Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: A Flummox Of Foxers

By Tim Stone on August 15th, 2014.

I found a foxer, caught by dogs. He let me take him in my hands.

The Flare Path turns three this week. Here in the UK that means it can legally buy khat, attack bouncy castles with bouncy siege engines, and speculate about Thomas the Tank Engine’s sexuality. To mark the occasion there’ll be no news items or inscrutable intros today. The entire column will be given over to puzzles. Slumbering hypertextually beyond the break is a link to the very first (and – quite possibly – very last) digital foxer collection. Download, then defox with dispatch, and a Good Old Game or a Just Flight sim selection could be yours. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Dora Explorer

By Tim Stone on August 8th, 2014.

One hundred years ago today, DORA – the Defence of the Realm Act – came into force in the UK. Citizens caught lighting bonfires, flying kites, or feeding crusts to ducks risked prosecution. Shops were obliged to remove binoculars from their shelves. Unpatriotic wargame and simulation correspondents that chose to use their columns to promote rigorous replicas of Teutonic flying machines faced the prospect of sharing prison cells with the kind of troublesome intellectuals that dared to question the sanity of sending the flower of British manhood off to die in France and Belgium. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Belt-Fed, Bipod-Mounted, Beer-Cooled

By Tim Stone on August 1st, 2014.

For the last three years this column has used an ancient bolt-action Lee-Metford to dispense sim and wargame news. This week, as an experiment, we’ll be trialling a far more modern fact flinger, the MG 42K. According to its manual, this Mauser-manufactured marvel can fire 20 separate story snippets in under a minute! Obviously, the high ROF comes at a price. Accuracy – “especially at the end of long bursts” – can be “slightly compromised” says the bumph. Give me a second to insert my ear plugs and press my cheek against the porcelain-cool steel stock, and we’ll set about finding out what “slightly compromised” means. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Attends Battle Academy 2

By Tim Stone on July 25th, 2014.

At Battle Academy 2 students study Student, Rag Week is known as StuG Week, and mortarboards are made from actual mortars. I’ve spent a few days sampling the syllabus in Slitherine’s upcoming tactical TBS and, thus far, have found very few reasons to reach for my red biro. If you happen to be searching for a pacy WW2 wargame that won’t weary your mouse hand, offend your eye, or insult your intelligence, then this hex-spurning sequel, due in September, definitely warrants a bookmark. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: John Tiller, Boredom Killer

By Tim Stone on July 18th, 2014.

Today in FP I question a man who has been testing, besting, and interesting PC wargamers for nigh-on twenty years. In my imagination, the legendary John Tiller lives in a hexagonal mansion/pillbox atop a hexagonal hill in Hexham, Northumberland. He never drives anywhere without first checking which hexes are visible from his destination, and setting aside sufficient Action Points for unloading. Read on to discover just how accurate my mental picture is for pithy personal reflections from one of wargaming’s most popular and prolific designers. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Devoted To Dovetail

By Tim Stone on July 11th, 2014.

Dovetail Games’ vision and mission statements are remarkably similar to The Flare Path’s. Replace “company” with “column”, “hobbies” with “articles”, and “delight and retain customers” with “debag and retrain readers” and they’re pretty much identical. Whether we see eye to eye on flight simulation matters remains to be seen. I was rather hoping that this week’s word slab would serve as a Rosetta Stone to the exciting but enigmatic press release issued by Dovetail on Wednesday. Searching questions were sent Kent-ward, lengthy responses received, yet somehow I still find myself confused by the Chathamites’ aerial intentions. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Inspired By True Emergencies

By Tim Stone on July 4th, 2014.

Today in The Flare Path…

  • I gloss over the fact that I’ve spent most of the past week sprawled on a dusty kilim waiting for the likes of DaPerforator, \\\Your_Wurst_Nightmare///, and BeatrixPotshotter to poke their heads above pockmarked parapets.
  • I win the Battle of Gettysburg in under eight minutes.
  • I attempt to recreate Operation Chariot using a state-of-the-art Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger maritime rescue cruiser.

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The Flare Path Summer Exhibition 2014

By Tim Stone on June 27th, 2014.

…is now open! I’d like to thank everyone who contributed images and recommendations. The Hanging Committee’s job was an absurdly difficult one. Beyond those burly security guards is a selection of exceptionally fine simulator screenshots (Wargames will have to wait their turn). Grab a complimentary flute of fizz and an Avro Vulcan shaped vol-au-vent and go gawp at the enlargeable masterpieces.

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The Flare Path: On Spangler’s Knob

By Tim Stone on June 20th, 2014.

Rejected candidates for today’s header screenshot included… a bullet-riddled flight engineer tumbling from the wing of a stricken Ilya Muromets, a SpinTires Tiger tank being dragged from a Silesian mire by a trio of smoke-belching Famo halftracks, and a gRally Lancia 037 battling for traction on a crowd-hemmed Rallye de Portugal hairpin. It was a difficult decision but in the end Jiří, FP’s picture editor, decided to go with the most exciting image in his in-tray. Ladies & gentlemen, cast your corneas over Ultimate General’s AI customisation screen. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Tales Of The Unexpected

By Tim Stone on June 13th, 2014.

Blimey! What a week! Not only did Harris, the Flare Path quartermaster, pick up twenty thousand exclamation marks dirt cheap at a local fire sale, the world of flight simulation was rocked by a trio of 2000lb news Paveways!!! We literally can’t move for !s in the office at present! I’m actually thinking of taking a saw to some of them! Extra full stops and ‘i’ dots are always useful, and the uprights could be resold as war clubs! For ants!! Or other tiny invertebrates!!! With a fondness for melee!!!!

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The Flare Path’s D-Day D-Tour

By Tim Stone on June 6th, 2014.

I say, you cut that a bit fine. A minute later and 43-15211 would have slipped the surly bonds of earth/RAF Chivenor. Flare Path’s 70th Anniversary D-Day day trip would have left without you!

As you’ll know having read the glossy brochure from cover to cover, this year we’re doing something a little different. Instead of crossing the Channel and buzzing the invasion beaches and DZs, we’re staying in Blighty. Today we’ll be visiting places in southern England with interesting links to D-Day and remembering those unlucky liberators that perished closer to friendly shores than hostile ones.

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The Flare Path: Slitherincoming

By Tim Stone on May 30th, 2014.

On May 14th this year, Castello di Pavone, one of Northern Italy’s swankiest strongholds, was invaded by an army of conflict-obsessed game developers. Were the devs in question…

a) Laser-scanning the fortress for a level in the soon-to-be-announced Hidden & Dangerous 3?
b) Laser-scanning the fortress for a level in the soon-to-be-announced Commandos 5?
c) Laser-scanning the fortress for a level in the soon-to-be-announced Bella Cantarella*?
d) Attending Home of Wargamers 2014, a Slitherine Group press conference?

*Flare Path Soft’s debut project – a poison-sprinkled serving-wench sim set during the War of the Holy League.

If you crossed your fingers and answered a, b, or c, this week’s column may prove disappointing. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Victory Over The Ants

By Tim Stone on May 16th, 2014.

Greetings from the Word Sahara, the place where RPS writers find themselves when they run out of interesting ways to introduce game news. I’ve been trudging across the dunes for the past hour-and-a-half and apart from stumbling upon a wrecked P-40 Kittyhawk with the words “BEWARE OF THE ANTS!” daubed on its canopy, and glimpsing a shimmering Battle of the Nile in the far distance, there’s been nothing to break the monotony. Naval Action, Open General, sorry, I’ve failed you. Read the rest of this entry »

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