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The Flare Path: Hasn't The Foggiest

Simulation and wargame news

If there's one thing Inca weather deity Illapa hates, it's prayers. They say the moment he hears anything resembling a request, he wraps the world in a snow-white alpaca fleece and heads for the hills. Some sap has obviously been badgering him, because we haven't seen our wingtips in forty minutes. Somewhere down there is a little mining town called Cascada Negra. If we don't spot its flare path soon, Dorado Aviacon is going to be in the market for a new DC-3 and flight crew, and the only ones who'll be reading this shipment of prime sim and wargame news will be centipedes and javelina.

Fragment #1

(Found embedded in a mahogany trunk at a sawmill in Iquitos, Peru, October 2013)

“...couldn't walk into a simmers' bar without some old pal slapping you on the back and asking “Tried AeroflyFS yet?”. Ikarus' GA ingénue bewitched many with its splendid Swiss scenery, flavoursome flight models and lightning framerates and load times. A bright DLC-festooned future seemed certain.

But the add-ons never materialised, the future stayed theoretical. The devs, either taken aback by the sim's enthusiastic reception, or distracted by other projects, appeared to have forgotten their handsome fledgeling. Happily, a recent sequel announcement proves that the AeroFlyFS story is far from over.

Engine criticisms are being tackled head-on. Where the shadows in the perpetually midday original were baked harder than Pompeii bread, in the follow-up they should wax and wane like shadows should. A new terrain coordinate system together with support for larger areas and third-party development, potentially opens the hangar doors to new terrains and long-distance flights. If Ikarus are prepared to let users add their own aircraft, heads are sure to turn, and wallets gape, all over Simulatia.

Gleaming fetchingly in the screenshots released thus far, are an Italian MB-339 military trainer, an Airbus A320, a Beechcraft King Air, and a Chance Vought Corsair...

With promises of nav aid support, and improved cockpit functionality, who knows, perhaps one day we'll be crossi...”


Fragment #2

(Offered for sale on eBay by resident of Rio Branco, Brazil, January 2014.)

“...he time Boney found him, he'd guzzled all the cognac, burnt down the barracks, and deflowered Ney's favourite mare!

Napoleonic Battles: Campaign Bautzen - John Tiller's latest slab of Nineteenth Century strategy, pretends this particular incident didn't happen, but does hexamine in detail most of the 1813 Spring Campaign battles that led up to it. Though half of the advertised 100 scenarios are head-to-head versions of solo battles, you're still getting a mountain of rigorously researched historical gaming for your $40.

Having already covered the climactic Autumn portion of the German Campaign in 2011 release Leipzig, (owners of which can play a campaign that straddles both games) a sizeable portion of Bautzen's bulk has been set aside for 1808-9 Finnish War scraps. The significance of amphibious landings and small shallow-water gunsloops in this Sweden vs. Russia conflict is doubtless what prompted Mr Tiller to add naval units to the series for this outing.



Fragment #3

(Discovered on a beach in Namibia, May, 2014)

“...of Usenet's War Historical are a tough crowd. Titles that top their annual Wargame of the Year poll have to work hard and please profoundly. This year's runaway gold medal winner - the dreadnoughty Steam and Iron - succeeded despite its lack of campaign play. That omission is to be addressed, in what looks likely to be fine style, in an imminent add-on.

The PC is no stranger to protracted Great War naval tussles, but this may well be the first time latter-day Jellicoes and Scheers have had the chance to contest the North Sea for the full four years of the war. Playing as the Kaiserliche Marine looks like it's going to be a struggle...

“you must whittle away at British strength by using mines and submarines and try to bring isolated parts of the British fleet to action until you can face the Grand Fleet on equal terms.... Your best chance is probably in 1915 as your new dreadnoughts of the König class become operational while the superdreadnoughts of the great British building programme are still on the stocks. Do not waste this chance through timidity and weak leadership as the Germans did historically. From 1916 on you will be massively outproduced by the British.”

After the add-on launches, the SAI design team will be plotting a course for the Russo-Japanese War (ETA: Summer) and WW2. With Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations also on the cards for 2013, it looks like it's going to be quite a year for wet warg...”


Fragment #4

(Glimpsed in the background of a Shining Path hostage video, July 2015)

“...nce spent an hour trying to explain to me why a recording of a misfiring M62 leaving Kievskiy vokzal had more musical merit than Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. If he was still around today, I know he'd be head-over-heels in love with ZDSimulator.

The unusually rigorous Ukrainian-made rail sim that lets you flick switches and turn knobs in engine compartments as well as cabs, has, at last, been translated into English. The translation isn't perfect, but tutorial mode key prompts mean waking and fixing enigmatic electric locos now doesn't involve hours of experimentation.

With 12 forms of motive power available, along with 20-mile stretches of two lines (Vyazma-Smolensk, Moscow-Kaluga), the demo provides excellent facilities for pre-purchase assessment.

In the unlikely event you find yourself on the fence ($15 for a sim this realistic, singular, and add-on rich seems very reasonable to me), I strongly recommend trying some night runs. Watching sleeping Russia rush past from the cab of a humming VL80, and fixing circuit faults by the light of a failing torch, the atmos...”


The Flare Path Foxer

Calibre calculators Elmar Bijlsma and Palindrome came within two gnat's whiskers of discovering the length of FP's haunted desk. Unfortunately, the gnat's whiskers in question were 11.7mm (Palindrome) and 16.8mm (Elmar) long, so last week's flair point remains under lock and key.

The pictured weapons:

* Japanese Type 92 Battalion Gun: 70mm
* British 17 Pdr: 76.2mm
* German 88mm Flak: 88mm
* German Mörser Karl: 600mm
* British 3.7 Inch AA: 94mm
* Soviet 203mm Howitzer: 203mm
* British Boys Anti-Tank Rifle: 14.3mm
* Italian Semovente 90/53: 90mm
* German 10.5cm LG40: 105mm
* US 75mm Pack Howitzer: 75mm

Total: 1415.5mm

To claim this week's prize - an FP flair point containing 0.4cm³ of genuine Peruvian fog - simply figure out the theme of the following collage.


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