Friday, 28 July 2017

Experimenting with my wargame board and Heroscape hexes

Following on from my recent blog entry about the possibility of using my existing wargame board with some of my Heroscape hexes, I decided to conduct an experiment to see what the resulting terrain would look like.



The figures I have used in this experiment are metal 20mm figures, most of which are mounted on 20mm x 20mm bases. It certainly shows that I can get two infantry figures into a single hex without too much trouble, but that artillery (even an infantry gun!) cannot be placed in the same hex as its crew. Likewise the space occupied by a heavy machine gun with two crew would be just a little too large to fit into a single hex, although the same gun with a single crew member fits without any problems.

If I do decide to take this further I will have to:
  • Use similar-sized single figures on smaller bases or
  • Use smaller-sized single figures on smaller bases or
  • Use smaller-sized figures on multi-figure bases that will fit inside a Heroscape hex.

22 comments:

  1. What an interesting idea. I have to confess to being an exclusively tabletop gamer until someone introduced me to Commands and Colours last week. We're now working on a similar modular hex system so we can do games using 'real' figures.

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    1. Colonel Scipio,

      There are quite a few people who have gone down this route and found the results very satisfying. Have a search through Conrad Kinch's Joy and Forgetfulness blog and Tim Gow's Megablitz and More blog (use the links for my sidebar) to see what they have achieved using C&C with hexed terrain and figures.

      Good luck with your project.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Thank you for the recommendations. I will take a look.

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    3. Colonel Scipio,

      Glad to have been of help..

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob,

    Although I am not a fan of Heroscape hexes (I had a set once, but sold it), I encountered the same problem (units or figures are too big for the hexes) on my Kallistra hex terrain when I was trying to run a game with large 25mm units.

    The solution I used was that units could "overflow" on their hex, as long as it was visually obvious in what hex the unit is supposed to be. But then it becomes difficult to have units on adjacent hexes, since you can't have both units "overflowing".

    So I went back to an old mechanism from old Avalon Hill hex-and-counter games, and used a Zone of Control mechanism. You could not end your move adjacent to another unit, UNLESS you entered in melee with that unit. And the outcome of any melee was such that units either were destroyed or had to retreat, such that no contact was still possible after melee resolution.

    So, by using One-of-Control rules, it allows the units to overflow on their hexes, and still keep a visual appealing game.

    Overall, this is always something to consider in gridded games: does melee happen when units are in the same hex, or in adjacent hexes. The latter might work better if the footprint of a single unit completely fills up a hex. The former works better if hexes are large compared to the footprint of a single unit.

    I am not saying this is something that might work in the framework of your rules, but I'm just giving you food for thought :-)

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    1. Phil Dutré,

      I have been giving the problem of unit 'overflow' some thought, and I think that your suggestions - and particularly the use of ZOCs - is certainly a very viable solution. Under my current PW rules a unit cannot move into a hex adjacent to one occupied by an enemy unit without engaging it in Close Combat ... which is a form of ZOC.

      It is certainly something for me to give some serious 'think time' to.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. The 'overflow' idea was one that I used initially with my 3" grid with my 54mm. My tanks covered two squares, so I ruled that the front half was where the unit was. I could have used the turret as a central point and might try that. Someone might point out that a different scale might be the solution, but then I have to counter that I've already spent enough thankee.

      Using a mix of scales is another solution. Tim Gow and his Little Cold Wars freely mix scales and I have seen this over on the 54mm or Fight blog. If you had the Memoir 44 tanks, you could see if they fit.

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    3. Stephen Briddon,

      Some of the models that came with the original Heroscape game covered two hexes, and the rules allowed for it. When I created a set of wargames rules based on them, I adopted the same idea, which is very similar to your suggestion. All measurements for movement and firing by the unit that occupied more than one hex were made from the front hex, but enemy fire could be measured to any of the hexes.

