Posts Tagged ‘Heroes of Normandie’

The Flare Path: How To Draw An Eagle

(Next week in The Flare Path: How to Draw a PMD-6 Anti-Personnel Mine)

Going by the number of sketches arriving in the FP inbox at the moment, this column’s recent foray into art tuition is going down extremely well. For every RPS reader keen to spend their Friday lunch hour reading about upcoming quadruplex transport sims, imminent Seven Years War strategy offerings, ill-conceived wargame patches, and my ongoing World of Warships dalliance, it seems there are three or four hungry for bite-sized drawing lessons. I’d make some comment about the pencil being mightier than the sword/Schmeisser if I wasn’t aware of the experiments conducted in the late 1940s by the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment that proved the exact opposite. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Scratch One Summer

This splendid image is the work of Roger Murray AGAvA (click for purchasing options)

A flurry of local airshows and BoB commemorative events meant Spitfires and Hurricanes were regular visitors to my corner of Southern England this summer. Seeing six Messerschmitt maulers fly over in formation on September 15 really should have been my aviation highlight of the season, but that accolade actually goes to an encounter a few days earlier when, tramping along a Wiltshire footpath, I was repeatedly buzzed by a P-40 intent on entertaining crowds at a nearby display. The sound of a Merlin in full spate is a wonderful thing, but the whistle-threaded roar of Lulu Belle’s supercharged Allison V-12 left me beaming like a lottery winner. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Apes

The first Royal Navy powder monkeys were actual monkeys. During the blockade of Singapore in 1764-65 a short-handed admiral by the name of Thomas Allworthy, noticing that the long-tailed macaques kept as pets by many of his crew were extremely biddable, ordered the beasts to be trained up as emergency gunpowder porters and cannon spongers. Young macaques carried out the latter activity without implements of any kind. After a quick dip in a pail of water, the primates would be inserted into sooty cannon barrels down which a peanut or similar tidbit had first been thrown. Blockages weren't unknown. Much of the blame for HMS Ajax's dismal performance at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1780) was laid at the furry feet of its overfed monkey matelots. In 'Biscay Round', the 18th Century sea shanty that made famous the phrase 'Keep your powder dry', the well-known line is followed by the now largely forgotten 'And your monkey slim'.

Hello youse. Fridays are for taking a long, hard look at your weekly wargame & simulation column, and wondering “Is it sufficiently distinct?”. Fridays are also for plunging gloved hands into the beetle-studded nightsoil mound that is the Internet and pulling out stories about bovicidal board game ports, Battle of the Bulge and iRacing imperfections, and the return of an intriguing piece of TalonSoft hexoterica. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Now Even Harrier

Swift sequels make The Flare Path uncomfortable. When I see a flight sim follow-up like Combat Air Patrol 2 set to arrive a mere 23 years after its predecessor, I find myself wondering how much genuinely new content will be included. Yes, the engine, feature set, and premise look totally different, and Sim155’s commitment to dynamic campaigns and intermediate ‘IL-2 level’ realism sounds right up my bomb alley, but that preposterously tight 276 month development cycle surely means corners have been cut.

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