I have never been entirely satisfied with the rules of capture and control, but it has always been a game of pleasure in pattern, not strategy and winning, so perhaps I am just trying to hammer a hexagonal peg into a square hole. Regardless, this will be an opportunity to feel the game in my hands, share it with friends and family, and discover how we feel about those rules.
|A render of a 3X panel|
A quasi-hexagonal pattern, following the standard color tile distribution pattern and laid out in a way that the number of tiles along each face is a multiple of three. These panels are rotationally self-tessellating (with other panels of like size) and lock together with a 'saw-tooth' edge. While a single 3X panel (one with three small hexagonal iterations on each major face) is a bit small for a game, three or four such tiles together make an adequate field of play. A 6X, 9X, or even 12X panel is sufficient for a small game, and can be further tessellated to create much larger games.
A game played on four 3X panels (what I deem to be an optimal 'small game') allows each player to begin on their own panel, giving ample opportunity to evolve patterns and position before any interaction is achieved. When playing larger games, perhaps on 2 or more 6X, 9X, or 12X; the additional space on each panel simply allows for more elaborate patterns to be evolved before interactions occur. In all these situations, the number of panels used should set the tone of the game. Fewer panels will force earlier and more aggressive interactions, while the greater the number (and size) of panels, the more relaxed and 'expansive' the match.
This is consistent with the design premise of ancient and long lived Elvorae who played on infinite fields in never ending matches that were explorations of patterns in growth and conflict, where victory could only be scored in the context of the most recent move, and only in that finite portion of the field it affected.