Blood Red Skies on a hex grid

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    Steve Burt

    I wondered if anyone had experimented with this, since I have hex-gridded cloths used for Bag the Hun.
    Movement is simple enough (obviously turns would be 60 degrees rather than 45, but that’s no big deal); I’m wondering what the arc of fire should be; needs to be more than just straight ahead
    Maybe the hex in front, then the one in front of that plus the two on either side, and so on. That’s roughly 90 degrees.


    It will depend how you choose the plane orientation on the hexes.
    Will it face a face or a corner?
    If a face, you could use the each the three front faces straight and consider that everything into this 120° arc.
    If heading a corner, then use the 2 front faces.

    Steve Burt

    Facing a hex spine makes movement wonky; the plane will jink from side to side. 120 degrees is too much, I think.

    Steve Burt

    After a bit of experimentation, I think it will only work if planes can face a side or a point (so they have 12 orientations). That means I’ll need two firing/tailing/wingman templates, one for hex side, one for hex corner, but that’s OK.
    The templates show the hexes covered by a 90 degree arc out to a range of 6 hexes, so exactly like the arc you get without hexes.
    If you only allow 6 facings, tailing becomes too hard.
    I’ll give it a try and report back how it works.

    Mark Barker

    Or you could turn your hex mat over and play on the plain side …

    If you go for 12 point facings then you need to put aircraft onto hex sides when they move forward from facing a hex point.

    J.D. Webster’s Fighting Wings board wargame works this way and it gives you 30 degree facings. You do end up needing two sets of templates for everything – tailing, firing arcs etc.

    You can get very nice photo effect maps where just the corners of the hexes appear and that reduces the impact of the hex grid on the map. Fighting Wings itself is superb but not to everyone’s taste because it is complex (calculation of acceleration and deceleration factors depending on turn G and diving/climbing, tracking altitude and angle of bank, realistic spotting and formation rules etc.) which is out of fashion these days but if you have the time and the interest in air combat it is well rewarded.

    Back to the hexes, I must admit it put me off playing Bag the Hun until the ‘hexless’ version came out in a Lardie special.

    The lack of hexes and not being limited to artificial 30 degree turns is one of the attractions of BRS, at least to me.

    Steve Burt

    Funnily enough we have been using the reverse of my blue hex cloth for our games 🙂
    The reason for trying hexes is that with the best will in the world the models get moved, and arcs are not always so clear.
    It’s also not that easy to move using the template without changing the model position or facing inadvertently.
    We’ll see; it’s worth a try, I think.
    I don’t think planes facing a spine need to move onto a spine, they can move into either of the two hexes (obviously you can’t let them drift sideways, but that’s easy enough to enforce).


    I dunno. For me hexes make sense to speed up movement in a complicated game, but one of BRS’s advantages is that movement is very simple and fast. I don’t think adding hexes would really improve the gameplay.

    Steve Burt

    Well, we tried it last night. a 4 player game, two of whom had not played before. I can report it works well. We allowed 12 facings. The two main differences are that the planes are slightly more manoeuvrable (60 degree turns), and it is slightly harder to get on a tail (there are a few hexes in the rear arc where you can’t point at the tailed plane), but neither has a big effect on game play; the tailing issue only came up once during the evening.
    The big bonuses are that play is faster, and that there are no disputes about what is or is not in arc.
    A fun game and a narrow win for the Luftwaffe; I had occasion to use ‘dive away’ for the first time to get a tailed plane out of deep trouble. He then circled round, climbed back to advantage, and got on the tail of one of the spitfires which had been ignoring him assuming he was out of the fight for a while.

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