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wargames

11 months ago

Feature: Luke Hughes on war, wargaming, and the Burden of Command

The Flare Path: Emotionally Authentic

Because Luke Hughes has a master's degree in neurophysiology and psychology from Oxford, and uses terms like “emotional authenticity” when talking about his upcoming “leadership RPG” Burden of Command, I reached for my little tin of Big Questions when preparing today's interview. Amongst the sensitive subjects discussed below: the glorification of war through video games, swearing on virtual battlefields, and why players of XCOM resemble seagulls.

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1 year ago

Feature: In search of the next Nagel

The Flare Path: Dragons’ Den

That idea for a PC wargame you've been mulling over for the past five... ten... twenty years – is it ready for primetime yet? Are you prepared to run it past five of the most talented and experienced people in the industry? Today's Flare Path is a light-hearted Dragons' Den-style competition (Each of the five dragons will be choosing their favourite submitted concept). A chance to get feedback…

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4 years ago

Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Full Steam Astern

The labyrinthine Steam department store now stocks mind-blowingly rich historical strategy epics, military-grade battle sims, and flight sim add-ons so dense they can punch through Chobham armour like it was damp loo roll. Is there any chance My Wargame of 2014 will be appearing on its shelves any time soon?

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Feature: Simulation & Wargame Blather

The Flare Path: Wargaming – Where To Start?

Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm, Command: Modern Air Naval Operations, Combat Mission: Red Thunder... most of my favourite wargames of recent years are hulking beasts studded with obscure units, potentially overwhelming scenarios, and abstruse tactical subtleties. I'm not sure I could wholeheartedly recommend any of them to a genre newcomer. A fellow or fellowess just arrived in the land of hexes, morale checks, and myriad Sherman…

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Feature: Tiller on TalonSoft, the Future, and the Utility of Hexagons

The Flare Path: John Tiller, Boredom Killer

Today in FP I question a man who has been testing, besting, and interesting PC wargamers for nigh-on twenty years. In my imagination, the legendary John Tiller lives in a hexagonal mansion/pillbox atop a hexagonal hill in Hexham, Northumberland. He never drives anywhere without first checking which hexes are visible from his destination, and setting aside sufficient Action Points for unloading. Read on to discover…

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Feature: Teach Yourself Wargame Design

Simulating War by Philip Sabin review

To Professor Philip Sabin a wargame isn't just a plaything, a contraption for turning weapons-grade boredom into 24-carat fascination. To the man that teaches the World War Two in Europe, Warfare in the Ancient World, Fighting in the Air, and Conflict Simulation modules at King's College, London, high-quality historical strategy games are invaluable research and educational aids, as useful in their own ways as conventional…

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5 years ago

Feature: A Loyal Vassal Of King Boardgames

VASSAL: A Virtual Army of Conflict Sims In One Client

If you want to play a board game, one of the most essential ingredients is someone to play against. I found this out the hard way as a first-time parent, house bound by the demands of a baby and drained of energy but not my feverish appetite for gaming. That’s when I discovered VASSAL. It’s a freeware, open source Java program that lets you play…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Hurls Demo Charges

Demos are a digital wargamer's Predator drones and PR Spitfires. They allow us to scout new battlefields safely and smartly. They furnish us with the information reviews, AARs and Let's Plays can't provide. I wouldn't be without them, yet, these days, often am thanks to the questionable policies of sector-dominating militaria-mongers Slitherine/Matrix Games.

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Feature: simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: A Fraud In Fredericksburg

Wargame publishing leviathan Slitherine held their 2013 press conference last Friday. Fredericksburg, Virginia was the venue and I was there! In spirit. Physically I was in a small room in Staines, Surrey eating fig rolls and reading Nevil Shute's 'Pastoral' but I'm determined not to let a minor detail like that get in the way of pithy reportage. With the help of half a bottle of Auntie…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame news

The Flare Path: Parleys With A Warlord

Every day is D-Day -1 for the busy Seabees at Slitherine Software. An Epsom-based outfit that started life constructing singular sword-and-sandal TBSs, is now, thanks to a slew of acquisitions and a dazzlingly dynamic approach to talent spotting/signing, the dominant force in PC wargame publishing. During the coming year, company chieftain Iain McNeil will be overseeing more than fifty releases. Realising I knew little about…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Reductions Reveille

Wakey-wakey, rise and spend! Jackie is blowing her utility trumpet because she wants the world to know that three old wargames have just had their prices slashed. As conveying detailed sale information with valveless brass instruments is notoriously tricky, it will be left up to Jackie's assistant Jean (Out of picture. Armed with a Glockenspiel 17.) to explain that the games in question are John…

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6 years ago

Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Indecent Proposal

In the summer of 2001 I bought a copy of This Blessed Plot at a village fête for 20p, never suspecting that the hefty tome was destined to sit unfinished on my bookshelf for the next twelve years. My failure to get any further than chapter 3 - 'Russell Bretherton' - I've always blamed on Hugo Young, Russell Bretherton, or Tim Stone (Perhaps I'm not as…

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Feature: The Grognard's Grognard

Interview: James Sterrett, Professional Wargamer

Americanians, did you know that 0.000000000323% of every dollar you pay in tax is spent ensuring a man in Kansas by the name of James Sterrett gets any PC wargame he desires? Recently I crossed Flare Paths with this mysterious freeloader and asked him to justify his lavish government-funded strategy habit. He pointed out he was Deputy Chief, Simulations Division, Digital Leader Development Center, at the Command &…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame news

The Flare Path: Not Loitering, Reconnoitring

Could those ruts in a pasture north of Saint-Lô have been made by an experimental Patton's Best-inspired PC wargame? Might those scorch marks on the runway at Oberammergau indicate that a spiritual successor to Over the Reich is finally on the way? Is that newly-laid narrow-gauge railway line near Arras evidence of an imminent WWI logistics game? FP spends a fair portion of his working life hunched…

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7 years ago

Heavily Engaged: Sid Meier’s Gettysburg!

Being the oldest RPS contributor has certain advantages. You can attend preview events in un-ironic cardigans, you can admit to finding 90% of manshoots deadly dull, and best of all, you get to sit in the RPS rocking chair and regale the young'uns with tales of wargaming glory. That's what Heavily Engaged is all about. Over the next month or so, I'll be giving a…

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10 years ago

Happy Battle Of Raszyn Day!

I'd love to have commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Raszyn by announcing that Jean-Michel Mathe had finally finished his Napoleonic opus HistWar: Les Grognards. Sadly I can't (he's still drilling his TacAI and personally sharpening and polishing every single sabre and bayonet in the game) so instead I'll mark the day by drawing your attention to a darling chunk of much lighter Nap strategy.

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