11 May 2011

GameTalk - Movement and Locations

There's area, point-to-point, and hexes. There's even the occasional square (LnL's Day of Heroes, and Manoeuvre spring immediately to mind).

What type of map / movement system works best for what type of game? Racier's got a WWI game that's essentially linear point-to-point fighting along 'fronts'. Crusader Rex has point-to-point movement throughout the Holy Land. Avalanche has some interesting area games in which the counters, representing formations, have to physically fit inside the areas in order to move them into the area. And there's no shortage of hex-based examples out there.

Give us your thoughts and examples.

By: Brant


Marc G said...

This may or may not be exactly what you were thinking, but here's an old one from Jim Dunnigan: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/8803/the-american-revolution-1775-1783

Also those three are a class and then there are games which are independent of that (anything can go anywhere and it's resource management)

Then there are games that combine both like Small World. It's area-based in that you conquer territories much like you do in Risk, but it's partially resource management in that you pool your forces at the beginning of every turn and then distribute among territories with no concern for contiguous regions.

I actually wonder how risk would play if you did it that way.

- Marc

Brian said...

It's kind of all the same to me. Topologically speaking, hexes are just smaller, polygon-shaped areas, and the counters move from one hex to the next in a form of point-to-point movement.

It depends on what I want to do with the game.

With strategic games I've done like Arriba Espana or Algeria, one turn represents a large and elastic amount of time in which indeterminate numbers of forces run around and do things, in the service of exercising a degree of control over a large area. So I use an irregular-area map (remembering that Joe Miranda once said to me that 20-25 was about the largest number of areas such a map should have).

With operational and tactical games like Freikorps and Summer Lightning, with shorter turns and more organized forces moving around with more defined military objectives and coherence, I use a hex map.

I've also done a tactical game (Civil Power) that used a "brick wall" staggered square system, and games that dispensed with the map completely except as a field of non-adjacent cards (Green Beret, Red Guard), and one where the movement of counters did not matter at all, since the map was a diagram of social attitudes (Tupamaro).

Brant said...

One project we worked on last year had a "space" defined by geopolitical boundaries, but then measured the dispersion of assets in that space based on whether it was in an urban/rural area, and how much of that area was urban/rural. So if you were in a big city, it was heavily urban, and also very easy to get widely dispersed w/o a higher concentration of forces, b/c there were so many urban "spaces" in that zone.
It worked for what we were trying to do, but I don't think it would work as a boardgame as well as it worked on the computer (yes, Guardian, I did just say that).