Sunday, 13 September 2015

Hex or Square Map Grid

Hex Grid Tactical Map
I recently I changed all of the campaign maps from square to hex grid.   I decided to do so following a couple of comments from players that they did not like being restricted to north, south, east or west movement from each map square.   A hex grid map would allow much more freedom of movement.

Having done so I was also quite pleased with the hex grid maps.  I think that they look better than the square grid maps.

However I was aware that they did not provide the main function of the tactical map, which is to show the player exactly what the wargames table will look like.  Each square on the map is exactly the same as the terrain square on the wargames table.

To overcome this problem I sent each player two tactical maps, one with squares and one with hex.

However I have now spotted a major flaw.

Square Grid Tactical Map
This square grid covers the same area as the above hex map.  If you look at the French corps top right you will see what I mean.   On the hex map this corps has an empty hex between them and the city of Burgos.   On the square map they are in the adjacent square.

Wargames table at start of battle

Here the problem is even more obvious.   The French corps top right should in fact be at the edge of the square, placing it a few inches from the wall of Burgos.   They should be a full 24” from the city wall.   I have placed them 12” from the city wall as a compromise.

This is a major problem, because the whole campaign was designed to provide interesting battles for Jan and I to wargame.   The map was designed from the table, rather than the opposite which is more usual.

It is important that the wargame opens with 24” between the two armies.  This is slightly longer than long range artillery fire.  It allows the attacker to deploy out of artillery range, and the defender to inflict some casualties as the attacker moves to attack.

This is a good example of change for the best of motives proving not to be for the better.

I will be changing back to square grid maps at the end of each current campaign phase.


Chorch A. said...

In my blogs, "El rincón de Byron" and "Pas de manoeuvre!" I made a similar progression from hex to point-to-point to square.
A posible solution are the Offset Squares system, detailed in some blogs like:

- Bob Cordery's blog ( or

- MsFoy's blog (

In my own experience in:

I hope it helps,


Chorch A. said...

Hi, thistlebarrow:

I think the answer for you question is Offset squares.
You can see it in Robert's Cordery blog or MsFoy's blog.
My own version:

I hope it helps,


thistlebarrow said...

HI Chorch

Thanks for the suggestion and link.

I will check them out and see if I can use them