Posts Tagged ‘wargame’

Wot I Think: Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm

By Tim Stone on November 8th, 2013.

Like Autumn, the forest alchemist, I’ve spent this week splashing hillsides with gold and crimson. In woods, fields and towns the length of West Germany I’ve been tirelessly turning earthy greens into vibrant reds and yellows. Hundreds of hurrying APCs, hastily dug-in MBTs, and hovering helo gunships have flared like frost-startled beech trees as I’ve fought to resist Red Storm’s irresistible red storm. It’s years since I witnessed such wholesale destruction in a tactical wargame, and years since I was so impressed by the rules and mechanisms underpinning hexagonal aggro.

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Wot I Think: Command: Modern Air Naval Operations

By Tim Stone on October 4th, 2013.

ACRONYM GLOSSARY (Please memorise before proceeding)

ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare. AEW – Airborne Early Warning. SEAD – Suppression of Enemy Air Defences. DICASS – Directional Command Active Sonobuoy System. SSN – Nuclear-powered submarine. ITWPWT – Innocent Trawler in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time. CMANOCommand: Modern Air Naval OperationsCHR – Compendious Harpoon Replacement. ESS - Essentially Ship-Shape. DSDDB – Despite Shoal of Disappointing Deficiencies and Bugs. ADPP – And Divisive Price Point. RRDAII – Refreshingly Responsive Devs Already Implementing Improvements. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Fancy A Viennese Whirl?

By Tim Stone on June 7th, 2013.

Check mirror. Indicate. Pull out. Nod at passing tram driver. Coast towards red traffic light. Dab brakes. Slide open side window. Feel cool night air on skin. Smell lilacs. Remember lilac bush that grew beside the war memorial at Pastinakweg. Picture Kathrin. Remember that holiday at Lake Balaton in ’93. Grin. Accelerate. Accelerate some more. Curse after clipping kerb at Oberfeld. Sound horn at cheeky bus lane-blocking Golf. Nose into heavy traffic near Kagraner Platz. Contemplate trail of tail lights twinkling like a flare path on Breitenleer Strasse. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: A Hextasy Of Fumbling

By Tim Stone on November 23rd, 2012.

Where do you stand on the issue of simulated poison gas? If your answer is “Upwind!” then read on, I’ve a couple of new games here that may tickle your fancy. Commander: The Great War and Squad Battles: First World War come at The War To End All Wars from opposite directions. The former bestrides Europe and offers two-week turns and army-sized units. The latter bestrides No Man’s Land (sometimes not even that) and occasionally lets a single plucky infantry squad turn the tide of battle. Both are mechanically conservative, but – based on the evidence of my preliminary playtests – rammed with the kinds of period challenges and pleasures that military-minded gamers will struggle to find elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Diecast Romans

By Tim Stone on September 21st, 2012.

In another life FP was an interpreter attached to Legio XIV Gemina during the Roman invasion of Britain. It was his job to trudge up to the skull-festooned gates of hill forts, usually dodging sling stones and hurled turds as he went, and do the surrender-in-the-name-of-the-Emperor spiel. The answers he carried back to his employers could be long or short, poetic or pithy, but generally they boiled down to the same thing: “We’d rather not, old bean. Attack us and by nightfall your finest warriors will be kissing crows’ feet and buggering mouse holes”Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path Guide To Furtive Fact Gathering

By Tim Stone on September 14th, 2012.

In today’s wary/warry world it’s not always possible for mil sim developers to gain all the necessary permissions before mounting foreign research trips. The Flare Path understands this and, in the interests of keeping gung-ho game-crafters out of ghastly gaols, has drawn up the following indispensable guide to researcher survival. If your away team utilize these ten simple tips they’ll almost certainly* return home safe, sound, and laden with quality intel. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Flèche Wounds

By Tim Stone on September 7th, 2012.

In the Spring of 1813 the inhabitants of the Russian village of Borodino noticed a new flower speckling their fields and verges. Resembling a buttercup but with crimson rather than golden petals, the blooms gave off a perfume that pricked eyes and turned stomachs. A nauseating mix of crushed flint and tanners’ urea, burnt wool and butchers’ leavings, the odour clung to clothes, unnerved horses and tainted milk. It drove away butterflies and bees. Only one creature seemed to like the smell. Moscow newspapers of the period contain vivid descriptions of vast clouds of blowflies rising from the city’s slums and midden heaps and swirling westward. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: A Skulk Of Foxers

By Tim Stone on August 17th, 2012.

The Flare Path turns one this week. Here in the UK that means it can legally get its navel pierced, buy wine gums, point at clouds, and read Knut Hamsun on public transport. To commemorate the occasion there’ll be no game newscasts or inscrutable intros today. The entire column will be given over to quizzes. Dozing adorably beyond the jump are five bushy-tailed Foxers, each with a rather special prize tied to its brush. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Sea Of Sand

By Tim Stone on August 10th, 2012.

“They’ve found her!”. 5 seconds ago I was fast asleep. “Ekrem, is that you? Do you know what time it is here?”. “Listen. HMS Clytemnestra has been found.”.  The words are ice-water hurled into my pillow-creased face. Warm feet slap cold floor tiles. “Where?”. “Are you sitting down?” .“WHERE?”. “You won’t believe this. She’s in the middle of the Gobi Desert.”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Hull-Down In Heaven

By Tim Stone on August 3rd, 2012.

With Sergei on bow MG, and myself on coax and main gun, the Cherubim and Seraphim didn’t stand a chance. We cut down maybe 300 of them before Tomas, getting nervous, decided it was time to leave the sunken lane. Wise old Tomas! As ‘Hellhound’ wiggled her way back through the gap in the farmyard wall, the shellcase-strewn position we’d just abandoned was scarified by a salvo of ground-heaving trumpet blasts. “Gabriel’s about! Stay sharp, lads!” The lieutenant’s warning had barely escaped his lips when a second salvo demolished the barn we were scraping past. I must have clouted my head on the breech because the next thing I remember is waking up in a medical Ju-52 somewhere over Náströnd. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Isle Of Boobies

By Tim Stone on July 27th, 2012.

Nobody knows for sure why the Hawaiian Giant Booby (Microsofta Flightus) died out. Some say its nest sites were invaded by shipwrecked rats. Others suggest Polynesian cloak-makers hunted it to extinction. A few believe the bird’s demise was directly linked to its unusual habit of aero-ovulation. Me, I’m a subscriber to the ‘Fatally flawed DLC’ theory. MS released the wrong add-ons at the wrong times at the wrong prices. Read the rest of this entry »

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