Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: Draftees And Deserters

By Tim Stone on February 27th, 2015.

Keeping tabs on all 238 of the world’s active vehicle sim projects week in, week out is an exhausting and expensive business. Why, just yesterday an overworked FP staffer fell asleep at his post, crashing a £12,000 recon drone into The Motherland Calls‘ cavernous cake-hole. It would make life a lot easier for us if there was just one sim – a globe-spanning, multi-discipline jack-of-all-transport. Most of the bleary-eyed blog watchers and forum combers in the FP office think that super-sim should have Outerra at its core. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Muskets, Moscow, And M4s

By Tim Stone on February 20th, 2015.

Tim’s pre-FP checks

  • Is it Friday morning?
  • Is coffee pot within reach?
  • Are biros arranged according to ink content?
  • Are members of Perry Miniatures SAS squad a) upright and b) equidistant from each other?
  • Do all visible D6s display odd numbers?
  • Has photo of Neville Duke been saluted?

Yes?

COMMENCE WRITING Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Dave Does Dovetail

By Tim Stone on February 13th, 2015.

A Crown Copyright image Private Eyed with the help of www.superlame.com

Six Sure Signs That Your Sim Studio is a Spectacular Success:

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The Flare Path: Black Sea Battlecast

By Tim Stone on February 6th, 2015.

Phone switched off? Bladder empty? Puffed corn snacks to hand? I only ask because last time The Flare Path ran a Combat Mission battle commentary, I seem to recall you missed that amazing turn where I dropped a mortar bomb down the hatch of an unbuttoned King Tiger then wiped out an entire squad of Fallschirmjäger with a single ricocheting ATR round.

I can’t promise jammy Tiger II kills or preposterous PTRD shots today (Combat Mission Black Sea imagines a contemporary conflict involving Ukraine, Russia and the US) but the combination of CM’s hi-res ballistics and my tactical hamfistedness is sure to generate the odd “Gosh!” and “Well I never!” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: In Search Of A Sub Title Subtitle

By Tim Stone on January 30th, 2015.

The eyecatching Yellow Pages advert that is currently serving as my bookmark, is tucked between the pages of Bob Whinney’s ‘The U-Boat Peril’ at the moment, a fact that may explain why work-in-progress sub sim Wolves of the Atlantic is on top of this week’s word heap. A mobile game destined for the PC, WOTA seems eminently dismissable until you glimpse the screenshots, peruse the feature list, and realise that lone creator Mark Hessburg is drawn to realism like a GNAT is drawn to propeller noise. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Dreadnoughts And Droid Thoughts

By Tim Stone on January 23rd, 2015.

Though my Battle-of-Jutland-through-the-eyes-of-a-ship’s-cat war movie remains unfunded, untitled and largely unwritten, I have mentally sketched out the final scene.

EXT. FIRTH OF FORTH. DAWN.

Passing under the awesome edifice of the Forth Bridge, the bruised and battered HMS Warspite is pelted with coal by disappointed railway workers. Tickles, asleep in her customary spot atop ‘A’ turret, wakes and dashes for cover. Scampering across the bloodstained, shrapnel scored deck, she is struck by a flying lump of anthracite and drops down dead. As the camera rises incorporeally into Warspite’s swirling smoke plume, we see Able Seaman Peters run to where Tickles lies, and fall to his knees beside her.

THE END Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Arrivals And Departures

By Tim Stone on January 16th, 2015.

Afflicted by something clinicians call ‘a bad back’, I’ve been playing Nonagenarian Simulator 2015 for the last couple of days. It’s an eye-opening game. Mission 3. Pick up that dropped pen in under sixty seconds. Mission 7. Put on both of your socks without wincing, grimacing, or turning the air blue. Mission 10. Stoically refrain from mentioning your condition while writing the intro to a Flare Path on Vietnam ’65 progress, PicaSim experimentation, the next instalment of World of Subways, and the death of one of wargaming’s most influential designers. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Full Steam Astern

By Tim Stone on January 9th, 2015.

The labyrinthine Steam department store now stocks mind-blowingly rich historical strategy epics, military-grade battle sims, and flight sim add-ons so dense they can punch through Chobham armour like it was damp loo roll. Is there any chance My Wargame of 2014 will be appearing on its shelves any time soon? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Continuum

By Tim Stone on January 2nd, 2015.

What a con! So far ‘2015’ feels a lot like a re-badged ‘2014’. I know you shouldn’t look a free update in the mouth, but gosh, a few improvements would have been nice. How much longer must we wait for that Ebola fix… that promised ‘Peace in South Sudan’ scenario? Surely ISIL-seeking killer bees and colourblind-friendly rainbows don’t take that long to code. I’m beginning to think the devs behind this cruel-yet-compelling massively-multiplayer Homo sapiens sim don’t care a jot for us end users. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Bulges

By Tim Stone on December 26th, 2014.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la,

But forget ye not war’s cruel folly,

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la,

Ringed by corpses and burning tanks,

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la,

70 years ago, Bastogne gave thanks,

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Accosts Accomplished Add-On Artisans

By Tim Stone on December 19th, 2014.

2014 wasn’t exactly a bumper year for standalone flight sim releases. Apart from the flak-nibbled IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad, and eccentric WWI curios like ILYA Muromets and Canvas Knights simulated clouds had simulated skies almost all to themselves. Fortunately the add-on sector was as vigorous and ambitious as ever. Today in The Flare Path I catch up with five top flight sim supplementers, all of whom have worked their windsocks off this past twelve months. Recently discovered the delights of DCS World or purchased the A380-sized bargain that is FSX Steam Edition? Beware! What follows may pluck at your purse strings.

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The Flare Path: Wages War In The West

By Tim Stone on December 12th, 2014.

Grigsby, Billings, and Brors are to PC wargaming what Stock, Aitken, and Waterman are to pop music… what Freeman, Hardy, and Willis are to shoe retailing… what Rock, Paper, and Shotgun are to outdated Anglocentric intro references. They started making hexagonal militaria in the days when Tyrannosauri and Triceratopses grappled, and dragonflies the size of Dragonflies dragonflew. Their latest release, War in the West, is their biggest and most elaborate design yet. Suitably intimidated, I spent Monday and Tuesday eyeing the colossus through fieldglasses, and Wednesday and Thursday prodding it with a long stick. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Wargaming – Where To Start?

By Tim Stone on December 5th, 2014.

Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm, Command: Modern Air Naval Operations, Combat Mission: Red Thunder… most of my favourite wargames of recent years are hulking beasts studded with obscure units, potentially overwhelming scenarios, and abstruse tactical subtleties. I’m not sure I could wholeheartedly recommend any of them to a genre newcomer. A fellow or fellowess just arrived in the land of hexes, morale checks, and myriad Sherman variants would be far better off starting with… um… errr… sorry, I’m going to have to consult my notes at this point… hmm… be with you in two shakes of a lamb’s tail… maybe three shakes.

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