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Stretching Hex Maps

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Jpwoo
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I'm working on a new map for my wargame type thing. The original map was pretty standard, with uniform sized hexes, and different hexes with differing terrain in them.

I have a new map, where instead of hexes of uniform size I essentailly stretched the the bottom out and narrowed the top hexes. If you can imagine a plane of hexes dissapearing toward a horizon that is a pretty good image.

The map depicts a mountainous coastline, north Africa/Tunisia. So the coast has the short hexes, and the south desert has the bigger hexes. The result is that traveling in the south of the map is quicker than in the north. Without having to use terrain to modiy movement.

Now the problem I have is that the new 'stretch hex map' is that it seems somehow dishonest. Like I fudged the hexes to get the distance between cities to be regular, rather than letting the geography determine the map.

It is close to an area movement map at this point, and at this point i might do that, break the map up into chunks of varying sizes. On the other hand the stretchy hexes isn't something that I have seen in any other games.

I wish I could be more lucid on the my dislike for the map. I think it boils down to, "why stretch the hexes? Isn't that the same as a non stretched map with different city locations?"

SenorOcho
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Stretching Hex Maps

I think it sounds like a pretty cool idea. Can't really say much about how I feel without seeing it. :D

Hedge-o-Matic
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Stretching Hex Maps

I'm afraid I'm not understanding what effect this visual distortion would have on gameplay. If the pieces move within the hexes, the topology isn't altered a bit. A hex tiling is still a hex tiling, regardless of the visual representation you use. The vertices still only have three edges each, and each hex still only has six neighbors.

The only way for pieces to "move faster" on part of the board is to measure the distance between hex centers after movement, to find out how fast the piece moved. Sounds awkward, but this will allow pieces in the larger hexes to physically travel further.

Gogolski
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Stretching Hex Maps

I believe it is meant as folows:

Lets say that the top border of the map has 20 hexes. Now imagine that the bottom border has 20 hexes too. Now you take the two bottom corners and pull them appart and strech the bottom hexes till there are only 10 hexes in the bottom-row. (there are now 5 hexes "off the board" at each side)

Under the hex-map, the image of another map is unaltered, so to cross from left to right on the bottom row, you only have to move through 10 hexes, while that same movement on the top of the board would make you cross 20 hexes.

If you move X hexes, you will have moved twice the distance on the bottom of the map as if you moved the same amount of hexes on the top of the map.

Cheese.

Gogolski
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Stretching Hex Maps

I tried to draw it (with circles in stead of hexes) but I'm not that great an artist...

You see how moving a number of circles on the bottom-row makes you move a lot faster than moving the same amount of circles in the top-row...

Cheese!

Rick-Holzgrafe
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Stretching Hex Maps

It sounds as if this technique is useful only if you want a rectangular board, but need more locations at one end than at the other. Otherwise a trapezoidal map with a standard grid would be the same thing. Since your board probably would be rectangular, you might fit player aids into the non-map wedges at the skinny end of the map.

Then again, if thematically you want to represent rapid travel over long distances with nothing very interesting in between, the stretched hexes might be a very good way to do it. ("These places are a long ways apart, but in your Sand Flitter you can make the trip much faster than a ship at sea could travel the same distance.")

Jpwoo
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Stretching Hex Maps

Here I made a flickr account to share the images to give a better idea.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29645607@N00/156903743/

This is the straight/normal hex verision of the map.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29645607@N00/156903742/

This is the stretchy hex version. Also adjusted to better reflect the area of the battles.

You can see in the second map that geographically the cities are of varying distances, but in terms of hex movement they are generally about 2 hexes apart from one another.

Jpwoo
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Stretching Hex Maps

Quote:
It sounds as if this technique is useful only if you want a rectangular board, but need more locations at one end than at the other.

Well the physical location of cities is sorta established by what was there at the time. (though I am not claiming exhaustive historical research.) I tried to pick cities that seemed bigger than others, or that are specificially named in what I have read.

seo
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Stretching Hex Maps

Based purely on aesthetics, I prefer the stretched one. Just be carefull the the smaller hexes aren't too small for the pawns, markers, etc.

larienna
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Stretching Hex Maps

Unless, you want to make a board with perspective, I dont think stretching the hexes is a good solution. Instead you should outiline territories of different shapes which are larger at the bottom and smaller on the top ( Ex: Axis and allies, bells of war, risk, etc. ). Bells of War use Hex on water and diform shapes on the land.

doho123
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Stretching Hex Maps

Gogolski wrote:

AHHH! My eyes!!!

Anyway, I also think I would prefer just using oddball land area shapes instead of the "perspective stretching" hexes. Unless there is a real good reason you want to have forced perspective on the map.

soulbeach
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Stretching Hex Maps

Quote:
Based purely on aesthetics, I prefer the stretched one. Just be carefull the the smaller hexes aren't too small for the pawns, markers, etc.

I agree,

beside that, I believe the change in the number of hexes travelled up north compared to the ones in the south will be marginal at best.

Jpwoo
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Stretching Hex Maps

Quote:
Based purely on aesthetics, I prefer the stretched one.

Discounting the better "Looks" of the stretched map, do you think that the altered hexes play better than the regular ones?

Quote:
beside that, I believe the change in the number of hexes travelled up north compared to the ones in the south will be marginal at best.

There are about 8 playable hexes across the bottom and about 14 playable hexes across the top.

soulbeach
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Stretching Hex Maps

Humm, you're right! hehehe, did not see that, i thougth the map was not complete as it is.

For playability, i'm not entirelly sure but it seems to be annoying and hard to calculate movement, it seems to complicate what could be a simple hex movement mechanic: ie, easily counted and quick to deal with. It's a little confusing for my eyes and for my comprehension of available space to be moving Units from and to.

Jpwoo
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Stretching Hex Maps

or as an alternative:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29645607@N00/157422647/

Where the Numidian player can ignore red hex edges, giving him speed in the desert.

soulbeach
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Stretching Hex Maps

That's much easier to the eyes, but still very confusing. How about whole areas where the movement is doubled(easy and simple). Is that what you intended?

Jpwoo
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Stretching Hex Maps

Making the whole south half of the map move 2 for the Numid player works too. It is the next logical step. Good suggestion.

soulbeach
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Stretching Hex Maps

Yes it does sound good...It's also a solid advantage to the numid player:) The same technique could be used for different abilities, stronger Defenses in cities or longer attack range for long range units camping in montaineous areas, slow movement in water hexes, unless the units are agile or have special equipment (ie. boats!) etc.

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