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Subject: Question about keeping certain unexplored tiles together rss

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david tamali
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I'm working on a game that involves unexplored hex tiles. In the game a person lays the tiles out on the board upside down. The tiles get flipped over throughout the game obviously. My question is how do people keep tiles together that are supposed to go together? For example, if you flip a road tile how can that road stay connected with other road tiles without whoever laid the tiles down knowing what he put down? Are there games that have this? I know there are games with unexplored tiles but, as far as I know, they don't have to be connected to other tiles when flipped over. Thanks
 
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Robert Foster
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One option is to look at all the "tiles" you currently have and determine what the maximum number are that "must" be placed together. Then, instead of having individual tiles, have larger sets of hexes (of the minimum size above) on a single tile. Games like Mage Knight, the new Lord of the Rings game, and Gaia Project all use this idea.

The only other option I can see is having two stacks of hexes. The first one contains the "trigger" tiles. When they are flipped face up, the players are directed to find and place the "connected tiles" using placement rules around this tile. Then more face down tiles can be placed to expand the unknown areas.

Those are my only brainstorms (at the moment)...
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Geoffrey Burrell
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My gaming group used to play Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) with the tiles flipped over and flipped them when the hex was explored. This was until we played with a balanced board with the contents of every hex revealed. The set board didn't allow for customization of the map but the obstacles in the game were evenly spaced throughout the board. The hexes revealed usually gets rid of the randomness which may be what you are looking for in your game.
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david tamali
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GeoffreyB wrote:
My gaming group used to play Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) with the tiles flipped over and flipped them when the hex was explored. This was until we played with a balanced board with the contents of every hex revealed. The set board didn't allow for customization of the map but the obstacles in the game were evenly spaced throughout the board. The hexes revealed usually gets rid of the randomness which may be what you are looking for in your game.
Oh no, I prefer randomness. The game should be different every time it is played.
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Corsaire
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Laying out tiles before hand and flipping them as the game progresses is pretty burdensome depending on the tile count. Pulling a random tile and playing it is isomorphically the same given rules about size limits or there is a board to place them onto. In the drawing tiles scenario you can reject tiles until you get a legal one.

Alternatively, you could have tokens for adjoining features that are placed only if the adjacent tiles indicate they can take that token type.

Least preferred would be to come up with a scheme of different types of tiles marked on their back with rules like an A tile must be placed next to a B in setup. It would be a bunch work to design and unfun for setting up the game.
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david tamali
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RLFoster wrote:
One option is to look at all the "tiles" you currently have and determine what the maximum number are that "must" be placed together. Then, instead of having individual tiles, have larger sets of hexes (of the minimum size above) on a single tile. Games like Mage Knight, the new Lord of the Rings game, and Gaia Project all use this idea.

The only other option I can see is having two stacks of hexes. The first one contains the "trigger" tiles. When they are flipped face up, the players are directed to find and place the "connected tiles" using placement rules around this tile. Then more face down tiles can be placed to expand the unknown areas.

Those are my only brainstorms (at the moment)...
If you come up with any new ideas please let me know. Thanks
 
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david tamali
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Corsaire wrote:
Laying out tiles before hand and flipping them as the game progresses is pretty burdensome depending on the tile count. Pulling a random tile and playing it is isomorphically the same given rules about size limits or there is a board to place them onto. In the drawing tiles scenario you can reject tiles until you get a legal one.

Alternatively, you could have tokens for adjoining features that are placed only if the adjacent tiles indicate they can take that token type.

Least preferred would be to come up with a scheme of different types of tiles marked on their back with rules like an A tile must be placed next to a B in setup. It would be a bunch work to design and unfun for setting up the game.
I don't follow what you're suggesting in regards to tokens. The last option you discussed may be helpful
I could obviously leave the road tiles facing up and everything else face down but I feel that takes away from the game slightly. This would still leave cities unbeknownst to the player but he would know their location.
 
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Eric Miller
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Space Cadets: Away Missions has the tiles all face down. Some are "special" tiles and go in specific places on the setup map. The "EXIT" tile (for example) may be in one of 3 places on the map.

But, all tiles in the game represent the inside of a ship. There are hatches that may appear on a tile, or it may be open. The backs of the tiles have an arrow on them and when set up, all arrows must point the same way. It doesn't have to be "up," they just have to be the same way.

I wouldn't be too concerned with changes in territory- or a road ending in field. Space Cadets has extra markers to show an "open" hatch, so maybe something like that will work here.

Dicey Peaks has you climb up a mountain. Each level of the mountain is a set of tiles. There are extra tiles for each level, so some tiles won't be placed. That might be an option as well.
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Pat Connolly
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Let me see if I understand what you are talking about.
1) There is a predetermined general arrangement of tiles, but they are laid out upside down.
2) As players explore the board, the tiles are revealed and placed right-side up.
Your question seems to be what to do if the revealed tile has terrain or terrain features which do not connect or make sense with previously-revealed tiles. Roads or rivers that extend to the edge of the tile but do not connect to roads or rivers on the adjoining tile; which would be silly. Tiles that have grassland extending to the edge of a tile butting up against a tile which has mountains extending to that edge; which would look ugly.

If you are married to the idea of pre-placing the tiles you have to accept roads which could dead end and rivers which disappear underground. You could solve the ugly terrain issue by having the central terrain fade out to a generic boundary, but then you get weird alleys between tiles.

I think most people are suggesting that you modify your plan to something like the exploring/tile-laying mechanisms found in games like Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Carcassonne, or Archipelago, to name a few.
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david tamali
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patcon wrote:
Let me see if I understand what you are talking about.
1) There is a predetermined general arrangement of tiles, but they are laid out upside down.
2) As players explore the board, the tiles are revealed and placed right-side up.
Your question seems to be what to do if the revealed tile has terrain or terrain features which do not connect or make sense with previously-revealed tiles. Roads or rivers that extend to the edge of the tile but do not connect to roads or rivers on the adjoining tile; which would be silly. Tiles that have grassland extending to the edge of a tile butting up against a tile which has mountains extending to that edge; which would look ugly.

If you are married to the idea of pre-placing the tiles you have to accept roads which could dead end and rivers which disappear underground. You could solve the ugly terrain issue by having the central terrain fade out to a generic boundary, but then you get weird alleys between tiles.

I think most people are suggesting that you modify your plan to something like the exploring/tile-laying mechanisms found in games like Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Carcassonne, or Archipelago, to name a few.
In regards to number 1 the tiles would be laid upside down without knowledge of what they designate. There has to be a way, we just ain't figured it out yet
 
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Eric Miller
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How many UNIQUE tiles are there? and How many tiles make up a "map?"

If you're planning on say 6 different types of land tile and then 6 more types of land/water tile and then 6 more types of land/mountain tile it might be a good idea to scale way back and keep it simple. Then once it seems to be working, add in a single variation.

If the map is large, then consider a tile swap option- the player revealing the tile could swap it with an existing tile to meet transition goals (like 4 out of 6 sides must match).

If the map is small, then it may just be a take what you get kind of thing.

One possible idea (probably already considered) is to have some sort of symbol/color on the back and make sure those match up. Then the players would have to be very careful not to change the orientation when they flipped a tile over.

Food for thought.
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Corsaire
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stylicho wrote:
Corsaire wrote:
Laying out tiles before hand and flipping them as the game progresses is pretty burdensome depending on the tile count. Pulling a random tile and playing it is isomorphically the same given rules about size limits or there is a board to place them onto. In the drawing tiles scenario you can reject tiles until you get a legal one.

Alternatively, you could have tokens for adjoining features that are placed only if the adjacent tiles indicate they can take that token type.

Least preferred would be to come up with a scheme of different types of tiles marked on their back with rules like an A tile must be placed next to a B in setup. It would be a bunch work to design and unfun for setting up the game.
I don't follow what you're suggesting in regards to tokens. The last option you discussed may be helpful
I could obviously leave the road tiles facing up and everything else face down but I feel that takes away from the game slightly. This would still leave cities unbeknownst to the player but he would know their location.

Not knowing the tileset you have, having designated tiles like A include cites and crossroads and B having roads and you say As cannot be adjacent to each other.

With tokens, you'd have a road like in Catan. If a tile is a city then it has a mark on the face meaning: "a road may join here." Some non-city tiles also have the "a road may join here" symbol. If a tile is revealed and has the symbol and is adjacent to a tile with the symbol, then a road can be placed joining the two tiles.
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Ken Bush
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stylicho wrote:
GeoffreyB wrote:
My gaming group used to play Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) with the tiles flipped over and flipped them when the hex was explored. This was until we played with a balanced board with the contents of every hex revealed. The set board didn't allow for customization of the map but the obstacles in the game were evenly spaced throughout the board. The hexes revealed usually gets rid of the randomness which may be what you are looking for in your game.
Oh no, I prefer randomness. The game should be different every time it is played.
Setting them face up at the start doesn’t change the randomness of the map. It just makes the map known. Actually eliminates luck from the game. Much preferred by me.
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david tamali
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govmiller wrote:
How many UNIQUE tiles are there? and How many tiles make up a "map?"

