Showing posts with label Hexes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hexes. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Hexes - The Greatest Gift to Gamers

Hexes are great. For gamers, they might be the best tool for maps and other measurements. 

Many of the relationships that can be created with hexagons occur because of a simple formula: Side Length = Perimeter over Number of Sides. If you have two of those numbers, you know the third. From there you can find the apothem, the distance from the center to a corner, and the radius. 

This is true for more than just hexagons, but hexes are nicer looking and more useful than triangles and squares which are the only other two shapes that tesselate*. 

*See comments section below. Many shapes tesselate: they are called regular, semi or demi tesselation. 

Anyway, I want to show you a gift I received from my father. I believe that it was gifted to him at some point back in the 80s or 90s. 

It's a set of styrofoam hexes. There are 72 full hexes, 14 flat half hexes, 6 pointy half hexes, 10 two-thirds hexes, and 4 quarter hexes. Each full hex is 8 inches flat to flat side and each flat is 4 5/8ths inches. Every part is 3/4 inch thick. 

In addition to these regular shapes, there are dozens of smaller scallop slope-edged pieces that are used to make terrain, like ridges and hills. You could make a hill multiple steps high. By laying down blue cloth or paper, rivers spring to life. 

Each piece has a biscuit cut at each corner, for a cardboard biscuit that holds every piece together. I have a zillion of those. I would imagine that any map could be reproduced by this one set. 

Now would you like to hear the crazy part? 

They're obviously handmade. Every edge is hand-painted brown and the playing surface is faced with railroad-style grass. Every edge is perfectly straight, every corner exactly 60 degrees, every biscuit cut is exactly the same. There is not a bit of waver or imperfection in any of the 100s of pieces. 

Mindblowing!  

Have you ever tried to draw a hex? It's not easy. I know, I created a set of paper hex templates for mapping. Even on a computer, the process can drive you mad until everything just clicks. I cannot imagine a scenario where foam cutting hexes just "clicks". Every cut is perfect. I can't believe the effort that went into this. 

At this point, I don't know what to say. I'll just share some pictures. 

Model is 1:1 scale.

The edge pieces.

I didn't have blue fabric or paper.

Models are 1:72.


If you can't remember which side is which, 
just place models at random. 

A few notes on this series of images. At the start of this post, I knew I wanted to have a map of the UK. After 90 minutes of crawling around on the floor, my desire gave way to the fact that I am out of shape so Great Britain is misshapen and lacks terrain. It could be done, but not in the time given. 

Like the map, I had a list of things to photograph like Battlemechs, tanks, D&D figures, X-wings, etc. After taking a few images, I realized that I would have to spend another session of crawling around on the floor to clean up. My drive gave out at the English Civil War models. Maybe another time. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Let the Hexcrawl Addiction Begin

I am really intrigued by the concept of Hexcrawls. I've never done this before, but the OSR community does not disappoint. 

Within minutes, Goblin’s Henchman pointed me to their In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine Product: 

In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine
In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine
In the Heart of the Unknown - Procedural Hex Crawling Engine

I don't know what it is about art for Hexcrawls, but I love it. Click the link and check out In the Heart of Unknown. It's very cool. 

So I took a closer look at Third Kingdom Games and found a whole series of products. Of course, being a little daunted by the whole Hexcrawl experience, I needed the basics. I downloaded Third Kingdom Games, which I mentioned in my last post.  

Hexcrawl Basics
Hexcrawl Basics
Hexcrawl Basics

They also have map packs for Hexcrawls, which gives me a point of reference to get me started on this whole new way of gaming. 
 
Lake of Abomination Map Packet
Lake of Abomination Map Packet
Lake of Abomination Map Packet

I could spend weeks pouring over the stuff produced by Third Kingdom Games and Goblin’s Henchman. And probably will. 

When I created my Map Pack, I should have known I was going down this path. This is a very boring template for hexes, with 3 different colors of hex in three styles. It's also has a commercial license. So, please grab a copy and use it for for your hexcrawl or your product. 

The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack
The Hex Pack

Since I am looking to provide tools for you, I do have a walk thru so you can create your own DriveThruRPG links with HTML which mirror a standard Amazon ad. Give that a try, if you like. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Hexcrawling

 I started a new project called Miledown, a hex crawl adventure. 


