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Re: (TFT) Jay keeps writing...

----- Original Message ----- From: Marc
Subject: Re: (TFT) Jay keeps writing...

Just trying to help,

Any help is always appreciated.

You don't need to reinvent the wheel.

You could simply use MGRS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_grid_reference_system) to reference your world
and then link to campaign map, etc.

True enough.
As with any system though, there are still a couple of issues with this.
MGRS is fixed.
Useing MGRS means I fit to MGRS rather than MGRS adjusting to what I'm trying to do. This isn't the biggest deal in the world, but I do loose some flexibilty that way.
For instance, TFT scales Bendwyn @ 20m per hex sts.
This is a pretty good scale for missile weapons up to early blackpowder, allowing the range to be represented in a number of hexes that fits a battle-map Page but still gives some idea of distance. With ranges roughly between 40 to 100ish meters for things like spears, bows, atlatls, and the like Units armed with missile weapons get ranges of around 2 - 5 or 6 hexes. Now were I to take a medieval-type Unit and drop it into Squad Leader @ 40m per hex sts the "range" of those missile Units drops off to a couple of hexes, or even no hexes. This is fine for odd-ball secenarios, like a Unit of druids gating the 9th Legion into Stalingrad durring the heavy doo-doo, but I'd not like to have the scale fixed to Squad Leader for ancient/medieval combats in general. Useing MGRS ancient missile weapons can shoot off a Page and more modern missile weapons can cover mutiple Pages @ 10m per hex. At 100m many missile weapons don't effectivly get outta their originating hex and the diffrence between a pila and a crossbow in range is basicly lost from a game-tool standpoint. If I start fiddeling with the MGRS scale it's not really MGRS anymore I think. I also feel that it's easier to find maps with the latitude/longitude grid than it is to find maps with the MGRS grid. Yes, I can draw the MGRS grid on any map that gives the Lat/Long grid but that's extra work it seems to me. Old Atlas's are cheep but a compleate set of MGRS maps for Earth is unobtainable unless one has an active security clearance or draws out the MGRS grid themselves.
I find that snapping hexes onto the Lat/Long grid is simpler.
Also MGRS snaps to SD-hex squares pretty simply.
At 6 degrees across e/w and 8 degrees across n/s the MGRS grid is roughly 2.5 SD-hex squares e/w by 2 squares n/s.

You could always make the world 3 times bigger so that the precision level at 10 digits is 3m. Then you could easily leave it at squares and use 3m (10 ft) "square hexes."

Hee hee hee.
It's interesting that you bring this up.
Because SD-hexes are drawn on the Lat/Long grid they work for any "spherical planet". Of course, you get just the effect you note for the planet relative to Earth.
I've already got the Moon, Venus, and Mars.
The issue with this that I have has to do with the Melee-hex itself.
Mesir Jackson chose a hex @ 1.3m sts for a Melee-hex.
At about four and a quarter feet across a Melee-hex is somewhat small.
My personal reach with outstreached arms is well over a foot more than this.
After a LOT of number-crunching I've come to believe that this scale was chosen to be "body-relative" to a human Figure. Drawn as a square-hex a Melee-hex has squares about 13 inches per side, or practically a square foot. A Scale-hex of a Melee-hex has quarter inch squares that represent about 3.25 inches per side, or about the size of the palm of an average persons hand.
I use this to add a kind of pantomime factor to gameplay.
10 foot hexes would not only bugger this up somewhat, but also require some re-working of the Melee rules IMO. A Figure with a five and a half foot armspan can't even cover the 10' hex with a 30 inch sword. Two Figures with 5.5ft armspans could both occupy a 10ft hex w/o being able to touch each other if posistioned just so. Nothing wrong with that, just pointing out that the use of 10ft hexes for Melee combat changes the "visuals" the game-tools are presenting.

This brings me to your interesting meta-tile tesselation of the plain. (7-hex and 8-hex meta tiles) In Squad Leader each "chit" that represents a squad indicates a group of around 4 to 10 men. At the 40m sts scale there are approaching 1000 Melee-hexes contained in the Squad Leader hex (~31 Melee-hexes sts).
This is right at 12 Pages in area.
Now in a situation in which an enemey squads "chit" enters the hex containing a players Figures "chit" it will be helpful to know the "marching order" or "formation" of the "chits" in laying out the potential hth combat from the pov of the players Figure because the chits are going to be broken down into the individual members of the Units involved. At an average size of 6 to 8 (human) Figures, a squad moving in close order as a mass is gonna "lay out" in formation on Melee-hexes much like these configurations show.

Scale is a weird thing.
Most of the scales presented by game "maps" are way too large for a players Figure to actually experience them directly. In the best of circumstances a Figure can only "see" 3 to 4 miles at sea-level. If we call it 4000m then a Figure sees about 3000 Melee-hexes in distance at sea-level. That's about 300 Pages of Melee-hexes, 200 Bendwyn-hexes (~20 Pages) or 100 Squad Leader-hexes (10 Pages). Anything mapped much larger in scale is mainly conceptual, and isn't likely to be viewable by a players Figure directly in most cases. Travel times, city building, and empire management are all largely conceptual in nature and the scales at these levels of Action are more and more general. For example, in most city building games a concept like attractivness or 'property value' is given by something like;
Carding Shed > -5, -3, -1
Park > 3, 2, 1
Drawn as squares (call it square acres w/640 per square mile and 25.3 per side of a square mile making each quarter inch square just over 200ft per side at this scale) this means that the ring of squares closest to the structures footprint has a value of -5 in the case of the Carding Shed and +3 in the case of the Park in counting the "attractivness" of the square. In the case of empire building games each quarter inch square could be viewed as a square mile and be "improved" in the manner of a "civilization" square. Depending on the travel technology available to the culture a distance x-number of squares away from the citys home squares can be accessed for "improvement". This is the "fat-cross" from civ, but a city along a large, slow-moving river that has access to some nautical tech is likely to be streched out along the river for example, while a city where everybody walks can only develop a few miles in radius. The point here is that at these more general, conceptual, scales I can keep track of things like the "general" growth of a culture on the other side of a planet from the players w/o having to hammer out every single detail because there are no players around to hear the tree fall so to speak. If that part of the world has been framed out of the game-world then this is just an excersise in futility but if there's a "silk road" between them at all then...
Ughhhh, this stuff is all so interconnected that it's hard to talk about just one aspect exclusivly. I guess it'd be easier to do somekind of video blog thing for some of the more visual game-tools I'm trying to describe. Still, just hammering out my thoughts here helps to give me some sort of written foundation to "work with" and suggestions are orders of magnatitude more illuminating for me.
I really do appreciate it.
Also, I'm not rejecting the idea at all... I can fiddle with MGRS as easily as I can fiddle with latitudes and longitudes to the same effect. I just feel that a general players access to MGRS maps is going to be much more limited than their access to a map laid out on a Lat/Long grid. As I'm trying to keep the "real-world" equipment as accessable as possible I lean to the Lat/Long grid currently. Requiring 14 sided dice for play means that if you don't have 14 sided dice on hand you can't really play.
Crud, that thought puts me back into Penrose geometry considerations when it comes to precentages on such a die.
I'm gonna leave it alone now and quit worring this bone for a bit.
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