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Tim Stone

The Flare Path: A2Z

Snippets of sim and wargame news

16

5 days ago

Feature: 100% benediction

The Flare Path: A Filch of Foxers

The Flare Path turns seven this week. Here in the UK that means its base chance of spotting fairies decreases to 0.4%, and, in the event of it being arrested for murder or treason, it can no longer opt to be tried by a jury of stuffed toys and action figures. Growing up is a mixed blessing and no mistake. Unlike today's competition-crammed column which…

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2 weeks ago

The Foxer

The following enlargeable collage doesn't have a theme. Defox it by identifying the eight clue pairs. For example, a silhouette of this RAF trainer might go with an image of this LPG tanker... a pic of the 34th US President might pair with a photo of this member of the Dutch resistance.

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Feature: Snippets of sim and wargame news

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Absence of Amiens wargames. Want to mark the Battle of Amiens centenary by recreating the dazzlingly successful Allied push on your PC? Good luck with that. Amazingly, no-one except the odd Open General and Panzer Corps modder seems to have deemed “the Black Day of the German Army” as scenario- or game-worthy. I can only assume that no dev has ever stumbled…

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3 weeks ago

The Foxer

Below is a list of 30 Things Wot You Might Find in the Sky (‘things’ is used here in its broadest possible sense). Entries have been stripped of vowels and had any inter-word spaces repositioned. For example, if Sopwith Camel was present, it might appear as… SPW THCML

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Feature: Updated knights

Has Wars Across the World been improved by its updates?

If you don't want your column to be joyridden you really shouldn't leave it unattended next to a chap who's just spent the past week replaying one of the most diverse and colourful wargames money can buy in order to discover whether the talk of improved AI and fewer bugs is true. Strategiae's history-bestriding conflict compendium has been around for over a year now. I've been watching…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Lock me up and throw away the quay

The Flare Path: Narrow Minded

I never tire of the view from my office window. The patchwork of fields and spinneys draped haphazardly over rolling chalk downland. The dusty willows and alders cooling their heels in the canal. The triffids milling in the pasture. The uniformed children marching another captive down the footpath to Brackley Manor. Escapism? It has its uses, but more often than not I hanker for games…

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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, gold, postage stamps, and The 39 Steps). Identifying this is a vital part of the defoxing process. Today’s puzzle contains 21 words and one acronym.

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1 month ago

The Foxer

Earlier this week, while decluttering his phone, Roman removed hundreds of photographs taken during days out at museums, shows, and galas. Twelve of these images make up the background of today's enlargeable, themeless collage. To defox, simply identify the dozen vehicles or weapons in the green pictures and tell my Chief Foxer Setter which of the indigo-coloured clues goes with each background image.

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Feature: Bipedal whiting and sky pedal writing

The Flare Path: French Edition

Although a person with long-term experience of just one rudder set really isn't equipped to review PC plane pedals, in a pinch he can probably be trusted to dash off a passable preview. Next Monday Thrustmaster release a 7kg, £450 lump of strikingly unorthodox engineering that will, I suspect, end up supporting the soles of many a serious flight simmer. Last week this hardware dilettante rested…

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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, a2, a3, a4, b4 is a possible cluster, unlike c1, c2, c3, c4, d5. To fully defox today's enlargeable puzzle identify the themes and constituent images of all five clusters.

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Feature: Clandestined to endure

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines review

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines turned twenty a couple of weeks ago. My enthusiasm for stealthy team tactics diversions rekindled by the magnificent Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, I thought it was high time I reacquainted myself with the game that single-handedly established the sub-genre. Is Pyro Studios' debut offering as maddeningly difficult as I remember? Is it still worth playing? Here's wot I think.…

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2 months ago

Feature: Servals ignored as usual

The Flare Path: Lions and Tigers and Scares

There's a frightening invisible monster at large in my corner of Wiltshire at the moment. It can kill you with a single touch and is completely indiscriminate when it comes to selecting victims. Should I pick up and bin that rubber glove that someone has discarded next to my front gate, or incinerate it with a gout of flame from my butane-fuelled weed burner? I just don't know. Lionising pillars of the…

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The Foxer

Below is a list of 30 Things Wot Are Yellow (‘things’ is used here in its broadest possible sense). Entries have been stripped of vowels and had any inter-word spaces repositioned. For example, if Bart Simpson was present, he might appear as…

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Feature: Teeming with Creoteam and Graviteam teamtalk

The Flare Path: Ukrainian Edition

Compiled on Ukraine's Constitution Day, this FP only covers games made in the world's 46th largest country. Beyond the break, I conclude my Football, Tactics & Glory coverage with some excerpts from a conversation I've been having with Creoteam supremo, Andrey Kostyushko, talk about the latest and strangest Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front add-on, and point out that 4th Best Game Ever to Emerge From Ukraine is a…

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Feature: “Anticipate obsession”

Football, Tactics & Glory review

This Wot I Think is destined to go down in RPS history. For the first time ever a review on this site will make use of VAR (Virtual Assistant Reviewer) technology. If I make a “clear and obvious error” while describing Football, Tactics & Glory's features or extolling its myriad charms, a team of ancillary reviewers known colloquially as 'commenters' will notify me of my…

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Feature: Chasing Chester

The Flare Path: Jump Jets For Goalposts

In order to justify that tortured title and maintain the illusion that The Flare Path is primarily a simulations and wargames column, today's out-of-character love letter to a football game will follow a quick news round-up involving Harriers, Manx motorcycle combinations, Old West wheelslip, Interwar warship design, and American Civil War ambition.

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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 unique theme (some past themes: roses, gold, postage stamps...) Identifying this theme is a vital part of the defoxing process. Today’s puzzle contains 24 words 23 words and one acronym.

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Feature: Sim and wargaming wordage

The Flare Path: This and That

The mighty Tirpitz spent most of her short life skulking in Norwegian fjords. Fuel shortages and Kriegsmarine caution meant she never braved the Denmark Strait or traded shells with a truly worthy opponent. To get a feel for what the Bismarck's sister ship might have achieved had she been employed more aggressively, you need a game like Command of the Sea.

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