Posts Tagged ‘Simulation’

The Flare Path: Vapour And Vapidity

Early one August morning in 1999, the residents of Shrapnelton, Grogshire were woken by the sound of an overloaded Gooney Bird leaving its roost. Rattling chimney pots and spinning weather vanes, the struggling C-47 carried the hopes of thousands of sequel-hungry 101: The Airborne Invasion of Normandy fans within its narrow fuselage. Almost thirteen years on, those fans are still waiting for the plane to reach France.

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The Flare Path: Serious Matterhorns

When Rebecca Teacakes offers Flare Path a penny for his thoughts, Flare Path seldom answers honestly. Admitting you’ve let your porridge go cold or your pilsner go flat because you’ve been contemplating questions like “How many looted harpsichords could be squeezed onto the back of a Kettenkrad?” or “What would Boudica, queen of the Iceni, have smelled like?” takes courage. Much better to pretend you were pondering column-related conundrums like “Why does Steam appear to discriminate against wargames and their makers?” and “Why aren’t more sims as staggeringly beautiful as aerofly FS?”.

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The Flare Path: Catenaries And Dirigibles

Sorry, no foxer this week.

Last night I dreamt the sim industry was in the grip of canal mania. You couldn’t move on Steam without tripping over a new barge or waterway for CanalWorks. The forums at SimHQ were thronged with folk debating lock physics and butty boat damage models. Thrustmaster was on the verge of bringing out a heavy-duty HOTAT (Hands-On-Throttle-And-Tiller) controller… Things had gone so far, I was contemplating changing the name of this column to The Tow Path.

How sad it was to wake, and realise that Simulatia had no interest in plodding narrowboats. How galling to have to replace planned pieces on Kanaal Koningen (A work-in-progress Amsterdam- based sim incorporating Seventeenth Century history and tycoon elements) and ‘Idle Women, Vital Work’ (A new add-on from Just Barges) with articles on ZDSim and Over Flanders Fields. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Duel Carriageways

There’s a road running through this week’s column, a road clogged with nervy Sherman tanks and alarmed Lada saloons. The Shermans are on edge because every so often one of their number is struck by something swift, cylindrical and quite, quite deadly. The Ladas are alarmed because every so often one of their number is struck by a Bukhanka minibus driven by an idiot. That idiot recommends you look left, right, then left again before attempting to cross the following thoroughly fair thoroughfare of Command Ops: Highway To The Reich and City Car Driving observations. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Moscow Or Bust

Sorry, no Foxer this week.

The Flare Path has a bust of Napoleon on his mantelpiece, and a bust of Wellington on his piano. Sometimes, when he comes into the room unexpectedly, he finds these busts side-by-side on the sofa puffing on clay pipes, or stretched-out on the carpet poring over old maps. Last night he came downstairs in the small hours and discovered the pair riding around the room on the back of the cat. The cat looked pleadingly at FP. FP looked disapprovingly at the busts. The busts dismounted. FP went back upstairs to finish his reports on The Paradoxification of AGEOD, 2×2’s 2011-12, and L’ Aurore, an amazing Vehicle Simulator add-on. Read the rest of this entry »

Racing Towards Release: rFactor 2 Hits Beta

Vroooooooooooom! Wheeeeeeee! Crash! Arse.

Any drivers willing to put their hands in their pockets as well as pedals to the metal can now get hold of the rFactor 2 beta. It’s been out for a few days, so you can check the forums to see how series fans think it’s shaking out and if it’s worth taking an early punt on.

But how advanced a simulation can you expect? Sexy rubber-on-road action follows…

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The Flare Path: Is Semi Literate

From this day forth The Flare Path Foxer will be at the end rather than the beginning.

It’s dawn and it’s raining cats and dogs. You are barrelling down the M3 in your uninsured Vauxhall Inquisitor when you see a huddled figure, arm outstretched, standing by the roadside. The figure is holding a scrap of cardboard scrawled with the words EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2, RIGS OF RODS, and BATTLE OF BRITAIN 2. You can stop and pick-up this drenched wayfarer (Click where it says ‘Read the rest of this entry’) knowing that his conversation might turn out to be as soggy as his sign, or you can speed past, purposely averting your gaze from those pleading puppy-dog eyes. Which is it to be? Read the rest of this entry »

Impressions: Lunar Flight Beta

There's no GERTY :(

I am responsible for many of the smaller craters that mark the moon’s surface. It’s true! I’ve been playing Lunar Flight, the modern take on Lunar Lander that I first spotted way back in 2011. Turns out it’s a simulation of me panicking as I hurtle toward the ground, upside down, beginning to rotate wildly in the hope that the motion will somehow cause me to skim off the rocks and bounce to safety. It doesn’t. It’s not an intimidatingly hardcore simulation but it is a lot less arcadey than I expected it to be. The beta, which feels remarkably complete, is available to those who donate $5 or more. More thoughts follow.

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The Flare Path: Tomcats, Tigers, & Treason

The Flare Path Foxer is below the jump.

Tomorrow morning at daybreak, the Flare Path is being executed for treason. His nosey neighbour, Mr Geoff Himmler, spotted him placing 2p coins on the railway line at the bottom of the garden, and informed the authorities. The next thing FP knew, he was sat in a dingy cell in the Tower of London with nothing but a laptop, a tin of alphabetti spaghetti, and a Dangerous Waters manual for company. After reading the alphabetti spaghetti and eating the Dangerous Waters manual, the condemned man has decided to spend his final hours sharing Achtung Panzer tips and disseminating news of upcoming train, bus, and jet sims.

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The Flare Path: Tracks, Tracks, & Turnpikes

A hopeless nostalgic, The Flare Path always finds year ends troubling. On one hand, The Past is about to get a little fatter; on the other, the extra girth means 1692 – FP’s favourite year – is even more likely to get overlooked by historians. What’s so special about 1692? That was the year Thomas J. Halthrope invented the Alliterating Alice, a donkey-powered ‘worde gin’ capable of producing bespoke sim & wargame news preambles at the touch of a lever. This very intro was produced on a 1692 Halthrope that works as well today as it ev///<$> Assetto Corsa <$$> Scourge of War: Antietam. <$$$> Steel Beasts Pro <> hereendethpreface/// Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Hinge Of Fate

A heavy snowfall has half-buried the Imperious War Museum's outdoor exhibits. Can you still identify them?

Because some swine has swiped the three kings from The Flare Path nativity diorama, the gold, frankincense, and myrrh are now being conveyed to the baby Jesus’ manger-side by three 1/32 Airfix Paras. Joseph and the shepherds don’t seem that bothered, but Mary’s looking a little peeved. “Stens and brens… here?” her crudely-painted-yet-intensely-holy visage seems to say. “This place is beginning to look like an Oosterbeek basement circa September, 1944!”. She’s got a point. War and Christmas go together like Tiger tanks and multi-storey car-parks. If I had any decency, I’d devote this week’s column to sleigh sims, rather than use it to discuss a work-in-progress WWI TBS and a tantalising Eastern Front wargame in search of a name. Read the rest of this entry »

Thrust For Life: Lunar Flight

hail, blue blot

It is a day, in part, for talking about old things made new. Lunar Flight is a modern take on Lunar Lander, which allows aspiring astropilots to undertake a full career, transporting cargo from moonbase to moonbase and gathering beacons scattered across the surface of the moon. Essentially, it’s a game that simulates using thrusters to control a tin-can in unfamiliar gravity, attempting to befriend the laws of physics even as they repeatedly plant your face in the lunar dust. All that would be just peachy if every slight nudge of the thrusters didn’t cause your dwindling fuel supply to…dwindle. Gaze at the trailer below.

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The Flare Path: Custer’s Last Cake Stand

Most military historians only eat foods with battle connections. The last time I popped round to John Keegan's for tea, he laid on a spread that included everything in this picture.

Before I serve newly baked word-cakes in The Flare Path tearoom, I like to leave them by an open window to cool for an hour or two. This week I left stories about the Microsoft Flight beta-tester recruitment drive, the Steel Armor: Blaze of War trailer, and the GTR3 teaser site on my usual sill, and when I came to collect them… THEY WERE GONE! I can only assume rascals took them, or possibly it was scallywags or rapscallions. Rapscallions have been getting increasingly bold of late. My neighbour reckons they’re becoming more of a menace than ne’er-do-wells, but he’s a big old racist so I tend to take everything he says with a pinch of salt. The point is: What am I going to witter on about this week? Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Simkhana 2012

Recognise any of these airforces?It’s that time of the week again, that time when Shermans and StuGs stop squabbling, Albatrosses and Camels play football together in no-man’s-land, and rust-streaked U-boats sidle up to exhausted Victory Ships and start nuzzling them like thirsty calves. The Flare Path has been lit, and today its flickering rectangular finger points towards an important flight sim demo, some classified campaign intel, a festival of formation flying, and a sim studio not too proud to beg. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Campaigns Pain Me

To participate in Operation Clever Clogs simply name one or more of the eleven wartime operations shown here.

The Flare Path’s primary recon tool, a Staghound armoured car named ‘Galloping Gertie’, has been off the road most of this week after a high-speed collision with a Charolais bull. As a result I’ve found myself with lots of spare time on my hands. The majority of that time has been frittered away on idle pursuits like scrumping pears and playing Poohstickgrenades, but I’ve also whiled away a few hours in constructive contemplation. The subject of my musing? Mostly, wargame and simulation campaigns, specifically “Why are so many of the bally things so dashed disappointing?”. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Juno’s Golden Sword

I was clearing out my Operation Overlord drawer the other day and came across these ten items. Can you help me identify them?

What’s General Paulus’ take on splendid recent releases like Achtung Panzer: Operation Star and Unity of Command? Does Genghis Khan play anything other than Mount & Blade? Does Oliver Cromwell still believe the lack of English Civil War wargames is the result of a fiendish Popish plot? In an effort to answer nagging questions like these The Flare Path has acquired a SpiritMaster IV ouija board. I’m still ploughing through the manual and tutorials at present. Early experiments haven’t been wholly successful. In preparation for this week’s pieces on the the first Combat Mission: Battle For Normandy module, Steel Beasts PPE 2.6, and Eagle Dynamics future plans, I attempted to contact Michael Wittmann and Chuck Yeager, but ended-up chewing the ectoplasm with Florence Nightingale and Samuel Pepys instead. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Trench Warfare

Name one of the pictured flowers, win an FP point fashioned from shellcase brass.

In a moment I am going to blow a whistle. On hearing the whistle you must scramble over the parapet that separates this paragraph from the next, and begin advancing toward the lines occupied by Commander: The Great War, Strategic Command: World War I and Bau-Simulator 2012. Do not stop. Do not look back. Do not torment yourself with tricky ethical questions like “Is it appropriate to spend a portion of Armistice Day reading about games that transmute the unimaginable suffering of the 1914-18 conflict into turn-based strategy?”. PHWEEEEEE!

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The Flare Path: Tomorrow’s Chip Wrappers

The seven aluminium and three plexiglass FP points up for grabs this week, were made from pieces of 'Emancipated Emily', a flak-ravaged B-17 that clipped Big Ben on November 4, 1943.
In pre-RPS days The Flare Path came in leaflet form and was distributed by a fleet of low-flying Whitley bombers. It was a horribly wasteful and expensive business. It could be dangerous too. Several planes were lost in accidents and on one dreadful occasion in 1939 a Cornish district nurse went over a cliff edge on her bike after being blinded by a sheet of windblown sim and wargame news. Spare a thought for the unfortunate Miss Ivy Tregowan as you sit safe and sound perusing this week’s selection of winged and warry stories. Beyond the jump: Black Shark 2 disquiet, a new simulation periodical, and a quick shufti at one of the finest free tactics titles around. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: A Plague Of Caterpillars

There's eight steel FP points on offer this week and two of them are coated in Zimmerit. Just ID one or more of these AFVs to claim a prize.

There are many different ways of gathering sim and wargame news. Me, I like to get up at the crack of dawn, grab my metal detector, and head into the forests that surround my hometown. It’s amazing what you find amongst the pines and birches: press releases, beta announcements, busts of Hitler, bog-entombed T-70s… Why, just yesterday I discovered a cache of Steel Beasts Pro Personal Edition info, a Ski Region Simulator demo, and some pages from a Rise of Flight diary stuffed into the barrel of an ivy-shrouded Jagdtiger.

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The Flare Path: Happy Trafalgar Day

There are the names of four Battle of Trafalgar ships in this pic. One oak FP point for each of them.

Most years I celebrate Trafalgar Day by getting tanked-up on Nelson’s blood then nipping down to Warsash and chucking lit matches through Ian Brennan’s workshop window. This year I thought I’d try something different. I thought I’d stay in and relay news of The Hunter, Unity of Command, rFactor 2, Automation and Kart Racing Pro, with the aid of my trusty Mackenzie Mk. IV electro-semaphore machine. Read the rest of this entry »