# Does height matter for determining cover?

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So had a couple of scenarios come up and needed some clarification.

So say an ATST walks up to a barricade and wants to shoot at a trooper that is 1+ range away from the barricade and in the open. Does the trooper get cover because the barricade is between him and the ATST? Even though he is in the open and when viewing him from behind the top of the ATST he is clearly visible and in the open? Does height of weapons on models not matter?

Also

Similar situation. Trooper is 1+ range from a barricade and there is a T-47 1+ range on the other side of the barricade. Trooper is in the open clearly and the speeder is at height 2, but does the trooper still get cover because a line passes through the barricade when drawn between them? When viewing the target from the T-47 it is clearly in the open.

I guess I'm just trying to clarify this. It seems like it should be in the open based on every other table top game I've played, but the rules seem like it's trying to say different.

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Here's the rules from page 22 of the RRG

Quote

Determine Number of Obscured Miniatures: The player traces an imaginary line from the center of the base of the attacker’s unit leader to the center of the base of a mini in the defending unit. If the imaginary line crosses either a piece of terrain or another unit’s base, that mini is obscured.  The player repeats this process for each mini in the defender to determine how many of those minis are obscured.

»» If the attacking unit leader’s base is touching a piece of terrain, that piece of terrain cannot cause a mini in the defender to be obscured.

»» Only ground vehicles can cause a unit to be obscured.  If the imaginary line crosses a ground vehicle’s base, the defending unit’s mini is obscured, but if the imaginary line only crosses a trooper or a repulsor vehicle’s base then the defending unit’s mini are not obscured.

So you draw the line from the base to the base, so the height of the model doesn't matter.  So in both examples, the defender is obscured meaning it gets some sort of cover.

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In the first example, if the AT-ST is touching the barricade, the target doesn't count as being obscured.

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Yea, hmmm. The cover rules seem kind of weak in this respect. Feel like vehicles with a height advantage should be able to shoot at units in the open that are not close to any kind of cover without a penalty

Edited by ReaverRandall

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There is still some debate about this right now, but I take the rules on page 8 of the rules reference to mean that line of sight does come into play when calculating cover.

"As a general rule, terrain that blocks line of sight to half or more of a mini provides cover, while terrain that blocks less than half of a mini does not."

When determining the number of target units with cover, I check whether they are at least 50% obscured by terrain from the LOS of the attacking leader (or in area terrain that provides cover). So in both examples above, I would rule that there is no cover. The same goes for units on top of buildings but not obscured by anything, which is how I've seen Alex Davy play it in some recent Adepticon coverage:

If you just applied the cover rules on page 22 without taking LOS into account, that wouldn't be the case, as the line you trace would cross the heavy cover building.

This is something you should agree upon with your opponent before a game, though. Hopefully, they will clarify the rules soon, so that cases like these can be worked out in a way that makes sense.

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Yeah theres some debate on this.

The paragraph on p.8 can be interpreted either as a guide for determining if a terrain piece has the ability to give cover at all (something done previous to a game) or used during a game when determining the possible cover for a current attack.

Its not clear, my stance is that it is the former, that is that this is a general guideline for determining what effect custom built/third party terrain have.

However, that would assume that the rules for determining cover is indeed to draw an imaginary line from base to base and not from the viewpoint of the attacking model and this is, IMO, just stupid.

Miniature gaming need some level of abstraction but determining cover the way the rules seem to suggest takes away the 3d element of it, like the game was designed for a 2d board with cardboard terrain.

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I agree that the page 8 rule is discussing how custom terrain should be handled, but was just using this as an example of the intention of the rules (things that block 50% of LoS provide cover, so line of sight should have a bearing on whether cover is provided during the game). To prevent confusion, they really need to add information to the cover section of the rules discussing how line of sight and cover interact.

For now, I'm just going with what makes the most sense, so when a unit up on a hill fires at a unit out in the open down below, for example, that unit won't get cover even if there happens to be a barricade in between them when a direct line is traced.

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in the spirit of the game I would say NO, if you can see 100% of the mini it should not get cover from an AT-ST or troop that is on top of a building, height has it's advantages.  It's pretty game breaking IMHO also it could make games last longer than they really need to. so until a clarification well be using a true LOS system

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Also remember line of sight is from the top center of the mini.

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We have been playing with true line of sight for cover. If the attacker can see all of the mini than it does not have cover.

The only exception we have played with is for troopers in base contact with a barricade or similar terrain. Meaning a speeder or AT-ST can see over a barricade and see all of the troopers but they are in base contact with the barricade on the opposite side. The thought is in IRL they would not be standing at full height behind a barricade so they would be obscured. Also the bases push them out from the back face of the barricade.

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The only problem I can see with applying a model's "height advantage" is the inevitable argument that, "My unit has Speeder 2 so my models could actually be range 2 above the table, ignoring your cover!" Then the counter argument that you have to go with the way the model is built. Then the counter-counter argument that it's unfair that the AT-ST is "taller" (about 8") then the T-47 even though it's "flight ceiling" is range 2 (About 12"). I've played enough minis games to know that argument will come up!

