Sunday, June 05, 2011

Hexes... grids....

Second of a very occasional series of posts on things that I (personally, ie. me only Free Happy Smileys) finds slightly strange and bizarre in this wonderful hobby of ours.... second off then.... hexes...

When Featherstone, Grant, Bath, Young and Lawford bestrode the world like the wargaming behemoths they were, did any of them discuss the facing opportunities, or other benefits, presented by having a hexagon based wargame table, as opposed to offset grid, or grid based game?

Did any of them wax lyrical about the fact that a hex or grid based system allowed for far more accurate movement measurement, or firing range?

Did Lawford and Young converse late into the night on how "the primary advantage of a hex map over a traditional square grid map is that the distance between the center of each hex cell (or hex) and the center of all six adjacent hexes is constant" (I nicked that from Wikipedia by the way... it's far too clever for me.. Free Happy Smileys)?

Did Featherstone and Bath opine that "by comparison, in a square grid map, the distance from the center of each square cell to the center of the four diagonal adjacent cells it shares a corner with is greater than the distance to the center of the four adjacent cells it shares an edge with" (errr... ditto...)?

No they didn't... and the reason they didn't is that they knew that all of these problems can be overcome by only playing your free form, ruler & measuring stick driven, games with like minded souls who don't "pinch an inch" at every turn (or phase Free Happy Smileys)!

Fellow gamers - break your restraints - consign the hexes to the board games and PC's where they belong - all true gentlemen gamers would only converse long into the night about what sand to use on their sand-tables, and what brand of plasticene is best for terrain effects....

(Errrrrr... all of the above is yours entirely in jest of course.... the game picture is purely illustrative and to my eyes looks a really nice set up* - more details here...

* If we could ignore the hexes... Free Happy Smileys



  2. Well, quite aside from everything else, setting up and maintaining a good hex surface seems to me to be too much work for very little (if any) gain.

    -- Jeff

  3. Steve I'm going to put a hex on you, consign your ruler's and measuring tapes to the bin. Like your site. decb from thediceiscast

  4. Has some appealing aspects, then you remember what happened with Avalon Hill, etc type games and you realise that it's not that good a system.

  5. I don't use hexes either, but I don't object to them and dont feel threatened by them.
    Amusing post, if the smileys do seem nervous. That you felt moved to write this surprises me a bit. I'm a lazy bugger and I would just have sat around feeling smugly superior.

    Give my regards to Tony Bath. Cheers. Lou

  6. Good point Steve, apparently those old masters hadn't thought of everything after all. :)

    Trust the Yanks to find an easier way to do things. No more circling the table trying to figure out where I left the blasted tape measure this time!

  7. I stared at beehives for years, none of them ever really solved anything.

    For the strategic games occasionally the hexes were useful, when dealing with modern era (WWII etc) they get in the way and 'gamesmanship' takes over. This is rarely satisfactory.

    When dealing with tactical issues, especially the single squad actions, there is nothing that can compare to 'free form' or non-grid actions. Of course the D&D fanatics will all disagree.

    Splitting hairs over the minutiae of hex/square is wasted on miniature games players as we are all too busy figuring out the leadership affects of this or that great general ... something that has no simple linear measurement.

  8. Ha! Excellent responses one and all - especially Mr Kinch (who I am aware is a sucker for the little odd shaped boxes)...

    Lou - you were right of course - it all comes down to personal taste, and a number of bloggers who's games and blogs I rate very highly seem to like the little odd shapes - I wanted to make sure no one was offended hence the smileys...

    Which brings me nicely to Declan whose game was featured purely in an illustrative manner - my thanks for taking the post in the way it was meant - entirely in jest! (and the blog is good!)

    Onwards and upwards then... what will the subject of the third post be when it arrives? :o)

  9. Yes, they certainly did. It's the campaign system for Charge! for example, but many readers seem not to have got to that chapter, past the pictures.

    Without the campaign, of course, the battle has no meaning, and the gamers will kill every man in their attempts to 'win,' rather like the British generals of the Somme. They foresaw that, and did have the grid system.

  10. Some say that people who use hexes don't measure up.

    (I'm off now - please give me a head start...)


  11. I wrote a book called Table Top Battles which uses a 2" and 4" grid system. Been doing for years. 63 now. Still war gaming. Book is still going. You can't use "gamesmanship"with a grid, and no e Smminutiae to worry about. Makes it easy. Best regards.Mi