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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2006, 04:08 PM
bluekitsune13 bluekitsune13 is offline
 
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Modular Maps: MOPs

Okay... I was thinking and I had an idea. I'm not sure if this had been done before... I vaguely remember something on HQ before it went down... but anyway here it is.

Basically before the game, each player must design their own "piece" of the battlefield. There are specifications of course, and I'm still working out the details, but here's what I have so far:

Each "piece" of the field will be a big hexagon, with each side 5 hexes wide. That's the basis for everything so far, and I'm starting to design a "point" system for adding higher terrain, overlays, and glyphs. For example there are 61 individual hexes that make up the giant hex, so say you are allowed 100 points worth of stuff on your piece. Each regular hex (grass, sand, rock) is worth 1 point. I'm still working on point values for other things like lava, snow, roads, ruins, glaciers, etc.

Anyway I also want to make some other rules that would make it possible for all opponenets to win. What I mean is so that you can't box your piece in with molten lava, and have a high pillar on top filled with all high ranged units. So there are a lot of bugs to work out, but I'm just pitching my idea here to see what you guys think.
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  #2  
Old June 9th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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gibberish_47 gibberish_47 is offline
 
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Yes, there was a thread titled "A Moduler Map Proposal" on HQ. I think Gary started it, I could be wrong though. My group tried it out, and it was pretty fun.

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Old June 9th, 2006, 04:21 PM
daevablacc daevablacc is offline
 
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Maybe the best way to keep it fair is to randomly assign the hexes to the map so that you don't necessarily get the one you make.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 11:16 PM
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I think I remember that thread, wasn't it 7 hexes per side and the center piece was already made? I think this is a nice idea. I think 7 per side gives a bit more space to work with. What's the long side of a 24 hex piece (don't have my tiles handy)?
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Old June 10th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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I'll PM Gary and see if he was the guy who started the thread. Whoever had done it had some good rules and stuff.

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Old June 10th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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thanks for the PM. yep this idea was kicked around on HQ, i've just been dragging my feet on it. anon started the idea but not with using a large hex shape, he was thinking rectangular because of table shape. he's been MIA since last November. i had the hex shape idea. Sydcomebak was also very interested in this and contributed some ideas.

we were talking about three different sizes for the edge width. 5, 7 and 9 - call 'em small, medium and large. players decide ahead of time what size to use before the game.

then there would be edge rules so that each edge of the module maps are compatible with each other. so one rule would be a max height of 3 for any space along the edge and no overhangs (vertical gaps) on the edge.

also, certain terrain peices were declared connecting terrain, like roads, water and lava. an edge doesn't have to have a road, water or lava but if it does, this piece must be on the center space with the option to put one more of the same type of terrain piece on either side of it.

and for putting them together, they would be arranged with a "clockwise twist" (one of Sydcomebak's ideas). this is hard to explain without the visual (see my animated GIF below.)

and yep. another idea of mine was to devise a point system for the terrain features so that the modules were actually draftable, or something like that. i was still working on that but was thinking about something similar to what's in bluekitsune13's first post above.

and lastly, and this is the most important aspect of it i think, a modular map doesn't have to be in the shape of a single hex. it could be the same shape as a 3-hex terrain tile, that can't be separated into 3 separate modules. it acts as a larger module.

think of the modular maps as macro terrain tiles. someone could build a large modular map that was the same shape as a 7-hex terrain tile and say with a castle in the middle. as long as he makes connectable edges using the above mention edge rules then others players can "snap on" their modules (probably smaller) to the big castle module. the biggest limitation with all of this is table size and shape.
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Old June 10th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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I had some pictures of this in action, but I think I lost them when the hard drive fried.

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  #8  
Old June 10th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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My group did this with a large amount of success.

The variant we used was a combination of the "modular map" and "control zone" concepts. There are a few simple rules that will prevent most of the cheesy map-building shenanigans that can crop up.

1) Everyone builds a hex-shaped map (called a "zone" from here on). The size of the zone and the number/type of terrain available can be determined game-by-game, but must be the same for everyone. Also at this point (before building the zones), the number of army draft points are agreed upon.

