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Kingdom Death: Monster» Forums » General

Subject: Random musings: why not hexes? rss

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Martin Welnicki
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Hold your horses, it's just a fun hypothetical question/topic

So, why do you think Poots & Co. decided to stick with squares when it came to designing the board? Is there a specific reason? Are there some rules that would not work with hexes? Are hexes considered 'too geeky/wargamey'? The miniature bases are round, so they are a non-factor. Is it the terrain tokens? There are several situations where hexes would work better, like 'diagonal' movement', move viable pounces etc. Is this just a stylistic/artistic choice or are there some advantages of square spaces/disadvantages of hexes I can't think of right now?

 
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Drake Coker
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There's very little magic in KD... "hexes" would be out of place
 
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Sid Rain
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I think usually hexes are used in zoomed-out World maps when used in RPGs, whereas when you get into the tactical portion it usually goes to a grid w squares. It's just always been the convention that I've seen. It's also a bit easier to tile things if using multiple map tiles to construct a dungeon (though games like Mage Knight handle this quite nicely even with hexes). With hexes it takes a little bit more work to get things to tile.

It can also make a difference when you start talking about larger creatures and it's likely easier to handle movement with large creatures. Imagine moving the Dragon with a square grid. Relatively easy to move in straight lines and diagonally, right? Now try to imagine moving that big dragon across multiple hexes and, depending on how the base sits, it may not fit well in every configuration of hexes that it moves into.
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Nick Wirtz
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I've done a fair bit of gaming and a few advantages/disadvantages...

reasonable movement: the old D&D diagonal costing alternating 1-2-1-2 is remarkably close to accurate; hexes allow similar flexibility though occasionally have wiggly lines, this isn't much different than grid diagonals

representation of space: grids make rooms way better; hexes work well for just about anything organic

printing/cutting: hexes are harder to make cuts for than rectangles


personally, I think that hexes would have been better, too, but about all I can think of is that it's marginally more complex to work with effectively 3 axes instead of 2, it's a personal preference (it's pretty clear he likes oldskool games like WHQ) or that there are advantages to restricting straight line movement more heavily (easier for players to plan around, etc.)
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Martin Welnicki
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paddirn wrote:
I think usually hexes are used in zoomed-out World maps when used in RPGs, whereas when you get into the tactical portion it usually goes to a grid w squares. It's just always been the convention that I've seen. It's also a bit easier to tile things if using multiple map tiles to construct a dungeon (though games like Mage Knight handle this quite nicely even with hexes). With hexes it takes a little bit more work to get things to tile.

It can also make a difference when you start talking about larger creatures and it's likely easier to handle movement with large creatures. Imagine moving the Dragon with a square grid. Relatively easy to move in straight lines and diagonally, right? Now try to imagine moving that big dragon across multiple hexes and, depending on how the base sits, it may not fit well in every configuration of hexes that it moves into.


All fair points, I suppose, tradition is a strong factor and the Dragon King example is quite compelling, though I always wonder at the discrepancy: KD:M aims for ‘realistic’ combat, i.e. positioning, blind spots, fields of view, lines of sight etc. but fumbles when it comes to diagonal movement and shooting. I know why the rules restrict diagonal movement (the distance is not equal), but in doing so create a lot of abstract situations. This creates an interesting, though sometimes jarring dichotomy of being at once a simulation and an abstract chess-like game.

Do you think the Dark Souls board games strives for faux-hexes to both have its cake and it eat?

Styfen wrote:
used squares also.

In addition, you'll notice that diagonal movement is disallowed, that's because moving solely in orthogonal directions is easier for certain AI types/cards.

If you want an example of how complicated it can get, take a look at the rules for the Dung Beetle Ball, which moves in an angled fashion (more complicated than diagonals it's true, but it gives you an idea of what might have happened if the game was on hexes, it's messy).

Base sizes are a factor as well.


Yeah, I though about this question when reading the Dung Beetle Ball rules (and also thinking about pounce etc.), as I though it could be done more eleganlty with hexes.

spiralingcadaver wrote:
I've done a fair bit of gaming and a few advantages/disadvantages...

reasonable movement: the old D&D diagonal costing alternating 1-2-1-2 is remarkably close to accurate; hexes allow similar flexibility though occasionally have wiggly lines, this isn't much different than grid diagonals

representation of space: grids make rooms way better; hexes work well for just about anything organic

printing/cutting: hexes are harder to make cuts for than rectangles


personally, I think that hexes would have been better, too, but about all I can think of is that it's marginally more complex to work with effectively 3 axes instead of 2, it's a personal preference (it's pretty clear he likes oldskool games like WHQ) or that there are advantages to restricting straight line movement more heavily (easier for players to plan around, etc.)


It's true that the square grid w/o diagonal movement limits player options and makes for a lot less decision making, while the 1-2-1-2 rules are quite accurate, but for my tastes too 'fiddly', you don't want players to do mathematical equations, and it would be a headache to determine the closes diagonal threat this way.

I'd just much prefer some kind of a hybrid system for shooting, pouncing, the Ball etc. Hmm.
 
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Nick Wirtz
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Hmm, I know someone with a big-ish hex board. I might see what KD feels like, on a hex setup.

Re: unusual setups for movement, I think that sort of thing is great, as long as it doesn't involve different amounts of space you occupy- it's pretty nice in WHQ:ST, and was one of the more enjoyable bits of Tannhauser (a game I didn't end up liking all that much), but I think it works much better for slightly variable distances rather than with variable sizes (KD's monsters; terrain)
 
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Zen Man
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Um, you can't really prevent diagonally play with hexes (survivors are unable to move diagonally)? I think this is the reason why?
 
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Martin Welnicki
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Zenman12 wrote:
Um, you can't really prevent diagonally play with hexes (survivors are unable to move diagonally)? I think this is the reason why?


Well... yeah. But I suspect the no-diagonal rule is enforced because diagonal and orthogonal are not equidistant in a square grid. A hex grid doesn't have this problem.

And I know that NOW KD:M may not be suited/balanced for hexes; this thread is about why one way was chosen and not the other.

Interestingly enough, Warhammer Quest, mentioned by fen as a spiritual predecessor (I agree) of KD:M, allows for diagonal movement on a square grid.

spiralingcadaver wrote:
Hmm, I know someone with a big-ish hex board. I might see what KD feels like, on a hex setup.

Re: unusual setups for movement, I think that sort of thing is great, as long as it doesn't involve different amounts of space you occupy- it's pretty nice in WHQ:ST, and was one of the more enjoyable bits of Tannhauser (a game I didn't end up liking all that much), but I think it works much better for slightly variable distances rather than with variable sizes (KD's monsters; terrain)


I would be very interested in your opinions after a test on a hex grid.

I think Sid may have hit the nail on the head with that Dragon King example, though I believe this could be remedied by making miniature bases with indentations to mark cardinal directions for movement.

How do Silver Tower's rules handle this (can't find them online)?
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Nick Wirtz
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Silver Tower is free-form, any adjacent square is valid movement. In regular rooms, this is a regular grid, but sometimes there are narrow passages, caves, etc., where the placement isn't in a line, so you can have weird things where a room that occupies 3x6 might do something like have 3 at both ends, but have a winding, 6 square bottleneck between them, but still line up on the over-all grid, or where there are parts of rooms that are offset so that section effectively functions like a hex grid.
 
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Martin Welnicki
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spiralingcadaver wrote:
Silver Tower is free-form, any adjacent square is valid movement. In regular rooms, this is a regular grid, but sometimes there are narrow passages, caves, etc., where the placement isn't in a line, so you can have weird things where a room that occupies 3x6 might do something like have 3 at both ends, but have a winding, 6 square bottleneck between them, but still line up on the over-all grid, or where there are parts of rooms that are offset so that section effectively functions like a hex grid.


So a bit like Mice and Mystics. As you said, this would be a pain with large scale miniatures though... But some bits of terrain on a KD:M map that act as effective shortcuts might be interesting (on a side note, the terrain tiles, like Giant Stone Face don't have spaces on them, but per their cards you still move on them as if they had, right?)
 
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sam newman

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Probably due to the way the AI works, if there were more directions an enemy could travel in (more sides means more directions of travel) then
there would be more issues that would arise when deciding what the AI should do.
 
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