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Thoughts...thoughts!


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#1 Thunder

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

On spot design...
You know how we moved to hexes because people didn't like how diagonal squares looked odd - like are they adjacent and get attacks or aren't they?

Why is 6 a good number? Is it just for convenience in visual design? If you think about it, wouldn't 8 be a better number?

Maybe it depends on distance. I can mentally see 4 being the absolute maximum at super short range, or 6 at medium short range, or 8 at longer range (long stabbing, etc.), depending on distance. I mean, how many people could *really* swing a long-handed sword without hitting each other?

Random thoughts for a Thursday...
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#2 bodhranist

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:14 PM

Identical hexagons, squares, or triangles tiled together completely fill an area. You can't do that with octagons - they either overlap or leave gaps. Hexes solve the problem of adjacency, but are funky with right-angled architecture, and that's most architecture, and also you can't move straight in all four of north, south, east, and west.

On a vacation, I got to visit an old salt mine, which actually did have tunnels pretty close to either 5' wide x 5' tall or 10' wide by 10' feet tall. It was hard to picture trying to swing a two handed sword in the 5'x5', but a long sword or two-handed spear seemed feasible. In the 10'x10', two reasonably coordinated people swinging greatswords side by side wouldn't really strain credulity too much. It was cool. If you're ever in Krakow Poland, I SERIOUSLY recommend checking it out, just for that reason, let alone all the sculptures, chandeliers, chapels, taverns, and everything else they'd carved in the 2,000 rooms and 300 kilometers of underground passages.
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#3 BigJackBrass

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:04 AM

On spot design...
You know how we moved to hexes because people didn't like how diagonal squares looked odd...

It's not that so much. The key problem is that the diagonal length across a square is greater than the length of a side. If you're writing a game designed to use miniatures, where distances are vital, that makes things difficult. Steve Jackson wrote about this in the early days of GURPS: he really wanted to use squares or staggered squares, not least because our buildings are normally based around right-angles and they don't fit comfortably onto hex maps, but he couldn't come up with rules he was happy with. They were either too complex or just awkward. Despite the compromises when it comes to things like floorplans for buildings, hexes work well.

As for why the hex is used over other shapes, bodhranist covers that well. You can see what happens if you try to fill a space with octagons in some buildings: I've seen a number of tiled floors where they have octagonal and small square tiles, often white and black, to make a pattern, which looks great as a floor but instantly demonstrates why it makes for a crappy battle mat.
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#4 Thunder

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:05 AM

Huh! Thanks guys, that was really interesting. I'd always just sortof thought they had been more or less arbitrary choices that took off because of popularity.

I don't think I'll be in Poland anytime soon - but the fiancee and I are planning our honeymoon to Iceland if you have any tips of cool places to see there.
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#5 BigJackBrass

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:37 AM

...the fiancee and I are planning our honeymoon to Iceland if you have any tips of cool places to see there.

Gulfoss is well worth visiting, according to The Lovely Emma (I've never been). Make sure you wear good shoes, ideally with something like a pair of Yaktrax attached, as she very nearly slid over the edge due to the icy path...

The other tourist standard is The Blue Lagoon, again highly recommended by my better half :D
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