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Spaces - Hexagon or Square?

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bottercot
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So for a while I have been experimenting with mechanics for close quarters combat (with guns). One major problem I have been having, which is a very fundemental mechanic to my game, is the shape of the spaces.
There are two main types, and both have their advantages and disadvantages:
Squares: The OG type, I believe, originating as far as games like Stratego. The main advantage of squares is that they allow you to better handle and represent man-made structures on a battlefield. The drawback, though, is the nature of the corners of the square, and the havok they wreak on movement and range calculations, as well as Line of Sight.
Hexagons: The newer type, I think, used to great effectiveness in genres such as Commands and Colors and Combat Commander. The hexagon finds its strength in squares' weakness. Hexagons are great for calculating movement, range, Line of Sight, etc., and are also quite good for making terrain look natural. The drawback, though, is once again the inverse of squares. Hexagons are horrible when trying to make man-made structures or anything with a straight line. A simple box is difficult to represent!
In the setting of my game, I can neglect range, and I suppose Line of Sight's not actually a problem with either one, but I am still at a huge loss for which one I should use.
Do you of the forum have any suggestions? I legitimately don't have a clue!

X3M
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I play with hexagons. It is a

I play with hexagons.
It is a choice that needs commitment.
So I understand if you go for squares.

Go octagon style. You keep the squares.
Simply accept that diagonal is 1.5 times horizontal/vertical.
But for more practical use:
- Horizontal/Vertical 2
- Diagonal 3

This website is holy for me:
http://www.quadibloc.com/other/bo02.htm

***

I tried out extremer things. There was a plan for dodecagon style. Hexagons with the same rules. It worked, but too complex for players. Don't go there.

Fri
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hexagons for terrian squares for man made structures

I saw a game board once that used hexagons for terrains and square's for man made structures. I thought this was an interesting alternative that makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, both my memory and searching skills are failing me. I thought it was a post on this site that lead me to it, but I can't find it.

X3M
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Axolote Hex?

Fri wrote:
I saw a game board once that used hexagons for terrains and square's for man made structures. I thought this was an interesting alternative that makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, both my memory and searching skills are failing me. I thought it was a post on this site that lead me to it, but I can't find it.

Axolote Hex?
Only one coming to my mind.

let-off studios
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Tannhauser Style

I've always been intrigued by the movement and mapping in Tannhauser. It's squad-level combat in close quarters, inside man-made structures. However, instead of any strict grid for placement and movement, they have circles the size of the miniature stands.

I have no idea if there's been any severe criticism of this style of map, but depending on the feel and function of what you're trying to do this may be a possible option. I know it worked great for close-quarters combat in my experience, so that's why it game to mind.

Here's a picture of what I mean (and someone added foamcore walls, to boot):
https://boardgamegeek.com/image/188469/tannhauser

bottercot
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I typically prefer hexagons,

I typically prefer hexagons, but the main problem I found is trying to trace the walls of a building on a hexagon map. Making walls proved quite difficult, as opposed to squares which make for fairly easy traces. I don't like the mechanics of squares. I already know about the 2:3 moving diagonally ratio, but it then requires a Movement Points system which I don't necessarily want to have.
Another suggestion: could I do it without spaces at all? Spaceless movement is an area I have always been hesitant to go, since it then requires rulers and measuring tape and calculations and all sorts of crap.
I checked out the "Making Wargames more Complicated" site; it was a bit far beyond me. I will, though, look further into what this site offers.
I feel that if you put too much thought into movement, there comes a point where it starts to take away from the game, rather than add to it. If every movement is a complex calculation requiring references to multiple sheets, serious simplification has to happen.
In my game, I have already determined that the scale is small enough that bullet falloff and gun range don't matter; this does free me up to maybe complicate other aspects of the game.
I would completely do hexagons if it weren't for the fact that most human structures are right angles and squarish shapes.

bottercot
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Brick Pattern?

I actually just remembered another style I had seen in board games. This is the "brick" style, with alternating rows of squares. This works pretty much the same way as hexagons in terms of movement, but could be better when trying to trace man made structures. The only game I can think of where I have seen this used is Battleball, although the game doesn't actually make use of the interesting board format in any significant way.
Could the brick style work? I haven't actually tried anything with it so I'm not sure how it works.

let-off studios
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Offset Grid

bottercot wrote:
I actually just remembered another style I had seen in board games. This is the "brick" style, with alternating rows of squares.
Could the brick style work? I haven't actually tried anything with it so I'm not sure how it works.
This is called an "offset grid," and us used primarily to replace hexagons for the exact reasons you describe. It's also much easier to prototype quickly, in the event you don't have hex grid paper/software available. Functionally, it's identical.

