Monday, November 9, 2009

To Hex or Not to Hex?

So I find myself wondering, should I use hexes in my MutantBox ?

Hexes make lots of sense for wargames when you have two players competing over large areas and regulating movement to be as fast as possible without having to fall back on using rulers to measure distance.

Directions with hexes aren't very organic, depending on alignment of the hexes relative to north and south you have: North, Northeast, Southeast, South, Southwest and North West or East, Northeast, Southeast, West, Southwest and North West; in both cases you are losing a cardinal direction.

Hexes work when numbered for placing of encounters and features but again it's a short hand and not absolutely ideal. Dots (or other symbols) on an un-ruled map with an index code would function just fine and some features could be less then a hex apart from each other. A numbered grid would also work just fine, it's also pretty easy to use coordinates listed om the map edge with a grid and not fill a map with numbers as one often sees with hex maps that are so keyed.

Hexes for regulating movement seems nice and simple and is if one doesn't worry too much. movement is usually factored for the hex being entered (if moving into a mountain hex yuo pay the cost for the mountain terrain to enter that hex) but it doesn't consider how far one enters the hex or how easy it is to get from one hex to the other. Possibly figuring out the cost to cross the border from one hex to another based on the nature of each hex is the way to go?

Subdivingor reducing hexes for smaller scale details can be a pain. Often detail scale hex maps align 90 degrees to the larger scale hex map they are detailing, I find this annoying in the extreme. Also if one has a 24 mile hex (for example) is it measuring from center to center, edge to edge or point to point, it doesn't' matter too much on the large scale but when zooming in for a smaller scale detail map it makes a difference.

So hmmmm... to hex or not to hex, that is the question?

1 comment:

  1. I've always felt the same way. Hexes give you six directions. And since most maps have a "flat" side facing north and south, your other four sides face NE, SE, NW, SW. Never made much sense to me. I usually use square graphs for my outdoors maps just for ease of use. Perhaps someone will one day come up with an octogon graph paper which would give us all 8 compass point directions.