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Posts tagged “AAR”

Feature: Cocksure Cromwells

Overlordy: Turn 4

The sight of British armour beetling towards the central beach exit has prompted some hurried defensive reconfiguration from the Comment Commanders controlling German forces in this year's communal Combat Mission game. When the clock stopped yesterday morning, the “unbuttoned” (hatches open) Stuart tank leading the exodus was seconds away from an encounter with a man armed with a scoped Kar98K rifle. (For a scenario outline…

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Feature: Shell hell

Overlordy: Turn 3

This year's communal Combat Mission scenario (click here to catch up on the story so far) incorporates a deadly version of the shell game. The computer-controlled British have a choice of three routes off the beach and the short-of-resources commenter-controlled Germans realistically can't picket them all. Judging by the distribution of Axis units at the start of Turn 3, the players believe/hope the enemy will favour the…

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Feature: Where are they?

Overlordy: Turn 2

In turn 1 the comment commanders had a chilling glimpse of their adversaries. British landing craft have deposited an intimidating array of tanks on the beach south of Caent, and, doubtless, the armour is accompanied by an equally intimidating infantry force. With their two pillboxes neutralised, the players now have no way of knowing what's happening on the sands. Will a cagey bit of scouting…

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Feature: Pillboxes perish

Overlordy: Turn 1

This year's communal Combat Mission game utilizes the series progenitor – Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord (2000). Over the next twenty days, using orders issued via comments, volunteers will attempt to prevent British troops freshly landed on the shores of Normandy from taking control of a village close to the coast. The size and composition of the Allied force is a mystery at this point, but…

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Feature: Operation Speed Bump

Communal Combat Mission COs required

A Combat Mission battle orchestrated by a single wargamer invariably furnishes drama. Replace that lone CO with a band of collaborating commenters and the resulting pandemonium can be astonishingly tense, tangled, and resonant. This year's communal CM challenge involves the very first CM title – Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord (2000) - and a petite chunk of French coastline in imminent danger of liberation. Volunteers like…

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Feature: Pick the bones out of this

The Flare Path: Waives and Waves

All that needs to be said about the tragicomic Flight Sim Labs affair has been said several times over. I could add my tuts to the tut heap or write something confessional about the handful of times I've found myself mingling with pirates and cracksmen, but I think I'd rather devote today's FP to sky sailing and semaphore signals, BoBing wargame makers and bobbing whalegame…

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Feature: Close Combats 2 and 3 are still brill

The Flare Path: PIAT fails and PITA whales

Three of the first four Close Combat games are now back in legal circulation thanks to GOG.com and current licence holders, Slitherine. For years I've been telling myself that prolonged exposure to Combat Mission and Graviteam Tactics would make a long-term relationship with Atomic's top-down tussle series – a series I loved dearly in the late Nineties – difficult today. I now realise I was…

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Feature: A Nantucket slay ride

The Flare Path: Thar She Blows!

Half Moby Dick, half Sunless Sea, Nantucket sweats Nineteenth Century nautical drama the way the Charles W. Morgan to this very day sweats Nineteenth Century whale oil. Picaresque's failure to recreate whaling's most telling/pathetic scenes (The hopeless marguerite... the confused calf following the whaleship that slaughtered its mother...) worries me, but not sufficiently to cause a rift. I'm in for the long haul. Unlike some…

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Feature: A Field of Glory II tussle tale

The Flare Path: Hillocks and Pillocks

Subtle slope textures and a lack of unit bases and battle replays make Field of Glory II a tricky wargame to After Action Report. I can't promise that today's aggro account will be easy to follow, but I'll be mortified if it baffles and bores. The fabulous FoGII is to tedium what Domestos, the Greek god of sanitaryware, is to all known germs. Any wargame…

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Feature: Bridge bravado

Communal Combat Mission: Turn 4

Every year in The Flare Path I run a communal Combat Mission skirmish in which RPS readers attempt to outwit and outfight CM's decidedly dangerous AI. Turns span 60 seconds and rarely go according to plan. Late-war and Eastern Front, this year's scrap centres on a German-held Baltic port. It's been three turns since the commenter-controlled Soviets left their deployment zones, and things are just starting to hot…

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Feature: Communal Combat Mission

The Flare Path Welcomes Combative Commenters

I was tempted to explore Nineteenth Century warfare or try something operational for this year's play-by-comment wargaming marathon, but after surveying my game collection and conducting experiments, found myself gravitating towards Battlefront's oeuvre and WW2 once again. When it comes to generating gripping unscripted dramas I reckon first-generation Combat Mission is peerless, and that clever WEGO turn structure (the orders of both sides are executed simultaneously)…

