The Flare Path: A Phantasmagoria Of Foxers

By Tim Stone on August 16th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

The Flare Path turns two this week. Here in the UK that means it can legally hunt gruffalo, attend public hangings, and teach John Prine lyrics to mynah birds. To mark the occasion there’ll be no news items or inscrutable intros today. The entire column will consist of quizzes. Napping fitfully beyond the break are five fuzzy-eared Foxers, each with a rather special set of prizes tied to its brush.

Thanks to the splendid generosity of the magnificently-halberded gatekeepers of GamersGate, there’s 25 prizes up for grabs this year. To win a game FP either adores or admires, simply select the appropriate quiz, deftly defox it, and send me the solution before five of your peers have done the same.

Stuff worth bearing in mind before you get started:

  • No answers in the comments section, please! Send solutions via the ‘Tim Stone’ link above.
  • A complete solution may not be necessary (see individual instructions).
  • Submitting more than one solution per quiz will lay you wide open to accusations of caddishness, but there’s nothing, except mental exhaustion, to stop you having a bash at all five quizzes.
  • Once all the prizes for a particular quiz have been claimed, I’ll make that clear ASAP.
  • I’ll be sending out prizes personally, so winners should receive their activation codes fairly promptly.
  • Thank you for all the encouraging words sprinkled under FP columns during the past year. You are individually and collectively lovely.
  • Umm, that’s about it.
  • No more guidelines. Get de-foxing!
  • Why are you still reading this when there are time-sensitive prizes to be won?
  • Oh, you’re pressing on in the hope that I’ve slipped a sly warm-up foxer into the “Stuff worth bearing in mind before you get started” section.
  • Why, you clever old stickgrenade you!
  • I have indeed slipped a sly warm-up foxer into the “Stuff worth bearing in mind before you get started” section.
  • To win an ace adjunct for RPS’s favourite wargame unjumble the following four Eastern Front themed anagrams and email me the results.
  • last daring, skirt ovum, hasty auk, USA tits rap.
  • Prize claimed!

 

Foxer No. 1 (0 prizes remaining)

FP loves all things Roman. When he’s not composing vicious defixionis, dropping tidbits into his glirarium, or unblocking his bathhouse drain with hypocaustic soda, he’s usually to be found playing garum-scented wargames like Alea Jacta Est. Like Paradox’s creations, AGEOD’s are something of an acquired taste, but acquire that taste – come to understand and appreciate the ingenious icon-heavy battle shorthand, the persuasive representation of supply, leadership, and weather, and you’ve got a friend for life. Read more about AJE here or try it for yourself by identifying at least nine of the ten game icons pictured below.

 

Foxer No. 2 (0 prizes remaining)

Being a veteran flare-o-path, you’ll know that Steel Armor: Blaze of War, Graviteam’s high-fidelity tank-sim-cum-wargame, is the most exciting example of military genre-blurring since HetzerSoft used the Ranger assault on Pointe du Hoc as the basis for a massively-multiplayer QWOP-style 3D platformer. You’ll also be aware that many of the vehicles and weapons that populate games like Steel Armor have latin names. To the true scholar, the Olifant MBT is Loxodonta africana, the Ratel IFV is Mellivora capensis, the Sopwith Camel Camelus dromedraius, the de Havilland Gipsy Moth is… well, you get the idea. To win a downloadable copy of this unjustly obscure curio, supply the latin monikers of at least seven of the eight machines corralled in the following collage.

 

Foxer No. 3 (5 prizes remaining)

You know how, in late 2007, you lent your copy of Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin to Sean from dog obedience classes, and never saw it again? You know how you’ve always meant to get a replacement because, in your opinion “No other game captured the drama, tensions and challenges of company-level combat on the Eastern Front better”? Well, this could be your Fairly Fortuitous Day. I’ve got five 20-digit codes here that, when pasted into the appropriate GamersGate orifice, unlock months, maybe years of superlative CMx1 wargaming. To win one all you need to do is examine the image below, and tell me which grid square contained – before it was skilfully erased – an airborne Molotov cocktail. Because spotting invisible firebombs can be tricky, a near miss (one square away) will also earn a prize.

 

Foxer No. 4 (0 prizes remaining)

Take a long hard look at yourself in the back of a spoon before entering this quiz. To get the most out of DCS: A10C, an uncommonly rigorous recreation of Fairchild’s least fair child, you’re going to need grit, patience and substantial stockpiles of spare time. One of these desk-distorting beauties and the last nine issues of PC Pilot (for Chris Frishmuth’s excellent tutorials) would be handy too. Put the work in and the pay-off is an unusually robust form of gaming satisfaction, an almost cybernetic relationship with a sim steed, and the opportunity to multiplay with folk roleplaying ground commanders, operating tanks, or flying similarly sophisticated Ka-50 Black Sharks and UH-1H Hueys. Think you’ve got what it takes? Send in a list of the 18 words stripped from this description of the A-10 and its Soviet equivalent and, assuming at least 16 of them are correct, I’ll send back a DCS: A-10C activation code.

