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Old 09-04-2019, 01:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2019
Default Strict hex adherence - why?

I've never played GURPS (that I can remember - though the points-based character generation is dimly familiar ...), but I notice that GURPS hex maps don't make concessions to the hexagon shape and just superimpose the grid on a realistic map.

That's exactly the approach I've been taking with TFT - rectangular rooms where required, or natural cave shapes. I allow a part-hex to function as a whole hex for all purposes - so that you can get your back to the wall at any point, even if it runs through the middle of every second hex.

All this seems to work absolutely fine, not least in the weekend's island scenario; you can glimpse a poorly lit shot of a jungle clearing here (the edge of the hex-map represented thick jungle in this instance).

Equally, 3D terrain seemed to work fine too; I just eyeballed however many hexes a bit of ruin covered and counted accordingly when players clambered up. And ditto with outsize monster bases (if the base is in a hex, the monster's in that hex).

But all the TFT materials I've seen adhere very strictly to megahex angles and dimensions. Am I missing something important in ignoring this, or is it just convention? Thanks in advance for enlightenment!
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:45 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Strict hex adherence - why?

It's an interesting and controversial design choice. I've asked myself this many times, and a lot of my home dungeons are basically conventional maps with hex overlays. The main strength of the approach they've taken is that it makes more sense as a table top game because the connections between MH scale maps, the MH tiles, and hex-scale battle mats are totally concrete: your dungeon map is a direct set of instructions for how you lay out the playing field. If you are using 'theater of the mind' to relate adventure locations to battle mats, it seems weird. But if you are using the physical components of the game, especially the MH tiles, then their approach is the way to go. I find it is one of those things that is easy to criticize for abstract reasons, but if you just do it you will like it.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:41 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Strict hex adherence - why?

Partly just to go with that retro nostalgia feel, I think.

But there's no difference between laying out some megahex tiles to make a dungeon room, or putting a hex grid over a rectangular room and saying "but you can't use the fractions of a hex around the edges". No one's seriously suggesting that the rooms are chiseled out of rock with a hexagonal pattern and zig-zaggy walls. (They might be, of course; it's a cultural thing, but probably not.)

But the map is not the terrain. If you can imagine that there's a flat wall there with some little spaces that are mysteriously impenetrable, you can just as easily imagine that that zig-zaggy boundary isn't precisely the edge of room, which actually lies less than a hex beyond. Either case is a representation of reality -- which is this case isn't even real, since we just made up a dungeon in a fictional world of our imagination.

I always wonder why the strict square-grid players don't fret over the fact that every culture builds every one of their buildings with the walls in exact east-west, north-south alignment. Plenty of cultures liked to have their entrances face east, at least in general. But those maps are always laser-straight down the lines of latitude and longitude, every hut an astronomical observatory. Freaky weird coincidence, huh?
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:51 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Strict hex adherence - why?

Yeah, I have mostly not tried to fit terrain to hex grids since I started playing GURPS, which showed it wasn't really necessary.

It removes the relevance of complaints about hexagonal maps not fitting rectangular places, and actually makes me not like overly rectangular-aligned places (which is mostly a modern thing anyway).

However there are advantages to neatly fitting things into hexes, as it means there are obvious answers to what the effects of terrain are. If a wall drifts irregularly through hexes, then there's a need for a GM ruling (or player agreement ... harder in a competitive game) about what movement in blocked or not, whether there's a penalty to stand in each hex partly filled with an wall, obstacle, water and/or rough terrain, etc. etc. A GM can learn to do that well, but if the terrain all aligns to hexes, then there is no question.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:07 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Portland, Maine
Default Re: Strict hex adherence - why?

I agree...Why?!

I started off gaming TFT with hexes and chits. Then D&D with 25mm figures while continuing to play TFT with hexes and 25mm figures instead of chits.

Then I started playing miniature wargaming with 25mm figures and 15mm figures. These were played with rulers.

Then I started playing TFT with 25mm figures without hexes, but with rulers.

I found that I could set up anything, using three dimensional terrain and miniature buildings and not have to worry about hexes at all.

Using 1" = 1 virtual hex, you measure out your distances and proceed. Mark on the figure's base where front is. The front half of the figure is the virtual front three hexes. The back of the figure is the rear hex and the area from the end of the front half to the start of the rear are the side "hexes".

No need to worry about partial hexes.

Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yeah, I have mostly not tried to fit terrain to hex grids since I started playing GURPS, which showed it wasn't really necessary.

It removes the relevance of complaints about hexagonal maps not fitting rectangular places,....
I agree with Skarg's comment. Ever since I started playing Miniature Wargames, it showed me Hexes weren't really necessary.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:33 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2005
Default Re: Strict hex adherence - why?

I use MH maps for missile fire. It just makes calculations easier without automatically creating artificial rules: 3 hexes = 1 MH or 5 hexes = 2 MH, etc.

It also makes MH tactics more important - are you at the back of a MH or at the front - how far to move to gain one less DX adjustments....
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