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Posts tagged “The Flare Path”

Feature: "A veritable TARDIS"

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Alphabetised wargame and sim news. Every four weeks or so I hang up a streamer of industrial strength fly paper in The Flare Path water closet and see what wargame and simulation news items stick to it. Below is this month’s bag – 25 stories involving virtual vehicles and surrogate slaughter. If you know what the G stands for in TGV, or…

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Feature: “Morale? Personally, I am not a fan.”

The Flare Path talks Task Force Admiral

For a man patently hellbent on developing the most realistic Pacific Theatre of Operations wet wargame ever, French flat-top fan 'Amiral Crapaud' uses the 'R' word extremely sparingly. Still at least a year away*, Task Force Admiral Volume 1: American Carrier Battles is a project with ancient touchstones, but a thoroughly modern approach to graphics, physics, and what Carl von Clausewitz called “friction”. I've high…

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Feature: Talk to the monsters

The Flare Path: Through the Darkest of Times

Happily, Kalypso's squeamish attitude to WW2 isn't shared by everyone in the games industry. While some go out of their way to remove references to the despicable regime that started the 20th Century's bloodiest killathon, others, Paintbucket Games for example, work hard to ensure Nazism appears on our screens unedited and unvarnished. Thought-provoking Through the Darkest of Times deposits you in a city far more…

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Feature: Banner banner

Commandos 2 – HD Remaster review

When you send your Renoir nude off to the restorer for a spruce-up there's no danger it will return with the nipples painted out because the restorer thought they might cause offence or arousal. Things work a little differently with computer games it seems. Much-loved isometric sneak-em-up Commandos 2 has come back from refurbishment missing a few aesthetic details. German flags have shed their swastikas,…

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Feature: Fascinating facts and superannuated snacks

The Flare Path: Ticket to Ryde (part II)

Flare Path Sky Tours, the virtual airline happy to wheel like a buzzard or plunge like a peregrine falcon when it spots an interesting bit of history beneath its wings, is mid-way through a clockwise flight around England's largest island, the Isle of Wight. In today's instalment, Tarka, the GeoFS Twin Otter, returns to his starting point, Solent Airport, via landmarks that include a medieval…

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Feature: Touring the turbot

The Flare Path: Ticket to Ryde

In a desperate bid to stave off bankruptcy, troubled British airline Flybe has taken to leasing spare aircraft to anyone with a chequebook and a gold braid encrusted pilot's hat. Possessing the requisite accoutrements, Flare Path Sky Tours yesterday took temporary possession of an elderly Twin Otter called Tarka. The plan is to use said mustelid in conjunction with browser-based flight sim GeoFS to conduct…

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Feature: Switching to fully automatic

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Alphabetised wargame and sim news. Every four weeks or so I hang up a streamer of industrial strength fly paper in The Flare Path dunny and see what wargame and simulation news stories stick to it. Below is this month’s bag – 25 bite-size stories involving virtual vehicles and surrogate slaughter. If you wince when someone calls a locomotive a train, and…

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Feature: Advanced Squad Leader heeder

The Flare Path emburdens Second Front

It seems Flare Path's first act of 2020 is to be an act of unkindness. Today – right now in fact – I'm going to hang a millstone engraved with the words “Potentially my Game of the Year” around the neck of a work-in-progress hex wargame with a minuscule budget and almost no pedigree. Said encumbrance will almost certainly hamper the bearer as it hurries…

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Feature: Great War, not so great games

The Flare Path: Red Barren

Unwilling to stray far, thematically speaking, from my current plaything of choice, Strategic Command: World War I, my time away from hexagons this week has been spent sampling potentially complementary Great War fare. In search of the cranberry sauce for SCWWI's Ottoman Empire, the mustard for its BEF, I've consumed a new flight sim with major deficiencies, two dirt cheap wargame DLCs that ultimately disappointed,…

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Feature: Strategic Command: World War I reviewed

The Flare Path contests a continent

Like all the WWI grand strategy titles that came before it, Strategic Command: World War I isn't awfully good at pathos. When a flurry of enemy assaults reduces one of your infantry corps from “10” to “3” in a single turn, your first thought is rarely “That's another 20,000 families who won't be seeing their loved ones again”. It's generally “Ouch. But it could have…

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Feature: Rusty but trusty

The Flare Path: Verbose Captions

Terrorists = grief. Headsmen = heads. Politicians = distrust of politicians. Long-distance lorry drivers = plastic bottles full of piss. Every occupation has its byproduct. I'm not overly proud of the tens of thousands of screenshots I generate each year. Yes, some of them are put to good use illustrating articles about tank restoration and U-boat games (see on) but the vast majority end up…

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Feature: My inbox paraphrased

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Alphabetised wargame and sim news. Every four weeks or so I hang up a streamer of industrial strength fly paper in The Flare Path dunny and see what wargame and simulation news stories adhere to it. Below is this month's bag - 25 bite-size stories involving virtual vehicles and surrogate slaughter. If you wince when someone calls a locomotive a train, and…

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Feature: Marvels I missed

The Flare Path: Sidetracked by Steam

I'm not sure if it was a consequence of the redesign or simply a result of restlessness on my part, but last weekend I found myself doing something I rarely do - scrolling through the list of games Steam 'thought' I might enjoy. Three of the Learning Machine's suggestions did indeed float my LCT, in fact they floated it to such an extent that I've…

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Feature: Embrace the octopus

Unity of Command 2 review

The awesome destructive might and continent-shrinking mobility of a WW2 army came with strings. While an antique army could fragment at will and locust everything it needed from the countryside it passed through, its 1939-45 equivalent was an essentially indivisible organism, a tangle of dangerous tentacles emanating from a cumbersome organ-clump of vital support staff, equipment, and stores. The unmissable Unity of Command 2 recognises…

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Feature: Demaster and Commander

The Flare Path: Games That Gruntle

What devilry is this – a Flare Path devoid of disgruntlement? Either I'm going Semtex-soft in my old age, or I've spent the week in the company of games so marvellous they could turn Moaning Minnies into Appreciative Annies simply by smiling at them. Readers, meet Unity of Command II and A Painted Ocean, two titles that buoy the spirit and massage the mind as…

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Feature: Conflicts confronted

The Flare Path: New Wave Wargames

After decades of stasis, the landscape of computer wargaming is beginning to change. Here and there desert hexagons are greening... dry arroyos are becoming rivers again... the accumulated dust and debris of forty years of conservative thinking is being sluiced towards the sea. Tired of threadbare, truth-blurring conventions, imaginative devs are looking at war and warriors in fresh, arresting ways. In today's column, I talk…

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Feature: Snippets of wargame and sim news

The Flare Path: A2Z

A is for Anticipating awesome AI. General Staff's AI sounds smarter than a sack of weasels. In a recent blog post Ezra Sidran describes how MATE, the upcoming American Civil War game's ersatz commander, works out which section of an enemy line it should “Schwerpunkt” during an attack. It “identifies the opposing force that must be dealt with to achieve its assigned objective, does strength…

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Feature: “WTF is going on out there?”

Radio Commander review

Radio Commander is a lit thunderflash tossed through a barracks doorway at two in the morning. It's arriving at the firing range and finding all the rifles in bits at the bottom of treacle barrels. It's John Wayne dressed as a coelacanth conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. It's Dad's Army dubbed into Swahili. It's Polio The Musical... wasabi toothpaste... a Slush Puppie enema... Ho Chi Minh kicking…

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Feature: 1024 x 768 memories

The PC that time/Tim forgot

A combination of a bugged mission and a campaign as straight as a bamboo cane has put paid to my plan to review convention-flouting Vietnam War wargame Radio Commander this week (Expect analysis in next Friday's Flare Path assuming Serious Sim patch promptly). The closest thing I have to a 'Plan B' is a tad self-indulgent but will, I hope, prove moderately entertaining. I'd like to show…

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Feature: Le Bocage aux Folles

Close Combat – The Bloody First review

Anyone who has poured hundreds - thousands - of hours of hard work into Close Combat: The Bloody First and has the skin of an Opel Blitz rather than a Jagdtiger risks taking a substantial morale hit if they read beyond paragraph ten of this review. After telling you about the ways CCTBF is superior to its august ancestors, I'm going to tell you about the…

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