Steel Beasts and steely software sellers
How does this sound? I describe my last Steel Beasts Pro Personal Edition battle then show you the emails that three publishers sent me following last week’s “old wargames are too expensive” rant. In return you give me ten minutes’ worth of a substance more precious gram for gram than saffron, platinum, or petrified rainbow. Deal?
Ah, the old walking away gambit. You win! Fine, I’ll also throw in a picture puzzle so fiendish no individual can solve it unaided. Read the rest of this entry »
Old games, bold prices
Recent research at the Flare Path Institute of Ludology has identified the chemical that prevents some wargames and sims from depreciating over time. High levels of myopium sillycate means certain martial and vehicular entertainments can go ten or more years without a tariff drop. In today’s FP I highlight some particularly distressing examples of price paralysis and urge the publishers and designers responsible to think again about the business strategies that are ensuring thousands of potential customers never encounter or purchase their wares. Read the rest of this entry »
Use Brain! Win Prizes!
The Flare Path turns five this week. Here in the UK that means it can no longer travel for free on funiculars, steam tinkers, or Bounding Billies, and risks prosecution if found in possession of an imaginary dog or an impish grin. Growing up sucks. Thank goodness there are occasional distractions like this compendium of word and picture puzzles. In the dappled glade beyond the break five unusually approachable foxers lounge.
Tackle these solo brainteasers (co-op defoxing will return next week) within the next 48 hours and you’ve a chance of winning various top-notch wargames and sim add-ons. (Competitions now closed)
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Wargame and simulation news
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 »
Every simmer needs a hobby
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 »
Simulation & wargame blather
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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Wargame & simulation blather
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 »