DonovanLoucks
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Gunslinger (1982) doesn't

Gunslinger (1982) doesn't hesitate to alter hexes as needed to work in rectangular buildings.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/104593/gunslinger

donpaulo
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Hello all Really happy to

Hello all

Really happy to have found this thread.

I started on Avalon Hill hex wargames and was naturally attracted to Steve Jackson's "The Fantasy Trip" which was at its heart a hex based combat system.

I am a little more than halfway through a strategic space game prototype. The current plan is to use a grid of larger "parsecs" that will fit together making the map. Within the parsecs will be system tiles that will be placed on top of the parsecs.

The method of their placement is still being toyed with, but for now I'm planning to implement a random pulled tile from a bag. Players with better exploring levels will get to pull more tiles, those with lower levels pull fewer tiles.

This is crudely based on Entdecker which had a nice exploration "feel" to it.

The issue is which kind of tile to use.

I truly dislike squares, so they are banished to the sideline while I tweak and test systems.

As mentioned Hexagons provide some additional flexibility but are too similar to Twilight Imperium which is something I am hoping to stay away from.

I loved the link to the octagon system. It kind of warped my mind and now am musing about how to implement such a system.

So I wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted.

lewpuls
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(Free) screencast:

Discussing "The Board" http://youtu.be/z0gcXaPc3aQ

larienna
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Quick comments: If range is

Quick comments: If range is important, I think hex board is better. Chess is more a game of opening with no range limitation, this is why it works better with square.

pelle
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Brick grids do not allow for

Brick grids do not allow for any more straight terrain-features than a hex grid. Fewer really. You can make long narrow rectangles in one direction. Or wider rectangles, but then you end up with ugly half-bricks along the ends of the rectangle. With hexes you can make nice straight narrow rectangles in three different directions (along the hex grain).

Ambush! maps did a pretty good job with having rectangular buildings on a hex grid. The representation is not perfect (you need to know from the LOS rules what parts of buildings to ignore or not...) but it looks good at least and it works. (https://boardgamegeek.com/image/189628/ambush)

(I made an extension for inkscape to make hex or brick grids if you want to experiment with either or both: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/299033/inkscape-extensions-boardgame-de...)

Interesting that OP used Stratego as an example of an old game with a square grid. Stratego was a remake of an older game, and there was actually a bunch of very similar games, all on square grids, published for about half a century before Stratego was published. That game must have some kind of record for successful marketing making almost everyone completely forget about all the other similar (virtually identical) games it copied. Square grids go back to at least the mid 18th century, with various wargames based on chess This one published in 1806 is a great example: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/146461/das-opizsche-kriegsspiel

Hex grids indeed does not seem to have a very old history. The oldest I ever heard of was a miniatures game published in France 1939 (https://medium.com/@increment/petits-soldats-grandes-victoires-ba67873534db).

Surprisingly there is a much older example of a triangular grid (on a map shaped like a large hexagon) from 1817: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/28958021#28958021 Not a type of grid that really caught on, for obvious reasons (but I think that particular game has some pretty neat mechanics for moving and firing on a triangular grid that looks like it might work ok).

For a game with mixed squares and hexagons the closest I know of is this one from 1972: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/105532/escape-colditz Obviously it is a grid of circles, but if you look at how the circles are arranged they are in a pattern like hexes outdoors, but in neat rows and columns like squares indoors. Using circles is pretty clever, since trying to do the same thing with actual squares and hexes would make the transitions really ugly.

I do not really have anything useful to say to help OP decide though. It has all pretty much been said. I used to only like hexes, but I actually came to like some games with square grids as well. Squares tend to work better when they are large and you can put many units in the same square. Diagonal movement never works very well. It is not just a question of how many movement points to pay, but it just easily ends up with strange effects or having to include special rules for how to handle moving through the corner between various features (or between enemy units).

larienna
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Thanks for the history

Thanks for the history lesson, I did not know there were such old wargames dating back from the 18th century.

It also gave me some thoughts for some grids implementations I eventually want to make in my video game engine project. I was thinking first of Square and hex grid and probably triangular grid (not that it is used often)

Not sure of other grids that could be interesting to implements. There could be variation of those grids where edges are important and have a value of it's own.

