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Old 08-17-2018, 01:42 AM   #1
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default The Cartesian Heresy

Just read Steve's essay on the three heresies (squares instead of hexes, D20 instead of 3D6, adding Mana as an attribute). The second one strikes me as a terrible idea. The last one is pulling a thread because splitting off dexterity from agility, perception from intelligence, will from intelligence, etc., is every bit as easy to justify. It's the first that has the meat in it: there are real advantages to using squares rather than hexes.

I know some people have looked at this (as I recall Thomas Fulmer had a version) but I couldn't find their work with a quick search. Suppose we wanted to allow it as an option: how should it work?

My suggestions:
  • It costs one movement point to move to an adjacent square, whether orthogonal or diagonal.
  • It costs an extra movement point to make two consecutive diagonal moves.
  • Normal attacks are at orthogonally adjacent opponents. Engagement extends to these squares.
  • Jabs can be carried out at diagonally adjacent opponents, or at two squares if the square between is empty, or at knight's move distance if either of the two squares between is empty. Maybe some shorter weapons, like javelins, tridents and two-handed swords, can only jab diagonally. Maybe longer weapons can engage at diagonals.
  • Figures have eight legal facings, each one halfway between a side and a corner. They have four front squares (two of them orthogonally adjacent), two side squares (one of them orthogonally adjacent), and two rear squares (one of them orthogonally adjacent).

I think this would lead to OK results, though the limits on surrounding someone cut in sooner. Realistically it usually doesn't take more than than four characters anyway. It's also harder to 2:1 people in solid line combats, not sure if that's good or bad, I suspect good.

The facing orientation is probably the most counterintuitive element. But if we want to have four front squares then we need to have two squares on each side of our front centreline, so we can't point at any particular adjacent square (whether orthogonal or diagonal). Another approach would be to have three squares that are front, the one to the right of this is a valid attack square but unshielded, the one to the left is shielded but not attackable, but that makes it impossible to place a single enemy in your kill zone so they can't shift out and it lets people choose an orientation with more sides than corners.

The question that bothers me most is what should be a valid line, one that can't be shifted through. Certainly a line of orthogonally adjacent figures should be impermeable, but what about a line of diagonally adjacent figures? Should it be possible to shift through the diagonal between them? I think some sort of compromise could be called for, like "only if you are moving first" or something else. In a way I'd like to allow the occasional diagonal link in a chain but not a continuous diagonal chain. This bit needs work.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:19 AM   #2
Wayne
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Geelong, Australia
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

Stefan Jones wrote somewhere (I guess that wouldn't work with an academic essay).

Multiply MA x 2. Straight line movement costs 2 MA per square and Diagonal movement costs 3 MA per square moved.

This is really neat and understandable.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:32 AM   #3
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

Or turn MA into "inches" and use a measuring stick as done in Song of Blades and Heroes. Then you can use any map, gridless or marked, makes no difference.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:31 AM   #4
robertsconley
 
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

I don't think it is that complicated to resolve. Any time I ran GURPS, Hero System, with a hex based movement system on a square grid I just used a tape measure or ruler. For smaller area like a cramped dungeon it possible to eyeball it.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:25 AM   #5
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

I've always liked hexes.

I've never had problems in having buildings on a hex grid. See previous posts of mine for two ways to handle this.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:55 AM   #6
JohnPaulB
 
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Portland, Maine
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Or turn MA into "inches" and use a measuring stick as done in Song of Blades and Heroes. Then you can use any map, gridless or marked, makes no difference.
YES! This also makes it easier to use standard wargaming terrain table.

I'm in favor of making a conversion rule of Hexes to Inches (or Centimeters), but only as a supplement version.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

I played it like this:

-Diagonal moves cost 1.5. Round up fractions at the end of your move (i.e., if you move 3 diagonal squares, you pay 5 mp; if you move 1 diagonal square, you pay 2 mp).
-You face the side of a square. (I don't necessarily have a problem with facing diagonally; it just never really came up).
-Only one foe can strike from the rear (the attacker chooses).

