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March 19, 2009 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Almost-Friday-Flash-Fun: Hex Empire. A simple but engaging hexagon based strategy game. (via)
posted by Caduceus (42 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
It's like a faster version of Dice Wars! I've been waiting for a more developed game since I saw DW a year ago. Thanks!
posted by Science! at 2:03 PM on March 19, 2009

I don't get why I suddenly "lost the war" when my round ended while I seemed to be doing quite well.
posted by Foosnark at 2:35 PM on March 19, 2009

You lose when your capital city is taken. You probably let an enemy unit creep too close to your capital city, and it was stronger than the unit holding the city.
posted by Caduceus at 2:39 PM on March 19, 2009

If you lose your capital, you lose. Conversely, you take out an Enemy capital, they lose. I found this out by surprise when I took the Blue capital.
posted by fings at 2:41 PM on March 19, 2009

Yay I did it! (on easy mode)
posted by spec80 at 2:46 PM on March 19, 2009

Simple but engaging is right! I lost the first two or three, but then I got lucky and the three computers fought in the center while I slowly expanded in the west. Then it was pretty much just mopping up, but of course you do have to pay attention.

I like the deterministic aspect of it. That's one thing I hate about dice - nice to have an element of randomness, but anyone who has lost a sure victory due to an extraordinary streak of bad luck...well, I suppose the Spanish Armada could sympathize.
posted by Xoebe at 2:47 PM on March 19, 2009

Wow, I like that a lot. I'm not clear on all the modifiers involved, clearly, but I'm going to enjoy this. Thanks.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:18 PM on March 19, 2009

Definitely engaging. I think the game is in large part controlled by your choice of capital, though you do get plenty of opportunities to push this advantage. I picked the NE location on a random, roughly east-west symmetrical (in terms of cities and their proximity to the base) and moved as quickly as I could to crush my enemy to the south. Once I had the entire east half of the map, I blocked off the two choke points in the middle with 3 or 4 max-power near-max-morale tank divisions and let the two remaining teams fight it out. I cut completely around the eastern front of the southwest army and took their capital with a tank division (after lowering their morale, I guess by taking out a few perimeter cities) and then by sheer force of numbers moved in to wipe out the northwest army.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:18 PM on March 19, 2009

Well, there goes my evening. This is much fun, thanks! The production values are quite a bit higher than I was expecting, too.
posted by FishBike at 3:29 PM on March 19, 2009

I really like the morale mechanic!
posted by grobstein at 3:44 PM on March 19, 2009

The 5 moves per turn really require some long-term thinking. I found that I had quite a number of max-power tanks far away from the front lines because I was using up all my moves to consolidate or push forward. And since those tanks were parked in cities, reinforcements stagnated.

Next time I'm going to see what I can do with a "caterpillar" approach.
posted by CancerMan at 3:46 PM on March 19, 2009

CancerMan: caterpillar is basically the way to go. You want to establish a good strong front of max troops/max morale, reinforce from the back, and keep pushing forward.

Lost my first two, then got the hang of it and wiped the computer's ass twice in a row.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:03 PM on March 19, 2009

I won on the first go. Morale is the key.

I set up USO tours. With a lottery where one lucky soldier get's to sleep with Selma Hyeck or Hugh Jackman after every show.

Everybody has to do their part!
posted by tkchrist at 4:27 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Ok, that was a ridiculously big difference between normal and easy difficulty levels. On easy, I wasn't attacked until the third last turn when my remaining opponent was completely backed into a corner. (OTOH, I haven't won yet on normal difficulty)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:31 PM on March 19, 2009

Ooh. Ok, and it's a pretty big thrill winning on normal difficulty, too!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:58 PM on March 19, 2009

Very very fun.
I had a better time playing full screen, made it easier to see everything that was going on.
Thanks for posting!
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 5:03 PM on March 19, 2009

I've played like a dozen times and always get slaughtered in the first few rounds.

/strategic dumas
posted by DU at 5:05 PM on March 19, 2009

dirtynumbangelboy: you wiped the computer's ass?
posted by seagull.apollo at 5:37 PM on March 19, 2009

Ixnay the umasday. I finally won! The easy level!
posted by DU at 5:37 PM on March 19, 2009

I have been playing this since I saw it on JIG a few days ago. I haven't figured out the nuances and have certainly lost more than I've won... on Normal difficulty. I've been enjoying it.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 5:40 PM on March 19, 2009

That was fun. Now can I have 2 hours of my life back please.
posted by pyngthyngs at 5:54 PM on March 19, 2009

The end can be kind of a slog. One AI killed its neighbor right away, so by the time I got there it took just forever to move in enough troops to grind down all the tanks.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:56 PM on March 19, 2009

I set up USO tours. With a lottery where one lucky soldier get's to sleep with Selma Hyeck or Hugh Jackman after every show.

Do the soldiers get to choose? Or is this one of those "army rations" type of deals?

*enlists in the tkchrist army, regardless of the answer*
posted by malocchio at 6:18 PM on March 19, 2009

What determines the number of men you lose when you win a battle?
posted by alexei at 7:44 PM on March 19, 2009

Wow, I kept playing green and getting killed, then realized red always wins. Sure enough, played red, won easily.

