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Tim Stone

Today

Feature: Museum musings

The Flare Path: Middle Walloped

With the possible exception of a well-chosen book, I reckon nothing complements a good vehicle simulator or digital wargame better than an apt museum. Prior commitments meant I couldn't spend International Museum Day surrounded by game-illuminating exhibits, but a few days later I made the short trip to a local museum knowing I'd return enthused and educated. Recently reopened after a 2.6 million pound revamp,…

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1 week ago

Feature: But don't try to export it

The Flare Path: RTFM

Just as real aircraft are a lot more dangerous than sim ones, real aircraft documentation can imperil its owners in ways the sim variety can't. This week it emerged Oleg Tishchenko, a 42-year-old avionics expert at Eagle Dynamics in Moscow, has been extradited to the US from Georgia to face multiple charges connected with the procurement, smuggling and reselling of manuals for recent and current…

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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: Fantasy General > Panzer General

The Flare Path: A breath of fresh Aer

This year I picked/packed a better holiday game than holiday book. Although J.P. Kenyon definitely knows his onions (his onions being 17th Century England) his descriptions of the myriad squabbles between king and parliament that led to civil war are pretty dense and difficult to follow, even for someone who knows his ship money from his tonnage and poundage. Factor in glorious sunshine, post-hike weariness,…

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The Foxer

Below is a list of ‘30 things wot you might find in the human body’ (‘things’ is used in its broadest possible sense). Entries have been stripped of vowels and any inter-word spaces have been repositioned. For example, if 'large intestine' was present it might appear as LRGNT STN. Shrapnel would be SHRPNL.

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3 weeks ago

Feature: WW1 deserves better than 11-11 Memories Retold

The Flare Path: Poppies and Poppycock

Let's call them “poppies”, the eye-catching, ephemeral moments in 11-11 Memories Retold when you glimpse the brave, powerful game it isn't but could have been. One of the tallest poppies grows from shell-scarified sod about halfway through this big budget, big name 2018 adventure game. In the skin of Kurt, one of the two protagonists, you find yourself in a sprawling German war cemetery, searching…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Alphabetised sim and wargaming news

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Additional ants. Covered regularly in The Flare Path's outdoorsy sister column The Garden Path, Empires of the Undergrowth has sufficient hexagons, realism, and warfare to feature in this one from time to time too. Yesterday's update certainly warrants a mention. The largest content injection since Slug Disco's myrmicine management RTS entered Early Access, the Leafcutter Update adds a new ant species, numerous…

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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 18 answers.

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1 month ago

The Foxer

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

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Feature: UBOAT's U-boats are tubular tenements

The Flare Path: Topp Drawer

How humiliating. U-96, a WW2 Unterseeboot on the cusp of greatness, has just been sent to the bottom of the Celtic Sea by a Royal Navy ship named after a hardy perennial. Should I have taken her deeper after disembowelling that freighter with a couple of T2s? Should I have zigzagged more energetically when the boom-barrel deluge began? Perhaps my mistake was not diving the…

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Feature: A Steel Division 2 scrap described

The Flare Path: Tiger Feat

Paks&Jabos? BirchBehemoth? BridgeOfWoe(vclose)? I was planning to base today's Steel Division II tussle tale on one of the hand-titled skirmish replays in my profile folder, but as my aide-mémoires are proving nowhere near as effective as I'd hoped, perhaps it would be better to start from scratch instead. The SD2 beta has a happy knack of producing electrifying engagements abuzz with historical echoes so I'm confident that whatever unfolds…

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2 months ago

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: Wolfpack, Steel Division 2, Radio General

The Flare Path: April Cowers

By next Friday I should have answers to all these questions... How do AI-controlled Steel Division II attackers react to player-deployed obstacles like barbed wire and trenches? Are new commands like Quick Hunt (unit uses roads while stalking) and Efficient Shot (unit will only open fire when hit and penetration chance is over 40%) as useful as they appear? Is the new radio mechanic (units…

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The Foxer

Below is a list of ‘30 things wot you might find in, on, or over a river’ (‘things’ is used in its broadest possible sense). Entries have been stripped of vowels and had any inter-word spaces repositioned. For example, if fish ladder was present it might appear as FSHLD DR. Canoe would be CN.

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Feature: Part 2. IJmuiden to Schiermonnikoog

The Flare Path: Beside the Zeeside

Pinned by the potent magic of the P key, Edward, the Flare Path Sky Tours Learjet, has spent the past week motionless above IJmuiden, a port halfway along the forward edge of the giant rotting plesiosaur flipper that is the Dutch coast. In a few seconds' time I'll be unpinning him so our Aerofly FS2 strand-ramble can continue. Read on for naval calamities, nocturnal massacres, nuclear…

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Feature: A Dutch day trip (Part 1)

The Flare Path: Beside the Zeeside

On behalf of Flare Path Sky Tours I'd like to welcome you aboard this Aerofly FS2 Learjet 45 and apologise for the out-of-the-way departure airport. Personally, I wanted to fly from Antwerp International or Ostend, but First Officer Roman has been reluctant to enter Belgium since leaving it in a hurry in 2003 so today's ramble along the Dutch coast will begin at Axel EZAC, an…

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