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Subject: Why not Octagons? rss

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James
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Just out of curiosity, why do most, if not all, board games use hexes instead of octagons? Wouldn't octagons provide more options and yet maintain the same size as hexes?
 
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Carc >> BSG
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Octagons leave square-shaped gaps. Hexes leave no gaps. Octagons are functionaly the same as a square grid.
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Daniel Danzer
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You can fill the plane only with triangles, squares, five-sided pieces (but not "regular") and hexes.
If with octagons you will have spare squares in between.

That`s why.

Octagons are rather used for decorative reasons:


Or, if the squares have "less to do" than the octagons:


There are no games I know using five-sided tiles to fill the space, although their options are quite nice.
Here you see, how many "adjacent" spaces each space has (number and tone of grey) and the ways a "pawn" could go to adjacent spaces.

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Nick Fisk
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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Ease of use.

You can put hexagons together without any gaps like this:




With octagons, you have gaps which you have to fill with squares:




N.


Edit: Doh! Waaaaaay too slow
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Paul DeStefano
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Octagons do not nestle (tesselate) properly. Hexes are the most efficient form.

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Trent Hamm
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At some point, I swear I've seen a tile-laying game that had octagons with a square-shaped appendage on them. I recall that it had something to do with islands and bridges and was a "best path" game, where you had to make it across the board using only the bridges and you could either move or play an octagon each turn. These shapes fit together perfectly, as I recall.
 
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Håkan König
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Actually irregular shaped octagons will fill a board completely (except along the sides)



















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Daniel Danzer
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I picked the question up and ask: Why not five-sided spaces?:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4032876
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Paul DeStefano
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hakko504 wrote:
Actually irregular shaped octagons will fill a board completely (except along the sides)






















Now look at the regular shapes you created. Each box surrounded by 6 neighbors. Its a staggerbrick layout.

...those are hexes...
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Paul DeStefano
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duchamp wrote:
I picked the question up and ask: Why not five-sided spaces?:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4032876


That would be OK for an abstract, but not for something like a wargame where distances are supposedly equivalent.
 
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Håkan König
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Geosphere wrote:
hakko504 wrote:
Actually irregular shaped octagons will fill a board completely (except along the sides)






















Now look at the regular shapes you created. Each box surrounded by 6 neighbors. Its a staggerbrick layout.

...those are hexes...
D***, you're right. It's a hexagonal pattern created by octogonal pieces. Well, I suppose that is another proof that you can't create an octogonal pattern of equally shaped octagons that will make a board without holes in it.
 
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Martin Gallo
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Many years ago I started to design an air combat game with a combination of octagons and squares. There were different flight point costs for each shape and the a/c were not 'allowed' to change direction in a square.

It was a mess. The movement rules were too complicated to be fun, and the lack of consistent scale made the game play 'funny'.

I then tried it with a set of man to man combat rules. Same problems with complications. There were separate facing rules for each shape.

Hexes just work better. Yes there are some 'line' issues, depending on how the grid is laid out for the battle, easily resolved with good design choices. You can use a square grid with not much loss of accuracy, but most people are not comfortable with different MP costs for straight/diagonal moves, despite it 'looking more natural'.
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This question is for the bees.
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Robert Gormley
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In addition to the discussion of tesselation (great word!), hexes also have a "nap", a "grain" which I believe wargames use in their design. Unlike squares, where it is just as easy to go horizontally or vertically, it is easier to travel in one direction with hexes than the others - that is, it is easier to travel with the edge of the hexes rather than along the points, as it requires twice as many moves to go along the points.

Octagons would allow easy travel to the cardinal points (N, S, E & W), but would require harder/longer movement along the intermediate points. Like a square board where diagonal moves aren't permitted, so the only advantage would be where the interstital square spaces could be used to provide an alternative route to travelling, for example, East then North. Some of the examples above do make use of these square spaces.
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Daniel Danzer
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Geosphere wrote:
duchamp wrote:
I picked the question up and ask: Why not five-sided spaces?:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4032876


That would be OK for an abstract, but not for something like a wargame where distances are supposedly equivalent.


Good point - the distances are in fact a bit different. But many wargames or other games have boards without any regular grid at all - and I mean, Bonaparte at Marengo doesn`t has equal distances from point to point either, does it?
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Jason Arvey
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trenttsd wrote:
At some point, I swear I've seen a tile-laying game that had octagons with a square-shaped appendage on them. I recall that it had something to do with islands and bridges and was a "best path" game, where you had to make it across the board using only the bridges and you could either move or play an octagon each turn. These shapes fit together perfectly, as I recall.


I just saw this too... I think it's one of the new Nestorgames.
 
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Ben Delp
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Didn't the revised core rules for MMP/Gamers' Napoleonic Brigade Series change to hex-point facing? Haven't played with the new ruleset yet, and it's been a while since I read it. If so, it would seem to make for an awkward, staggered forward march (sort of like footprints).
 
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Paul DeStefano
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duchamp wrote:
Bonaparte at Marengo doesn`t has equal distances from point to point either, does it?


In Time To Travel, yes.

There are several games that have irregular spaces to eliminate movement point rules. Distance and terrain are figured to equal some amount of time to travel. So a road space may be huge, but a swamp space tiny. If you have 3 movement points and swamps take 3 points to enter, and road 1/2 point, just make the road 6 times larger and eliminate the movement point rules.
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David Pontier
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Another reason to use hexes (or perhaps the same reason only stated differently) is because they are closer to mathematical reality. See the picture below.

Using hexes give you a lot of 30/60 degree right triangles. With this triangle, the short leg should be half of the hypotenuse, and in this case it is (3 to 6). The longer leg should be 0.866 of the hypotenuse, which should be about 5.2, and in the example above is 5. Using the Pythagorean Theorem (A^2 + B^2 = C^2) you get 9 + 25 = 34. The square root of 34 is 5.8, which is very nearly 6.

For the Octagons, you can already see that all sides of the triangle are equal in length. With two sides of the 45 degree triangle at 5, the hypotenuse should be 7.1. If you decide to use the small squares in between, then it becomes 9. This provides for very unbalanced movement when going in the diagonal.
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Robert Wesley
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You can also use 'staggered squares' in a HEXAGON pattern. cool
















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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Geosphere wrote:
duchamp wrote:
I picked the question up and ask: Why not five-sided spaces?:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4032876


That would be OK for an abstract, but not for something like a wargame where distances are supposedly equivalent.


Supposedly is right. Wargames with hexes sometimes skew distances, too. In The Russian Campaign, hexes at the west edge of the map represent smaller areas than those at the east edge of the map.
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Piqsid wrote:
Another reason to use hexes (or perhaps the same reason only stated differently) is because they are closer to mathematical reality. See the picture below.

...For the Octagons, you can already see that all sides of the triangle are equal in length. With two sides of the 45 degree triangle at 5, the hypotenuse should be 7.1. If you decide to use the small squares in between, then it becomes 9. This provides for very unbalanced movement when going in the diagonal.


Why not give those squares, a distance value more representative of their distance across? Say .5 (1/2)? Then the distance along the hypotenuse becomes 7, which is close enough to 7.1 for a game. Even a wargame, I daresay.
 
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Josiah Miller
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Because "Oct and Counter" doesn't have the same ring to it?
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Hexes are LIFE:

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Alan Monroe
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Keythedral kind of does this.
 
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