Friday, 16 July 2010


When I first started this blog I wrote that I was interested in developing hexagon-based rules for fighting my battles. Since then, although I have used traditional 'measurement by ruler' based rules, the goal of using hexes has remained fixed in my mind. My unit organisations have all been ordered to fit within 4 inch hexes, and my terrain has been constructed upon these hexes.

Using hexes has significant advantages. The speed with which a game can be played is speeded up because there is no measuring to be done: ranges can be assessed at a glance, movement distances are immediately apparent. More importantly for a competitive game, there are no ambiguities; no borderline cases where a distance might be 'in' or 'out' depending on how the ruler is held or on the prejudiced eye of the observer. Movement orders - defined by destination hex and facing - are made precise.

I have reached the stage where it is time to start setting down my ideas for the rules themselves. This is where the technology that is now available to us all comes into its own. My idea is to set out my rationale (if that's not too kind a description) for a particular section of rules in an entry on this blog, and to write out the rules themselves in an accompanying blog that contains the rules without any of the associated blurb.

There is sufficient precedent to show it is possible to create hex based rules, but whether it is possible to do so while retaining what represents to me the essential look and feel of old school rulesets is another matter. There are some obvious problems. The imposition of hexes removes all chances of making small adustments to position or facing: a battalion in line cannot face just where it wants. There is no move distance smaller than one hex, so penalties like 'half move up hill' cannot always work. Using a rules blog for the exercise will, hopefully, help a lot with trying to develop mechanisms that cope with all this: it represents an easily editable medium in html that I can update as the rules develop (or flounder). If I set the layout of the blog correctly it should be printable.

Inevitably, the rules are intended to suit only my personal taste, but anyone interested will be able to make suggestions (or point out shortcomings) in the comments section of the blog. All such help is gratefully received. And at the worst, the rules blog can be deleted without any great sorrow if - as is only too likely - the effort does not prove fruitful.

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