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Subject: Hexes Pointy or Flat? rss

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Tom Russell
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Poll
With hex-and-counter (and other hex-based games), do you prefer vertical (flat side up) or horizontal (pointy side up) hexes?
Vertical, but I have no problem with horizontal.
Vertical, and horizontal is weird.
Horizontal, but I have no problem with vertical.
Horizontal, and vertical is weird.
It depends on ZOC rules and along which axises my units are deployed.
I don't really care.
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Poll created by tomrussell
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Wulf Corbett
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Surely there's a missing option "It depends what way up I place the map"...
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Lance Runolfsson
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It is easier to attack along going with the flats. Easier to defend along the points. So if I was intellectually honest squares are actually better than hexagons. Though they require a little more in the movement rules to make sense. But darn it I've been playing on hexagons for almost 40 years and I'm too old to change.
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Confusion Under Fire
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When playing a game I don't think I really notice which way the hexes are orientated even though it may have an effect on the gameplay.

When map making or creating a scenario etc I prefer to have pointy sides up which will give an even look across the top and bottom and indented down the sides. I prefer this even if the map is going to be orientated differently during play.

There is also another point worth making and that is if you are making modular boards then you need half hexes on all 4 sides and quarter hexes in each corner. Whichever way you orientate these boards you are going to have half hexes at the edge.
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Steve Willows
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I go with the flow - no preference. Which way the grain goes is an important design decision and I trust the designer has made the right choice (as Lance alluded to).

Take Battle for Moscow; flat side up and the axis of attack is East/West. That means the Russians can establish a straight line defense where the German player can only bring two ground units to bear on any given hex in that line. You rotate the grid 90 degrees and now it's totally different. Now the grain favors the axis of attack.

Russia is doomed.
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Carl Paradis
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This is a very important thing to consider when designing a game map, as it will affect the gameplay a lot, depending how most front lines will end up; and also can affect time/distances as some movement distorsion can happen with some of the hex orientation choices.

Usually I choose to put the "Flat" sides of the hexes in my designs in the orientation of the general front lines advance directions; so East-West for No Retreat! The Russian Front, No Retreat 2, and No Retreat 3, and the "Crete" mini-game that will be included in the No Retreat! The North African Front.

For "No Retreat 4" it'll be different, the logical thing would have been to do a rough "North-South" orientation, as the game is about the 1943-45 Italian Campaign. BUT this time I might make an exception and put it in "reverse" of the axis of advance, as the movement rates are not very important here (the front lines moved SLOWLY), while a East-West orientation along the Italian Peninsula will help the Germans set-up their defense and this is most probably a good thing, while at the same time helping the Allied landings.

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Steve Willows
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Good point about Italy. Scale also matters I suppose. For in Third Reich, which also has an East/West orientation, it wouldn't matter much for Italy if it were the other way around since it is too small to matter in that game.

Instead, it's all about Russia.
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Carl Paradis
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Scrogdog wrote:
Instead, it's all about Russia.


In WW2, what isn't? laugh
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Jim Ransom
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Responding to this poll ("I don't care") took 2 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
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Carl Paradis
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jpr755 wrote:
Responding to this poll ("I don't care") took 2 minutes of my life I'll never get back.


A full 2 Minutes? My, you are a slow clicker!

For game designers this is a "I should definitely care" topic!!!
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David Heldt
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The only game where I've ever felt the hex grid ran the wrong way was Scrimmage. Yes, I know it's not a wargame but still: Who ever heard of an I formation where the backs line up thirty degrees off the perpendicular of the line of scrimmage?
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Joeseph McCarthy
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Most of the games I play use not only the hexes, but the hex lines as well. A hex has 12 different directions to go into.

Mogadeet
 
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Lance Runolfsson
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Mogadeet wrote:
Most of the games I play use not only the hexes, but the hex lines as well. A hex has 12 different directions to go into.

Mogadeet


Do you mean for facing in tactical games?
 
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Confusion Under Fire
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Scrogdog wrote:


Take Battle for Moscow; flat side up and the axis of attack is East/West. That means the Russians can establish a straight line defense where the German player can only bring two ground units to bear on any given hex in that line. You rotate the grid 90 degrees and now it's totally different. Now the grain favors the axis of attack.

Russia is doomed.


This is an important issue for games where combat takes place in adjacent hexes but for tactical games where most combat is ranged then the orientation of the hexes isn't as important. I would take into consideration the road layout when deciding which way the hexes would be orientated. It is of course possible to run a straight road through "uneven" hexes but it looks more pleasing on the eye to run a straight road through "even" hexes.
 
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Joeseph McCarthy
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LanceRunolfsson wrote:

Do you mean for facing in tactical games?


Not just facing, but movement as well. JD Webster designs made use of that first, I believe, and Canvas Falcons/Warbirds uses hexes in the same way. A buddy and I adapted "Don't Give Up The Ship" (Gygax, Arneson, and Carr) by converting the inches to hexes, and using the the hexes and hex lines in the same manner and it worked wonderfully (measuring and movement was sooooo easy after that).

For tactical games it is a very good way to utilize the hex board.

Mogadeet
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