2) All individual zones are shown to everyone. One by one (in random order), each zone is put up for auction. The players bid draft points (in increments of 10) to win the right to use the zone as their home zone. The winning bidder loses his bid points, and will have fewer points to work with in the upcoming draft. Make sure to write down these numbers so everyone remembers. You don't have to bid -- you may pass instead. If everyone passes and there are no bids on a given zone, everyone who has not already won a zone rolls d20 and the highest roller is assigned the map for free.

3) Immediately when a person wins an auction, he must place the zone on the table. The first zone is placed in the center of the table. The second zone must connect to any side of the first zone, as chosen by the person placing the new zone. From there on, each subsequent zone must be placed so it connects to exactly two other zones. All zone connections must be a full side-to-side connection -- no "off center" connections are allowed.

4) Armies are drafted and placed as normal, with each player placing his figures only in his own home zone.

5) Victory conditions are based on the "control zone" concept as introduced in the official Volcarren Wasteland scenario "The Unexpected Battle." Here are the victory conditions as they apply to this variant:
Quote:
A player wins if, at the end of a round, he/she has control over ANY two zones. To have control of a zone you must have at least one figure, and your opponents cannot have any figures, in that zone. Also, if your opponents have no figures left on the battlefield, you win.

Notes:

The true balance of this variant comes from the auction system. If a given zone is designed to be clearly superior or more defensible than others, it will go for a higher bid. But the winning player will have fewer army points with which to defend it -- thus the balance.

Yes, your starting zone counts as one of the zones you can control to meet the victory condition. Since it's a "freebie," it behooves you to maintain control over it. However, nothing prevents you from completely abandoning your starting zone and taking control of two opponent zones for the win.

This variant presents an interesting dynamic with a large group. Since the game is over when someone controls two zones, you want to help keep others from getting close to this goal. Sometimes this involves helping an enemy defend his homeland against another enemy who is close to winning the game. The really interesting part is when you're helping to defend someone who you just attacked a round or two earlier. The alliances and treaties can shift wildly throughout the game, and can make for very fun and exciting backstabbing moments (unless of course you're the one getting knifed).
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Old June 10th, 2006, 11:20 AM
jcb231 jcb231 is offline
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Some interesting concepts here....I think it might work even better if a larger central zone was made neutral....as in, nobody starts there, and the smaller zones all connect to the edges.

I'd also add rules whereby no starting zone may contain lava or snow...that way nobody can use cheesy boxing tactics or slow down their opponents. Likewise no starting area should contain road to give anyone a head start.
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  #10  
Old June 10th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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cbs42, that sounds awesome - a little bit complicated - but awesome.

i was thinking along some similar lines. a group of modules are determined first. then each player has a maximum number of points to use for drafting both a modular map and then an army. the bidding concept is cool.

once castles come out i was planning on creating a modular map scenario that would serve as a demonstration of the modular map idea.

i don't think anyone needs to lay down any "official" standards on this just yet. it would be better for anyone interested to experiment and report back to this thread. then eventually someone could make a document that explains some of the proven ideas. perhaps it could be featured in a CodeX issue eventually.

every once in a while someone brings up the idea of an app that could automatically generate a "random" map. done right, something like this would be pretty complicated to design and code, i would think.

however, if such an app had a collection of modules to work with it might be easier to code. modules would need a notation system for the edges, like a label for each corner space and each center space defining height and terrain type. then with a few simple rules the app could throw something together.

heck, the same rules could be used in combination with some dice rolling at the start of the game to achieve a "random" map pieced together by modular maps.

but i'll mention it again, the shape and size of the randomly completed map would be restricted by the shape and size of your average dining room table. now if someone could design a small hex-shaped modular game table for Heroscape, so that several tables could be connected, then the sky is the limit
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Old June 10th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcb231
SoI think it might work even better if a larger central zone was made neutral....as in, nobody starts there, and the smaller zones all connect to the edges.
BINGO!

that is exactly the idea i have for the Modular Map Castle scenario i mention above. a neutral map in the middle with a small castle. 2 to 6 players connect around it with their own modular map.

nice to know we are all thinking along the same lines
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Old July 9th, 2006, 01:20 AM
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bluekitsune13, please check your PM inbox.
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