Posts Tagged ‘wargame’

The Flare Path: Serious Matterhorns

By Tim Stone on February 10th, 2012.

When Rebecca Teacakes offers Flare Path a penny for his thoughts, Flare Path seldom answers honestly. Admitting you’ve let your porridge go cold or your pilsner go flat because you’ve been contemplating questions like “How many looted harpsichords could be squeezed onto the back of a Kettenkrad?” or “What would Boudica, queen of the Iceni, have smelled like?” takes courage. Much better to pretend you were pondering column-related conundrums like “Why does Steam appear to discriminate against wargames and their makers?” and “Why aren’t more sims as staggeringly beautiful as aerofly FS?”.

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The Flare Path: Duel Carriageways

By Tim Stone on January 27th, 2012.

There’s a road running through this week’s column, a road clogged with nervy Sherman tanks and alarmed Lada saloons. The Shermans are on edge because every so often one of their number is struck by something swift, cylindrical and quite, quite deadly. The Ladas are alarmed because every so often one of their number is struck by a Bukhanka minibus driven by an idiot. That idiot recommends you look left, right, then left again before attempting to cross the following thoroughly fair thoroughfare of Command Ops: Highway To The Reich and City Car Driving observations. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Moscow Or Bust

By Tim Stone on January 20th, 2012.

Sorry, no Foxer this week.

The Flare Path has a bust of Napoleon on his mantelpiece, and a bust of Wellington on his piano. Sometimes, when he comes into the room unexpectedly, he finds these busts side-by-side on the sofa puffing on clay pipes, or stretched-out on the carpet poring over old maps. Last night he came downstairs in the small hours and discovered the pair riding around the room on the back of the cat. The cat looked pleadingly at FP. FP looked disapprovingly at the busts. The busts dismounted. FP went back upstairs to finish his reports on The Paradoxification of AGEOD, 2×2′s 2011-12, and L’ Aurore, an amazing Vehicle Simulator add-on. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Is Semi Literate

By Tim Stone on January 13th, 2012.

From this day forth The Flare Path Foxer will be at the end rather than the beginning.

It’s dawn and it’s raining cats and dogs. You are barrelling down the M3 in your uninsured Vauxhall Inquisitor when you see a huddled figure, arm outstretched, standing by the roadside. The figure is holding a scrap of cardboard scrawled with the words EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2, RIGS OF RODS, and BATTLE OF BRITAIN 2. You can stop and pick-up this drenched wayfarer (Click where it says ‘Read the rest of this entry’) knowing that his conversation might turn out to be as soggy as his sign, or you can speed past, purposely averting your gaze from those pleading puppy-dog eyes. Which is it to be? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Tomcats, Tigers, & Treason

By Tim Stone on January 6th, 2012.

The Flare Path Foxer is below the jump.

Tomorrow morning at daybreak, the Flare Path is being executed for treason. His nosey neighbour, Mr Geoff Himmler, spotted him placing 2p coins on the railway line at the bottom of the garden, and informed the authorities. The next thing FP knew, he was sat in a dingy cell in the Tower of London with nothing but a laptop, a tin of alphabetti spaghetti, and a Dangerous Waters manual for company. After reading the alphabetti spaghetti and eating the Dangerous Waters manual, the condemned man has decided to spend his final hours sharing Achtung Panzer tips and disseminating news of upcoming train, bus, and jet sims.

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The Flare Path: Tracks, Tracks, & Turnpikes

By Tim Stone on December 30th, 2011.

A hopeless nostalgic, The Flare Path always finds year ends troubling. On one hand, The Past is about to get a little fatter; on the other, the extra girth means 1692 – FP’s favourite year – is even more likely to get overlooked by historians. What’s so special about 1692? That was the year Thomas J. Halthrope invented the Alliterating Alice, a donkey-powered ‘worde gin’ capable of producing bespoke sim & wargame news preambles at the touch of a lever. This very intro was produced on a 1692 Halthrope that works as well today as it ev///<$> Assetto Corsa <$$> Scourge of War: Antietam. <$$$> Steel Beasts Pro <> hereendethpreface/// Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Hinge Of Fate

By Tim Stone on December 23rd, 2011.

A heavy snowfall has half-buried the Imperious War Museum's outdoor exhibits. Can you still identify them?

Because some swine has swiped the three kings from The Flare Path nativity diorama, the gold, frankincense, and myrrh are now being conveyed to the baby Jesus’ manger-side by three 1/32 Airfix Paras. Joseph and the shepherds don’t seem that bothered, but Mary’s looking a little peeved. “Stens and brens… here?” her crudely-painted-yet-intensely-holy visage seems to say. “This place is beginning to look like an Oosterbeek basement circa September, 1944!”. She’s got a point. War and Christmas go together like Tiger tanks and multi-storey car-parks. If I had any decency, I’d devote this week’s column to sleigh sims, rather than use it to discuss a work-in-progress WWI TBS and a tantalising Eastern Front wargame in search of a name. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Custer’s Last Cake Stand

By Tim Stone on December 9th, 2011.

Most military historians only eat foods with battle connections. The last time I popped round to John Keegan's for tea, he laid on a spread that included everything in this picture.

Before I serve newly baked word-cakes in The Flare Path tearoom, I like to leave them by an open window to cool for an hour or two. This week I left stories about the Microsoft Flight beta-tester recruitment drive, the Steel Armor: Blaze of War trailer, and the GTR3 teaser site on my usual sill, and when I came to collect them… THEY WERE GONE! I can only assume rascals took them, or possibly it was scallywags or rapscallions. Rapscallions have been getting increasingly bold of late. My neighbour reckons they’re becoming more of a menace than ne’er-do-wells, but he’s a big old racist so I tend to take everything he says with a pinch of salt. The point is: What am I going to witter on about this week? Read the rest of this entry »

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Wot I Think: Achtung Panzer – Operation Star

By Tim Stone on December 6th, 2011.

Did you know that by counting the number of ‘R’s in a cold person’s ‘BRRRRRRRRRR!’ you can tell the temperature of their surroundings? My ‘BRRRRRRRRRR!’ for instance, indicates my room is currently -10C. Why is it so fffffffffflippin (it also works with ‘f’s) cold? I blame greedy British energy companies and the bitter Siberian wind that has been gusting from my monitor all week. Stick a scarf round your throat and a vodka down your neck (or vice versa) and you’ll be ready to hear Wot I Think of Graviteam’s latest Eastern Front wargame. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Simkhana 2012

By Tim Stone on December 2nd, 2011.

Recognise any of these airforces?It’s that time of the week again, that time when Shermans and StuGs stop squabbling, Albatrosses and Camels play football together in no-man’s-land, and rust-streaked U-boats sidle up to exhausted Victory Ships and start nuzzling them like thirsty calves. The Flare Path has been lit, and today its flickering rectangular finger points towards an important flight sim demo, some classified campaign intel, a festival of formation flying, and a sim studio not too proud to beg. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Campaigns Pain Me

By Tim Stone on November 25th, 2011.

To participate in Operation Clever Clogs simply name one or more of the eleven wartime operations shown here.

The Flare Path’s primary recon tool, a Staghound armoured car named ‘Galloping Gertie’, has been off the road most of this week after a high-speed collision with a Charolais bull. As a result I’ve found myself with lots of spare time on my hands. The majority of that time has been frittered away on idle pursuits like scrumping pears and playing Poohstickgrenades, but I’ve also whiled away a few hours in constructive contemplation. The subject of my musing? Mostly, wargame and simulation campaigns, specifically “Why are so many of the bally things so dashed disappointing?”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Juno’s Golden Sword

By Tim Stone on November 18th, 2011.

I was clearing out my Operation Overlord drawer the other day and came across these ten items. Can you help me identify them?

What’s General Paulus’ take on splendid recent releases like Achtung Panzer: Operation Star and Unity of Command? Does Genghis Khan play anything other than Mount & Blade? Does Oliver Cromwell still believe the lack of English Civil War wargames is the result of a fiendish Popish plot? In an effort to answer nagging questions like these The Flare Path has acquired a SpiritMaster IV ouija board. I’m still ploughing through the manual and tutorials at present. Early experiments haven’t been wholly successful. In preparation for this week’s pieces on the the first Combat Mission: Battle For Normandy module, Steel Beasts PPE 2.6, and Eagle Dynamics future plans, I attempted to contact Michael Wittmann and Chuck Yeager, but ended-up chewing the ectoplasm with Florence Nightingale and Samuel Pepys instead. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Trench Warfare

By Tim Stone on November 11th, 2011.

Name one of the pictured flowers, win an FP point fashioned from shellcase brass.

In a moment I am going to blow a whistle. On hearing the whistle you must scramble over the parapet that separates this paragraph from the next, and begin advancing toward the lines occupied by Commander: The Great War, Strategic Command: World War I and Bau-Simulator 2012. Do not stop. Do not look back. Do not torment yourself with tricky ethical questions like “Is it appropriate to spend a portion of Armistice Day reading about games that transmute the unimaginable suffering of the 1914-18 conflict into turn-based strategy?”. PHWEEEEEE!

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