Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 Hide
33 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Hex and Counter games rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Bill Lawson
United States
Rutland
Vermont
flag msg tools
Boston Redsox
badge
New England Patriots!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There have been discussions on all kinds of aspects of wargaming lately. How do you folks feel about hex and counter games? They are my personal favorite although Area and PtP are also fine with me.
4 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb



Big hexes with large, easy-to-read counters and crisp, clear rules... maybe.

Otherwise, not likely to hit the table unless I'm overcome by a wave of SPI nostalgia.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I most certainly prefer Hex games (counters, blocks, minis, all are fair), but I have to admit I have some reservations.

I feel Area games are actually more accurate at some scales - real units do not inhabit strictly-defined areas of ground, that's usually depicted by ZoC rules. Areas can be better definitions of control, since they should be bounded by actual limiting borders, be they physical or organisational. But that depends on the designer...

PtP games are really just area games in disguise - you can define an area of ground, or name the central point and define the paths in & out of it. I'm not so fond of those simply because that central point tends to cause stacking situations which area games tend to avoid.

My real problem is with games such as Babylon 5 Wars vs, A Call to Arms. When I started playtesting ACtA, I was still hankering after the tight control and simple mechanics of hex movement, like in B5W. But when I started playing a lot of ACtA, I realised I really liked the freedom and 'realism' of hexless movement. And yet still when I look at Heavy Gear Blitz! and various flight sims like Hunters in the Sky I think about converting them to hexes for simplicity...
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek Gillam
United Kingdom
Bridgwater
Somerset
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah-the only 'true' wargames!

The joy of a large map(s),many counter sheets,a large (incomplete/unfinished/errata free/insert your add here) rulebook.

The golden rule-the dice have nothing to do with movement(?)No unused MPs from turn to turn,ZOCs,SPI type Legalise.Many,many happy memories!

Got to be World in Flames,breathtaking when released,now groaning under umpteen editions/..in Flames expansions/Pre & Post WW2 options.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hex and Counter games have a very special place in a lot of wargamers hearts. There are a lot of new ideas around (or supposedly new) which give a lot of pleasure but Hex games are the only ones to make this gamer go glassy eyed.

Mike
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Sadler
United States
Olney
Maryland
flag msg tools
From the Halls of Montezuma...
badge
...to the Shores of Tripoli...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Long live Hex and Counter!
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Despite my being in the midst of a CDG buying craze, I suspect my heart will always be with the hex and counter style game. Some of them anyway!

That being said, I am excited about the new (for me) twists and turns the hobby is taking. It's refreshing.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
"L'├ętat, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
badge
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah, good old hex and counter. There will always have a warm spot in my heart for it.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
D T P
United States
Pikeville
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not just hex and counter. Lots of counters. Lots of hexes. And 5/8" hexes are ok, but I'd really rather have more playable map for less room. So I prefer 1/2" hexes.

Hell if they made a carpet of World in Flames or Scorched Earth complete with the hexes it would be on my floor!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Lawson
United States
Rutland
Vermont
flag msg tools
Boston Redsox
badge
New England Patriots!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I should have called this "Hex and Counter Gamers Sound Off"!
Simply the best!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
billyboy wrote:
I should have called this "Hex and Counter Gamers Sound Off"!
Simply the best!

Well, the existing title is unlikely to attract those who dislike them, after all...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like the large hexes so I can use the counter clips when playing it. Love hex & counters games.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew C
United States
San Marcos
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hex and counter games are still my favorite overall - the mechanic allows for play at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.


This is not to say I like or play ONLY hex and counter games. I also really like:

d10-1 Block games for their tactile feel, fog of war, and multi- step reduction.

d10-2 CDG's for the color and history they so easily integrate

d10-3 Area games for their relative simplicity.

d10-4 Simpler, more abstract games like Commands & Colors: Ancients, Manoeuvre, for their approachability.

d10-5 Ameritrash for non wargame themes, to play in groups, and to play with my sons.

d10-6 Miniatures games, like Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea and Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie for their visual appeal (and again, to play with my sons).

