Pages

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Why didn't I think of creating one before? ... a hex grid with co-ordinates

During Arthur Harman's recent PORTABLE WARGAME-related visit it became apparent that it would be extremely useful for players to have a hex grid available to them that had co-ordinates so that they could plot the position of any hidden units etc. After a bit of trial and error I managed to create such a grid ... and here it is:


Due to the non-linear nature of the grid the horizontal rows of hexes go up and down slightly, and in the example shown above I have shaded in alternate rows of hexes to make it easier to understand.

When the co-ordinates are added to an existing map (in this case the Battle of Hook's Farm), the resulting map looks like this:


Using such a grid makes it possible for a player to make a note that – for example – a unit has been placed in hex D4, as shown below.


For the life of me I cannot understand why I haven't done this before, but now that I have, I can use it for any future battles that I fight on a 9 x 8 hex grid.

The two illustrations shown above are both in .jpg format, which not everyone can easily download and then use to draw their own maps on. I have therefore provided a .gif format version below. This can be downloaded into a program like MS Paint and used 'as is' or saved into .bmp format, and then used.


Although I retain the copyright on this particular grid, I give permission for users to download it for their own personal use. If it is used in any publication (printed, electronic, or in any other format), I expect my copyright to be acknowledged.

30 comments:

  1. Interesting use of alphabetic characters - not something I’ve seen before but one that make perfect sense given the limited size here.

    I have normally used numerical so your A1 would be 0101 and B1 would be 0201 but some grids would have B1 as 0201...

    For the more technical of your readers I cannot recommend https://www.redblobgames.com/grids/hexagons/ more highly for a view of representing hexes within computing...


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ADB, that is a terrific resource!
      Thank you!

      Delete
    2. ADB,

      If the grid had been more than twenty six columns wide, I would have had to consider either using numbers on both axes of the grid or doubling up the letters (i.e. 'AA', 'AB' etc.).

      Thanks very much for the link; I hope to visit it later today.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Hi Bob,

    That is a very useful piece of kit for sure! It could also be used for naval games for plotting minefields of for submerged submarine movement - just a thought for the Portable Naval Wargame....

    All the best,

    DC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David Crook,

      I hadn't thought of using the grid for either of those possibilities!

      Thanks for the suggestions, which I will definitely use.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Oh boy - I meant to say ‘but some grids would have B1 as 0102’ (blush)...

    I would use this second numbering on grids where the rows are at 90deg to yours personally.

    I am sure board game manufactures use two different numbering schemes but all my games are packed in deep store at the mo so I cannot check :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ABD,

      No problem. I certainly understood what you meant in your original comment.

      Most of the board games that I own and that have co-ordinates on them all seem to use numbers for both axes and do not use letters.

      I suspect that my use of letters and numbers is more down to my regular use of MS Excel than anything else.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Bob,
      I had originally decided to use an alpha-numeric grid reference system, to avoid confusion between columns and rows - which I've often encountered in school maths lessons, and once in the Guns of August megagame, when one of the German corps commanders appeared (until we umpires realised his mistake) to rewriting the Schlieffen Plan! - and to make things easier for players and umpire when the letters/numbers run in the opposite direction for the other player.
      Given that I'm unlikely to stage a PW more than 26 hexes wide (which would be rather large with Hexon II), I'm very happy to stick with the excellent grids you have produced - and my thanks again for doing so.
      Regards,
      Arthur

      Delete
    3. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      The use of alpha-numeric co-ordinates should - but not will - ensure that players don't make mistakes ... but we both know that if a system can be 'broken', you'll find a wargamer somewhere who will 'break' it!

      I may do some more work on these grids to try to improve them a bit. I am thinking of adding individual numbers to each hex to make that aspect of the grid clearer, and if time allows I may well give it a try over the next few days.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. I highly applaud your using letters for the columns and numbers for the rows. This removes much possibility for confusion, as proved by the fact that chess players have been doing this successfully for many years (which makes me wonder why it's not more common.)

    Your comment about the horizontal rows going up and down made me wonder why the axes have to be orthogonal? The unit at Hook’s farm could as easily have been identified as at D2 or D6 if all axes were taken to run perpendicular to hex faces. Of course, this introduces the problem of adding more row (numeric) labels: if the unit were at D6 – so the “row” axis runs from bottom left to top right – another 4 row numbers would have had to be added across the bottom.

    I’m not for a moment suggesting that this would be a better system – in fact I suspect that it might prove more confusing to some – but it would remove any danger of thinking the horizontal went up when it should go down and so placing a unit wrongly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike Hall,

      As Arthur Harman is a chess player, I suspect it was an unconscious reference to that fact that made me choose alpha-numeric co-ordinates.

      I take your point about the possibility of using an orthogonal system of co-ordinates, but I agree with you that it might confuse more users than it will help.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. I grid reference my hex games, but on the maps, I only show the letters and always on a hex row (i.e with the grain). My tables are generally small, so as long as a person can have row F identified, I feel it is simple enough to know where F7 is without having to actually number the wavy axis, which never looks intuitive to the eye anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Norm,

      I'd like to see an example of your system in use as I suspect that it might be useful.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Sorry, I should have given an example. The first graphic in this post does it.

    https://battlefieldswarriors.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/battle-for-foxs-gap-1862.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Norm,

      You had already answered my request before I wrote my reply! I really ought to read all me emails and comments properly before answering them!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. Thanks Bob - interesting tidy idea. This is much much neater than my rough grid d6 linked coordinates on my portable hex game board I use for working out roughly where troops and reinforcements come in on staggered / diced game turns. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/my-portable-hex-games-board/
    Mark, Man of TIN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MIN ManofTin (Mark),

      Thanks for your kind comment. I think that these grids might still need a bit more work before they are 100% they way I want them to be ... but they are a good starting point.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Dick Bryant,

      There's very little I can write in reply! I trust that unlike Archimedes you did not run through the streets naked when you had your 'Eureka' moment!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. I like this a lot more than the old Avalon Hill method, which designated the horizontal rows as you did, but numbered the other rows on the incline to the right. Thus, the first "horizontal" line using your map above would be 2A and 2B. As with anything, one can get used to it, but somehow it just never seemed very handy (if that's the word) to me.

    Best regards,

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris Hall,

      This sounds very like the system that Mike Hall suggested. I have doubts that users would find it easy to use, and that they might end up more confused than not.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  10. Whoops, I meant to say AH lettered the vertical rows, not the horizontal rows. Dang it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris,

      No problem. I clearly understood what you wrote in your earlier comment and had assumed that you meant vertical rather than horizontal.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare,

      But not quite as cunning as that of Professor Fox, Emeritus Professor of Cunning at the University of Cunning!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  12. The old boardgame Starfall (look it up on BGG ...) used a hierarchical numbering of hexes. Hexes were grouped in clusters of 6, 6 of these were grouped in Quadrants, and then these Quadrants formed a 6x6 grid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil Dutré,

      I've never heard of STARFALL before, and I will take time to look it up as its numbering system sounds interesting and unusual ... and a bit complicated for most Wargamers!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Starfall (1979?) also has a mechanic to generate random positions on the entire hexgrid. Hence the 6x6x6x6 hierarchy. Using 4D6, a random hex could be generated. I guess that was the primary reason for using such a particular numbering system.

      Delete
    3. Phil Dutré,

      That makes sense in the context of the game ... but I suspect that most wargamers would still find it too complicated.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete