To Hex, or not to Hex

Even though I’ve already invested some time and effort in making hex tiles, I’m still kind of “on the fence” as to whether I want to fully commit myself to them.

So they’re more of an experiment for the time being, with my other alternatives being:

  1. A single large (4 x 6 feet) terrain board
  2. A large (4 x 6 feet) terrain board made up of smaller (1 x 1, 2 x 2, or 1 x 2 feet) square/rectangular terrain tiles
  3. A single large (4 x 6 feet) foldable/rollable terrain mat

Option #1 is definitely unfeasible for me, given my space constraints. My wife will probably kill me if I attempt something like that in our small house :P

So I’ve got myself 30 pieces of laser-cut hex-shaped MDF boards from Warbases, and I’m planning to see how I like the overall effect of 30 hexes before investing in more.

I feel that the pros hex-based terrain tiles over square/rectangular ones are:

1. Small hexes somehow look better and more natural than small squares.
I highly suspect that this is just the wargamer in me. (I’ve been playing hex-based war games for almost as long as I can remember)
In my opinion, Square/Rectangular tiles need to be rather big (at least half a meter long per side) before they start looking good. A board made up of small square tiles remind me too much of a bathroom :P

2. Small tiles are much easier to make.
I’ve actually bought a few large MDF boards a long time ago, with a plan to cut them down to the required sizes and make rectangular tiles out of them. But each time I look at them, the task ahead of me felt just too daunting…
On the other hand, these small hexes don’t look so imposing and I can work on them whenever I have a bit of free time.

3. Hexes offer more versatility than squares when creating terrain
Or at least, they’re supposed to. I know that there are a number of arguments against that school of thought, but I’m with the school which believes that hex-based tiles can be used to re-create almost any type of terrain convincingly enough for wargaming purposes.

4. There are some hex-based rules I want to try out
I’ve been reading a number of fast-play rules that work on hex boards; something of a cross between board games and miniature games. They look very promising (especially for introducing wargames to non-playing friends), and will very probably allow for fun games that can be completed within an hour.
No fiddling with rulers or squinting your eyes to determine line-of-sight “from the eyes of the model”.
No “You’re only supposed to move 50cm, but you’ve just moved 51cm!!!” nonsense.

So there, these are the reasons behind my experiment with hex tiles. What do you think?


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