I’m free! Using a straightened coathanger, a blob of chewing gum, and an old Broken Sword walkthrough, I’ve managed to escape the fetid dungeon that is The Flare Path. God, the air out here sure is sweet. And the views – wow! – that must be Mount Manshoot over there, and that can only be the Temple of Fairly Tiresome MMOs. A man could totally reinvent himself in a land like this… he could ditch decades’ worth of baggage and inhibitions.
Posts Tagged ‘wargame’
By Tim Stone on July 6th, 2012.
By Tim Stone on June 29th, 2012.
Gosh! I’ve just read the small-print in my RPS contract. It seems Flare Path’s remit includes sports simulations. Strictly speaking, for the last 45 weeks I should have spent as much time in dugouts and bunkers as dugouts and bunkers. My weekly screenshot selection really should have featured as many wingmen, props, and Tigers, as wingmen, props, and Tigers. Thank God the Hivemind usually naps on Friday afternoons. All the same, a change of tack would seem sage. In today’s column not one but two games with cast-iron connections to current sporting events. Read the rest of this entry »
By Tim Stone on June 15th, 2012.
The replacement of today’s Flare Path with this tale of turn-based D-Day derring-do means one of two things. Either Interpol has finally worked out the identity of Red Shrike (highly unlikely) or Yours Grudgingly has been persuaded to brave rain, family, and unfamiliar chip-shops, and Go On Holiday. Assuming I’m currently sunning myself on some storm-lashed British beach, normal FP service will resume next week. In the meantime why not sit back and feign interest while I regale you with another wargame-generated battle ballad.
By Tim Stone on May 11th, 2012.
You can keep your Easters and your St George’s Days; the only festival I observe is Swallowtide. This year it fell on May 8. We were shenning in Wide Acre when Aldwyn suddenly threw down his hook, and, pointing southward, bellowed the traditional “HOME SAFE! HOME ALL?”. Dancing above our heads like leaves in a mill plunge, the swallows seemed as happy to see us as we were to see them. As usual, not everyone had made it back. Later we learnt that 4600136 had been snatched by a hobby over Gibraltar, and 4651011 had fallen to a sandstorm near Timbuktu. Perhaps the saddest story was that of 4690870. Crossing the Cornwall coast, a mere 50 miles left to travel, she was downed by a stoat-launched SAM missile. Read the rest of this entry »
By Tim Stone on April 27th, 2012.
The scent of parquet wax and trapped sunbeams greets you as you prise open the heavy glass door and step inside. This has to be the place, and yet, if it is, where are all the books? Noticing your baffled expression, a librarian, all tweed and twinkling eyes, approaches. “You were expecting more books? Everyone expects more books. At present we’ve only got the two – down there in the WW2 section (he gestures towards a shelf-lined alcove watched over by a large ceiling-mounted model of a Short Sunderland). Additional volumes should be arriving soon. Assuming, of course, visitors like yourself are willing to do their bit.”
By Tim Stone on April 6th, 2012.
Did you know that Flare Path had an older brother – an older brother that met an untimely end? Tarquin Flare Path hated change and hatched a plot to purge it from the world. If it hadn’t been for a vigilant off-duty bobby, a faulty Schottky transistor, and an escaped circus tiger, you and I would dwell in a perpetual June 14th 1997. Poor old Tarquin. Perhaps it’s a good thing he’s not around today. Watching as wargame devs flirt with new platforms, and Joseph Mangan plans the reinvention of civilian flight simulation, even the most progressive progressive could be forgiven the odd flicker of unease. Read the rest of this entry »
By Adam Smith on April 3rd, 2012.
If you’re a budding naval commander who was planning to blow all his ready money on chocolate ovoids in celebration of a resurrected rabbit, I’d suggest you keep your wallet sealed just a little longer. Rising from the waters as if preparing to sink all of your battleships, Naval War: Arctic Circle will be released surprisingly soon. Consulting various charts and staring at a sexton for a while has led me to the conclusion that April 10th is the date the waters will be troubled by this accessible game of high stakes tactical hide and seek. Tim Stone describes it as a game “that teaches you to be afraid of little crimson arrows”. Read his thoughts here, an interview here and see explosions below.
