Sunday, May 9, 2021

A way to conduct hex-based movement without hexagons

        My recent efforts into building air forces for pre/early WW2 air combat has me looking at rules sets. Almost all of these operate with hexes as the unit for controlling movement and weapon ranges. They are also unified in the idea that the game will be played with 1/300 scale models. Being as my collection is 1/72 scale models adjustments will have to be made. To begin with nobody makes playing mats with 5" hexes, thus I would have to have them custom-made. Secondly there would be no other use for said mats and third I would have to find some place to store said items. On top of all that I would have to pay for them! This simply would not do. Another method would have to be found.

       At first I though of some sort of appliance, such as is used with Star Wars X-Wing or the cards from Wings of Glory. These free the game from the constraints of hexes with it's odd 60 degree turns but pose logistical complications in fabricating the many different maneuver markers (as well as the issue of handling and storing these large items). One of the things I liked about Check Your Six was the chart with the possible moves that a plane could make clearly laid out in the corner of the player's sheet. These show the path and orientation of the aircraft making the maneuver. How to reproduce that movement on a table without hexes was the trick.

       At first I thought of using hexes cut from MDF (I'm sure that there are a couple dozen places that would be happy to do that for me). The problem being the expense combined with the bulk and weight, additionally I'm not a patient fellow so I didn't care to wait for them to arrive. Casting my eye about the workshop I spied a pile on card discs that were left over from a arts& crafts project with one of my granddaughters. Circles stack into hexagon patterns naturally (see a honeycomb as an example) so there had to be a way to make them function as hexes.....

       Then it came to me............

superimpose the hexagon on the circle.....
six equidistant marks define the points of the hexagon
the red dot is the direction the aircraft will leave the hex
the opposite white dot is the point of entry

aligned in this way you have just made a three hex move 
and this is two forward and a right turn
then there is "Holy Cow! He's on my tail!"
and finally a complete circle

       Now I just need to figure out how to handle velocity and altitude.........

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