Posts Tagged ‘wargame’

The Flare Path: Campaigns Pain Me

To participate in Operation Clever Clogs simply name one or more of the eleven wartime operations shown here.

The Flare Path’s primary recon tool, a Staghound armoured car named ‘Galloping Gertie’, has been off the road most of this week after a high-speed collision with a Charolais bull. As a result I’ve found myself with lots of spare time on my hands. The majority of that time has been frittered away on idle pursuits like scrumping pears and playing Poohstickgrenades, but I’ve also whiled away a few hours in constructive contemplation. The subject of my musing? Mostly, wargame and simulation campaigns, specifically “Why are so many of the bally things so dashed disappointing?”. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Juno’s Golden Sword

I was clearing out my Operation Overlord drawer the other day and came across these ten items. Can you help me identify them?

What’s General Paulus’ take on splendid recent releases like Achtung Panzer: Operation Star and Unity of Command? Does Genghis Khan play anything other than Mount & Blade? Does Oliver Cromwell still believe the lack of English Civil War wargames is the result of a fiendish Popish plot? In an effort to answer nagging questions like these The Flare Path has acquired a SpiritMaster IV ouija board. I’m still ploughing through the manual and tutorials at present. Early experiments haven’t been wholly successful. In preparation for this week’s pieces on the the first Combat Mission: Battle For Normandy module, Steel Beasts PPE 2.6, and Eagle Dynamics future plans, I attempted to contact Michael Wittmann and Chuck Yeager, but ended-up chewing the ectoplasm with Florence Nightingale and Samuel Pepys instead. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Trench Warfare

Name one of the pictured flowers, win an FP point fashioned from shellcase brass.

In a moment I am going to blow a whistle. On hearing the whistle you must scramble over the parapet that separates this paragraph from the next, and begin advancing toward the lines occupied by Commander: The Great War, Strategic Command: World War I and Bau-Simulator 2012. Do not stop. Do not look back. Do not torment yourself with tricky ethical questions like “Is it appropriate to spend a portion of Armistice Day reading about games that transmute the unimaginable suffering of the 1914-18 conflict into turn-based strategy?”. PHWEEEEEE!

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The Flare Path: Tomorrow’s Chip Wrappers

The seven aluminium and three plexiglass FP points up for grabs this week, were made from pieces of 'Emancipated Emily', a flak-ravaged B-17 that clipped Big Ben on November 4, 1943.
In pre-RPS days The Flare Path came in leaflet form and was distributed by a fleet of low-flying Whitley bombers. It was a horribly wasteful and expensive business. It could be dangerous too. Several planes were lost in accidents and on one dreadful occasion in 1939 a Cornish district nurse went over a cliff edge on her bike after being blinded by a sheet of windblown sim and wargame news. Spare a thought for the unfortunate Miss Ivy Tregowan as you sit safe and sound perusing this week’s selection of winged and warry stories. Beyond the jump: Black Shark 2 disquiet, a new simulation periodical, and a quick shufti at one of the finest free tactics titles around. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Happy Trafalgar Day

There are the names of four Battle of Trafalgar ships in this pic. One oak FP point for each of them.

Most years I celebrate Trafalgar Day by getting tanked-up on Nelson’s blood then nipping down to Warsash and chucking lit matches through Ian Brennan’s workshop window. This year I thought I’d try something different. I thought I’d stay in and relay news of The Hunter, Unity of Command, rFactor 2, Automation and Kart Racing Pro, with the aid of my trusty Mackenzie Mk. IV electro-semaphore machine. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Vertigo, Volo, Memo

Many mountains share names with WW2-era aircraft. A basalt FP point to the person that correctly identifies the highest of these aero-peaks. (Only one guess each!)

Looking for the latest gen on brutal Peruvian insurgency games? You’re in the wrong place. My Shining Path column appears on a Tuesday. The Flare Path concerns itself with gentler, less Maoist matters. In two of the splendidly singular creations word-sketched beyond the jump, the only person you can murder is yourself, and in the other one it’s plastic tanks and army men that get it in the neck. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Iron Cross Edition

 My Great Uncle Alf was a very brave and versatile soldier. Identify his multinational medal haul and you could win 9 gold FP points and 1 iron one.

Usually a radio-controlled Zeppelin or the promise of a footplate ride on an elderly diesel loco, is enough to get a dev or publisher game coverage in the The Flare Path. This week however, bungs alone are insufficient. The three lovelies lionised south of the jump all earned their places through Sheer Merit. Well, Sheer Merit and a Shared Moniker, if you want to be pedantic. Meine Damen und Herren, I give you Iron Cross, Iron Cross, and Rise of Flight: The Iron Cross Edition.

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The Flare Path: All Aboard The Boat Train

6 gold FP points are burning a hole in my pocket

A responsible sims correspondent with a fashionable haircut and a gregarious disposition would spend this week’s Flare Path talking about F1 2011’s pleasures and disappointments. As I live alone in a hut in the woods and trim my barnet with the aid of peanut butter and tame squirrels, I’ll be devoting the following 1200 words to a free RailWorks upgrade, an imaginary 18th Century naval sim, and the winner of this year’s hotly contested Wargame With Dullest Name competition. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Your Display Is Pepper

This BA pic and Nicholas Kove are linked. How?

In the game development playground, wargame and sim devs are easy to spot. They’re the ones sitting on their own in quiet corners with noses in history books. They’re the ones transfixed by warring ant colonies, feathery vapour trails, and distant trains. This conspicuousness and level of distraction makes them soft targets for playground predators. This week’s Flare Path commences with a tale of despicable bullying. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Severely Overloaded

 Flies between Lancashire and Yorkshire? (9,8)

There’s a lot of news to pack into this week’s Flare Path and 80% of it has wings. If you want to  make yourself useful, start loading those crates marked FlightGear. Stack them neatly and there should be room for the sacks of Rise of Flight on top. I’ve got these boxes of X-Plane to stow, then I really need to get those barrels of Cliffs of Dover in out of the sun and lashed down. God knows where we’re going to put the Achtung Panzer.

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The Flare Path: Aerodromes & Charabancs

In a week when the misguided lexicographers behind Collins Dictionary announced that ‘obsolete’ terms such as ‘aerodrome’, ‘charabanc’, and ‘cyclogyro‘ would not appear in the 2011 edition of their word guide, the obvious focus for Flare Path is inter-war flight sim Pavilioned In Splendour and 1920s bus-driving/matchmaking game Bognor or Bust!

Unfortunately, both of these titles are being developed by notorious vapourware merchants My Over-Active Imagination Soft, so it’s probably best we make do instead with talk of Berlin bus opus OMSI, fast-approaching Falklands jet sim Jet Thunder, and John Tiller’s fresh-off-the-LCU Squad Battles: Falklands.

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The Flare Path

Mildly perturbed by the lack of Panzerkampfwagen references in The Sunday Papers? Feel that Bargain Bucket needs more locomotive love, Cardboard Children less Parpellimony misinformation*? You’re in luck. Every Friday from now until Ragnarok, I’m going to be presenting a ragbag of news and reflections covering all-things simulated and wargamey.

If a game features wings, wheels, war, or windlasses, and so much as nods in the direction of realism there’s a good chance it will eventually appear in The Flare Path.

*The idea that an airliner engine could function with fewer than three Parpellimonies inside it, is – as all serious simmers know – absurd. Read the rest of this entry »

Heavily Engaged: Ignorance Is Bliss

While those who don’t read history are, allegedly, doomed to repeat it, they can at least sleep easy knowing they’ll never find themselves on wargame forums grumbling about infantry AI, ballistics modelling, and uniform accuracy. There have been occasions during my long career as a bedroom battle orchestrator, when I’ve wondered whether I wouldn’t have been a much happier player had I steered well clear of history books, documentaries and message-boards. Read the rest of this entry »

Heavily Engaged: Grognard Guilt

No battle reportage this week. Rather than confuse you with another tale of how Easy Company went east then north a bit then left a bit while Baker Company went west then south then right a bit, I thought I’d try to get to the bottom of a feeling that has gnawed at the edges of my wargaming pleasure for the best part of 30 years. That feeling could be described as unease, or perhaps, disquiet. At a stretch you might even call it guilt.

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Heavily Engaged: Waterloo

Turn to page 20 of Flight Simulator X’s pathetic excuse for a printed manual and you’ll see a credits list of around 160 names. To my knowledge only one of those names belongs to a wargame design visionary. Quite what Peter Turcan contributed to the final FS isn’t made clear (‘User Experience’ covers a lot of territory). To understand what he contributed to computer wargaming, you need look no further than 21-year-old watershed Waterloo. Read the rest of this entry »

Heavily Engaged: Panzer General 2

Three of PC wargaming’s most succulent fruit reached ripeness in the same fortnight in autumn 1997. Having featured Sid Meier’s Gettysburg! and Close Combat 2 in the last two Heavily Engageds, it only seems right that the subject of this week’s rumble reportage is the third of the trio. Beyond the jump is a world of hard-won hexagons, coveted core units, and tight timetables. Ready a salute, you are about to enter the command tent of Panzer General 2. Read the rest of this entry »

Heavily Engaged: Close Combat 2

This week’s battle broadcast comes to you from a picturesque Dutch city on the banks of the Rhine. It’s September 1944, and a beleaguered force of British paratroopers, clinging by their fingernails to positions around Arnhem’s strategically-vital road bridge, are about to participate in what could well turn out to be their final action. All that stands between the Red Berets and total annihilation is a couple of 6-pounder anti-tank guns, a flamethrower, two PIATs, a few dozen Stens and Lee-Enfield rifles, and one mediocre wargamer who has known and loved Close Combat 2: A Bridge Too Far for the best part of 14 years.

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Norman Conquest: A Combat Mission AAR

This way to victory

Hampshire – well, my little corner of it – is all fire and brimstones at present. A Spring-enthused Mother Nature is providing the Brimstones. A preview build of Battlefront’s Combat Mission: Battle For Normandy is supplying the fire. Beyond the html hedgerow below, you’ll find a first-hand account of my second brush with this realism-rammed game-o’-war. Fingers-crossed, you’ll also find numerous pictures of kaput Panzers and surrendering Stormtruppen. Read the rest of this entry »

Norman Wisdom: A Combat Mission Q&A

 
In June 2000 a metaphorical Tiger Tank burst from a metaphorical Norman wood and proceeded to blow the turrets off 14 metaphorical Shermans. I was those 14 metaphorical ShermansCombat Mission: Beyond Overlord was the Tiger. Nobody is quite sure about the Norman wood.

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Good Greif: Battles From The Bulge Demo

By striking wallet-scouring operational wargame Command Ops: Battles From The Bulge repeatedly with sledgehammers, Matrix Games have managed to chip off a small scenario-sized piece. Eight tutorial vids make up the lion’s share of the 525MB fragment. If you’re new to the unique Airborne Assault/Command Ops approach, you’ll definitely want to watch these before attempting to dislodge the regiment of doughty Volksgrenadiers defending St Vith. Read the rest of this entry »