Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: Truck Stop Temptations

I’ve talked about companion texts in Flare Path before , but I’m not sure I’ve ever used this column to air my companion games theory. In short I believe certain games have soul mates – titles that compliment them so perfectly that the idea of playing one without the other is almost unthinkable. The two games that make up a companion pair are usually very different. The partnership works because themes cross-pollinate. Because pacing and player demands balance out. Because game (A) creates a craving for game (B) and vice versa. This week by a happy accident I found myself in the presence of the most perfect pair of companion games I’ve ever encountered. This week I’ve been bouncing, like a jet-kicked ball bearing, between American Truck Simulator and The Pinball Arcade. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Alphabetti SPAAGhetti

The amateurs over at Wings, Wheels and Weaponry dot com arrange their sim and wargame news snippets chronologically. The weirdos at Khaki Gaming order theirs according to size. Here at Rock and Paper and Shotgun we do things as God and Samuel Johnson intended. Below the break (spoiler warning!) A reconnoitres for B, C is relieved by D, and F arrives to find all the best billets bagsied by E, D, C, B, A and J*

*J got lost in the fog, took the wrong road, and arrived three hours ahead of schedule. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Needs A Hip Replacement

Thanks to Flanker and its successors, for the last two decades virtual Caucasians haven’t had a moment’s peace. The overlapping outbursts of jet engines, cannons, bombs and missiles have frayed nerves, murdered sleep, and made activities like meditation, card tower construction, and butterfly whispering all but impossible. The good news is things are about to improve for the long-suffering residents of cities such as Krasnodar and Batumi. Eagle Dynamics are in the process of trialling a new DCS World soar space. The release of an alpha build of the Nevada Test and Training Range means it’s now the turn of Las Vegans to have their siestas spoiled and stucco cracked. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »