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Tim Stone

3 days ago

Feature: “Morale? Personally, I am not a fan.”

The Flare Path talks Task Force Admiral

For a man patently hellbent on developing the most realistic Pacific Theatre of Operations wet wargame ever, French flat-top fan 'Amiral Crapaud' uses the 'R' word extremely sparingly. Still at least a year away*, Task Force Admiral Volume 1: American Carrier Battles is a project with ancient touchstones, but a thoroughly modern approach to graphics, physics, and what Carl von Clausewitz called “friction”. I've high…

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The Foxer

Below is a list of ‘30 things wot are, or were, dangerous’ (‘things’ is used in its broadest possible sense). Entries have been stripped of vowels and had any inter-word spaces repositioned*. For example, if SAN ANDREAS FAULT was present it might appear as SNN DRSF LT. Anthrax would be NTHRX. *Hyphens are treated as spaces.

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1 week ago

Feature: Talk to the monsters

The Flare Path: Through the Darkest of Times

Happily, Kalypso's squeamish attitude to WW2 isn't shared by everyone in the games industry. While some go out of their way to remove references to the despicable regime that started the 20th Century's bloodiest killathon, others, Paintbucket Games for example, work hard to ensure Nazism appears on our screens unedited and unvarnished. Thought-provoking Through the Darkest of Times deposits you in a city far more…

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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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2 weeks ago

Feature: Banner banner

Commandos 2 – HD Remaster review

When you send your Renoir nude off to the restorer for a spruce-up there's no danger it will return with the nipples painted out because the restorer thought they might cause offence or arousal. Things work a little differently with computer games it seems. Much-loved isometric sneak-em-up Commandos 2 has come back from refurbishment missing a few aesthetic details. German flags have shed their swastikas,…

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The Foxer

To completely defox today’s word chain you’ll need to provide Roman, my Chief Foxer Setter, with the sequence of 24 words suggested by the clues below.

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Fascinating facts and superannuated snacks

The Flare Path: Ticket to Ryde (part II)

Flare Path Sky Tours, the virtual airline happy to wheel like a buzzard or plunge like a peregrine falcon when it spots an interesting bit of history beneath its wings, is mid-way through a clockwise flight around England's largest island, the Isle of Wight. In today's instalment, Tarka, the GeoFS Twin Otter, returns to his starting point, Solent Airport, via landmarks that include a medieval…

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The Foxer

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

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1 month 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: sheep, mazes, earthquakes, and The 39 Steps). Identifying this theme is a vital part of the defoxing process. Today’s puzzle is made up of 17 answers.

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Feature: Touring the turbot

The Flare Path: Ticket to Ryde

In a desperate bid to stave off bankruptcy, troubled British airline Flybe has taken to leasing spare aircraft to anyone with a chequebook and a gold braid encrusted pilot's hat. Possessing the requisite accoutrements, Flare Path Sky Tours yesterday took temporary possession of an elderly Twin Otter called Tarka. The plan is to use said mustelid in conjunction with browser-based flight sim GeoFS to conduct…

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Feature: Switching to fully automatic

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Alphabetised wargame and sim news. Every four weeks or so I hang up a streamer of industrial strength fly paper in The Flare Path dunny and see what wargame and simulation news stories stick to it. Below is this month’s bag – 25 bite-size stories involving virtual vehicles and surrogate slaughter. If you wince when someone calls a locomotive a train, and…

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The Foxer

Roman thinks you're ready for Rithmetic Foxers. Below are three equations disguised as picture sequences. Each pic represents a number (For example a photo of The Flying Scotsman might signify 4472). It's your job to identify the mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division) indicated by the lettered squares. The BIDMAS rule applies.

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2 months ago

The Foxer

Below is a list of ‘40 things wot hit the headlines in 2019’ (‘things’ is used in its broadest possible sense). Entries have been stripped of vowels and numbers and had any inter-word spaces repositioned*. For example, if Typhoon Hagibis was present it might appear as TYP HNHGBS. Prorogation would be PRRGTN. *Hyphens are treated as spaces. Apostrophes are ignored.

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Feature: Advanced Squad Leader heeder

The Flare Path emburdens Second Front

It seems Flare Path's first act of 2020 is to be an act of unkindness. Today – right now in fact – I'm going to hang a millstone engraved with the words “Potentially my Game of the Year” around the neck of a work-in-progress hex wargame with a minuscule budget and almost no pedigree. Said encumbrance will almost certainly hamper the bearer as it hurries…

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Feature: Great War, not so great games

The Flare Path: Red Barren

Unwilling to stray far, thematically speaking, from my current plaything of choice, Strategic Command: World War I, my time away from hexagons this week has been spent sampling potentially complementary Great War fare. In search of the cranberry sauce for SCWWI's Ottoman Empire, the mustard for its BEF, I've consumed a new flight sim with major deficiencies, two dirt cheap wargame DLCs that ultimately disappointed,…

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The Foxer

To completely defox today’s word chain you’ll need to provide Roman, my Chief Foxer Setter, with the sequence of 24 words suggested by the clues below.

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Feature: Strategic Command: World War I reviewed

The Flare Path contests a continent

Like all the WWI grand strategy titles that came before it, Strategic Command: World War I isn't awfully good at pathos. When a flurry of enemy assaults reduces one of your infantry corps from “10” to “3” in a single turn, your first thought is rarely “That's another 20,000 families who won't be seeing their loved ones again”. It's generally “Ouch. But it could have…

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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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Feature: Rusty but trusty

The Flare Path: Verbose Captions

Terrorists = grief. Headsmen = heads. Politicians = distrust of politicians. Long-distance lorry drivers = plastic bottles full of piss. Every occupation has its byproduct. I'm not overly proud of the tens of thousands of screenshots I generate each year. Yes, some of them are put to good use illustrating articles about tank restoration and U-boat games (see on) but the vast majority end up…

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