      It is giving me something to think about and to experiment with.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    4. Ah. I never thought of that. That would actually make tanks a lot more vulnerable to flank or rear action (oooh missus). Perhaps the 12 x 12 board might not get recycled after all. I was 'reviewing' the troops yesterday, pondering over the future. I probably have enough toys as it is. What I am giving thought to now though is terrain, especially buildings. I really need. Blog don't I?

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    5. Stephen
      If your last sentence was "I really need a Blog don't I?", why not go on and take the plunge? You probably won't regret it!
      Mark, Man of TIN

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    6. Stephen Briddon,

      You've said it yourself; you really do need to start a blog!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    7. MIN ManofTin,

      I absolutely agree! It is about time young Mr Briddon started writing his own blog.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. I like the over all look.

    If starting from scratch it looks like there would be room to include crew figures on the artillery and mg base though round or hexagonal bases might work better than squares.

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    1. Ross Mac,

      I am looking to use my huge collection of Heroscape terrain with two projects ... a 15mm Colonial campaign and my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War campaign. In the former case I can use my existing PW rules and my multi-figure based Sudan figures, and in the latter case I am looking at using a mixture of small 20mm multi-based figures and 1:87th-scale (or even 1:100th-scale) vehicles.

      At present I am playing about with cresting a permanent Heroscape baseboard from the large 24-hex pieces. I am going to experiment with gluing them together (I have more than enough to do this and fail) and then painting them a uniform colour.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Interesting. I think you may be reaching the limits of what be achieved with 20mm figures with these hexes.

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    1. Conrad Kinch,

      I tend to agree with you. I think that this size of hex will work better with small 20mm or large 15mm figures etc.

      It is something for me to experiment with.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. My initial thought was why not allow bases that occupy more than one hex? Such as a 3 hex "triangle". I don't know what that would entail in terms of rules though. I bow to your expertise on that! I guess that's what you and Stephen are talking about in a way.

    Anyway, some board games do have some figures/units/monsters/etc. that occupy more spaces than say a single human-sized figure. It might make them a bigger target, but also give them some advantages as well (being able to attack from any of their spaces, for example).

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    1. Fitz-Badger,

      The more I think about it, the more attractive the idea of allowing a base to 'overflow' a hex becomes, especially if it occupies the centre of a ZOC. The only problem that then arises is how to show contiguous, multi-base units ... but I think that is getting ahead of myself somewhat!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Along with those more experienced in the use of grids, I too find the sizing problematic. It is bad enough fitting a 1:72 king tiger on hexagonal space that might be 4cm across the flats, but how about horse or vehicle tractored ordnance or transport? I've thought of the 'overflow' systems mentioned myself, but I don't imagine any solution would be fully satisfactory.

    That is why I went for the 4" x 4" squares on my small board.

    Having said that, I can see as how 'overflow' can be brought into account, by offering, as it were, two potential targets for an enemy. I'm think Napoleonic, here. A brigade-sized assault column, say, might be accommodated comfortably in a 4"x4" square, or a hexagon 4" measured between the centre of opposite sides. In line it might stretch across two hexes, or 4 even, in a 2x2 array. Alternatively, a route column might stretch two or three hexes.

    That would immediately give you potentials for enfilades and/or target density modifiers.

    Not ideas I have tested for myself (yet) but something I've been thinking about (off and on) lately.

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    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      Once you start to think about having units that 'overflow' the hex they are 'occupying', you have to start to have to think outside the box (or in this case, hex) when it comes to wargame design.

      I have looked at this before. Back in 2007 - before I began blogging - I designed a set of World War II rules that used Heroscape hexes and 20mm figures and vehicles. The text is somewhere in my old computer files, and I may well see if I can find them. I also covered this in passing in my Operational Art rules (the password to open the pdf is opart01), which if you haven't looked at, you might enjoy reading.

      This whole topic may be a can of worms that I should have left unopened, but part of the fun of being a wargame designer is playing about with and testing ideas. Some work (and many don't) but it is a learning process that can be very enjoyable.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. Replies
    1. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

      I've been playing around with using Heroscape for some years, but this is the first time I looked at it this way. It certainly has potential, but at present it is going to remain a slow-burn project.

      All the best,

      Bob

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