Board games generally use either grids or graphs (Nodes and connections). There is normally only 1 type of graph, with or without value on the edges and nodes.

pelle
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You can only make grids using

You can only make grids using shapes with 3, 4, or 6 sides. Any other grid will be irregular and strange. Some ideas for grids based on 5-sided shapes come up now and then on the bgg design forums, but those grids are never quite uniform like the standard grids are, so there is a reason games tend to always use squares or hexes.

Amit's old game programming articles are fantastic for describing more than anyone ever could need to know about different types of grids. Here is his introductory article comparing the different types of grids:
http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/game-programming/grids/

larienna
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An example of pentagonal

An example of pentagonal grid

http://gamelogic.co.za/2013/11/05/day-5-game-5-30-games-in-30-days-using-grids/

It looks line an hexagonal grid when each space is split in 5 pentagons.

Thans for the blog link, I am not sure, but it looks like the same website that explains how to program hexagonal grids.

I just learned yesterday about how to draw haxagontal grids in text based interface. The output is pretty awesome and would work great in my project. Here is an example of how it can look

Ascii Hexgrid

pelle
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That ascii grid looks ok, but

That ascii grid looks ok, but a bit squashed? Anyway ascii graphics tends to be just more work than to use graphics. Many game engines (like Godot and Phaser) have built-in support for hexmaps to make it even easier.

That pentagon grid is not very regular. That is the problem with all pentagon-grids, as I mentioned. You will get some very weird unit movement paths if you just have them move around like kind of on a hex grid.

larienna
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It could be interesting when

It could be interesting when you have different type of movement.

For example: move between hex, or move within hex.

As for the ascii map, it's because I am currently using terminals, it's a standardise way to display information, else I'll need a graphic panel and display only maps in there.

If I need more space for information or need less hex, I could double the height (4 lines per hex) which makes it look more like a regular hex.

pelle
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But even for movement within

But even for movement within or between hexes that pattern with pentagons is odd, with 2 or 3 neighbours depending on which pentagon you are in. It would be more symmetric to split the hexes into triangles. Every attempt at using pentagons I have seen was just not very practically useful, but more like a bad solution looking for a problem to solve.

It is interesting to hear that you are somehow stuck with text output. I love command-lines and spend most of my time all day in terminal windows (if not in emacs) but it was a very long time ago since I was working on a platform that did not have graphics support (that was also not much more convenient to use than ascii). I did for fun make a few prototypes in Dosbox a few years ago, using the extended ASCII graphics (and colors) supported by MSDOS, and for a square grid that was reasonably convenient (using different symbols and color-combinations, but still not by far as convenient as just using Godot like I do for my current project (that is a boardgame, but I do most prototyping in Godot).

larienna
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Quote:It is interesting to

Quote:
It is interesting to hear that you are somehow stuck with text output.

This is the phase 1 of my project. I was tired designing user interface while I wanted to design games. So I am using the most simple user interface possible to be able to design games as soon as I can.

I should makes the creation and playtesting of games much more faster as you don't need to bother much about the user interface. You just need to add/change data and code for the rules.

Then when I'll have a dozens of working games, in phase 2 I'll work on a graphic interface that will run the command based engine under the hood. So there is no need to spend time on graphical output now, as tt will be done later.

The project is growing slowly but surely. I am currently working on making the terminal as convenient as possible, which has consumed some time recently. I am thinking in having 2 terminals to see 2 output at once. Once that is done, I'll be able to start designing some simple games that does not require a database and grids/graphs as they are not implemented yet.

Your link will be very helpful to implement grids and graphs.

questccg
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Similar situation

larienna wrote:
I was tired designing user interface while I wanted to design games. So I am using the most simple user interface possible to be able to design games as soon as I can.

I have a similar problem: I need a bunch of "connecting" feature to design a Smartphone website. Take for example "Account Management". While I don't really NEED this for "Monster Keep" (MK) everyone reminds me that it is good to have an e-mail list. So for these tools, developing a login mechanic with e-mail validation would be a decent requirement. The tools would remain FREE, but you need to "register" to be able to use them.

Why is this important?

Because my Smartphone website (for tracking stats) will REQUIRE a login facility. One that will obviously be more complicated than the one for MK.

I too would like to focus on the MVP... But all the EXTRAS need to be developed too!

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