It just came to me as art, translating it to an adventure is going to be a trick. I can't think of the last time I used a hex map for my players and wonder if I have ever really ran a hexcrawl at all. When I ran the kids through B2, that map is a grid. Not a hexcrawl at all. 

That's ok. DriveThruRPG is to the rescue. Why reinvent the wheel when someone is an expert wheel maker? I picked up Todd Leback's Hexcrawl Basics. Before this project I had been eyeing the book simply for the cover art. I love it. 

I guess if I am going to use this for ideation, I had better do a review. It's all printed out and ready to read. I can't wait. 

Check back soon for that review and progress on my own hexcrawl project. 





Friday, May 29, 2020

Thank You for Making The Hex Pack My Most Popular Product!

Wow! I can believe all the interest in this Hex Pack. 



I like hex paper, but it's kind of a pain in the butt. A full page of hexes boggles the eyes and really isn't a full page unless you mess with the hex size. You need to go smaller than a page to get a manageable workspace. I jumped into Worldographer and knocked something together:

Hexes... like so. 
As I was doing this, I hopped over to Steamtunnel's The Hydra's Grotto to read up on 6 mile hexes. It really is the best size for hexes. Don't trust me, click that link to see all the mathy wonders that can be done with a 6 mile hex.

As I was working, I eliminated all of the stuff that bothers me. Text on the page, hex numbers, etc. I ended up doing 9 different styles: red, grey and black lines then dotted, dashed, solid lines. Once I was done, I threw them in a template. Since I was working from the ground up, I made a set of templates for 8.5 by 11 and A4.


A little consumer copy later, and I had my next DrivethruRPG document. This thing is PWYW, with a suggested price of $0.99. It's available via the Creative Commons 4.0, share and share alike with attribution for private and commercial use.

I honestly didn't know what to do with the price. For home use, there are 9 zillion websites you can download templates from for free. The main difference on this product is, there is a booklet for 8.5x11 and A4 pages, plus a file with just the hex in JPG and PNG at 1400x1299 pixels. Ninety-nine cents is probably too much for home use, but far too little for commercial use.

I don't know... I'm just hanging it here for all of you. I'm going back to my game now.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

And another thing... 6 Mile Hex pack.

Edit 5-29-2020 - Wow! The response to this tiny pack of Hex Paper has been outstanding! Thank you so much. 


I am hooked on Gemstone IV, a MUD. Yeah, I know it's 2020 but damn am I addicted. Anyway, being a MUD, you have to make your own maps. Other people have happily charted all the lands but I find that most fonts and images are far too small for me to read without my glasses. Ah, the joys of being a gamer for X decades.

I make my own maps which are much larger than normal so I can read them without my glasses. Here is an example, all maps print on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper:

Standard Marshkeep Map My Map, Part 1 My Map, Part 2


As I do these things, sometimes I notice that the person that created the area was working on grid paper. The other day, I noticed someone must have used hex paper, because the small size and the arrangement of rooms. Hex paper can produce tighter maps as opposed to grids.

I like hex paper, but it's kind of a pain in the butt. A full page of hexes boggles the eyes and really isn't a full page unless you mess with the hex size. You need to go smaller than a page to get a manageable workspace. I jumped into Worldographer and knocked something together:

Hexes... like so. 
As I was doing this, I hopped over to Steamtunnel's The Hydra's Grotto to read up on 6 mile hexes. It really is the best size for hexes. Don't trust me, click that link to see all the mathy wonders that can be done with a 6 mile hex.

As I was working, I eliminated all of the stuff that bothers me. Text on the page, hex numbers, etc. I ended up doing 9 different styles: red, grey and black lines then dotted, dashed, solid lines. Once I was done, I threw them in a template. Since I was working from the ground up, I made a set of templates for 8.5 by 11 and A4.


A little consumer copy later, and I had my next DrivethruRPG document. This thing is PWYW, with a suggested price of $0.99. It's available via the Creative Commons 4.0, share and share alike with attribution for private and commercial use.

I honestly didn't know what to do with the price. For home use, there are 9 zillion websites you can download templates from for free. The main difference on this product is, there is a booklet for 8.5x11 and A4 pages, plus a file with just the hex in JPG and PNG at 1400x1299 pixels. Ninety-nine cents is probably too much for home use, but far too little for commercial use.

I don't know... I'm just hanging it here for all of you. I'm going back to my game now.

Enjoy!

Here is a link to go play GSIV. It's free to play or you can purchase a subscription.