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Gus Landt

Upcoming LOS changes

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OK, Ed Pugh and I are hammering out a new LOS system. I really like what we've come up with, but before I unveil the beta wording, I want to make sure I cover all the bases.

Here are the things we wanted to make sure got covered. Please tell me what I'm missing.

 

1) The actual physical model itself should not be used to determine LOS. Too many differences in poses, not to mention proxy rules, make this unrealistic.

2) The size of the mini's base should play a function in determining LOS.

3) Determining LOS is a separate function from determining cover. First you determine if a shot can be taken, then you determine what modifier to give it.

4) It needs to be able to account for terrain. If I have a dude on a hill, and your dude is hiding directly behind something, can I still see you?

5) The whole thing needs to be simple, even if that means a small loss of realism in some cases.

 

The rules we're working on cover everything above. Are there any other tenets I need to keep in mind?

 

OK, since everyone is going to ask, here is a summary of what we're looking at:

1) Determine starting and ending points of LOS.

2) Draw a line between them. If anything interrupts that line (another Model or a building), you don't have LOS.

 

That's that. The magic for step 1 will work like this: The starting LOS point is anywhere on the Attacking model's base, at a height equal to the longest side of that model's base. So a 1" square base attacker measures LOS starting from a point 1" high (measured from the ground it is standing on). The ending LOS point is anywhere on the Defender's base, up to a height equal to the longest side of its base.

 

Thus, a Standard base size attacker, shooting at a Large base size defender, measures from 1" off the ground anywhere on its base, to a point anywhere over the defenders base, up to 1.5" high.

 

If that line is clear, you have LOS. You would then check for cover. So if that Large base defender is standing behind a 1" high wall, it would get heavy cover. Or if half of the model is hiding behind a tree, it would get cover (light or heavy, whatever you and your opponent determined at the start of the game).

 

Start the commenting below. I'll delete any posts attacking me or this idea. If you don't like it, explain why in a rational manner, and present your case for a better system. :blues:

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The line that you speak of that is drawn between the two models... is it a straight line with no width, or is it a line that is as wide or as tall as the model base width?.

 

Oh..nevermind me. I think I get it now.

 

So..the starting point is one-inch above ground level on a standard base model..and can end ANYWHERE within the one-inch-square "window" on the defending model?

 

Does me got it, or is me thick?

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Remember to account for terrain that is simply flat pieces of colored felt. Perhaps a list of attributes I need to assign to each piece would be helpful.

 

Make sure the rules accurately reflect the described difference between LOS blocking and Cover, so we don't end up arguing that anything that grants cover actually blocks LOS.

 

Will there still be a minimum width for the LOS corridor? Will it be different for spells and ranged attacks?

 

PS

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Oh and since SOMEBODY will say "It's in the book but not in the errata", could we get it restated how certain situations (such as light/heavy woods and murder slits) affect LOS? Also would be nice to see it restated in the errata how LOS works when shooting through friendly models. (IIRC it can be done now, but the interveening models provide light cover and friendly models take a DIS check.)

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The line that you speak of that is drawn between the two models... is it a straight line with no width, or is it a line that is as wide or as tall as the model base width?.

 

Oh..nevermind me. I think I get it now.

 

So..the starting point is one-inch above ground level on a standard base model..and can end ANYWHERE within the one-inch-square "window" on the defending model?

 

Does me got it, or is me thick?

You've got it. ::):

 

The line has no width. No more of this 'corridor' stuff, since that causes no end of confusion (starting with whether or not the corridor is flat or round like a tube).

 

You're own models would block LOS too. We're going to be recommending that people use a piece of thread or string to hold from point to point.

 

Pete, for people that use felt, they'll just have to decide at the start of the game how it will work. ::):

 

And as for LOS and Cover, since LOS is nothing more than a width-less line, there shouldn't be the confusion about 'partially obstructed corridors'. Either you have a widthless line or you don't. ::):

 

Spells will use the same LOS rules as arrows.

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SO if i'm shooting through a pinhole (a couple mm between two models) I'll have LOS, but the models on I'm shooting between will grant the target Cover?

 

If I'm a Goblin skeeter shooting at a hill giant I'll measure my LOS from 1 inch up at the Goblins base, and use my LOS string to measure 2 inches up at the Hill Giants Base?

 

Seems alright to me actually. No problems, sorta simulates models being able to crouch behind others and such. I'm ok with that I think. It's pretty clear, and pretty simple.

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Height of starting point: Can that be anywhere from ground level to 1" - or is it specifically at 1"? (I like the anywhere idea as it can represent someone adjusting/bobbing/weaving to get LOS.)

 

Height of target point: Can that be anywhere on the target (same as above)?

 

Adjustment: do the points need to be declared, or can you fiddle to represent someone bobbing/weaving? Also, from a simplicity standpoint, if you can fiddle a little, it's less frustrating than "declare, declare, LOS or non-LOS"

 

I like the string idea since you can cut a string based on the firing unit's ranged distance, but you don't have it calibrated, so it's not giving measurements as you fiddle (if one does fiddle)

 

Cover - If it's of height sufficient for cover and more than half the distance from the starting point, it counts as cover.

Cover - The higher the starting point/target, the higher the cover would have to be to be valid cover... (this is probably not necessary since ->)

Cover validity is based on cover vs. target comparison.