If you're planning on say 6 different types of land tile and then 6 more types of land/water tile and then 6 more types of land/mountain tile it might be a good idea to scale way back and keep it simple. Then once it seems to be working, add in a single variation.

If the map is large, then consider a tile swap option- the player revealing the tile could swap it with an existing tile to meet transition goals (like 4 out of 6 sides must match).

If the map is small, then it may just be a take what you get kind of thing.

One possible idea (probably already considered) is to have some sort of symbol/color on the back and make sure those match up. Then the players would have to be very careful not to change the orientation when they flipped a tile over.

Food for thought.
Not a bad idea. So if a road or river gets flipped over there will be a pool of these to connect to this hex, and just remove the hex it connects to. I would prefer not having to do that but it sounds feasible.

The"unique" tiles would vary. Not set in stone. I'm very much into the hidden exploration dystopian survival theme games but it could also vary from that
 
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david tamali
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klbush wrote:
stylicho wrote:
GeoffreyB wrote:
My gaming group used to play Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) with the tiles flipped over and flipped them when the hex was explored. This was until we played with a balanced board with the contents of every hex revealed. The set board didn't allow for customization of the map but the obstacles in the game were evenly spaced throughout the board. The hexes revealed usually gets rid of the randomness which may be what you are looking for in your game.
Oh no, I prefer randomness. The game should be different every time it is played.
Setting them face up at the start doesn’t change the randomness of the map. It just makes the map known. Actually eliminates luck from the game. Much preferred by me.
It does eliminate luck. I guess exploration, in essence, is luck (for the most part)
 
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david tamali
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Corsaire wrote:
stylicho wrote:
Corsaire wrote:
Laying out tiles before hand and flipping them as the game progresses is pretty burdensome depending on the tile count. Pulling a random tile and playing it is isomorphically the same given rules about size limits or there is a board to place them onto. In the drawing tiles scenario you can reject tiles until you get a legal one.

Alternatively, you could have tokens for adjoining features that are placed only if the adjacent tiles indicate they can take that token type.

Least preferred would be to come up with a scheme of different types of tiles marked on their back with rules like an A tile must be placed next to a B in setup. It would be a bunch work to design and unfun for setting up the game.
I don't follow what you're suggesting in regards to tokens. The last option you discussed may be helpful
I could obviously leave the road tiles facing up and everything else face down but I feel that takes away from the game slightly. This would still leave cities unbeknownst to the player but he would know their location.

Not knowing the tileset you have, having designated tiles like A include cites and crossroads and B having roads and you say As cannot be adjacent to each other.

With tokens, you'd have a road like in Catan. If a tile is a city then it has a mark on the face meaning: "a road may join here." Some non-city tiles also have the "a road may join here" symbol. If a tile is revealed and has the symbol and is adjacent to a tile with the symbol, then a road can be placed joining the two tiles.
I've seen Catan but I don't think I've ever watched an entire playthrough. I'll do that
 
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I’m doing a similar thing for my WIP game - tiles laid out randomly and upside down. I’m also adding in ‘tools’ that can be bought which allow players to move a tile. Could you do something like that, where players get the opportunity to relocate a road tile after it is flipped with the use of a thematically fitting component? Maybe they need to obtain a resource like mining materials, or use worker meeples, etc...?
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Ryan Keane
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I really like how Magic Realm did it 40 years ago:


For a hidden randomized map you explore, there’s really no point making players lay out all the tiles face down during setup. Much easier to have players draw tiles as they move into unexplored parts of the map, and allow players to orient the newly draw tile as necessary to place it legally to match existing tiles.

