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In your games, do you use 1"=1m or 1"=2m?


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In your games, do you use 1"=1m or 1"=2m?  

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  1. 1. In your Champions games, do you use 1"=1m or 1"=2m?

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    • 1"=2m
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Sorry, we played in college classrooms so everything was drawn out on the large blackboards. Dex chart on one side of the large board and battle maps on the other.  The scale shifted depending on the area in question. Always in scale to the marks indicating the PC’s.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map–territory_relation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)#Fallacy_of_misplaced_concreteness

 

Hexes are an abstraction, notable only because they were found an a type of battlemat commonly available at the time the game was created, primarily for wargames but usable in an rpg context as well. The three basic choices were square grid, hex grid, no grid (use a measuring tape). Square grids have an odd pixelation effect on movement and AoE abilities and facing is difficult to manage. Hexes are not immune to this but lessen the effect considerably and offer a compelling advantage over squared grids for those who require a little more precision. 

 

At the time, most miniatures available were somewhere between 22mm and 32mm in scale (though exceptions existed at both ends), with a sort of happy middle ground between 25 and 28mm. 

 

Layered over that were some practical considerations, such as the size of the typical battlemat, which itself was driven by the size of the typical playing surface, and the desire for some extra space around the board for character sheets, books, dice, drinks, snacks, elbows, et al, and you get a reasonable approximation of 2m (a common approximation of the height of an adult male human) per hex as a working general model.

 

From there, if you are writing a game that you fully intend to be played on a hex battlemap at 2m per hex, then it seems like a convenient shortcut to just measure all distances in hexes within the rule text including weapon ranges, movement, general measurement of distances (yeah yeah, its 125 feet tall...how many hexes is that?), and so on. Unfortunately, this shortcut is founded on a big assumption, and as all decisions based upon an assumption it is a wrong decision whenever the founding assumption is not true.

 

To wit...people who don't use a tactical map at all are encumbered by the hex concept which has no bearing at all to their non-tactically mapped game resolution. The introduction of megascale to the rules, useful for things like space based games particularly, would greatly prefer a tactical map that deals in something a bit more practical to them than 2m. Vehicles and supers with high mobility quickly make a farce out of the distance available on the tactical battle map, easily traversing off the edge and requiring hand waving or a reset...but if only the abstraction of the hex lines drawn on the map were decoupled from the amount of real distance they are meant to represent and from the rules text that needlessly expresses itself in that coupling, this logical flaw just falls away.

 

And it should be obvious, but I'll point out that you can choose to continue to treat hexes as 2m increments the same as you ever could. Decoupling the tactical map representation from a unit of measurement did not take away your ability to continue to use your trusty battlemat or what have you in exactly the same way as you ever did. What it accomplished is allowing you to also scale your representation as necessary or desired. For instance, perhaps for MOST conflicts you treat 1 hex as 2m, nothing has changed for you, but to do an aerial battle or a naval engagement or a car chase thru a city or a battle between giant mechs you shift the scale and for that resolution treat 1 hex as 5m, and for a small intimate battle in a tight space you change the scale for that engagement to 1 hex is 1m. It gives you much more control over the tactical representation for a given conflict. 

 

Think of it algebraically; replace all references to hexes with the variable "x" (just delete he- and -es from the word so to speak). Let x = whatever number you want it to be to suit your current playing surface and the action being resolved there on.

 

Personally, I prefer playing the game at 1 hex = 1m for typical heroic conflicts where the characters involved are basically mundane, but for conflicts where people have high mobility, it can be useful to zoom out a bit and handle it at 1 hex = 2m or more. I prefer to shift along 1, 2, 5, 10 per hex and anything beyond that I would tend to handle abstractly (not on a tactical map) unless there was a strong reason to do so. I tend to just hand wave megascale movement as being effectively non-tactical.

 

As a practical exercise, get a piece of blank grid paper; it doesn't matter if it is hex or square, and draw a rpg map of whatever. One of the first things you need to decide on is the scale. Does one grid unit equal 5 feet or 10 feet or 100 feet? You make this decision every time you take out a new sheet of grid paper and start to draw; you may have a default scale that you sort of auto-decide, but the choice is there and you can make a decision based upon what you are trying to represent vs force yourself to draw everything at a uniform scale even if it takes 50 sheets of graph paper taped end to end to do it.

 

A representation of distance on a tactical map is an abstraction. A precise unit of measurement is a concretion. By coupling an abstraction that was only true in a specific context to a concretion that was entirely arbitrary was a bit of a mistake by the original game designer(s) which no doubt seemed reasonable and intuitive at the time but in retrospect was unnecessarily limiting, but to compound the mistake by doing it at a ratio (1:2 hex:meter in this case) compounded the mistake. If it had at least been 1:1 then it would have been little more than a quirky label (this game calls meters "hexes", oh well no big deal) or possibly even a useful abstraction unto itself (a hex is whatever distance it is defined to be in a campaign's guidelines). Instead it was a unnecessary anchoring of a not-necessarily-a-tactical-game-system to a tactical battle map.

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We user 1 meter hexes, as per 6th edition, but it rarely matters.  We tend to use narrative/mind's eye rather than maps and movement rates tend to matter relative to each other or in MPH for really fast characters as opposed to absolute values.