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There's nothing wrong with hex and counter games as long as they have straightforward rules. If they take a whole day to play (or more), they aren't likely to hit my table.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kurt Weihs
United States
Tacoma
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love hex and counter games.

...But...

I recognize there are issues with them.

1. Lots of prep time. You have to read and be familiar with the rules before the game. To get a good play you can't just sit down and have someone walk you through how to play. Honestly, how many times do most people get to play a game to the point where they are reasonably competent with the rules? I'm lucky if I can get 5 plays out of the same hex and counter game.
2. Control - most hex and counter games allow the player to have an unrealistic sense of control over the battlefield. True, there are games with command systems that help model fog of war but most hex and counter players find these rules annoying. They prefer the omnipotance.
3. Did I mention lots of prep time? We played Gustav Adolphus a few weeks back (Breitenfeld) and I think the set up took over half an hour. Take-down time is also a pain. Between reading the rules (and re-reading the Musket and Pike Series rules for the fifth or sixth time), taking 35 minutes to set it up and an equal amount of time to take it down I've spent close to 3 hours just getting to where I can play the game. It was fun, but not everyone enjoys or has that amount of time to devote to a game.
4. I have a much harder time coming up with one opponent for hex and counter play than I do finding 6 players for a point-2-point card driven game.

Things that make it easier to find opponents are if the game is a series and happens to model a popular period such as WW2. Musket and Pike is a series game but finding people in my neck of the woods who want to invest any time on the 30 Years War is nigh impossible. Pretty much any period other than WW2 is going to be tough actually. So, ASL or CC:E make for playable games. Under the Lily Banners...not so much.
On the other hand if I trot out Here I Stand I have no problem tracking down at least 4 players that want to play.

Recently, I've seen some people claim that people today don't have the intelligence to play these games. I don't think it's an intelligence issue. It's an interest issue. People just don't have the time or the interest level that they did in the 1980's to play these.
8 
 Thumb up
0.27
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
All pretty much true in the above post, but there are some situations/scope that I can't get any other way.

Item 2 was very true back in the olden golden days, but not today.

GBACW and games of its 'type', the Grand Tactical ranged fire type, require hexes and chits.

Recent acquisitions include several OSG games and Clash of Arms 'Battles in the Age of Reason' titles, and though I have not yet played them (boy, have we been sucked into CDGs), I sure do look forward to playing them.

Ya know, I would have to say the number one reason I play more CDGs than most anything else today is because of the incredible luck in finding wargamers around here. It is normal for us to have at least four players at least every Saturday, and we find multi player games to be very interesting and fun to play.

If I was in a situation of solitaire or just having one guy to play with, it probably be all hex and chit.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ernest Schubert
United States
Polk Township
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Most of my games are hex and counter, but then I guess that most games from 'my day' were anyway. I tend to gravitate towards hex and counter... maybe because that's the style that I learned on...

That said, two of my favorite games - A House Divided and Victory in the Pacific... are NOT hex and counter games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Wilhammer wrote:

....If I was in a situation of solitaire or just having one guy to play with, it probably be all hex and chit.


Bingo! Well, close to my experience.

If I am playing solo, it is pretty much a gimme that it is a hex and counter (especially since playing solo with many other "types" of games is often not possible/satisfying). Probably a monster too. It is only with the advent of the internet and discovering VASSAL that I have played hex and counter games with an opponent with few exceptions. As an example, Bill just whupped me in a game of RSR recently.

If I am at the monthly club meeting and/or playing with a group, then chances are it is something quicker and most likely a block game, C&C:A or a multiplayer CDG.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I'm pretty heavily 'biased' in favour of hex / counter, although other alternatives are 'occasionally' acceptable.