 

Foxer No. 5 (0 prizes remaining)

The simulation bran tub contains more used plasters and mummified mice than shiny mouth organs and pearl-handled cap guns. Uninformed fumblers are as likely to pull out an atrocity like Oil Platform Simulator as a treasure like Euro Truck Simulator 2. That’s an awful shame because ETS2 has the power to make a simmer of almost anybody. Atmospheric, soothing, and scandalously moreish, it’s a game with tycoonery at its brake-dusty hub and long-distance lorry driving at its stone-chipped rim. You build a logistics business while whisking self-selected cargoes across a condensed but massive representation of Western Europe (Eastern Europe is arriving very soon via DLC). I love it, even when I’m so weary/engrossed in Book at Bedtime I miss my junction and end up hopelessly lost.

Talking of being lost, last night while driving home from Narcoleptics Anonymous I fell asleep at the wheel and awoke in a side street in God-Knows-Where. If you can send me the name of the street where I’m currently parked, I’ll send you (while stocks last) an activation code for Euro Truck Simulator 2.

A few clues

  • I’m next to a park.
  • In the road just ahead of me is a wasp-striped speed bump.
  • I’m a 5-minute drive from the venue of prestigious horse race.
  • I’m in a town that has a connection with the writer of The Metamorphosis.
  • I’m approximately 10 miles from the Austrian border.
  • The town shares its name with a chess opening.
  • I’m roughly the same distance from the deathplace of The Napoleon of Crime as I am from the birthplace of Ulysses.
  • I’m a couple of miles from a castle named after a skin disease.

 

Last Week’s Foxer

Not an entirely convincing display of de-foxing, but well-earned FP Flair Points made from smuggled Spanish wolfram go to orranis, FurryLippedSquid, Ravenholme, phelix, Ernesto, and – for extracting all 20 RAF planes from the intro – TimR.

A) Nakajima K-43 AXIS
B) Fairmile D MTB ALLIED
C) Condotteri-class cruiser AXIS
D) Reggiane Re.2001 pictured in ALLIED (Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force) colours.
E) T66 rocket launcher ALLIED
F) Handley Page Hampden pictured in NEUTRAL (Swedish Air Force) colours
G) Ram tank  ALLIED
H) GAZ-67B 4wd ALLIED

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24 Comments »

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  1. gunny1993 says:

    … Had to google to see whether a Phantasmagoria was the real name for a group of foxes …. in hindsight it’s somewhat obvious that it isn’t.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Zephro says:

    Awww I enjoy the teamwork of solving a foxer. Also not a chance I can do one alone.

  3. pack.wolf says:

    I wish I was better at seeing things that aren’t there because I’ve been meaning to try a Combat Mission game. But then again if that were the case I might be locked up in a mental health institution without internet privileges.

    • Reapy says:

      In the same boat here. That one appears to be pretty rough as it is still standing.

  4. GernauMorat says:

    Yay! Thanks for Steel Armour

  5. Premium User Badge

    JB says:

    Thanks for all the FPs, Mister Stone! The weekly dose of loveliness is much appreciated.

  6. Fishbreath says:

    No. 2 wasn’t hard at all, but only after finishing it did I realize I already had Steel Armor.

  7. Skabooga says:

    May we have another year of Flare Path as bountiful as the last. Thanks for all the enjoyment, Stone!

  8. Phasma Felis says:

    “…the most exciting example of military genre-blurring since HetzerSoft used the Ranger assault on Pointe du Hoc as the basis for a massively-multiplayer QWOP-style 3D platformer.”

    I am so very very sad that this isn’t a real game. :(

  9. One Pigeon says:

    Hooray, thanks for Steel Armor! I’m over the moon.

    Foxer number 3 is a real doozy. 0 winners yet.

  10. Jake says:

    Man, I’m pissed. Had 8 of the 10 Rome games but couldn’t solve two.

    DRAG VIA Q

    SABOTAGE CHEATER FLATTERS

    Grr. Anyone want to let me know what these were so I can kick myself again?

  11. harrumph says:

    And while we’re at it, what’s that biplane with a Chinese (?) roundel in #2?

  12. MysticalEric says:

    If anyone is attempting Foxer No.3 then they might want to check this video showing molotovs in combat mission.

  13. Boarnoah says:

    Gave a shot at Foxer No 3, hope my guess was good!

  14. mbthegreat says:

    Got me a copy of ETS2, apparently first winner of the day as well (you other fools should have started your lunch break just as this page went live!).

  15. jkz says:

    Congrats TIm, always enjoy your writing, it’s even given me a taste for simming and wargaming.