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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!

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:
























  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!

High Flying Dice Games





 Bloody Hell


Operation Goodwood: July 18-20, 1944

Operation Spring: July 25-26, 1944


by


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.


Robert 

High Flying Dice Games:

High Flying Dice Games, LLC: From the Filing Cabinet to the Game Table (hfdgames.com)

Bloody Hell:

Bloody Hell Information (hfdgames.com)

PixelPLaybox.co.uk