Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path’s World Of Warships Apprenticeship

World of Warships has been flashing its signal lamp at me for several months. Ignoring messages like…

- .. — –..– / -.– — ..- / .-.. — …- . -.. / .– — .-. .-.. -.. / — ..-. / – .- -. -.- … –..– / .– …. -.– / -. — – / –. .. …- . / .– — .– … / .- / – .-. -.– ..–..

“Tim, you loved World of Tanks, why not give WoWS a try?”

.. – / .. … / ..-. .-. .

“It’s free!”

and – …. . / .–. .. –. . — -. … / -.. .- -. -.-. . / -… . .- ..- – .. ..-. ..- .-.. .-.. -.–

“The pigeons dance beautifully.” (Not 100% sure I recorded that one correctly.)

…hasn’t been easy, but somehow I managed it. Until Tuesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .


The Flare Path: Scratch One Summer

This splendid image is the work of Roger Murray AGAvA (click for purchasing options)

A flurry of local airshows and BoB commemorative events meant Spitfires and Hurricanes were regular visitors to my corner of Southern England this summer. Seeing six Messerschmitt maulers fly over in formation on September 15 really should have been my aviation highlight of the season, but that accolade actually goes to an encounter a few days earlier when, tramping along a Wiltshire footpath, I was repeatedly buzzed by a P-40 intent on entertaining crowds at a nearby display. The sound of a Merlin in full spate is a wonderful thing, but the whistle-threaded roar of Lulu Belle’s supercharged Allison V-12 left me beaming like a lottery winner. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , .


The Flare Path: Apes

The first Royal Navy powder monkeys were actual monkeys. During the blockade of Singapore in 1764-65 a short-handed admiral by the name of Thomas Allworthy, noticing that the long-tailed macaques kept as pets by many of his crew were extremely biddable, ordered the beasts to be trained up as emergency gunpowder porters and cannon spongers. Young macaques carried out the latter activity without implements of any kind. After a quick dip in a pail of water, the primates would be inserted into sooty cannon barrels down which a peanut or similar tidbit had first been thrown. Blockages weren't unknown. Much of the blame for HMS Ajax's dismal performance at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1780) was laid at the furry feet of its overfed monkey matelots. In 'Biscay Round', the 18th Century sea shanty that made famous the phrase 'Keep your powder dry', the well-known line is followed by the now largely forgotten 'And your monkey slim'.

Hello youse. Fridays are for taking a long, hard look at your weekly wargame & simulation column, and wondering “Is it sufficiently distinct?”. Fridays are also for plunging gloved hands into the beetle-studded nightsoil mound that is the Internet and pulling out stories about bovicidal board game ports, Battle of the Bulge and iRacing imperfections, and the return of an intriguing piece of TalonSoft hexoterica. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .


The Flare Path: Loos Cannon

(provided for reader convenience)


There’s no kind way of putting this: this week’s Flare Path was a disgrace. You’ve done some pretty unprofessional things in the past but slyly writing-off an ambitious work-in-progress flight sim because you’ve seen similar projects fail, and recommending a wargame that you’ve played for a mere two hours, sets new standards of irresponsibility. Where was the detailed TS2016 coverage and the piece on the imminent DCS: Nevada? I turned up expecting topical analysis of genre stalwarts and found instead multiple paragraphs on an obscure half-finished Dora sim! And the less said about that awful title pun, the better. You are aware, are you not, that Loos is a good hundred miles from the Ardennes, played no part in the Battle of the Bulge, and was never visited by a WW2 railway gun? Your Meuse seems to have deserted you on this occasion.

Deeply disappointed,

(your name here) Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .


The Flare Path: Back On Track

There are good reasons why the likes of Canal King, Despatch Rider 1944, and Schwerer Gustav Simulator seldom get mentioned in The Flare Path.* The glaring absence of X-Plane, rFactor and iRacing coverage is harder to explain and justify.This week, in a feeble attempt to make amends for years of negligence, I mark rFactor’s 10th birthday by grilling Image Space Incorporated’s Tim Wheatley over a very low flame.

*Flare Path Games still lacks a coder, a budget, and a work ethic.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .


Kickstarting Simulations: The DOs And The DO NOTs

In readiness for Flare Path’s imminent swan dive into game development (After long negotiations with W.E. Johns Media we’ve finally secured the Worrals licence!) I’ve been examining crowdfunding options this week. Having studied dozens of Kickstarter and Indiegogo sim projects I believe I’ve now got a pretty good idea of what persuades punters to part with their pennies and what causes them to hurry past. In fact I’d go so far as to say I’m now perfectly equipped to cobble together an intelligence-insulting, dream-trampling Sim Developer’s Guide to Crowdfunding. Read the rest of this entry »

, .


