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Tim Stone

The Flare Path: A2Z

Alphabetised sim and wargaming snippets

11

5 days ago

The Foxer

The 127-cell honeycomb below is a fancy form of wordsearch in which every cell is used, and words can curl and zigzag but never overlap. Each hive foxer has a theme (some previous ones: roses, landmines, and The 39 Steps). Identifying this theme is a vital part of the defoxing process. Today’s puzzle is made up of 17 answers, one of which is an acronym.

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Feature: Crewed not crude

The Flare Path does Wolfpack impressions

Tiny Swedish studio Usurpator AB has taken a considerable risk with Wolfpack (Early Accessible in approximately two hours' time). Because the U-boat sim that started life as the history-shy HMS Marulken is a co-op multiplayer diversion and proud of it - because it shuns labour-saving shortcuts and data-blurting screen furniture the way a fangtooth shuns sunlight - it runs a serious risk of disappointing inattentive…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Alphabetised sim and wargaming snippets

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Aircraft Carrier Survival. Having researched WW2 flat-tops for their due-in-2020 damage control game Aircraft Carrier Survival, developer CFG clearly felt that torpedoes, bombs, shells, mines, kamikaze attacks, accidents and cyclones, didn't constitute a sufficiently potent calamity cocktail. Captains will also have to deal with sabotage, mutinies and nervous breakdowns.

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The Foxer

Roman and Joyce always have a jigsaw puzzle on the go. Their current undertaking is a montage of postage stamps sliced into 10k pieces by one of Rooksburger's slightly blunt punching machines. Below are 36 pieces from that puzzle. Identify all the issuing countries to complete the defox.

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Veiled victories

The Flare Path: Fogbound

When it comes to theme, structure, and expectations, the two upcoming wargames Flare Pathed below have flip-all in common. Unity of Command II, the highly anticipated sequel to a WW2 wonder that managed to be handsome, historical, friendly and fierce, is hexy and turn-chopped, a refined relation of that great populariser, Panzer General. Radio Commander, on the other hand, is a real-time enigma, a Vietnam…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: One plane, many games

The Flare Path: A Tornado Miscellany

The VTOL songsters that dwell in the vicinity of my local aerodrome must have wondered what was happening on Wednesday. At midday on the 20th a patch of ground on the airfield's eastern perimeter that is usually completely deserted was thronged with hundreds of people. The crowd had gathered to say farewell to the Panavia Tornado, an aircraft that has served the RAF for much…

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The Foxer

The 25 pictures in a cluster foxer are arranged in 5 discretely/discreetly themed clusters. Pictures in a particular cluster must be cardinally contiguous to be valid. For example, A1, B1, C1, D1, D2 is a possible cluster, unlike A2, B2, C2, D2, E3. To fully defox today’s enlargeable puzzle identify the themes and constituent images of all five clusters.

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1 month ago

Feature: REMEX's Chris Cheetham quizzed

The Flare Path: Devoted to Deadstick

In REMEX's upcoming gunless flight sim, airliners won't be rare, they'll be non-existent. Dedicated to reproducing the kind of thrilling low-tech aviation in which runways tend to be surrounded by timber and rocks rather than turf and signage, and bear rage is more likely to delay a flight than air rage, the commerce-laced Deadstick is the brainchild of a Brit called Chris Cheetham. Having done…

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The Foxer

Below is a list of ‘30 Things Wot You Might in a Stadium’ (‘things’ is used in its broadest possible sense). Entries have been stripped of vowels and had any inter-word spaces repositioned. For example, if ‘marching band’ was present it might appear as MRC HNGBND. Hurdle would be HRDL

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Feature: The peculiar power of Plane Mechanic Simulator

The Flare Path: Awe Restorer

Red kites and buzzards were as rare as rocs and phoenixes when I was growing up. To encounter one in southern England in the 1970s was magical. Today, thanks largely to changes in gamekeeping practices and pesticide use, these handsome raptors are everywhere and consequently I no longer automatically stop and stare when I see one. Ubiquity has diluted their mystique. I've experienced something similar with virtual…

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2 months ago

The Foxer

The 127-cell honeycomb below is a fancy form of wordsearch in which every cell is used, and words can curl and zigzag but never overlap. Each hive foxer has a theme (some previous ones: roses, postage stamps, and The 39 Steps). Identifying this theme is a vital part of the defoxing process. Today’s puzzle is made up of 16 answers, two of which are acronyms.

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Feature: Derail Valley is a delinquent's delight

The Flare Path: Happy Valley

According to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch the majority of the derailments that occurred in Britain during 2018 were caused by faulty track or rolling stock. No train left the rails because its driver was too busy wagon surfing or wild flower sniffing to notice an approaching sharp bend. Altfuture's Early Access train sim Derail Valley encourages some deeply irresponsible habits and currently has more…

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Feature:

The Foxer

Roman and Joyce always have a jigsaw puzzle on the go. Their current undertaking is a montage of movie posters sliced into 10k pieces by one of Rooksburger's razor-sharp punching machines. Below are thirty pieces from that puzzle. Identify all thirty movies to complete the defox.

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Feature: Alphabetised sim and wargaming news

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Altfuture's abject apology. From the tone of Altfuture's last announcement you'd think unconventional, timetable-shunning train sim Derail Valley had run over the last northern hairy-nosed wombat or trumped during an audience with the Queen. Jan 18's “very bad” news turned out to be news of a piffling seven-day release delay. The rescheduled ribbon-cutting should happen today. Expect some thoughts on the sim's 200km…

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Feature: A tourist's take on quadcopter sims

The Flare Path: Drones On

Need to paralyse an international airport, drop hand grenades on infidels, or shoot a spectacular intro sequence for a puffin documentary? You, Sir/Madam, require a drone and drone operator. In preparation for the day when the majority of jobs in the UK involve quadcopters, I've spent the past week learning how to manoeuvre faithful digital facsimiles of these agile aerial peeping Thomases. Thanks to a…

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Feature: Zulus on the brain/ramparts

The Flare Path: Make Mine a Martini-Henry

One hundred and forty years ago today, colonial loose cannon Henry Bartle Frere singlehandedly started the Anglo-Zulu War. By the time London got wind of what was happening, the invasion of Zululand was well underway. Frere, the High Commissioner for Southern Africa, hoped that a quick victory would bring his dream of a British administered confederation of South African states a step closer. He hadn't…

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The Foxer

The 25 pictures in a cluster foxer are arranged in 5 discretely/discreetly themed clusters. Pictures in a particular cluster must be cardinally contiguous to be valid. For example, A1, B1, C1, D1, D2 is a possible cluster, unlike A2, B2, C2, D2, E3. To fully defox today’s enlargeable puzzle identify the themes and constituent images of all five clusters.

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