Figure must be within "longest base size of cover" to benefit from it.

 

All I can think of right now.

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"height equal to the longest side of that model's base."

 

Still more complex than it needs to be. Eyes aren't generally located at the belt line either.

 

Line of sight should be determined by whether or not a straight, unobstructed line can be drawn from the top of one models head to the top of another models head. One, it's closer to "eye line" and two, with a table full of models it's easier to acccomplish without knocking things over and three, it can be accomplished with a bit of string. Now, if such a straight line can drawn then LOS exists. From there it's a simple matter of deciding a cover bonus. If less than 50% of the model is visible than it's a -2 to hit modifier, or something. If more than 50% of the model is visible but less than 100% then it's a -1 modifier, or something. If a straight, unobstructed line can't be drawn then LOS doesn't exist.

 

This way of doing it can take into height differences, cover, woods, everything. Now granted this system of doing it may cause a player to have to actually bend over and sight over the top of a models head and if he's unsure he might have to say "I'm not sure, what do you think?"

 

I've been playing tabletop wargames for over twenty years, big, stompy robot games, fantasy army games, infantry skirmish games, sailing ship games, etc..etc.. and I have never, ever had a LOS problem that couldn't be solved in the manner I just described.

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I change my mind I like Spartan6's idea.

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Pretty much, anything but what it is currently floats my boat. The eye level LOS works fine for CAV since everything is on the same sized base but the machines are different sizes. Factor in that CAV does not have anybody heroically raising a sword, or doing some other flamboyant pose...

 

Anyways, keep going with what you're doing now. I wholeheartedly support it changing.

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I change my mind I like Spartan6's idea.

Ditto. I am new to skirmish wargames and Spartan6's idea is a very easy to understand solution for LOS.

 

Anthony

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The other benefit of the actual model being used is WYSIWYG... much easier to resolve... And that leads into another war-gaming standard "If you can see it, it can see you" + modifiers.

 

Sure, someone could fudge around with heroic/overly tall bases or use prone figures to get a height advantage, but does it doesn't usually change the balance of the game...

 

I do now see myself creating strings with loops on each end to figure out range... or maybe a loop on one end and a knot on the other... that'd make it easier to measure to length... a real springy string that can be stretched extra distance (not really)... and color coded for 18", 24", 30" and 36" maybe... depends how much time I have on my hands... ::P:

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Line of sight should be determined by whether or not a straight, unobstructed line can be drawn from the top of one models head to the top of another models head.

No can do. With this rule, someone would just clip the heads off their models before the game. Now you can't shoot them. Want to use 'upper body'? No problem, clip all the models off at the waist. (as the lead developer, I get to hear stories about a lot of bizarre gamers)

 

In a more common example, how about the Razig Bone Marines. It is not our intention to give them free Ranked. Just because 1 model happens to be kneeling and the other standing doesn't mean you should be able to have 2 rows of them shooting.

 

The LOS rules CAN NOT use the physical mini in any way. Our proxy rules are simply too liberal to allow for it.

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Absolutely not. If I played a game with this rule, I would be sure to just clip the heads off my models before the game. Now you can't ever shoot me. Want to use 'upper body'? No problem, I'll clip all my models off at the waist.

I realize you're trying to establish parameters that you have beeen given to work within but if you were the sort of person who did what you mentioned I simply wouldn't play you. ::): I think everyone can agree that the models in a tabletop game represent something that is in fact in motion. A sword blade should in no way cause LOS to be blocked and to think otherwise is just silly. The top of the "head" of a CAV isn't the cockpit and there doesn't seem to be any problem with LOS using "top of head to top of head" as a rule of thumb or in any other game I've ever played.

 

No LOS rule is going to be so perfect it can't be rules-lawyered. It's just not going to happen. The key is to make it as simple and playable and understandable as possible.

 

Heck, even if you didn't want to do the above, how about the Razig Bone Marines. It is not our intention to give them free Ranked. Just because 1 model happens to be kneeling and the other standing doesn't mean you should be able to have 2 rows of them shooting.

 

Then a decision is going to have to be made. Either they are de facto ranked because one sculpt kneels, which is perfectly understandable since they are loosely based on Elizabethan sailors who learned to fight that way, or they are to be treated as standing for the purposes of LOS. Either way is not game imbalancing nor difficult. I'm fine with the Bone Marines being able to shoot past each other. It doesn't change the number of guns or the troop sizes or anything else for that matter. They're still Bone Marines that can be attacked in the same way as always. I hope they do mass up and fire from a ranked position, it's going to make AOE spells just that more effective. :lol:

 

The LOS rules CAN NOT use the physical mini in any way. Our proxy rules are simply too liberal to allow for it.

Then change the proxy rules to say a proxy's "top of head" height will be twice the listed width of the base the model will come on. That will suffice until the real model is released.

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I am not going to argue on this, as I will play any rules that are released. I understand that this needs to be fair to all players and based on Reaper minis and some rules used by other games just dont necessaily fit that.

 

I also understand why it cannot be simply based on base size alone. I figured that would have been the simplest solution, but realize that it would only work in very specific situations. Its hard to have it both ways. Simple and also affective in 90% of the situations one ill come up against.

 

 

So, I applaud the efforts of the dvelopers and will play by whatever rules set forth.

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