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Re: (TFT) How Many of You Use Megahexes?

From: "Ty Beard" <tbeard@tyler.net>

Do you use megahexes? Are they worth the trouble?

Do you use small scale hex paper for mapping?

What do you think about going to a square grid for TFT?

I've used no hexes at all and just a ruler. We've had series of one on one fights in a car on a long road trip with no paper at all. Just our memory. What ever works and keeps the combat fast.

In the early days my brother made an odd comment. I was killing his character and he could see it coming. Rather than run, he started making strange moves and acting defiant. One one move he placed his character squarely at the intersection of three hexes.
  I said "That's not a hex.  You have to move to a hex."
  Apparently I was becoming a real hex-nazi and hadn't realized it.
He said "But what if I want to stand there" he took up his minature "and not there or there or there." and he punctuated his statements by putting the minature in the center of the three hexes around the intersection. "What if I want to stand RIGHT here" and he put the minature right back on the intersection.

  It was an interesting point.

About a year later I'm designing a new campaign and I decide to research possible natrual hex shaped environments. I discard a crystal world, as the idea is just too alien tome. I finally settled on basalt. Just like the rather large natrual hex shaped pillars of "Giant's Causeway" in Ireland. I designed a volcanic island where the terain really was mega hex shaped basaltic rock. I immediately noticed that when the hex shaped small map is enlarged up to melee megahexes they are not the same. A melee megahex is a big clunky cluster of 7 hexes. So I redesigned the megahex to have smooth sides and designated the individual hexes only by their center dot. It reduced a lot of clutter on the megahex sheet so I went with it. Esentially a big hex with seven dots where the 'hexes' used to be. My rule for counter position became "the counter has to touch one dot only." Also I changed the rule for line-of-sight and missing your friends to be "if the line of sight touches a counter", instead of "touches the character's hex." (subsequent testing showed the players like this as they have more flexiblity in leaving a small opening for the guys in back.)

I locked myself away for a month and drafted up a very detailed city on the largest sheet of small hexes I have ever had. It must have been four foot by three foot. That's a lot of small hexes. Later Many friends would ask permission to made copies of the map for their own campagin. One guy said "you've already done the work, and I know the place so well..." At the time I felt I had made something cool. Now that I have a setting, it's time to design the first adventure. The hook. You know, to get the players interested in exploring the area for a while. Something to launch a long term campaign with.

Wouldn't you know it. The first thing I felt compeled to make was a rescue mission. There is going to be a ship tied up at the dock, and the party is going to help a freind recover someone. Recover someone from a ship. A ship... Basaltic pillars are no good for the deck plans of a ship. In fact small hexes are too thick for the walls. Too thick if there is to be any room on the deck. That and I had to be able to make straight lines. Square cabins, a square opening for the cargo hold, any other shape just wouldn't do. So I taped four pages of the hexes together and drew the ship right on them. Realizing immediately that some hexes would be cut in half or as Rick puts it "crowded" (wish I had the crowded rule back then) I decided that any hex was accessable as long as the center dot wasn't covered by a wall, or on the other side of a wall. As a result most of the walls go between the center dots of the individual hexes. It is easy to see if one's character can step in a hex or not, and I went out of my way to make sure every door and hatch had a dot right in the middle of it. So someone could "stand in the door", and players would know which hex to count when moving through a hatch. The ship turned out so well that I inked it and added some texture like planking and coiled ropes. (Wonder what happened to that map anyway.) When I ran the rescue mission, it went very smooth, and the players had a blast with the combat. Though they did learn that a centaur is not too good at sneaking around on a wooden deck.

  David Michael Grouchy II

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