Back in December of 2009 (am I really that infrequent?) I posted about the 6 mile hex being the ideal hex for wilderness adventuring hex crawls over its other frequently appearing cousins the 4 and 5 mile hex. I still think that is true. But what I wanted to revisit is the third part of the post about how to break down the 6 mile hex into subhexes. In that article I was breaking everything down based on the number 12. 12 half mile subhexes and those breaking down into 12 1/24th mile subhexes. This had the cool effect of fitting in a space of 44x44 battle mat squares. But then I noticed some problems.
I was aiming to create a one page wilderness hex map that could be used no matter what subhex level you were on. When I tried to print out and use a map of a hex 12 subhexes across the hexes were too small to really draw a map in, especially when you were on a 1/2 mile scale. Sure I could use the old B/X or Mentzer wilderness symbols, but the other problem was I wanted to use hex numbers to track which subhex I was documenting and the hex numbers would not fit into the subhexes of a hex 12 accross when it was configured to fit on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Granted I could put numbers in there but they would be too small to easily read.
The change works quite well. If you have 6 one-mile subhexes across a hex you can get large enough hexes to hold hex numbers and more map detail within the hexes should you want it. One mile hexes are good also for determining how far someone can see based on the 3 miles to the horizon principle I talked about in my previous hexagon article. Each of these 1 mile hexes breaks down to 6 880ft hexes, giving a good tactical scope to the one mile hex. These 880ft hexes have some interesting stuff about them: The longer range of historical bow shot was 200 to 400 yards and the standard practice range as set down by Henry the VIII was 220yds, or 660ft. So if you are in the middle of an 880ft hex, anything else in the hex is about 150 yards away. You could even shoot well into the next hex with some accuracy. So useing this scale, a good rule of thumb is that if someone is in the same hex or the next one with you, they are within bow shot. Another benefit is that Judges Guild hex maps on the 42.24ft per subhex scale can easily be rescaled to be 35.2ft per subhex having 25 of those fit in an 880ft hex. Since the structures displayed in these maps actually would get smaller it does not stretch the imagination and may be more believable. Also, 880ft is still a number that works well with the imperial measurements of chains and furlongs and acres. Furthermore 880ft hexes divide into subhexes of ~146 feet across. That fits on a 30 x 35 battle mat.
Additionally using hexes with 6 subhexes across you can go upward too. I good area for starting a sandbox campaign would be a superhex of 6mi hexes. This is about the size of a typical county in Texas. (30mi x 30mi) Apply the same again and you might be nearing the ultimate scope of a campaign. So I have given all the different hex levels a different designation. See the measurements below for these.
So here I have up here for download my take on the one page wilderness template. I have included it in form filled PDF, lined PDF, unlined PDF, Word with lines, and Word without lines. The graphic of the large hex is about as big as I can make it on 8.5 x 11. The lines are a little funky so expect these to get cleaned up sometime soon (probably next year).
Here are the measurements of the hexes and subhexes:
HexType: Face to Face, Vertex to Vertex
Scope Hex: 216mi, 252mi
Campaign Hex: 36mi, 42mi
Adventure Hex: 6mi, 7mi
Terrain Hex: 1mi (5280ft), 1.154mi (6093.12ft)
Tactical Hex: 880ft, 1016ft
Combat Hex: ~146ft (30 squares), ~169ft (35 squares)
Judges Guild Maps: 35.2ft, ~40ft (40.3)
Remember that the center to face is half the Face to Face distance and center to vertex is half the Vertex to Vertex distance.
Here are the templates in PDF. There are three formats: blank, lined and form field:
Happy wilderness mapping!