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Feature: Endless bears, deadly dice, purple prose

The Flare Path: Horatian Ode

B-17: Queen of the Skies is a solitaire board wargame that talked its way past the RPS platform police with help from this VASSAL module and this emulator. The star of my current game is a Liberator called Infinite Horace II. Crewed by Tim ‘Stonewall’ Stone and nine FP readers (JFS - nose turret gunner, Eightball - bombardier, phuzz - navigator, JB - co-pilot, bsplines…

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Feature: A Warbands: Bushido battle narrative

The Flare Path: Must Stop Skirmishing

Samurai slaughtered Shermans at last night's FP game awards. Slitherine's Sengoku Jidai won Best Wargame of 2016, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun won Best Strategy Game, and Warbands: Bushido bagged Most Promising Early Access Game. Though it's short of maps and exclusively multiplayer at the moment (a sizeable solo campaign is imminent) Red Unit's katana-crammed tactical TBS is already dangerously distracting. This week's column…

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Feature: Communal Combat Mission

The Flare Path: Welcomes Combative Commenters Again

The Flare Path's first attempt at play-by-comment Combat Mission proved rather exciting. Over the course of five days mountains of orders were issued, multiple Shermans were slain, and numerous fingernails were nibbled. I think it's about time we had a second scrap. Anyone fancy a spot of sandy skirmishing courtesy of the olden-but-golden Combat Mission: Afrika Korps?

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Feature: Are you ready to order?

The Flare Path: Welcomes Combative Commenters

Hefty, persuasive, and reeking of spruce-scented Eau de Ardennes, the new Bulge-themed Combat Mission unquestionably deserves a Flare Path After Action Report. The trouble is, after seven days of snowy slaughter, fraught forest probes and costly cottage clearing, I'm now in no fit state to shepherd Shermans or put plucky pixeltruppen in harm's way. Worn to a frazzle by delicate tactical decision-making and teeth-rattling mortar…

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Feature: A Yom Kippur War yAARn

The Flare Path: Bee-Eater Beelines

Campaign Series: Middle-East 1948-1985 wasn't one of 2015's bolder wargames. A repaired, refurbished and reinforced version of a dusty TalonSoft disappointment, it was an easy title to overlook and underestimate. I've been playing it a lot recently, and, though the £30 price-tag still feels a tad cheeky, its likeable mix of relatively obscure wars, decent AI, and nicely judged complexity (think thinking man's Panzer General)…

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Feature: Wargame & simulation blather

The Flare Path: Black Sea Battlecast

Phone switched off? Bladder empty? Puffed corn snacks to hand? I only ask because last time The Flare Path ran a Combat Mission battle commentary, I seem to recall you missed that amazing turn where I dropped a mortar bomb down the hatch of an unbuttoned King Tiger then wiped out an entire squad of Fallschirmjäger with a single ricocheting ATR round. I can't promise jammy…

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Feature: 2-1 up with 45 minutes left to play

The Flare Path: A Rumble Of Thunder (Part Two)

The samovars have gone cold. The cigarette-smoke butterflies have dispersed. The commissar is starting to scribble names in his little red notebook... it's time my intrepid but incompetently led Combat Mission: Red Thunder Soviets roused themselves and got on with the second part of the Battle of Baronovichi.

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Feature: 30 years a wargamer and I still can't spell 'reconaissance'

The Flare Path: A Rumble Of Thunder

Anyone eager to spend a modest portion of their Friday shaking their head and tutting while a tactical halfwit sends virtual Soviet soldiers to their deaths, is in luck. A lend-lease version of the close-to-release Combat Mission: Red Thunder‎ has just been craned onto my bustling quay by my bustling stevedore, Steve Dore. Give me a second to finish my molotov cocktail, quietflowsthedon my ushanka,…

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Feature: Dodging the eel spear

Hands On: Sir, You Are Being Hunted

You can't survive 15 years in the writing-about-games business without understanding the importance of magnanimity. Just because Jim & Co. have, thus far, failed to implement any of my Sir, You Are Being Hunted improvement suggestions doesn't mean I'm sulkily cold-shouldering their Hammer-House-of-Hannay creeping-around-on-the-moors game. Just because Sir's player-protagonist still isn't a) A downed Luftwaffe pilot endeavouring to retrieve and destroy parts of a top-secret radar…

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