By Tim Stone on March 30th, 2012.
The Flare Path knows what it takes to plod across plateaus of pristine whiteness for day after day. Perhaps that’s why he has a picture of Robert Falcon Scott marmaladed to his fridge door, and a stuffed Avro Shackleton dangling from his bedroom ceiling. It could also explain why he’s decided to visit both the Arctic and the Antarctic in the deep-frozen hunk of seal blubber that is this week’s column.
By Adam Smith on March 30th, 2012.
Apparently taking some cues from Silent Storm (a good thing), Zeal Game Studio’s Team Assault: Baptism of Fire is a turn-based, skirmish level WWII tactical wargame. With an emphasis on realism, including morale management, and bullets that penetrate cover and have a tendency to kill rather than chip away at health bars, it sounds like exactly the sort of thing I often rudely expect other games to be. Put a point and click adventure in front of me and even if I’m enjoying the plot and humour, I’ll be making mental notes about the lacklustre attention to damage modelling and the over-simplified chain of command. Trailer and more details cowering in the foxhole below.
By Tim Stone on March 23rd, 2012.
People of Argentina, people of Britain, for the past week The Flare Path Strategic Studies Institute has been conducting detailed simulations of a possible Second Falklands War. Using Custer II – an engine built with the assistance of Bohemia Interactive, Battlefront.com, Turbo Tape Games and PopCap – we’ve run over 1000 separate conflict scenarios. Of these, 54% ended in stalemate, 19% were won by the defence industry, 12% by TV news networks, 8% by politicians, 5% by oil companies and 2% by anthropomorphic sunflowers. The FPSSI boffins are still analysing defeat data, but preliminary findings indicate that the biggest losers in any future Falklands bust-up would be hapless civilians, and servicemen and their families.
By Tim Stone on March 9th, 2012.
Has anybody seen a brown and white Protestant Work Ethic, about this big? He answers to the name of Scamp. I was walking him in the park yesterday morning when the little so-and-so ran off. I’ve contemplated searching for him, and I was going to print some ‘LOST’ posters, and stick them up in the local area, but – well – I just don’t seem to have got round to it yet. Right now, I’m not even sure I can summon-up the gumption to tell you about the delights of Combat Mission: Battle For Normandy Commonwealth Forces and Accu-Feel. Read the rest of this entry »
By Tim Stone on February 24th, 2012.
The Flare Path thought he knew almost everything about Operation Overlord, but this week he read something in a book by Max Hastings, that left him flabbergasted. Apparently, in the weeks leading up to D-Day, instead of training, the Axis troops manning the Atlantic Wall spent most of their time planting Rommel’s asparagus. Max didn’t go into detail, but obviously the famous Generalfeldmarschall was either extremely partial to the speary vegetable, or – and this seems more likely – he was using Heer manpower in some sort of massive market-gardening scam. Was it Berlin’s discovery of this illicit project that caused the Desert Fox to take his own life in October ’44? The official histories say ‘no’, but FP was sorely tempted to postpone coverage of Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear (a new Matrix wargame) and Accu-Feel (a gizmo from A2A that looks set to revolutionise FSX) and use this week’s column to thoroughly examine the matter. Read the rest of this entry »
By John Walker on February 22nd, 2012.
The title of Wargame: European Escalation makes me think of all those grey-and-white products you see in the background of adverts for washing powder. There in the front is the packed of Whizzi-Wash, bright and colourful, and behind are stacked greyscale box after box of “SOAP” and “CLEANING POWDER”. I’m saying it’s a bland name. Is that clear? Bland. But it doesn’t look bland at all, as the launch trailer below proves.