Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: Whatever Happened To…

Remember that flight sim that was going to do for the WW2 Regia Aeronautica what IL-2 Sturmovik did for the Voyenno Vozdushnye Sily? Recall that imminent Napoleonic roguelike – the one that was going to let you desert, rustle chickens, and scavenge on corpse-littered battlefields? The Dorset outfit that was looking to raise £250,000 to fund an Eighteenth Century smuggling sim? In today’s column I point the Flare Path PBY at patches of ocean where promising work-in-progress sims and wargames were last seen. I find out why titles like Lifeboat Simulator 1875, La Decima, and General Winter are years late. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Bee-Eater Beelines

Campaign Series: Middle-East 1948-1985 wasn’t one of 2015’s bolder wargames. A repaired, refurbished and reinforced version of a dusty TalonSoft disappointment, it was an easy title to overlook and underestimate. I’ve been playing it a lot recently, and, though the £30 price-tag still feels a tad cheeky, its likeable mix of relatively obscure wars, decent AI, and nicely judged complexity (think thinking man’s Panzer General) has convinced me that a Flare Path battle commentary is in order. That empty chair there is yours if you want it, all I ask is that you refrain from backseat brasshatting and don’t guffaw too loudly when I blunder. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Simple Pleasures

There is an underclass of aerodynes that even the encyclopaedic Microsoft Flight Simulator and the modded-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life IL-2 shuns. For the last four decades, aviation embarrassments like the Seddon Mayfly and Wight Quadruplane have been studiously ignored by flight sim fabricators. Until now – until SimplePlanes – curious simmers have had to imagine the terror of the De Bruyère C1 test pilot, the mingled shame and disappointment of the Percival P.74 designer. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: AlphaBet Pilot

A is for annus mirabilis

2016, you’ve an awful lot to live up to. I’ve been computer wargaming for over three decades now, and I can’t recall a better year than the one just gone. Vietnam ’65, Rule the Waves, Pike & Shot: Campaigns, Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa… for any grognard partial to bold designs, unusual settings, and absorbing, plausible action, the temptations were many. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Santa Simulator 2015

Like a Zeppelin stopped in its tracks by strong headwinds, PC flight simulation doesn’t seem to have made much progress during the past twelve months. Besides a modest clutch of high-quality add-ons for FSX, X-Plane and DCS World, and some encouraging IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad developments, there’s been little to lift the spirits and lighten the wallets of discerning desktop aviators in 2015. If it wasn’t for the title I’m about to Wot I Think, you could be forgiven for thinking the genre that gave us greats like Falcon 4.0, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, and Stunt Island, had run out of ambition and ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Roasts Nuts

I hope memories of last year’s Flare Path Christmas Fair won’t put you off attending this year’s (December 19, 1200-1700hrs, Upper Bumhope recreation ground). Roman has promised to go easy on the mulled wine tomorrow so the aerosani rides should be significantly safer. Uncle George will be roasting chestnuts as usual, but as his Flammenwerfer 35 was confiscated after the 2014 event, a repeat of the brandy bowser explosion and reindeer stampede is highly unlikely. Kisses under the mistletoe return by popular demand, Mr. Thornton of the Health & Safety Executive having accepted that no-one could have foreseen last year’s tragic undercarriage collapse. Just about the only regular attraction that won’t be present tomorrow is Santa’s Garotte-o. Unfortunately, Shropshire Steve, our long-serving Saint Nicholas impersonator/CQB specialist, left us in October for a new home in Princetown, Devon. Barring miracles, he won’t be dispensing gifts or weaponry advice to ruddy-cheeked infants until 2020 at the earliest. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Danubian Speedboats

Like a dead swan floating down a river, The Flare Path usually delegates directional decision-making. Back at the start of the week, it looked like today’s column would end up devoted to Wars of Napoleon, the latest AGE-engined epic from AGEOD. I was taking in illuminating tutorial vids when an unexpected eddy nudged me towards a much older Boney title. Read the rest of this entry »