I have finally finished my harbor houses and that means that part two of my Harbor City-project is about to begin. Before the first progress shots let´s go through why I’m going to use hexes for my gaming table.
Let´s get one thing straight right from the start. I have never built a gaming table so this will be The One which will be remembered after many years as a great success or the hobby-ending disaster. Nevertheless I’m super excited to finally start something that was first imagined over two years ago!
I have a quite long history with different kinds of boardgames and RPG stuff so hex-boards have always been close to my heart. When the idea of gaming board came to my mind I was 99% sure that it would use hexes. But because of that measly 1 % I had to prove to myself why the hexes go ahead of everything else.
1. Transformable is the number one reason for hex-board. If I use a substantial amount of time on something, I would like it to be as flexible as possible to provide different kinds of games without repetitive situations. I thought about square pieces but with those you get only four different sides and therefore four different angels for the terrain piece. With hexes you get six different angles which, combined with other hexes, gives you superior layout options over square pieces. Here is one fine example of a board which has a lot of transformable potential.
2. Terrain merge. In my opinion it´s always better looking when terrain pieces are merged to the playing surface. I have nothing against terrain elements which are placed on top of the terrain surface (which is the most common way to use terrain) but I think that everybody agrees with me that for example this Rob Hawkins table wouldn’t look so cool if the trenches were on top of the table itself
Of course best table solution for this would be to construct a fixed table like the one above (well I coudn’t make something like that but hypothetical speaking) BUT then we would lose transformable nature completely. Here hexes come to aid. Because the table consist of numerous hexes you can build some nifty terrain element on one hex and merge it to the surface. Now although the terrain element is permanently fixed to the hex you can still place it in different places and in different angles and it looks like it belongs there. Great!! If the element is bigger than one hex, no worries. Combine two or more hexes and you will have all the space you need!
3. Storage. Even thought I have quit a lot of storage space I know that it will easily jam up if I make the items to big. Now if I have relatively small hexes those are much easier on storage. Also all my current playing buddies live in other cities so I have to be able to transfer the board easily.
4. Difference. Hex-boards are a minority in miniature wargames. It’s always good to test or do something different so that your skills can grow and maybe somebody else will learn something from your mistakes. Yes, mistakes. I’m not sure at all that this project will be a success. There are so many things that I’m going to try for a first time so it’s a fact that something will go bad, maybe in a big way, who knows?
5. Down sides. Hexes are not natural shapes. This means that the shape will be quite visible and unnatural if I can´t hide it properly. I think that the biggest challenge is accuracy. I have to hit every measure spot on so that the hexes fit together as tightly as possible. There will be a lot of joints and if there is big gaps the general view will be awful. I have searched through the internet and found many nice looking hex-boards were the joints aren’t too visible so why shouldn’t I have a chance to succeed? It´s a challenge and I accept it! Here is one example where the hexes are quite visible (but no gaps) but overall view is still stunning. Of course I will use much bigger hexes in my board.
This will be a challenging project but I think that the rewards, if I make it happen, will be massive!! Because this is just the beginning I’m open to all comments, suggestions and critics how to make the board as good as possible or to point out that I’m failing to see some down sides of the hex-board.
That’s all folks!!
Next up: The Beginning!