I even acknowledge that area and p-t-p have their 'advantages'. P-t-p can more easily account for 'logistical constraints', although it is also often 'abused' so as to 'script' historical lines of advance and battle locations. Area can more accurately simulate effective 'areas of control', at least where we're not in a situation with long stretches of parallel opposing 'frontlines'. However, the actual 'application' of such can reduce the possibilites for effective 'manoeuvre' and simply leave opposing forces with no option other than to take on each other 'head-to-head'.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Hughes
Australia
Northbridge
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have two different hobbies, which are connected.

Hobby 1 is to pore over and sometimes play "games" which make serious attempts to illuminate and model aspects of military history. The vast majority of these are hex and counter, and include some of my most cherished games, such as La Bataille d'Austerlitz, Streets of Stalingrad, Winter Storm, Wellington's Victory and Napoeon at Bay.

Hobby 2 is to play games, usually with a military theme, which are fun, fast(ish) and popular. These are often CDGs, though I would include ASL in this group.

The dividing line is not fixed; the same companies make games in both groups; the same people are my opponents in both groups.

None the less, it's two hobbies, and I look for different characteristics in each category.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
Scotty Dave wrote:
I have two different hobbies, which are connected.

Hobby 1 is to pore over and sometimes play "games" which make serious attempts to illuminate and model aspects of military history. The vast majority of these are hex and counter, and include some of my most cherished games, such as La Bataille d'Austerlitz, Streets of Stalingrad, Winter Storm, Wellington's Victory and Napoeon at Bay.

Hobby 2 is to play games, usually with a military theme, which are fun, fast(ish) and popular. These are often CDGs, though I would include ASL in this group.

The dividing line is not fixed; the same companies make games in both groups; the same people are my opponents in both groups.

None the less, it's two hobbies, and I look for different characteristics in each category.


That is a great way of looking at it - very similar to mine.

Some wargames are for serious scholarly simming, and some are for easy to get into gaming.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Wilhammer wrote:
Scotty Dave wrote:
I have two different hobbies, which are connected.

Hobby 1 is to pore over and sometimes play "games" which make serious attempts to illuminate and model aspects of military history. The vast majority of these are hex and counter, and include some of my most cherished games, such as La Bataille d'Austerlitz, Streets of Stalingrad, Winter Storm, Wellington's Victory and Napoeon at Bay.

Hobby 2 is to play games, usually with a military theme, which are fun, fast(ish) and popular. These are often CDGs, though I would include ASL in this group.

The dividing line is not fixed; the same companies make games in both groups; the same people are my opponents in both groups.

None the less, it's two hobbies, and I look for different characteristics in each category.


That is a great way of looking at it - very similar to mine.

Some wargames are for serious scholarly simming, and some are for easy to get into gaming.


This is exactly the way I am seeing things these days too.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Barnett-Lewis
United States
Hayward
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Scotty Dave wrote:
I have two different hobbies, which are connected.

(snippage)

None the less, it's two hobbies, and I look for different characteristics in each category.


I agree, it's just that I prefer Hex & Counter for both
Something heavier like ASL or lighter like AVL, just give me hexes and counters. I can live with chits, cards can be tolerated, heck, I'll even let you have the little plastic toys, but don't mess with my map. devil
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald Wilbur III
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like hex and counter, area, and point to point. There was a time when hex and counter was used where area or point to point would have been better choices. That was followed by an era where everything HAD to be area or point to point even if hex and counter would have made more sense.

Fortunately, I think game designers are more likely to use appropriate tools for the job these days. I love a good map of any design.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Lawson
United States
Rutland
Vermont
flag msg tools
Boston Redsox
badge
New England Patriots!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gilesclone wrote:
I like hex and counter, area, and point to point. There was a time when hex and counter was used where area or point to point would have been better choices. That was followed by an era where everything HAD to be area or point to point even if hex and counter would have made more sense.

Fortunately, I think game designers are more likely to use appropriate tools for the job these days. I love a good map of any design.



I just started playtesting a new Ted Racier CDG Stalin's War. A CDG with a hex map.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.