Introduction: Hexagonal Abstract Strategy Game System

For a while I wanted to make a simple, yet versatile, system for playing various abstract strategy board games that are based on hexagonal geometry. This is what I came up with and it's very easy to modify this to your liking.

Supplies used:

*Wood jigsaw puzzle box from thrift store

The internal dimensions for the place that holds the 3/8 hex nuts is 10 3/8" by 8 5/8".

If you have a box that is a different size you can put wood strips in to fill up the gaps and make things tight.

*3/8th inch plastic slingshot ammo. You could use marbles but I found this to be cheaper

https://www.amazon.com/Vancool-Professional-Plasti...

*315 3/8 hex nuts. If you use larger marbles/balls you will need to adjust your hex nut and box size accordingly.

Step 1: Placing the Hex Nuts.

The box that I found had 3 dividers in it so I removed two of them and left one for a place to hold the game pieces. Because it worked out fitting things so nicely, I did not glue down the hex nuts but if you want to glue them down you can do that.

I placed the 315 hex nuts in 21 rows of 15. This gives you enough space for the base 8 hex board and 11/11 Hex game board.

Step 2: Games You Can Play.

Some of the games I have played with this system that you might want to try:

HEX

This is the original connection game. The rules are very simple but there is lots of strategy. The goal is to connect your two sides togther. You can make a simple perimeter for the play area by placing balls on the board enclosing an 11x11 rhombus with your color on opposing sides.

Here are some resources for Hex where you can find full rules and other information.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hex_(board_game)

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4112/hex

HAVANNAH

This is different from Hex in that you have 3 winning formations.

The bridge - conecting two corners together.

The fork - connecting 3 edges together. Corners do not count as edges.

The ring - a loop around one or more cells. It does not matter if the cells are empty or have your piece or the opponents piece in it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havannah

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2759/havannah

YAVALATH

This game is a very simple N IN A ROW game where the objective is to get 4 in a row but if you get 3 in a row you lose. Part of the strategy is forcing your opponenet to get 3 in a row because they have to block you from getting 4 in a row. This game was created by a computer program which is pretty cool.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/33767/yavalath

http://cambolbro.com/games/yavalath/

https://nestorgames.com/docs/YavalathCo2.pdf

PENTALATH

This is a brother game to Yavalath designed by the same computer program. The goal is to get 5 in a row but after each move, any same-colored groups with no empty spaces around them are captured and removed. The game can be played on the same hex 5 board as Yavalath or a trapezoid board.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/51401/pentalat...

http://cambolbro.com/games/pentalath/

CATCHUP

This is also a very simple game but it has some interesting dynamics.

To win you must have the largest group at the end of the game but when your opponent makes their group bigger it increases their score and if it's greater than or equal to your score at the start of your turn it lets you place extra pieces. For this you can draw your own scoring track with 30 spaces for two score markers or print something off.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/68199/catchup

https://www.nickbentley.games/my-best-game-i-suspe...

Here are some links to some other games you could play with this system. BoardGameGeek is a good website to find different abstract strategy games you can play with this system so that's one of the reasons why this setup is so nice because there are so many different games that you can have in a compact package.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/240835/bug

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/126653/yavalan...

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/33046/blue...

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/59668/cros...

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/32350/aboy...

It is also fun trying to come up with your own games and puzzles to play with this system.