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  Bloody Hell Operation Goodwood: July 18-20, 1944 Operation Spring: July 25-26, 1944 by High Flying Dice Games     Depending upon what book...

Bloody Hell by High Flying Dice Games Bloody Hell by High Flying Dice Games

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


 Bloody Hell

Operation Goodwood: July 18-20, 1944

Operation Spring: July 25-26, 1944


High Flying Dice Games


  Depending upon what book you read, and if it was written by an Englishman or not, the battle to take Caen is represented very differently. Field Marshal Montgomery always stated that his part of Operation Overlord (D-Day) went exactly to his plan. He states that it was the plan all along to draw the SS and other strong German units against his troops and that he would be the anvil and the Americans the hammer. Some books follow this lead. However, most state that Caen was to be taken the first day or shortly thereafter. That Monty's 'slows' stuck the Allies in Normandy for almost two months of desperate fighting. Regardless of the plan, Monty's English and Commonwealth Army was forced to try again and again to crack the tough nut of Caen. High Flying Dice Games gives us a chance to fight two of these battles on our tables. I have always been fascinated by Operation Goodwood, so hopefully this is an extra treat for me. Bloody Hell is one game in HFG's Professional Editions line of games. 

 These are the Designer Notes for the Operation Goodwood Scenario:

"Operation Goodwood

At first we seemed to advance quite rapidly, then suddenly, my tank ground to a halt as did all the others I could see...other tanks I could see were all stationary and several were beginning to brew. There were no targets. Nothing intelligible was coming over the radio. I watched through the periscope, fascinated as though it was a film I was seeing.

--Corporal Ronald Cox of the 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, July 18th.

This game on Operation Goodwood grew out of the interest and enjoyment I had in developing the companion game about Operation Spring, the Canadian offensive on Verrieres Ridge on July 25th, 1944. Montgomery’s massive onslaught against what was thought to be a severely beaten and depleted enemy was meant to be an unstoppable, irresistible offensive that would finally break the Allies out of the Normandy beachhead. That it instead ran into an un-moveable defense, planned earlier by Field Marshal Rommel, made for a ruinous fight that seriously damaged subsequent British offensives in the war. Nearly 2/3rds of the British tanks committed were destroyed in the two-day fight.

The Germans also suffered heavy losses in keeping control of their defensive positions. While many of Montgomery’s supporters pointed out that Goodwood seriously eroded the Germans’ capabilities to resist the Americans’ Operation Cobra offensive a week later, the cost to Great Britain was severe. That the Allied soldiers came close to winning a dramatic victory ahead of the Americans is a testament to the ferocity and courage both sides brought to this battlefield.

Allied Player

You have a massive armored host, but will have to move quickly and aggressively to win this battle. How you fight your infantry, air and few artillery assets will be crucial, as the tanks, despite their numbers, may not have the capability to punch through on their own. Be careful of how many reinforcements you call upon, as the cost in VP to bring them in early may create a deficit you can’t undo. Make the most of the opportunities you get and you may just end up on the road to Paris.

German Player

At the start of the game you may very well understand how Colonel Luck felt. However, time is on your side, and you have a range of weapons with which to fight, if your opponent, and the fates, grants you the time to bring them to the front. You will have many tough calls, and may not have the luxury of redeploying units once engaged if the dreaded jabos (fighter bombers) show up repeatedly. As Colonel Luck pointed out to the commander of the flak batteries defending Bourguebus, by the end of day you may be dead or a hero. Your actions will, for the most part, determine which applies."

 When the designer has done so well, and succinctly written up about the history and each player's role in the game it makes no sense for me to try and outdo it.

Let us see what comes with the game:

Game Design: Paul Rohrbaugh

Graphics Design: Bruce Yearian

Two,  17" x 22" maps

280 die cut, double sided unit counters and markers

One, Player Aid Card: Terrain Chart & Combat Results Table

Random Events Chart

Designer Notes & Bibliography

One Page of Addenda

Game Record Track 

8 page rule book

 We will look at the components now. The maps are your typical wargame maps with not too much flair about them. The terrain is easily distinguishable, and the hex numbers are easy to read. I guess maps are very much in the eye of the beholder, but I have no issue with them. The counters are normal size at 1/2". This makes them somewhat hard to read for those of us of advanced years. However, you always have to keep in mind the map footprint when talking about larger counters. Even if you are playing the two map campaign the game's footprint is small. This really helps with grognards who only have a limited amount of space. So, the counters are no smaller than many others that we play with. The tank and and jagdpanzer units have a silhouette of each kind on their counters. There are also counters for minefields, entrenchments, and smoke. As stated, the Rulebook has only eight pages of rules, followed by four pages of setup information. The Rulebook is in black and white, and does not come with any examples of play. These should really not be needed for a grognard, and this is not really a game that I would use to introduce a newbie to the hobby. The Player's Aid and all of the charts are pretty much self-explanatory. These are all in black and white, except for the terrain chart (naturally). The game components all pass muster. This is not a game where you will look at it and go Ooh and Ah, but it is all completely serviceable.