What matters most is how many different types of hex sides you have. I prefer it if every tile has at least one orientation where I can legally place a newly drawn tile adjacent to a single existing adjacent tile. But as more tiles surround an empty hex space, the less likely a random tile will legally fit, requiring rules for discarding and redrawing, which isn’t very fun imo. And sometimes you’ll create spaces where none of the remaining tiles will fit (eg Carcassonne). If you have multiple different variations of hex sides, the more likely this is to happen.
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david tamali
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Ryan Keane wrote:
I really like how Magic Realm did it 40 years ago:


For a hidden randomized map you explore, there’s really no point making players lay out all the tiles face down during setup. Much easier to have players draw tiles as they move into unexplored parts of the map, and allow players to orient the newly draw tile as necessary to place it legally to match existing tiles.

What matters most is how many different types of hex sides you have. I prefer it if every tile has at least one orientation where I can legally place a newly drawn tile adjacent to a single existing adjacent tile. But as more tiles surround an empty hex space, the less likely a random tile will legally fit, requiring rules for discarding and redrawing, which isn’t very fun imo. And sometimes you’ll create spaces where none of the remaining tiles will fit (eg Carcassonne). If you have multiple different variations of hex sides, the more likely this is to happen.
Mine are 6 sided like in that picture
 
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david tamali
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may_of_flames wrote:
I’m doing a similar thing for my WIP game - tiles laid out randomly and upside down. I’m also adding in ‘tools’ that can be bought which allow players to move a tile. Could you do something like that, where players get the opportunity to relocate a road tile after it is flipped with the use of a thematically fitting component? Maybe they need to obtain a resource like mining materials, or use worker meeples, etc...?
I'll have to think about that. I know realism can be difficult in board games but I like to try and make it that way
 
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Ryan Keane
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stylicho wrote:
Ryan Keane wrote:
I really like how Magic Realm did it 40 years ago:


For a hidden randomized map you explore, there’s really no point making players lay out all the tiles face down during setup. Much easier to have players draw tiles as they move into unexplored parts of the map, and allow players to orient the newly draw tile as necessary to place it legally to match existing tiles.

What matters most is how many different types of hex sides you have. I prefer it if every tile has at least one orientation where I can legally place a newly drawn tile adjacent to a single existing adjacent tile. But as more tiles surround an empty hex space, the less likely a random tile will legally fit, requiring rules for discarding and redrawing, which isn’t very fun imo. And sometimes you’ll create spaces where none of the remaining tiles will fit (eg Carcassonne). If you have multiple different variations of hex sides, the more likely this is to happen.
Mine are 6 sided like in that picture

You mean you are using hex tiles?

Magic Realm hex tiles actually only have 2 different sides: path centered along the hex side, or no path. I think the tiles range from 0-3 no-path sides. That would still mean 9 different types of tile arrangement of path/no-path sides, I think, so drawing tiles as you explore would still result in you having to potentially draw multiple tiles to get one to fit in a partially enclosed space.
 
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david tamali
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Ryan Keane wrote:
stylicho wrote:
Ryan Keane wrote:
I really like how Magic Realm did it 40 years ago:


For a hidden randomized map you explore, there’s really no point making players lay out all the tiles face down during setup. Much easier to have players draw tiles as they move into unexplored parts of the map, and allow players to orient the newly draw tile as necessary to place it legally to match existing tiles.

What matters most is how many different types of hex sides you have. I prefer it if every tile has at least one orientation where I can legally place a newly drawn tile adjacent to a single existing adjacent tile. But as more tiles surround an empty hex space, the less likely a random tile will legally fit, requiring rules for discarding and redrawing, which isn’t very fun imo. And sometimes you’ll create spaces where none of the remaining tiles will fit (eg Carcassonne). If you have multiple different variations of hex sides, the more likely this is to happen.
Mine are 6 sided like in that picture

You mean you are using hex tiles?

Magic Realm hex tiles actually only have 2 different sides: path centered along the hex side, or no path. I think the tiles range from 0-3 no-path sides. That would still mean 9 different types of tile arrangement of path/no-path sides, I think, so drawing tiles as you explore would still result in you having to potentially draw multiple tiles to get one to fit in a partially enclosed space.
Yes, hex tiles. From what I can see in the picture you posted every tile has a path jutting out from every side except one side. But you're saying the tiles differentiate from that.
 
