Victoriana Valued Here
(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 »
Off duty in The Duchy
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 »
Simulation & wargame blather
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 »
Communal Combat Mission
The Flare Path’s first attempt at play-by-comment Combat Mission proved rather exciting. Over the course of five days mountains of orders were issued, multiple Shermans were slain, and numerous fingernails were nibbled. I think it’s about time we had a second scrap. Anyone fancy a spot of sandy skirmishing courtesy of the olden-but-golden Combat Mission: Afrika Korps? Read the rest of this entry »
Simulation and wargame blather
If it wasn’t for a splendid organisation called Writers Bloc this column probably would have vanished years ago. Every week WB sends out thousands of specially tailored writing challenges in an attempt to keep its members ennui-free. This week my challenge was tripartite. I risk censure, and public humiliation in WB magazine, The Wordist, if today’s Flare Path doesn’t include…
A) Previews of two Early Access flight simulations.
B) The phrase “The ferrets danced until daybreak”.
C) A reference to a fictional organisation that motivates its members with specially tailored writing challenges. Read the rest of this entry »
Simulation and wargame blather
Flare Path Air Services isn’t like other airlines. Both of the aircraft in our fleet remember where they were when JFK was
shot demobbed. Daisy, our DC-3, is as happy hauling live poultry and frozen prawns as lairy tourists and prayerful pilgrims. The WC aboard Old Red, our Piper Cub, consists of a funnel and a beer bottle. And currently we’re the only airline in the world brave/visionary enough to have built a fireworks factory on its home airfield. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »