-year old program to start working with. Visually the simulation is stunning, incredibly even more so than it was.


Robert

Wings Over Flanders Fields Between Heaven & Hell II:

Features of the game, along with BH&H II updates:



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  High Flying Dice Games From the Horse's Mouth A look at what comes with Bloody Hell  I was given a few games from High Flying Dice Gam...

High Flying Dice Games High Flying Dice Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

June 2021

High Flying Dice Games






 High Flying Dice Games


From the Horse's Mouth





A look at what comes with Bloody Hell


 I was given a few games from High Flying Dice Games to review. Due to work, life, and a lot of 2020 leftovers, I have only been able to review one so far: Bloody Hell -  Operations Goodwood and Spring 1944. This simulation is about these two operations by the British to take control of Caen. I have always been fascinated by Operation Goodwood, so it was a no-brainer. The games was a great one (the review link will be below). So, I wanted to know more about High Flying Dice Games, and asked the owner, and designer of a lot of their games, Paul Rohrbaugh to please write me up something about them. Without further ado here it is:


 "I first started in with board wargames when my parents gave me copies of Afrika Korps and Bismarck for Christmas in 1968. I had been involved with miniatures before that, but with those gifts I was hooked and switched over to board games and have not gone back. I was "tinkering" and designing games from the start. My first efforts were making versions of several of Napoleonic era battles using the Avalon Hill rules and CRT from Afrika Korps and other "classic" games from the time, and home made counters. Although very crude, they were fun to make and got me started on the design path. In high school a bunch of us got involved with play testing a game called "WWII Europe/Africa" that as I look back on it was very likely a first round draft of what would become the Europa series. Everything came on mimeographic sheets of 8.5 by 11 paper and required a LOT of "do it yourself" effort. I was France in those playtest sessions, and I recall everyone liked my counters, and I ended up doing nearly all of them over a couple of month's time. We had a lot of fun with that, and it inspired us to create a game on Antietam using some of the rules from the play test game. We had our photo taken with the Antietam game and a story about our wargame group was published in the Austintown Leader newspaper.


I used games extensively throughout my teaching career, with some students staying after school to play test. Some of my first games that were eventually published got started this way. Among them are Trampling Out the Vintage: The Atlanta Campaign, September's Eagles: The Thompson Trophy Air Races and Blood and Steel: The Battles of Kursk (Prokorohvka, Rzhavets Bridgehead, Oboyan Hills, Ponryi, currently available from L2 Publishers who sells through Noble Knight Games).

I was first published in 1999 by the Microgame Design Group with Trampling Out the Vintage. They did a few others, and I also got to develop several other designer's games through MDG. I will always be indebted and grateful to Kerry Anderson for giving me my first breaks in wargame design, development and publication. Shortly after Against the Odds magazine started I submitted my game on the 1790-1795 War in Ohio, A Dark and Bloody Ground, which they accepted. Soon after I was asked to finish up the development work on John Prados Fortress Berlin, as well as fix some issues that were overlooked with the just then released Go Tell the Spartans, that I was able to correct in just a couple of days. This got me the job of being the first developer for Against the Odds that I enjoyed very much. However, increasing issues with my regular job led to some very stressful and repeated job changes that made it necessary for me to give up the development position at ATO. Fortunately I had met and made friends with, Lembit Tohver, who was my main "Ace" play tester and when I informed Steve that I had to stop being the regular developer I heartily recommended Lembit for the job. His first game was Pocket at Falaise and he's done wonderful work throughout. I still do occasional development work for ATO, and have submitted many games in a variety of eras and sizes to them over the years for publication. I also owe a LOT to Steve and all of the others on the ATO/LSG/TPS crews for their help, assistance and support. I would not be anywhere without them.

I started High Flying Dice Games in 2010. When the economy tanked in 2006-2008 things got very stressful for many publishing companies (some did not survive). Craig Grando, who had been doing the graphics for ATO left suddenly in 2008 which, combined with the economic woes and collapse of much of the board gaming market, nearly did in ATO as well. Fortunately, Steve is a genius when it comes to financial matters and assessing the market, and he is very cool under pressure. Steve used some of the smaller games I had submitted for use in the interview process with graphic artists that had applied to replace Craig. Bruce Yearian was one of them but he did not get the job. He then contacted me directly via phone and he asked if I would be interested in working together in a new company that would produce high quality but low-price games. It was out of that phone conversation that High Flying Dice Games was born.  One of our main missions is to use High Flying Dice Games as a vehicle by which new designers, artists and play testers can be introduced to the wargaming community. We also prefer to do games on topics that have seen little-to-no treatment in game form and also have innovative, creative design and artwork whenever possible.  We have enjoyed growth in sales and customers every year since we started, so we must be doing somethings right. I am very proud that we started High Flying Dice Games in the wake of an economic depression, and we have been going strong since. We started out by selling 2 games a day the first year and are now up to 10 games a day. We have released at l new game a month since we started, and also have enough new product in the pipeline to keep up this pace for another 3+ years even if I or others stop designing today (which is not likely).

We still have challenges. Due to the ongoing pandemic and last year's sabotage of the US Postal System (that has still not been fully rectified where I live), I am currently shipping only to addresses in the USA and Canada. Nothing of what I shipped to Europe, Asian or Australia from April through August of 2020 ever arrived and I had to issue nearly $1,000.00 in refunds by the end of the year to very unhappy customers. Fortunately, our full line of games is carried by Noble Knight Games, and an increasingly number of our titles are also being carried by Agorajeux in France. These vendors have alternative and more reliable means of getting the games and card sets to customers than what I can utilize. I am really looking forward to better days and when I can get our works out to any and all who want them. Another challenge is keeping our prices as low as possible. Our markup is only 25-30% so I don't have any "wiggle room" for significant discounts and promotions. As a result, I cannot offer wholesalers the deep discounts they typically get from other publishers as our pricing and marketing approach is based upon direct sales to customers as much as possible. This is another reason I very much look forward to when things can get back to normal.

I have always viewed board games as wonderful educational tools. Although I'm retired from librarianship and classroom teaching, I am still very much teaching with our games. Life is too short to be bored, and I'm doing my best to stay entertained and learning, as well as encouraging others to do the same. Let the dice fly high!"

--Paul


Flying Gee Bees and Howard Hughes as a Pilot!

  Their game catalog goes from Kadesh to current history.







  Please take a look at their massive and inexpensive catalog of wargames. 

High Flying Dice Games:

Bloody Hell:

My review of Bloody Hell:

September Eagles:
























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