11 October 2011

Sound Off! Hexes or Areas?

Which makes for a better wargame map?

Hexes - equidistant spacing keeps the math simpler and the map more balanced.

Areas - greater variability in artwork and keeps players from over-tacticizing* the hexgrid.

or, heck, throw in...

Point-to-point - throw out the flyover country and get me straight to the key points on the map.

Sound off in the comments below!

By: Brant

* I'm pretty sure that's not a word, but this is a blog, not the New York Times, so I'm fine with it


Anonymous said...

It's kind of all the same to me. It depends on what I want to do with the game.

Topologically speaking, hexes are just smaller, polygon-shaped areas that occur at regular intervals, and the counters move from one hex to the next in a form of point-to-point movement anyway.

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 an urban tactical game (Civil Power) that used a "brick wall" staggered square system, which worked just like hexes but showed the rectangular buildings to better advantage, 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).

Anonymous said...

Area. Real terrain does not conform to hexes as well as an area map will.

Hexes allow for to much gamesmanship and achieveing the perfect 3-1 attack.

That is why I think the Simmons Games Napoleon stuff is awesome and projects a better period mood on the game session. (Not that I ever win or play smart).

Scotten said...

Prefer hexes, but have found that in PC games -- the AI generally handles areas better than hexes.

Anonymous said...

hexes make the math easier if youre an ORSA

point to point / area is just a different way of drawing the same map

I like the way Avalanche did the areas in their Civil War games tho - you have to actually fit the counter in the area, facing where you want it, to move it there. does a good job of replicating the way formations moved back then. too bad the rest of the rules int hose games are shit