If you can win with green, you are God.
posted by Xezlec at 8:20 PM on March 19, 2009

I just won with Green. There's nothing to the color of your forces.
posted by fatbird at 8:43 PM on March 19, 2009

A couple of tips, based on what I've been able to figure out from playing the past couple of days:

-Cities are where your troops are produced, but controlling ports and empty hexes grants you additional reinforcements distributed (randomly?) among your cities. Ports provide more troops than empty hexes, but capturing a bunch of land helps a little.
-Victory in any single confrontation is based solely on the number of troops plus the morale of the two units--whichever has the higher combo will win.
-Your entire army gains moral when you capture a city or a port, so if you can capture empty or easy to take cities or ports, it can boost the morale of your units enough so that you can win against an enemy unit you would have lost against before.
-Your entire army loses moral whenever one of your units is destroyed, so don't attack unless you're sure you can win.
-Grouping your units together (by which I mean putting them next to each other, not combining them) will give all the units in the grouping a small moral bonus, so having battle lines improves your defensive ability.
-The move order is always the same: red, purple, blue, and green, so keep that in mind when you're picking who you're going to play along with the city and port distribution.
-Don't be afraid to hit the random map button for a new map, because some of the maps are badly out of balance.
posted by Caduceus at 9:15 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Green vs Red, I win.
posted by Richard Daly at 9:54 PM on March 19, 2009

God, that was sloooooow on my computer. Plus, 41 rounds!

Even on normal, the computer is stupid. Sure, don't protect your capitol, fall for my feint to the south! Once I saw that they were just kinda reactive, it was easy to keep a front that just tied up their reinforcements as their northern capitol kept sending folks down to win piddly back and forths. Meanwhile, built up as close a blitzkrieg as you can get in this game, and the stupid computer sallied forth to try to pick part of it off, leaving the capitol undefended. Still, took a good two hours and I don't want to play again at that pace. At least Dicewar only takes 15 minutes or so (though that's much more a game of initial placement, far as I can see).
posted by klangklangston at 11:01 PM on March 19, 2009

(oh, and I was purple)
posted by klangklangston at 11:02 PM on March 19, 2009

Alright, I stand corrected. After I figured out more of the tricks of the trade, I won as green. Still can't beat hard mode though. Fun game!
posted by Xezlec at 11:38 PM on March 19, 2009

Caduceus -- nearly everything you listed there is in the instructions. They tell you where troops come from, where they go, and there's an entire page on morale mods.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:56 AM on March 20, 2009

Feature request: 2 player plz!
posted by imperium at 5:40 AM on March 20, 2009

Fun game. Playing green on hard seems almost impossible, you act last and all the other colours just make a bee-line for you. Signing a pact with blue can help, but I haven't won green/hard yet, though red/purple is doable.

Love to play this multiplayer!
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:07 AM on March 20, 2009

Wait - the Spanish Armada 'lost a sure victory due to an extraordinary streak of bad luck'? Who are you, Medina Sidonia?
posted by Phanx at 9:39 AM on March 20, 2009

Caduceus -- nearly everything you listed there is in the instructions. They tell you where troops come from, where they go, and there's an entire page on morale mods.

Hmm. Sure enough. Well, maybe that will help stupid people like me who ignored the instructions.
posted by Caduceus at 9:47 AM on March 20, 2009

Not to be slagging you, C. Actually, it's worth a visit to the morale mod page because some of those effects can be simply devastating. I now see why the A.I. opponents leave targets alone that can be retaken, rather than grabbing up all they can.

Great game. Haven't been able to mentally shake it since playing.

I wonder if the strategic shortfalls you notice, klang, disappear on hard? If the difference between easy and normal is any indication, they might.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:23 AM on March 20, 2009

This was good. Thank you.
posted by sy at 2:30 PM on March 20, 2009

Haha not impossible to win with green on hard, trick seems to be ally with purple and focus on morale, using the speech early to get a rush. Having a map with well-placed choke-points helps a lot though.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:42 PM on March 20, 2009

Yeah, just won hard in 30 turns, and the computer still fell for stupid shit like leaving its capitol to attack my sallied forces, leaving it open to a counter-attack that took it out. In fact, that's one of the dumbest things about this game (and by dumb I don't necessarily mean bad, just predictable), that the AI doesn't think about counter-attacks at all.

The basic formula that worked for me (and I used it in Dicewars too) is to always make sure to take out their strongest armies if possible, focus on the towns (control the means of production, Marxists!), lead them out with weak folks on the front lines, then counter-attack with stronger forces and retake the territory (and more, hopefully). It's braindead easy after a bit, because (especially here) the computer doesn't know how to prioritize its territories well.

Oh, and having a strong navy helped a bit, allowing multiple fronts.

(On hard, I did have to get into a pact early on, but they were the ones to break it, so—since I'd been massing forces on their border, like you do with any pact—it was easy to crush them once they'd transgressed. I didn't have to use the speech at all.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:08 PM on March 20, 2009

Using speech? Clearly I haven't poked around enough.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:27 PM on March 22, 2009

Or whatever the rally command was called, where it gives you a temporary boost in morale.
posted by klangklangston at 4:55 PM on March 22, 2009

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