Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Board-making in Settlers and Magic Realm

Settlers of Catan and Magic Realm share (at least) one game feature. Both use hexagonal tiles to create the game board.

While they share this feature, they use those hexagonal tiles very differently.

In Magic Realm, the game is played on the tiles themselves. Each tile has a number of "clearings", and the characters in Magic Realm move from clearing to clearing, along pre-determined roads. You cannot move from one clearing to the next, unless there is a road between the two clearings, which is part of the interest of the game: you must sometimes take a rather circuitous route to get where you are going.

Compare this to Settlers of Catan. In Settlers, the game is played along the edges of the tiles, rather than on the tiles. You build your roads along the edges, between two tiles, and you place your towns and cities at the intersections of three tiles.

Both use hexagonal tiles, but use them in completely different ways.

In D&D I have always used the interiors of the hexs themselves, when mapping features, roads and settlements. It never occurred to me to use the edges of the hexes to locate the roads, rivers and settlements.

This would be an interesting was of using the hexes.

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