Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: In The Denmark Strait

The trick of using high prices to imply high quality goes back a very long way in digital wargame publishing. Computer Bismarck, the title that launched the genre in January 1980, was advertised as “the $2160 wargame” ($60 for the software, $2100 for the Apple II Plus necessary to run it). SSI proudly proclaimed their creation was “worth every cent” of this princely sum. Whether you ended up agreeing with them depended largely on how much you valued novelties like artificial opposition and effortless fog of war, and how ready you were to overlook design quirks like an onerous interface, an absence of alternative scenarios, and a monstrously magenta North Atlantic. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Laminar Floes

There’s a saying in my village:

“When sloes and cobnuts early fall,
And goatsuckers in daylight are heard to call,
You’ll be playing a spiritual sequel to MicroProse’s Red Storm Rising and a new instalment of X-Plane in no time at all.”

The local sayings related to wargame pricing and acceptable frame-rates in heli sims scan better but are less relevant to today’s column so I’ll save those for another day. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path Grand Prix

Vaguely aware that we’re living in a race sim golden age? Not sure which of the ‘Big Six’ you should invest your precious time and money in? Me too! Hopefully, by the time the inaugural Flare Path GP is over (Oct 14) little of that bewilderment will remain. Guided by the preferences and observations of that section of the RPS community that knows and loves realistic Cars Wot Go Fast games, it shouldn’t be hard to find a high-quality race sim that suits you and me to a GT. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path And The Sea Lion Tamer

I’m glad Strategic Command 3’s camera is a tad myopic. Not being able to see the Panzers parked in Parliament Square… the SS Sturmgrenadiers marching down The Mall… Mosley and Hitler shaking hands on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, means I can push north towards unconquered Scotland with a spring in my goose-step. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: The Man Who Listens To Trains

In the light industrial districts that have sprung up around FSX, X-Plane, and DCS World, genuine craftsmen aren’t all that hard to find. The machine tools that whirr and thump and whine in the workshops of add-on makers like A2A Simulations and PMDG are operated by passionate perfectionists – driven micrometer wielders whose scrap bins brim with components that look, on first, second and third inspection, absolutely flawless. Elsewhere in Simulatia, it’s a different story. Just about the only sim that can boast a third-party add-on as lovingly fashioned as this Texan or this Fishbed, is Train Simulator. I enthused about that add-on – a delightful Class 205 DEMU – a few weeks ago, and in today’s Flare Path I talk to the outfit behind it, Armstrong Powerhouse.

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The Flare Path: Modern Life Is Rhubarb

I remember the days when you could get a hundredweight of hand-picked sim and wargaming news delivered to your door by a man in a tailcoat and a velvet top hat for sixpence. Now look at us. You, peering into your digilink screen like a person who’s dropped their monocle into a bowl of consommé. Me, stripped to the waist in a bomb-damaged Pat Garrett, shovelling raw press releases into the maw of a humming Wordshine 6000. If this is progress, you can keep it! Want to know what 777, Panther Games, Old Brown Dog, and John Tiller Software are up to at the moment? Unplug yourself and head down to the abandoned liquorice processing plant on Canal Street. I’ll meet you there in ten minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Tankless Tasks

With the 100th anniversary of warfare’s first armour action less than a week away, I was rather hoping I’d be able to fill today’s gaping word trench with a fat fascine of WW1 tank game news. Graviteam are working on a landship sim! Rev Sudasana is to release a Whippety version of Armoured Commander! Noble Empire are going to let us assemble A7Vs! As it’s now Friday morning and my OPs have yet to sight a single rhomboid on the horizon, it looks like Plan B will have to be put into operation instead. A few inches below yonder html parapet lurks news of Dovetail’s TS replacement, plus talk of the latest Sengoku Jidai add-on and a WW2 MP tactics game with hints of Close Combat, Men of War, and Jagged Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »