Simulation & wargaming blather
It’s only a matter of time. At some point during the coming week someone is going to ask me to recommend a Battle of Jutland wargame. Wafted towards WWI’s most costly and consequential naval engagement by the squall of centennial documentaries and articles, the enquirer will request the name of a realistic, atmospheric and affordable simulation of the scrap known to Germans as the Battle of Skagerrak, and it will be my unpleasant duty to report that no such game exists. While there are half-a-dozen titles aimed at sham Scheers and cod Jellicoes, and the majority of those titles entertain and inform, the wargame that does full justice to both the tactics and the spectacle of Jutland is, I believe, still waiting to be made. Read the rest of this entry »
The shady cabal of critics, devs, and publishers that controls almost everything you read about games want you to believe that computer gaming is a victimless crime, a fount of pleasure and positivity with no down-sides, no dark secrets. They despise people with long memories and nothing to lose. They hate people like me who are keen to talk about the hobbies that pixels and polygons helped kill. Today in The Flare Path some reminders of what youngsters did with their leisure time before the Space Invaders descended and the screens took over.
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Wargame and simulation blather
Thanks to Slitherine’s silly no-prices-until-release-day policy I can’t tell you whether Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun, out next Thursday, will be sensibly tariffed. What I can say – but am slightly reluctant to just in case my positivity persuades the Surrey lizardmen to whack a few quid on the RRP – is that this samurai-stuffed Pike & Shot spin-off is currently my favourite wargame of 2016. Read the rest of this entry »
Well that wasn’t as traumatic as it might have been. No-one swiped my dinner money or pushed my head down a toilet. No-one made fun of my handknitted jumper or frayed trousers. At no point did I lose my temper and unwittingly reveal my secret super power*. Ignore a couple of bungled emergency landings and a fatal brush with a fir tree and my first day at Dovetail Games Flight School passed without drama of any kind.
*I can turn a Tunnocks Caramel wrapper into a convincing model of a dazzle-camouflaged WWI warship in under five minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to flight sim flyables I’m not used to going without. When I stumble on an interesting aerodyne in a book, magazine, documentary, or museum, I know there’s a good chance that someone, somewhere, somewhen will have crafted a version of that aircraft for either Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-Plane or IL-2. The vast majority of my aviation cravings can be satisfied in a matter of minutes thanks to sites like www.flightsim.com, www.x-plane.org, and www.mission4today.com. It’s very rare I encounter totally unsimmed sky steeds such as the unfortunate outcasts highlighted below.
Military morsels. Mainly.
Q’s tail is a trip hazard. V and J often fall over in high winds. B lacks dignity*. Rain tends to collect in M and U… Many letters of the alphabet have inherent flaws but here at The Flare Path we treat all 26 with equal respect when we’re compiling one of our breathtakingly superficial alphabetical sim and wargaming news round-ups.
* It’s easily transformed into a cartoon bum.
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Are you ready to order?
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 stonks, I’ve totally exhausted my capacity for command. There is a battle yarn waiting below the break, but to unspool it I’m going to need your help. Read the rest of this entry »