As I’ve never played the evocatively titled “#410616_03v_Battleaxe_Fort_Capuzzo.scn” before and Panzer Battles: Battles of North Africa 1941 screenshots tend to be a bit beige/boring, the following image-festooned combat yarn is something of a gamble. I’m hoping whatever happens during the next few hours will prove that this suntanned grandson of the Campaign Series can deliver believable battlefield thrills almost as efficiently as the likes of Combat Mission and Graviteam Tactics but won’t be held wholly responsible if it doesn’t. By PBBoNA standards, ‘Fort Capuzzo’ is a rather parochial and brief affair. Classified as ‘regiment’ sized (Many of the game’s 115 scenarios are ‘division’ or ‘corps’ sized. A few, like the tutorial skirmish pictured above, are tiny ‘battalion’ scale scraps) and set to end the moment Turn 12 completes (Sadly, the series doesn’t do fuzzy … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: Capuzzo Counterpunch
The flare path
Thanks to money raised by the last Flare Path Funicular Fun Run, our somewhat neglected six-year-old Reading Room has recently gained a third wing. While the addition hasn’t brought the climb and turn rate improvements that some wags predicted, Joyce, the Chief Librarian, couldn’t be happier with the extra capacity. As she said to me this morning while surveying her new vacant tome tenements “We’re finally ready for Phase 2 – that second round of book suggestions we’ve always talked about.” For those who weren’t around when it opened, the Flare Path Reading Room is where you go when you’re looking for a ‘companion text’ – a book guaranteed to increase your understanding and enjoyment of a particular simulation or historical strategy game. It exists because developers of wargames and sims are often too busy or brassic to provide context, explain equipment, sketch characters, and immortalise the incidental. We … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: Phase 2
The Special Prize at this year’s foxerfest was guest editorship of Flare Path for a day. Winner Peter Arnott has chosen to use his 24 hours of authority to send this column to a locale it has never visited before. This week, in accordance with Peter’s wishes, I’ve been thinking about difficulty in computer wargames. Although the Difficulty Compact between historical wargame creator and historical wargame consumer is as binding as any end-user license agreement, you won’t find it printed in manuals or tickboxed on store pages. Indeed it’s so unwritten/unspoken that this might be the very first time it’s ever been blazoned in brazen black and white: – The Difficulty Compact – (i) I, the wargame creator, do hereby pledge that this game will permit the player to win more often than they lose. (ii) I, the wargame creator, do hereby pledge that this game will permit the player to lose more often than they … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: History or Victory?
The Flare Path turns seven this week. Here in the UK that means its base chance of spotting fairies decreases to 0.4%, and, in the event of it being arrested for murder or treason, it can no longer opt to be tried by a jury of stuffed toys and action figures. Growing up is a mixed blessing and no mistake. Unlike today’s competition-crammed column which is “100% benediction” according to the bloke I purchased it from in The Green Man yesterday night. In the moonlit glade beyond the break, six 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 strategy games and sims. Thanks to the generosity of 1CGS, Creoteam, and GOG.com, I’ve got 30 genuinely brilliant games to give away. Send me (timfstone at gmail dot com) the solutions to one or more of the following foxers by 11.00 GMT Sunday and by Monday you could be happily … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: A Filch of Foxers
Check Your Six! vs Panzer Strategy. In the ‘Battle of the Wargames Wot Have Hit Steam in the Past Week and Feature Hexagons and WW2 and Suchlike’ there can be only one, two, or zero winners. If you’re happy to adopt the role of Reader for the next five minutes, I’ll don the mantle of Critic and, using screenshots and conglomerations of letters arranged in sequence and separated with punctuation marks and spaces of varying lengths, liberally dust you with my novichok-strength opinions. In Panzer Strategy’s case, ‘Early Access’ is a euphemism for “precious-little content and the occasional crash”. Right now, £15.50 buys you a pretty, prone-to-freezes 3D Panzer General homage with one Spanish Civil War and one Fall Weiss scenario. Just enough substance to show that Starni know how to craft competent AI and predictable but entertaining missions, but are heartbreakingly conservative where play mechanisms are concerned. PS … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: Battle-Scarred