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The Flare Path: And The Long Good Friday

Simulation & wargame blather

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Traditionally, Christian Flareopaths spend Good Friday deep in prayer, while heathen ones spend it deep in brass, brine, or cumulonimbus. A bad case of housemaid’s knee and a dead PSU means I can’t play or pray today. I’m desperately hoping the ten activities detailed below will prove engaging enough to keep boredom at bay until bedtime.

 

Today I’m planning to…

1. Study the chunky Just Flight Canberra PR.9 manual

MSFS add-on purveyors Just Flight have recently recruited a new in-house development team. The first fruit of that team’s loins is a bat-winged British jet with deep, almost DCS-level, systems and flight modelling, a cracking cockpit, and one of military aviation’s most claustrophobic navigator positions (he sits behind the nose cone). Built with the help of a retired Canberra pilot, and access to a real PR.9 the quirky Cold War sky-spy can be testflown via a 358Mb demo that unceremoniously removes your horizontal stabilizers, nose cone, and instrument panel when you climb above 1000ft but is otherwise feature complete.

 

2. Reread analysis of rFactor 2’s new karts from a man that really knows his karting

RAVSim’s Jon Denton has been lured away from Cornetto Chaucer by nostalgia, terrific tyre physics and lively AI. If you can read his illuminating essay without hankering for some high-speed, low-weight sim racing you’re a colder fish than I.

 

3. Wonder if DS delight Panzer Tactics will survive the sidesteppe to PC

My Nintendo DS spent far more time gripping a Panzer Tactics cartridge than an Advance Wars or Commander: Europe at War one. By rights, I should be cock-a-hoop at the thought of this upcoming PC incarnation, but right now the emotion that washes over me when I survey the screenshots and the feature list is mild concern. Do Sproing realise that they’re venturing onto a battlefield already crawling with Panzer Corps panzers and Open General generals?

 

4. Set aside funds for imminent OMSI 2 adjunct ‘Three Generations’

The husband and wife team that turned Hamburg into one of OMSI’s most enticing destinations, are about to enrich OMSI 2 with three novelty-dotted bendy buses.

Will juvenile passengers finger-draw cartoon genitals on the steamed-up windows of the new fleet if you fail to de-mist quickly enough? Flare Path longs to find out.

 

5. Peer into the crepuscular gloom of the latest Combat Helo: Gunnery vids…

…remembering as I do that this five-years-in-the-making hoveralone Apache sim is now, in theory, just weeks away from the first phase of its rolling release.

 

6. Cheer on Grand Prix Legends circuit craftsman Jim Pearson

A recent batch of screenshots prove that Jim is still toiling away on his GPL magnum opus – a forensic recreation of the 38-mile-long Isle of Man TT course. Back in October 2007, he admitted that the project had already consumed 2000 man-hours, so heaven-knows what the total is now.

 

7. Contemplate finally making the switch from FSX to Prepar3D

Earlier this month, courtesy of the 2.2 update, FSXI-in-all-but-name-and-EULA-small-print acquired handsome cloud shadows, more economical autogen, and a significantly improved mission recorder.

 

8. Inspect Scourge of War: Waterloo images

…while subconsciously reproaching my parents for failing to buy the child-me either the Airfix Waterloo Assault Set or the Airfix Waterloo wargame.

 

9. Inspired by Rab’s Thunder Road recommendation, spend hours googling “Battlecars remake” and “Car Wars TBS PC”. On realising that, inexplicably, no-such game exists, dash-off and dispatch a quick resignation email, and go break it to my family that I’m about to embark on an exciting new career as a Game Developer.

 

10. Watch a foxer get torn limb from limb by a pack of dazzlingly proficient defoxers

 

The Flare Path Foxer

Last week’s foxer was brimful of cobras. Using perspicacity and patience as pungi, supereminent snake charmers Matchstick, Cooper, Spinoza, skink74, foop and Vacuity729 lured all but two of the serpents into the light.

a. HMS Hood
b. Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapee Patty Hearst
c. Player sprite from Cobra
d. Prince Caspian cover (Caspian cobra)
e. Hawker Tomtit (powered by Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose engine)
f. King Henry VII locomotive (king cobra)
g. Cobra tram
h. Otokar Cobra
i. Russian test pilot Viktor Georgiyevich Pugachyov (Pugachev’s Cobra)

*********

It has come to my attention that some defoxers are wading into the weekly collage before the FP silk handkerchief has hit the ground. As page 57 of the defoxing regulations makes crystal clear, the only time such behaviour is justified is when..

a) The handkerchief snags on thorn, barbed wire, hedgehog or Pickelhaube before hitting the ground.
b) The handkerchief is snatched by a Laundry Eagle during its descent.
c) The foxer intro exceeds 200 words and/or implies that Laundry Eagles weren’t hunted to extinction by East Anglian washerwomen during the 1840s.

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Tim Stone

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