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Because 6E eliminates hexes entirely and goes with straight-up meters instead, I've been using in my campaign 1 hex = 1 m. I considered just going gridless, but changing facing and Turn Mode still use 60-degree increments and, so far as I'm aware, Roll20 lacks a protractor.

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To be fair, we do tend to scale larger depending on the size of the area and the needs of the scene.   This map, for example:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iCRaNFAB-Vx3XZ9HFRsFhxmS3SLcOdb0/view?usp=sharing

 

shows 1 hex = 200m.

 

The map of the inset:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rNeUZgLh8n_-yA4xS_qNHuwx39ZCD7Zh/view?usp=sharing

 

shows a scale of 1 hex =  2m.

 

Humorously enough, this is my own mistake.  It _should_ read 1 hex = 4 meters, but just out of habit.....

 

 

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On 8/20/2021 at 7:56 PM, Duke Bushido said:

To be fair, we do tend to scale larger depending on the size of the area and the needs of the scene.   This map, for example:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iCRaNFAB-Vx3XZ9HFRsFhxmS3SLcOdb0/view?usp=sharing

 

shows 1 hex = 200m.

 

The map of the inset:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iCRaNFAB-Vx3XZ9HFRsFhxmS3SLcOdb0/view?usp=sharing

 

shows a scale of 1 hex =  2m.

 

Humorously enough, this is my own mistake.  It _should_ read 1 hex = 4 meters, but just out of habit.....

 

 

 

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but both links appear to be the same.

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I generally don't use large maps (suitable for using figures) until they are needed.  I prefer maps large enough to read but too small to ever put a figure on. 

If the game gets to a point that required a "battlemat" and it is Hero I will use the 1 hex is 2 meters from the rules (I play 5th edition and earlier).   Especially for superheroic games or ones where the combat action is detailed and unique powers.  For other genres I may never use a "battlemat" at all, a shoot out can be easily completed narrative style. 

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I really cannot do anything tactical narratively, or theater of the mind. I need maps and tokens as both a player and GM. I need to see the environment before I can decide on a course of action. It’s why I am stoked about running fantasy Hero on Tabletop Simulator. If it was face to face, I would have the hex mat out as a tablecloth. I usually use 2m or 6 foot hexes on a 25mm hex mat I have had since I started GMing FH since the early 90’s, I had another one but zi think it ended up with a friend in Japan. 

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1" hex = 2m

 

Assuming a 1" hex battlemat, that's also a convenient size for minis or standies, closer to the 25-35mm minis you can readily find, or the old cardboard heroes, rather than using up to 2" tall minis... that'd be, 50mm?  

 

Dropping a convenient TT scale like hexes or squares for in-game measurements is OK... essentially meaningless, really... how hard is it to divide by 2 all the time?  Any harder/easier than multiplying by 2 when you want an in-world measurement?  

 

 

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On 8/19/2021 at 12:58 PM, Hey I Can Chan said:

Because 6E eliminates hexes entirely and goes with straight-up meters instead, I've been using in my campaign 1 hex = 1 m. I considered just going gridless, but changing facing and Turn Mode still use 60-degree increments and, so far as I'm aware, Roll20 lacks a protractor.

if there are hexes you can figure out down to 30 degrees easy, 15 degrees if you have help

squares get you 45 degrees easy and 22.5 degrees if you have help

 

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17 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

I really cannot do anything tactical narratively, or theater of the mind. I need maps and tokens as both a player and GM. I need to see the environment before I can decide on a course of action. It’s why I am stoked about running fantasy Hero on Tabletop Simulator. If it was face to face, I would have the hex mat out as a tablecloth. I usually use 2m or 6 foot hexes on a 25mm hex mat I have had since I started GMing FH since the early 90’s, I had another one but zi think it ended up with a friend in Japan. 

 

Completely understand.  I use maps too.  Just not mondo biggies for miniatures.   For example in my Star Trek RPG games I use deckplans printed with one deck to a 11"x17" sheet.  That is large enough that you can see deck details but far too small to place figure.  Everyone has a good idea of where things are and can describe where their characters are and what they plan to do.   I use the Ultra Pro 11"x17" top loaders.  You can write on them with markers and erase.  I love to use maps and layouts in the game, deckplans, floorplans and other maps.   But I hate figures on the maps because it worse that a drogue chute or retro-rockets for a game.  Give a layout of an area on a small map and the players will describe what they want to do.  Give them a figure to hold and place and you will have time to whittle a life sized copy of the Statue of Liberty before they can make up their minds to hold their action.  You can die from old age if they actually try to do something.  I even tried egg timers and half of the players were stuck in the "I ran out of time so I am holding" trap.   Amazingly this is not an issue using smaller map scales.  Players are suddenly able to say "I use available cover and watch the door".  Shocking I know. 

 

I haven't found a functional virtual anything yet.  I tried Roll20, Fantasy Grounds and so on.  All of them have expended all their resources for the completely unneeded and irrelevant Character Sheets and such but completely failed to deliver easy to use maps that can be seen by everyone.  Unless it is D&D or a D&D clone.  But that is a bird of another feather.

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