Hex?

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With the concern over streamlining gameplay, is the square grid still going to be used?

If grappling was considered complicated, surely having every other square counted as two squares while moving in an angle is complicated and slows down gameplay.
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There's one major flaw in the hex-based systems: creatures of different sizes. How do you handle movement for larger creatures with a hex-mat?
With the concern over streamlining gameplay, is the square grid still going to be used?

If grappling was considered complicated, surely having every other square counted as two squares while moving in an angle is complicated and slows down gameplay.

They probably will do diagonal movement like in SWSaga: every diagonal square counts as 2 squares. Not exactly fair, but easy.
There's one major flaw in the hex-based systems: creatures of different sizes. How do you handle movement for larger creatures with a hex-mat?

It's the same way that you do it with a square mat. The only difference is that instead of their center point being somewhere between squares, their center point is a hex space which is in the middle of their space.


Another alternative idea could be to eliminate the grid entirely and make movement be more like table top war gaming. Use a ruler or a movement stick to figure out how far you can move. 1inch would still equal 5 feet, but you'd be able to move in any direction that you want.
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The problem with using a certain point in a hex space as a center is that it doesn't account for rotation. For larger creatures to work in hex mode, they would need to occupy a contiguous set of hexes that is roughly circular in shape, since it stands to reason that they should have a radius of influence. Suffice it to say that this concept is difficult to achieve using hex maps unless creatures are getting significantly bigger, in terms of map usage. Just keeping the rough hex shape for a creature one size larger than medium would require 7 hexes. In other words, they take up an area 7 times larger than a medium creature. This is a mathematical inconsistency unless the larger creature is 2.65 times as big on every dimension as the medium creature. The square system makes it easy to adjudicate exactly how much bigger a creature is with respect to another.

As for your other suggestion, let's just say that it'll slow down combat massively. This system is used, as you said, for tabletop war gaming, where the focus of the gameplay is the war game. There's no time alloted for roleplaying. Since D&D is primarily a RPG, its tactical rule system should be simple enough as to leave the focus on the roleplaying aspect of the game.
The system for hex maps in Unearthed Arcana has large creatures that take up 3 hexes in a triangular shape that is still roughly circular. The real problem with a hex system is that humans tend to build structures with floor space as conjoined rectangles. Superimposing these floor plans on a hex grid will leave many partial hexagons, which are difficult to adjudicate.
Well, word from the devs is that movement will now be measured in "squares" instead of "feet" or "meters," so I guess that rules out hexes. ;)

Seriously, as Marcus Majarra and incantator said, the benefit of using hex for diagonal movement is vastly outweighed by (A) the problems with scale and (B) the problems of partial squares vs. partial hexes. Given the choice, most would pick squares over hexes, and it looks like that's what the devs think too.
Here are the rules of hex maps.

That said, I introduced hex to my group thru my Saga game. After about three sessions, and all but one us (of 7) overwhelmingly prefer hex over squares. And the dissident doesn't hate 'em... just prefers squares.

Hex isn't difficult to adjudicate. Good judgment on the DM's part makes game play swift. My players never once questioned my decision on partial hexes. Scales never an issue (just check out the link.) Cones and radius effects are easier and are more natural. Movement goes a lot smoother as well.

Years of D&D on a grid caused countless arguments, and tons of gameplay slowdown. Every new campaign I'd try and sell the DM on hex... and every time, they thought it was a good idea, but would prove to cause more problems than it solved. I finally took it upon myself to run a short Saga game to introduce my gaming group to several alternate ideas/rules. Hex sold right out the gate.
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Hex isn't difficult to adjudicate. Good judgment on the DM's part makes game play swift. My players never once questioned my decision on partial hexes. Scales never an issue (just check out the link.) Cones and radius effects are easier and are more natural. Movement goes a lot smoother as well.

I don't question the ability of a good DM to adjudicate hex; I've used it once or twice myself with little difficulty. The problems I cited above (scale and partial hexes) occur when you have a new DM who hasn't played much before and is used to 45- and 90-degree angles. Adjudicating partial hexes can be more difficult if a new DM can't eyeball it, and distances can be more difficult to work out if you can't go along a straight line.

I have nothing against hex itself, only its use as the default for 4e, because if you get the influx of new gamers that WotC wants, the inclusion of something that appears too difficult on first glance could turn them off from 4e.
They probably will do diagonal movement like in SWSaga: every diagonal square counts as 2 squares. Not exactly fair, but easy.

That's not that much easier, and frankly it doesn't make sense. That is one of the few rules in Saga I plan to never implement if I ever use squares again (which is doubtful).
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