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Subject: Hex: The defining example of "minutes to learn, years to master" rss

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Ben G
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Hex is an abstract two-person board game independently designed by Piet Hein in 1942 and John Nash in 1947. Yes, you read that right, it was designed by two different mathematicians separately. The game was first marketed by Parker Brothers in 1952, where it would be first referred to as Hex.

SETUP
(Disclaimer: I have only played Hex using pencils/paper)

To play Hex all you need is a Hex board and a way to mark spaces on said board. An easy way to do this is to print out boards online and play using only pencils and paper.

Example 11x11 Board


Some players prefer to use differently sized boards, but for this review I will stick with the most commonly used board, the 11x11

GAMEPLAY

Hex's Rules are so simplistically easy you will likely feel like you have played the game before. Players rotate taking turns. On each player's turn, the mark any hexagon on the board their color. Play then moves to the second player, who also can play on any hexagon of their choice. Play continues in this way until one player connects their two sides together. This player has won the game!


Example of a completed game. Blue has achieved Victory!


VARIANTS

The most common variant of Hex is the move-swap rule. Hex has a clear first person advantage, and to mitigate that, the move swap rule was added. With the move swap rule, after the first player places their first move, the second player must choose whether or not they want to steal that move. If they choose not to steal the move, play resumes as normal and the second player may take their move. If they choose to steal the move, this second player becomes the color the first player was before, and the original first player now must take a move using the second player's color. Play resumes for the rest of the game as if the original second player has always been using the first players color. An important distinction with this rule is that it only applies to the first move of the game, and beyond that point it cannot be used.

Other variants include playing on a different board size for a unique playing experience, or playing with a chess clock to keep the pace of the game fast.

STRATEGY

Strategy is the key element in Hex. Going in depth into all of the strategy within this game would be impossible, but I will explain one key element. Bridging is one way to connect faster than one normally could do.



An example of bridging. In this case, blue has an assured connection from A to C because if red were to play on B, Blue could connect with D, and vice versa.


Bridging allows you to have an assured connection no matter what your opponent does. Using bridges to your advantage is essential to achieving victory in the game.

THEblankGOOD

Hex has incredibly simple rules that almost anybody can understand, yet maintains enough depth to create a legitimate competition between two skilled players. The game is short (games usually lasting under 20 minutes) which makes it a great filler on game days. Hex will also workout your brain in new ways, giving a new feeling to even the most experienced board gamers. Also, the cost to play the game is essentially the same as the cost to print out a board, so the game can be widely available to anybody wanting to play.

THEblankBAD

There is very little to complain about in Hex. The only complaints that can be said learning curve can be a bit steep for players wanting to get into competitive play and that game lengths can vary from game to game. That said, these are only minor complaints and affect the game very little.

Results

I am going to be honest, I am a bit biased in this review. Hex was one of my first board game loves, and I will cherish it forever. If you are a fan of abstract games, you need to give Hex a try. Again, the game is insanely deep for how simple it is. Because of the pure enjoyment I get from playing this game, and for the hours of my life spent playing it with friends, it is the only 10/10 I have currently ever ranked. Even if you feel like the game might not be for you, I encourage you give it a shot, and I hope you will be pleasantly surprised.

10/10

To those wanting to try the game out, you can play it for free on Board Game Arena: https://en.boardgamearena.com/#!gamepanel?game=hex


(P.S. This was my first ever review! If you have constructive criticism on how I could write better reviews in the future, I would love to hear it!)
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Russ Williams
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Hex certainly deserves its reputation as a modern classic!

Quote:
(P.S. This was my first ever review! If you have constructive criticism on how I could write better reviews in the future, I would love to hear it!)

Upload images to your personal gallery and then display them directly in the review (you can edit your original post to do so), rather than making readers click dodgy looking shortened off-site links to see the images.

Or at least directly display the off-site images, e.g.


(If you don't know how to do this, see Forum formatting and quote my post to see sample forum code.)
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John
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I agree with Russ, I don't know where a link goes when you use a url shorter and you don't really need to do it on BGG as you can do this instead:

example

The link is short but if I hover my mouse over it I can see where it goes and can decide for myself whether the url looks dubious. (Actually I though it was unlikely that you written a decent review of Hex just to post links to malware so I did click on one of your links but still...)
 
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Hex! I had no idea anyone else played that. I learned it in my middle school math club on pencil and paper. I used to have sheets photocopied and kept in my backpack at all times. My friend and I got super good at it but I haven't played in years (its been a long time since middle school). I wonder if I still remember all the different strategies we discovered...
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Ben G
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russ wrote:
Hex certainly deserves its reputation as a modern classic!

Quote:
(P.S. This was my first ever review! If you have constructive criticism on how I could write better reviews in the future, I would love to hear it!)

Upload images to your personal gallery and then display them directly in the review (you can edit your original post to do so), rather than making readers click dodgy looking shortened off-site links to see the images.

Or at least directly display the off-site images, e.g.


(If you don't know how to do this, see Forum formatting and quote my post to see sample forum code.)


I will edit my post to do this. I guess I forgot that sketchy links exist on the internet, and that people are rightfully trying to avoid them.

Thanks for your input!
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