 This is the Sequence of Play:

Weather and Random Event Determination Phase

Air Phase - Allied Only

Initiative Determination Phase - Starts on Game Turn Two

Operations Phase - Chit Pull of Formations Activation Marker

End Phase

 The game is really not your typical folio game. It comes with two different operations that you can play (Goodwood, Spring), and it also has a campaign game of playing through both operations. There are not too many games at all on this level about Operation Goodwood, and none that I know of about Operation Spring. The life and death struggle for Caen, by the British and Commonwealth soldiers on one side and the Germans on the other, has had many excellent books and articles written about it. With this game it is much easier to understand the history of the battles, and why things happened the way they did. I find the game to be very enjoyable, and spot on as far as following history. Playing as the British you are going to find exactly how large of a can opener you are going to need to pry the Germans out of their defenses. As the German player, you will realize exactly what it was like to try and stem the tide with always diminishing resources.

Close up of some German Units


 As mentioned, the game has a small footprint, which is great when you do not want to play a monster, or do not have the room. The game comes with lots of chrome also. These are the Random Events:

Wittman Strikes - If the 1/101st Panzer is in play, you can get a second die roll

Allied Snafu - Remove one Allied Formation Activation Marker, and -1 to the Allied Initiative Die Roll

German Snafu - Same for Germans

Auftragstaktik - One German Formations Undisrupted Units can Activate for a Second Time

Oh Canada! or, For King and Counter - Same as Auftragstaktik for the Allied Player

 On the Addenda sheet there is also a variant that you can try out. According to the designer it is a bit  of a "what if" in his mind. The Allied player, to simulate more planning and cohesion on the Allied side, is allowed to activate the 2nd Canadian Armored Brigade with either the 2nd or 3rd Canadian infantry Divisions. This would be instead of activating on its own.

Allied Units

  I am very impressed with my first High Flying Dice Games. Thank you very much High Flying Dice Games for letting me review this. I am also going to be reviewing two more of their games, which look very interesting. These are the two:

A Test of Mettle - Three Battles From the Allied Campaign in the Lorraine: Tough Hombres - Battle of Mairy, Revanche! - Battle of Dompaire, Patton's Finest  - Battle of Arracourt.

September's Eagles - The Thompson Trophy Air Races 1929-1939

Name me another game where you can fly as Howard Hughes, or fly Gee Bee Racers!

You can also get boxed editions of all of their games.


High Flying Dice Games:

High Flying Dice Games, LLC: From the Filing Cabinet to the Game Table (

Bloody Hell:

Bloody Hell Information (

Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle For France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermos...

Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa

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


Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy

The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle For France,1944


Gilberto Villahermosa

 To Hitler, the day of the Fallschirmjäger ended with the invasion of Crete. They had suffered so many casualties during their successful attack that it was almost a Pyrrhic victory. At the siege of Stalingrad the Luftwaffe's airlift capacity was bled dry of pilots and planes. So even had Hitler changed his mind about the Fallschirmjäger, it wouldn't have mattered. Their wings were clipped. However, the Fallschirmjäger's usefulness was not over. They were some of the most highly trained soldiers in the Third Reich. They would continue to win laurels all over Europe as Fire Brigade soldiers, closing holes in the lines and stopping various Allied offensives in their tracks. When you think of the Fallschirmjäger in the infantry role, you usually think of their defense of Monte Cassino. This book shows how they were deeply involved with the defense of Normandy.

 The story of the Fallschirmjäger in Normandy is a story of dedicated soldiers who belonged to very different units as far as their training and abilities are concerned. The 3rd Parachute Division was the cream of the crop as far as both Fallschirmjäger and Infantry Divisions. It was one of the very few infantry Divisions that the German General Staff listed as well equipped and strong enough for offensive operations; let that sink in. According to Allied interrogation they believed their commander Generalleutnant Schimpf 'a god'. The division had its complete complement of soldiers and was the fourth strongest division in Normandy, behind three SS Panzer Divisions. The 5th Parachute Division was another story. It was made up of recruits, most who didn't have jump training, and not anywhere near its established amount of weaponry. The 6th Parachute Regiment of the 2nd Paratroop Division also was well thought of and fought in Normandy. Elements of the 6th Parachute Division also fought in Normandy.

 All of these units were part of the II Parachute Corps. The book tells the story of the II Parachute Corps, and its battles in Normandy to stem the Allied tide. The author goes through the Corps conception and birth. Not only is this a book about the Normandy battles, but it is also a reference book on the training and composition of not only the II Parachute Corps, but also the disparate units under its command.

 The 2nd Parachute Division, or some of it, was tasked with defending Brest under Generalleutnant Hermann Bernhard Ramcke. Ramcke was one of only twenty-seven men in the armed forces who were awarded The Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. The defense of Brest was considered of the highest importance, because the Allies desperately needed a port to use in Northern France. The only problem for the 2nd Parachute Division was after its mauling in Russia, the division was badly in need of men and supplies. An American assessment of its strength put it at 35% of its full complement. Ironically, for the Allies, the fight to conquer Brest so totally destroyed the city that it was unusable as a port. In fact, after the war, French authorities were even considering not bothering to rebuild the city where it was. The author shows us all of this desperate fighting.

 For the author's ability to help you visualize the Normandy battles the book is worth its weight. When you add in the incredible amount of detail that you will learn about the Fallschirmjäger the book is a steal. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thank you Casemate Publishers and Pen andSword for allowing me to review this wonderful book.


Publisher: Pen & Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers