Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: Topical Titbits

In the alphabetical news round-up waiting like a pre-pounce puma beyond the break ‘A’ is more likely to be for ‘airship’ or ‘angry house’ than ‘apple’. Stripy ungulates probably won’t feature in the entry for ‘Z’ but simulated Bf 110s or Mitsubishi A5Ms might. If you’ve an eye for a shapely engine nacelle or a finely chiselled turret – if you’ve an interest in the bloodier bits of history – I guarantee your curiosity will be piqued by something in the 26-compartment specimen drawer below. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Bird Sim Blueprint

For the last 35 years the makers of serious flight fare have been studiously ignoring the true masters of flight. Thousands of amazing aerodyne types have gone unsimmed. Countless dramatic combat scenarios have been cold-shouldered. Today’s Flare Path is a call for this madness to cease. Below the break I sketch out a sim focused on flesh-and-blood falcons, hawks and eagles rather than the clumsy, confusing man-made imitations that have dominated simulated skies for the past three decades. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Submarine Dreams

Subsim.com proprietor Neal Stevens and myself stand on opposite sides of the great dreamer-doer divide. When I see a promising in-development sim struggling for funding or heading in a direction I don’t much like, I sigh and pen a few plaintive words for this column. Neal, on the other hand, contacts the devs, and offers to fund development of the game for a year in return for design influence. When the studio accepts his offer, he then up sticks, and moves five thousand miles to be closer to his new business partners.

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The Flare Path: Firefights

Firefight at its best: You’ve moved Squad 4’s stretchable/rotatable destination bar to the house at the end of the road and now you’re zoomed in, studying them intently as they advance towards their goal. Without prompting, your men shun the centre of the street, opting to hug walls and shelter in doorways as they move. When an undetected MG34 opens up, the only casualty is Sgt Pierce. Shot in the right foot he yells for a medic. Almost immediately a tiny khaki soldier sprite diverts, rushing to the wounded man’s aid… Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path Invites You To…

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

I’ve fought many wargames acrost the years,
An’ some of ’em was good an’ some was not;
But when it comes to ‘exes an’ new frontiers,
Koger’s Age o’ Rifles was the finest o’ the lot.
It’s a daisy, it’s a ducky, it’s a lamb,
It’s an injia-rubber idiot on the spree,
It’s the on’y title that doesn’t give a damn
For a Regiment o’ British Infantree!
So ‘ere’s to you, Age o’ Rifles, an’ your battles so diverse;
Though you’re o’er-bloody, an’ your retreats can be perverse,
I gives you your certificate, an’ if you want it signed,
I’ll come an’ ‘ave a romp with you whenever you’re inclined. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Swings The Lead

Sorry. The county of Cornwall has spirited away this week’s column. Searches of sea-sluiced caves and Bucca-infested tin mine shafts have turned up nothing. My animal scouts – grey seals, peregrine falcons, and beadlet anemones – have probed and quartered and frisked fruitlessly. The only thing I can offer you today is bafflement. Beyond yonder html horizon lurks not one, not three, but two foxers. Assuming you aren’t too busy plotting the demise of fish-fixated Italian soldiery (the last seven days/minutes of communal Combat Mission have gone well though the commenter-controlled Kiwis are now fighting without Crecy, their lionhearted Crusader) I invite you to spend an hour or two reinstating vowels and decrypting collage components. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Africa 2016

The dimmed lighting, the rearranged seating, the bowls of hydrogenated corn snacks… by the time you’ve put two and two together it’s already much too late. Your persuasive host – Tedious Tim from next-door – is directing you towards a chair and fussing with his laptop. After the interminable ‘SE Asia 2014’ and ‘South America 2015’ you vowed never to attend one of his holiday photo slideshows again yet here you are, jammed between Bella the Bull Terrier and Old Mr Richardson from across the road, contemplating 2? 3? 4hrs? of ‘Africa 2016’. Read the rest of this entry »