The Flare Path: More From The Web

With Fidget, our Ferret scout car, on loan to the Peshmerga, and Pam, our photo-reconnaissance de Havilland Mosquito, grounded with dry rot, Flare Path is totally reliant on the intel-gathering equipment of cyber comrades at the moment. Today’s stories came via’s cod-kissed sonobuoys, Tactical Wargames’ perpetually circling Auster AOP, Real and Simulated Wars’ energetic-Dutch-schoolboy-on-a-bicycle, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s own infinite Tu-95.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .


The Flare Path: A Roundhead Reflects

Apologies. This brief but heartfelt Pike & Shot: Campaigns recommendation is going to be heavy on the assumptions and inferences. Expect lots of statements like… The game’s unscripted version of the Great Turkish War is probably highly entertaining… Swedes will almost certainly adore the Gustavus Adolphus campaign… Multiplayer should be a hoot… I suspect there’s some cracking engagements amongst the historical battle selection… You see I’ve been so absorbed in a marathon recreation of the English Civil War that, despite playing Byzantine’s latest for the best part of a week, I’ve seen nothing of the game’s other charms.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .


The Flare Path: A Flood Of Foxers

The Flare Path turns four this week. Here in the UK that means it can legally bear arms, arm bears, bear grudges, and drive geese and Vauxhall Chevettes across London Bridge on public holidays. To mark the occasion there’ll be no news items or inscrutable intros today. The entire column will consist of puzzles. On the moss-upholstered bank beyond the break eight fat Foxers lounge. Tackle these brow furrowers within the next 48 hours   and you’ve a chance of winning various top-notch wargames. (COMPETITION NOW OVER) Read the rest of this entry »



The Flare Path: Now Even Harrier

Swift sequels make The Flare Path uncomfortable. When I see a flight sim follow-up like Combat Air Patrol 2 set to arrive a mere 23 years after its predecessor, I find myself wondering how much genuinely new content will be included. Yes, the engine, feature set, and premise look totally different, and Sim155’s commitment to dynamic campaigns and intermediate ‘IL-2 level’ realism sounds right up my bomb alley, but that preposterously tight 276 month development cycle surely means corners have been cut.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .


The Flare Path: Perpetually Monitoring

Close Combat was PC wargaming’s Hirō Onoda. Years after his comrades emerged from the jungle with hands raised, the turn-spurning CC engine was still busy patrolling… scouting… soldiering. People like me would periodically point our bullhorns at the undergrowth and urge the old fool campaigner to “Jack it in!”, or at the very least learn some new tactics. Usually he’d reply with wild rifle shots or deluded AI improvement boasts.

Now, thank goodness, the decade-long farce is finally over. Last year Slitherine/Matrix announced that they were retiring Atomic’s ancient code tangle and commencing work on Close Combat: The Bloody First, a new 3D-engined-but-still-top-down successor. There’s been no news of that project since, but, in an intriguing development this week, another developer announced that they too intended to take up the CC torch. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .


The Flare Path: Beardy Bits And Bobs

Heard of Kim's Game? Tim's Game is very similar. You have 60 seconds to memorise (no writing anything down) the twelve objects in this photo. Your 60 seconds start now.

I think it’s about time I cut my beard. This morning while Brylcreeming my eyebrows (they probably need a trim too) I discovered the above items nestling in my W.G. Grace-inspired chin thicket.

They weren’t alone either. Further rummaging revealed:

– One Mills Bomb pin
– A 1/4 scale replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy
– A wren’s nest (unoccupied)
– A Wren’s vest (unoccupied)
– The Bruce-Partington plans
– A Pike & Shot news story
– A speedboat sim news story
– Topical paragraphs on DCS World and Copa Petrobras de Marcas

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , .


The Flare Path: Rules The Waves

I am the very model of a contented desktop Admiral,

I’ve information financial, political, and tactical,

I grow my navy patiently to echo fights historical,

Not Tsushima or Jutland, but battles roughly comparable;

I mull over decisions with implications international,

And design my own ships using rules quite mathematical;

Exposed to a wargame this deep, fresh, and dreadnoughtical,

It would be profoundly criminal not to get a little evangelical.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .