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Subject: Hex or Square? rss

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Mark Iradian
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Currently designing a game I've had in mind for a while. To keep it brief, it's a FPS in board game form that borrows some elements from Heroscape and a resource system that allows you to do dodge attacks, move faster, fire more often on your turn, etc.

I've already had the combat system done and even the cards already done. However, I need to create a map.

I'm still debating if I want to do modular or not. Issue I have with modular is the way I tend to design the maps have to follow a specific formula (e.g. a strong item doesn't have much around it, while a "weaker" item has numerous small items to help out the player)

However, the biggest issue for me is whether or not I should go Hex or Square spaces for the map itself. I like Hexagon because it makes LOS easier, but Square seems to allow more bigger maps. I was even thinking of a Tannhauser style but then I realized Tannhauser maps are pretty small.

There is range in the game and if I was going to do Square spaces, there would be movement up, down, left, right, but no diagonal.

If you were playing a miniature skirmish game, which would you prefer?
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Mike Esko
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Tanhauser would actually be a great way to set up a game board for fps. You can make the spaces a little smaller and maybe roll for different areas in the room. Different spaces can be color coded for offe sive defensive and normal places. Then the color coded rings could increase or decrease certain attributes. This would make it more tactical. For example if your in the corner of a dark room, maybe that adds to defense due to stealth.
 
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Michael Barlow
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Have you taken a look at this?

http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~warden/portable_wargame/index...
http://balagan.info/boards-for-the-portable-wargame-rules

Big fan of Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Why not the best of both worlds? The HexaSquare! devil



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Dennis Gadgaard
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Polymorphic hexaflexagon map? No, that's probably just silly
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John "Omega" Williams
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Now we just need a FlexaHexaSquaragon!
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Devious Devices
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Line of sight is the first property that comes to mind when I here FPS. A Hex or "Tannhauser-styled" map would cater best to this. You could also keep the game modular by creating large Tannhauser-esque hexes that can be arranged in different ways to create different arenas or maps and eliminate the need for a traditional square board.
 
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S Hilliard
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LoS is the first thing that came to my mind, too. But I think that as long as the rules are consistent, I don't think that hex vs. square makes a big difference. There's a variety of permutations (center to center, any corner to any corner, edges count, edges don't count, etc.)
The next thing that comes to mind is replicating the environment, what the board represents. FPS makes me think of an urban environment (maybe your idea is different), and I'm going to have a hard time buying into 60 degree hallways.
How do you want the gameplay to resolve? For example, the act of taking cover behind a corner, popping out, shooting, then returning to cover, something that's a staple to FPS action.
 
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Derek H
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Omega2064 wrote:
Why not the best of both worlds? The HexaSquare! devil

AKA "the worst of both worlds" shake
 
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Jake Staines
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gamesbook wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
Why not the best of both worlds? The HexaSquare! devil

AKA "the worst of both worlds" shake


Realistically, that layout is as good as hexagons for all the mechanical things that hexagons are good at, but with two extra properties:

- It doesn't look as nice
- Square or rectangular counters fit perfectly within the spaces rather than hanging a bit over the angled edges.
 
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Mohammad Hasan Jamei
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I think this is a paradox, you want two different types of spaces on one board. This can not be done until you define different areas on the board specific for weak or strong items. I mean the spaces can not change during the play, so you may show differences between strong and weak items by another criterion.
Another way is also present. My solution is that you can make your board with both hex and squar simultaneouslye, i.e you for example make pieces in square shape, but also you can see the lines of hex drawn on it. But designing such pieces is not easy.
 
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Linus Glenhaber
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I have a theory that might be wrong that hexes are used for more war games such as memoir '44 (and catan), and squares are used for more building game.
 
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Egor Kaparulin
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Hi Mark!
As I can get your idea, you want to make a FPS-likeboard game, right?
As you mighthave understood it's really unlikely to port a real-time computer game to the table. I think you should go another way: try to capture the SPIRIT of the game and bring in to the board.
If we look down on FPS and try to get the essentials we get:
1. Exploration of the map
2. Little resource management (usually ammo and health only)
3. Not a huge variation of enemies (a few types per map)
4. Secret areas / occasional puzzles
5. Not many actions avaliable: move, shoot, activate
This all brings us to conclusion: provide the type of tiles that would be the most simple to your game and make focus on other important details. I think squares are the best as they allow the proper corridors, walls and areas design. With squares it's also a bit easier to simulate secret ares (Quake-like) and implement puzzle like moments.
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Nemo Outis
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I've just recently been playing a video game XCOM Enemy Unknown. You might want to take a look at its gameplay. It uses squares for what that's worth, but it's a turn based shooter. Main difference from FPS is that it's squad based. It does though really have that kind of shooter flavor that you're going for but is already turn based.

Obviously it would be difficult to have a turn where you don't see what the enemy is doing- but the ideas of cover (half and full) modifying hit chance, line of fire, move twice or move once and shoot, might be useful to you.

Other thing to think about- with square tesselation and diagonal movement- there are 8 directions of movement from a given square. With Hexagons you have 6. Hexes make a bit more intuitive sense - center to center travel seems more fair. But squares open more options with movement and if you're scrabbling for cover squares might be better.


 
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Kyle Carter
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Due to what you are saying,you probably want squares. Why you may ask.
1. Familiarity: aside from dnd being a huge grid based game, it is something that people know Ina. Skirmish ing type of game. This further extends into a game already mentioned that is like a board game on pc that many people have played, x-com and also shadowrun.
2. The type of game: as mentioned before many skirmish or character based games are usually square. Hexegons are used when one of two things happen, or both. The first is that multiple things are happening in a sector. So if the would be square or he has at least three things in it that the player is doing or able to interact with, then go square. Secondly, is the game in a constant state of expansion or supposed to have that feel? Normal hexes are not what we are used to. We deal with grids far more regularly. So when dealing with a he system, it is not as easy to mentally grasp at times and is somewhat annoying unless it need the space or has a sense of wonder. Yes a square can take up a space that is about the same but a he just looks bigger!
3. Directions: in your game you have up down etc. This is a ridged and nice system akin to traditional square systems. Hexes... anything happens it seems. Everything comes at you or you can come at anything, and can be a generation of excitement! But only if your game is sooooo fast paced that players are meant to seem a bit overwhelmed. A little bit of overwhelmed can be. A good thing, just make sure it is never too much.
 
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jay
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My personal preference is usually hexes. It makes movement so much cleaner, line of sight really isn't an issue for me either way. I do disagree that squares allow for larger maps. After playing Imperial Assault, I really like squares for the tight map and allowing diagonal movement.

I tie this into my RPG background. Hexes open up a lot of possibilities on open areas and squares work better in dungeons and are way less confusing("is this half hex a space, does it block LOS").

I will state for the record that my preferred method for movement is a tape measure and a laser level. X-wing does a fantastic Job of bringing down the level of entry for miniature wargaming.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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I agree with Jay. Take away the grid. Use a tape measure or a ruler or a laser beam.

 
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Mark,

I kinda like the HexaSquare, but maybe that's because I was pulled in by the pretty picture. Have you considered it?

Edit to correct hexasquare to HexaSquare.
 
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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After thinking about this some more, I think the main question should be: do you place any cards on the grid or just miniatures? If you place cards, making square cards is much cheaper than hexagonal cards (unless you find a printer who already has the correct-sized hex die).
 
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Benjamin Morgan
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khorin wrote:
Hi Mark!
As I can get your idea, you want to make a FPS-likeboard game, right?
As you mighthave understood it's really unlikely to port a real-time computer game to the table. I think you should go another way: try to capture the SPIRIT of the game and bring in to the board.
If we look down on FPS and try to get the essentials we get:
1. Exploration of the map
2. Little resource management (usually ammo and health only)
3. Not a huge variation of enemies (a few types per map)
4. Secret areas / occasional puzzles
5. Not many actions avaliable: move, shoot, activate
This all brings us to conclusion: provide the type of tiles that would be the most simple to your game and make focus on other important details. I think squares are the best as they allow the proper corridors, walls and areas design. With squares it's also a bit easier to simulate secret ares (Quake-like) and implement puzzle like moments.


Similar to what Khorin said, you need to determine what's most important. Hexes allow for more freedom of movement as you don't need to move two tiles to move diagonally. However, as others have pointed out, squares might fit more into the theme of a city grid or building hallways, but are more constraining.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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MarkyX wrote:
Currently designing a game I've had in mind for a while. To keep it brief, it's a FPS in board game form that borrows some elements from Heroscape and a resource system that allows you to do dodge attacks, move faster, fire more often on your turn, etc.

I've already had the combat system done and even the cards already done. However, I need to create a map.

I'm still debating if I want to do modular or not. Issue I have with modular is the way I tend to design the maps have to follow a specific formula (e.g. a strong item doesn't have much around it, while a "weaker" item has numerous small items to help out the player)

However, the biggest issue for me is whether or not I should go Hex or Square spaces for the map itself. I like Hexagon because it makes LOS easier, but Square seems to allow more bigger maps. I was even thinking of a Tannhauser style but then I realized Tannhauser maps are pretty small.

There is range in the game and if I was going to do Square spaces, there would be movement up, down, left, right, but no diagonal.

If you were playing a miniature skirmish game, which would you prefer?


Well, okay. if it's between squares or hexes, and there is ranged combat, Hex grid wins for me, hands down.
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