Here's the diagram (the figure is the plus sign):


FFF
S+S
RRR


-Pole attacks extend to 2 squares. If you want to get fussy (I didn't) you can provide that pole attacks cannot be made into 2 diagonal squares. Diagram of the first option:


YYYYY
YYYYY
**+**
*****
*****


Diagram of the second option:


*YYY*
YYYYY
**+**
*****
*****


Y - Allowable attack.
* - Not allowed.
+ - Figure armed with polearm (top of page is front)

-If you think pole attacks are too flexible in TFT, you provide that pole attacks can only be made into the three front squares and the squares immediately behind them:


*YYY*
*YYY*
**+**
*****
*****
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:12 AM   #8
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPaulB View Post
YES! This also makes it easier to use standard wargaming terrain table.

I'm in favor of making a conversion rule of Hexes to Inches (or Centimeters), but only as a supplement version.
Given the incredible assortment of RPG terrain available - a positive benefit of D&D 3rd ed in my opinion - it would be nice to be able to use it in TFT games. The Pathfinder pawns (i.e., cardboard heroes) and dungeon tiles are particularly nice.

I'd convert 3 hex figures into 2 x 2 squares; 4 hex figures into 2x2 (or maybe 2x3 depending on the figure); megahex figures into 3x3, the 7 hex dragon into a 2 x 4 (or 2 x 5 if necessary) and so on.

I'm not lobbying for a change to sqaures; I'd just like the option.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:03 PM   #9
The Wyzard
 
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

I can draw square rooms on a hex-map with no problem. The trick, in my opinion, is to draw the line through the hexes at around the 3/4 mark instead of down the center. This makes it quite clear which "edge" hexes can be occupied and which cannot. Really, I just think it looks better. The actual advantage of squares isn't when you draw your own maps, but rather using pre-made and often quite attractive "dungeon tiles," available from a variety of companies in a variety of styles.

Dealing with front/flank/rear hexes is the tricky part. Personally, I think you want to keep the *ratio* of "good" versus "bad" spaces to have an enemy in roughly the same. On a hex, with three front hexes, two flank, and one rear, its's about fifty-fifty. Half the hexes are good, half the hexes are bad. One of the bad ones is worse than the other two.

My own method *if I wanted to do this*, would require tracking figure handedness, and perhaps most people don't want to do that.

XXX
S+W
FRF

The plus sign obviously indicates the figure.

The "X" squares act just as do front hexes in standard TFT. Shield applies, enemies are engaged, figure can attack into them.

The S square is the shield side - the figure cannot attack into this square (except with a shield bash, perhaps) or engage the enemy there, but their shield applies.

The W square is the weapon side. The figure can attack into this square and engages the enemies there, but they do not receive a shield bonus against attacks from this direction.

Squares marked F are flanking; the normal +2DX applies.

The square marked R is rear; the normal +4DX applies.

This keeps the ratio at approximately 50/50. You have three good squares, three bad squares, and two squares that are a little mixed.

...

You could also ignore handedness and have a little assymmetry:

XXX
X+F
FRF

The two flanking hexes that are adjacent to each other is slightly strange, but not much stranger than many other FRPG rules. And you can probably justify it somehow, perhaps invoking handedness in some fashion.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:00 PM   #10
fisherro
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: The Cartesian Heresy

Yeah. I love hexes, but the one thing that gets me considering squares is my investment in Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles.

Im thinking Id just keep it simple & do...

FFF
SXS
SRS

...and...

FFS
FXS
SSR

...for facings. And maybe make some on-the-fly rulings to prevent more than 6 opponents from surrounding a single figure.

Jabs would have a range equal to 2.5 MA. (Or 5 SquareMA using the 2 point for orthogonal & 3 point diagonal system.)

(On the other hand, Im thinking about just making a world where, culturally, 60 angles are as prevalent as 90 angles are for us. ^_^)
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