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A few weeks ago I was introduced to the game Red Rising and also found out that it was a novel series. The game pieces make plenty of sense to me--the helium looks like little crystals, consistent with mining; the sovereign token looks like an insignia from the series (I haven't personally read the books yet--on my to-do list); and the fleet track pieces look like little space ships. However, the space for the Institute uses a hexagonal pattern. With such attention to detail, I wondered: Why are these pieces cubes, as opposed to hexagons?

Is there a lore-related purpose for using cubes? And, if so, why are they cubes?

I read through some of the information on the Red Rising Fandom pages and looked at Board Game Geek, but didn't find any answers to my question.

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This is a guess from me, but it's really common for 3d cubes to be represented as a hexagon in 2d images - perhaps the hexagonal pattern used for the institute is meant to be a flat representation of a cube?

image of 2d cube hexagon representations found on google

Here's a good examples of what I mean. looking at a cube straight on to one of the corners the outline is hexagonal. that first image, a transparent cube showing all the lines dividing the sides, looks a lot like a rotated version of the institute icon.

image from BGG showing institute icon

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