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Ken Bush
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stylicho wrote:
klbush wrote:
stylicho wrote:
GeoffreyB wrote:
My gaming group used to play Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) with the tiles flipped over and flipped them when the hex was explored. This was until we played with a balanced board with the contents of every hex revealed. The set board didn't allow for customization of the map but the obstacles in the game were evenly spaced throughout the board. The hexes revealed usually gets rid of the randomness which may be what you are looking for in your game.
Oh no, I prefer randomness. The game should be different every time it is played.
Setting them face up at the start doesn’t change the randomness of the map. It just makes the map known. Actually eliminates luck from the game. Much preferred by me.
It does eliminate luck. I guess exploration, in essence, is luck (for the most part)
If it’s unknown and random exploration you’re after, and the reduction of luck is a consideration at all, then don’t start with the map completely preplaced. when a player moves to a hex have them draw from the stack of unplaced tiles and place a new tile in each surrounding space which is yet to be moved onto. This allows the map development to be driven by the players in unknown ways, and still offers the “next” move to be something seen. I think this is a very realistic method of discovery, explorers are nearly always able to see what’s immediately next before stepping out.
 
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Ryan Keane
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stylicho wrote:
Ryan Keane wrote:
stylicho wrote:
Ryan Keane wrote:
I really like how Magic Realm did it 40 years ago:


For a hidden randomized map you explore, there’s really no point making players lay out all the tiles face down during setup. Much easier to have players draw tiles as they move into unexplored parts of the map, and allow players to orient the newly draw tile as necessary to place it legally to match existing tiles.

What matters most is how many different types of hex sides you have. I prefer it if every tile has at least one orientation where I can legally place a newly drawn tile adjacent to a single existing adjacent tile. But as more tiles surround an empty hex space, the less likely a random tile will legally fit, requiring rules for discarding and redrawing, which isn’t very fun imo. And sometimes you’ll create spaces where none of the remaining tiles will fit (eg Carcassonne). If you have multiple different variations of hex sides, the more likely this is to happen.
Mine are 6 sided like in that picture

You mean you are using hex tiles?

Magic Realm hex tiles actually only have 2 different sides: path centered along the hex side, or no path. I think the tiles range from 0-3 no-path sides. That would still mean 9 different types of tile arrangement of path/no-path sides, I think, so drawing tiles as you explore would still result in you having to potentially draw multiple tiles to get one to fit in a partially enclosed space.
Yes, hex tiles. From what I can see in the picture you posted every tile has a path jutting out from every side except one side. But you're saying the tiles differentiate from that.

Yes, they vary more than that. 5 path sides/1 non-path side May be the standard for forest tiles, but tiles with caves and hills generally have few path sides. Actually I think there are hill tiles that are dead-ends with just one path side.

I really like the Magic Realm tiles, but if the game is focused on exploration, I think it might be better to make it as easy as possible for newly drawn tiles to be placed regardless of how the paths/roads line up on the existing tiles. A simple way to do this is to have players primarily move along the sides of the hexes. Lost Valley comes to mind.

You can still include additional paths on the tiles that allow players to shortcut through the tile, or to access points of interest within the tiles, but by having every tile basically encircled by a half-path, this allows all tiles to be placed adjacent to all other tiles.
 
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klbush wrote:
stylicho wrote:
klbush wrote:
stylicho wrote:
GeoffreyB wrote:
My gaming group used to play Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) with the tiles flipped over and flipped them when the hex was explored. This was until we played with a balanced board with the contents of every hex revealed. The set board didn't allow for customization of the map but the obstacles in the game were evenly spaced throughout the board. The hexes revealed usually gets rid of the randomness which may be what you are looking for in your game.
Oh no, I prefer randomness. The game should be different every time it is played.
Setting them face up at the start doesn’t change the randomness of the map. It just makes the map known. Actually eliminates luck from the game. Much preferred by me.
It does eliminate luck. I guess exploration, in essence, is luck (for the most part)
If it’s unknown and random exploration you’re after, and the reduction of luck is a consideration at all, then don’t start with the map completely preplaced. when a player moves to a hex have them draw from the stack of unplaced tiles and place a new tile in each surrounding space which is yet to be moved onto. This allows the map development to be driven by the players in unknown ways, and still offers the “next” move to be something seen. I think this is a very realistic method of discovery, explorers are nearly always able to see what’s immediately next before stepping out.

I saw that in some games, but that is very bad thematically, unless you can come up with a great in-universe reason that the player can decide what the landscape looks like. I would not use that solution.

EDIT: Hm, wait. Maybe you did not intend to give players choice of placing tiles as I first read this as? As long as the map is generated on its own without player decisions I am perfectly fine with generating terrain a step ahead.
 
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