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Squares vs Hex

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bigbc
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Im debating between a hex board and a square board for a war game im developing! I need help in deciding which to use. First a description is needed...

It is mainly between ground units except for cannons...it has a civil war/1800s warfare theme...

I need a board that offers easy mobility but also helps with having cannons being able to fire in different directions...to make it more realistic and easy to determine the range of the cannon...help in developing how cannons fire/their range would be helpful too.

Patriarch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Squares vs Hex

What does squares offer that Hexes dont? (unless you have corridoors and stuff where you need the walls to follow the lines.)

Anonymous
Squares vs Hex

if you go with hexes you will never have trouble trying to determine diagonals - which sounds like would be an issue if you are shooting distances and various angles.

The only advantage I could see to squares would be - It makes a nice fit to the normal rectangular shaped board. Do you care if the board is square with hexes inside and a buffer space between the playing board and the edge of the actual board?

Anonymous
Squares vs Hex

There's only two reasons that I know of to use squares: if your map is indoors, or if the game is targetted at a casual demographic.

Hexes on an indoor map mean that you'll either have to make jagged and unrealistic looking walls, or have straight walls that leave a lot of movement options open to interpretation. Devoted gamers can probably handle simple rules like judging if a hex is >50% wall and such, but most people will find this annoying. Hexes themselves car also simply be intimidating to casual gamers, and they have a certain nerd stigma associated with them, but this is probably not a problem (and in fact possibly a benefit) if you're making a complex war game.

Hegemon
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Squares vs Hex

While hexes are common in wargames, squares can be used in all sorts of situations. Here is a map from a game on the battle of the Somme in 1916, where squares are used to both give a "period" feel and make it hard to outflank the defender (a WW1 "truism").

http://www.atomagazine.com/game_11-m.html

http://www.atomagazine.com/game_11.html

Naval games work well with squares too (maintain the 3:2 ratio movement when moving across diagonals vs. square to square). Another possiblity is staggered squares, which work like hexagons movement wise but allow more squares to be packed into a given map surface.

rellekmr
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Squares vs Hex

For one of my games I had to use squares because I needed 90-degree firing arcs, which is just not easy to do with hexes.

Anonymous
Squares vs Hex

It's also worth noting that while most people claim hexes are best because they have the most movement possibilities, squares technically have move if you count diagonals.

Many tile-based computer games (such as the civilization series) use squares because the 8 movement options match perfectly with the keys on the numeric keypad.

Of course, allowing diagonals has balance issues with any sort of ranged effects. My current project has an indoor square-tile map, and it gets around this by counting diagonals as two spaces for purposes of determining weapon range, although it's a bit tricky because it considers a diagonal adjacent for melee combat. I'm still on the fence as to whether I should disallow diagonal movement entirely, or just make it take 2 movement points.

rellekmr
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Squares vs Hex

the civilization series uses modified range calculation for squares, counting diagonals as 1.5 for city radius range

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