It's simply easier, and more consistent to go base to base and if the line passes through cover it counts. Especially in organized play. At home we can decide anything we like.

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34 minutes ago, RenoDM said:

The only problem I can see with applying a model's "height advantage" is the inevitable argument that, "My unit has Speeder 2 so my models could actually be range 2 above the table, ignoring your cover!" Then the counter argument that you have to go with the way the model is built. Then the counter-counter argument that it's unfair that the AT-ST is "taller" (about 8") then the T-47 even though it's "flight ceiling" is range 2 (About 12"). I've played enough minis games to know that argument will come up!

It's simply easier, and more consistent to go base to base and if the line passes through cover it counts. Especially in organized play. At home we can decide anything we like.

I agree. It’s not the most realistic system, but it’s simple and avoids many judgement calls... plus, assuming we are using the cover rules as intended, the vehicles are balanced to the game with this system. If you switch it and all of a sudden there is much less cover triggering in the game they may be a bit OP.

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Ita an interesting one.

I do prefer the cover 50% rule is checked at every instance of shooting, Ie true line of sight is used so an AtSt ignores a barricade that troops are behind.

I do however concede that determining what gives cover regardless of elevation etc at the start of the game is a more precise method. Ie if a line between the AtSt and troops goes through the barricade therefore cover is given regardless of how much of the unit is visible.

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No! High does not matter for Cover.

Only for LOS.

Cover: Base to Base

LOS: Top to Any

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Those of you who believe base to base cover calculation is fine without applying LOS, how would you handle situations like the one in the video I posted earlier, where a figure is standing on a building but fully exposed? The designer himself didn't apply cover in this case, even though a line traced between units would run through the heavy cover building, so there has to be more nuance to the rules in my opinion.

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example Luke on the Building:

The Building is defined before the start of the game that it provide heavy cover.

I assume the line from the troopers leaders base to Lukes base cross the building, Luke get heavy cover.  because he can kneel or duck behind the buildings "edge"

Before the Game starts you or the organisation from tournament defines the covers. So you can define on the roof of this building provide no cover or light cover like hills

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Thanks for the input. I guess it is possible to define whether roofs of buildings are treated differently from being at ground level inside or behind a building, but it still seems easier to me to just take actual LOS at the time of firing into account. When using elevated terrain there will always be times where just applying cover based on intervening obstacles doesn't make sense.

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4 hours ago, ReoitahiKid said:

Those of you who believe base to base cover calculation is fine without applying LOS, how would you handle situations like the one in the video I posted earlier, where a figure is standing on a building but fully exposed?

In the video you posted, Luke was in base contact with the building, so the building wouldn't have provided cover to his target in any case. This would also have been the case if Luke had been inside the building shooting out a window.

Had Luke been shot at, he would have received cover from the building.

Edited by Hedgehobbit

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Yes LOS is used to determine cover. Read the "cover type" paragraphs in the rules reference guide on page 8. It specifically says terrain that blocks line of site to half or more of a mini provides cover. This is different from the section talking about half or more of a unit being in cover. In a unit with multiple miniatures first you determine how many minis have cover (half or more of that specific mini obscured) and then what percentage of the unit had cover. The second part tells you whether or not the unit benefits from cover as a whole. For example If a unit is attacked twice you pull minis outside of cover from the first attack allowing the unit to receive cover from the second.

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Quote

In the video you posted, Luke was in base contact with the building, so the building wouldn't have provided cover to his target in any case. This would also have been the case if Luke had been inside the building shooting out a window.

Had Luke been shot at, he would have received cover from the building.

In the video at the time stamp I put it to, Luke is on top of the building being fired at by stormtroopers from below, and no cover is given to him when defending (two hits are rolled against him, and two defense dice are rolled, with one damage getting through). This is why I am having a hard time believing that it is intended that LOS is not mentioned in the current cover rules.

Edited by ReoitahiKid

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Light bulb moment:

NOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo I was wrong lol

Edited by Rich J
Haven't cracked it...

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20 minutes ago, Gorthaur25 said:

Yes LOS is used to determine cover. Read the "cover type" paragraphs in the rules reference guide on page 8. It specifically says terrain that blocks line of site to half or more of a mini provides cover. This is different from the section talking about half or more of a unit being in cover. In a unit with multiple miniatures first you determine how many minis have cover (half or more of that specific mini obscured) and then what percentage of the unit had cover. The second part tells you whether or not the unit benefits from cover as a whole. For example If a unit is attacked twice you pull minis outside of cover from the first attack allowing the unit to receive cover from the second.

How do you determine how much of the mini are blocked LOS when you in the step "Apply Dodge and Cover" trace a line from center of attacker base to center of the defender base.

The section on Page 8 is to determine which terrain should provide cover or not.

Quote

Light bulb moment:

What kind of cover is determined from the leader middle of base to middle of base. That then says what kind of cover the unit gets if they get cover.

Then determine LOS from said leader to all models from the top of model (it could be higher) - if 50% or more are obscured then unit gets cover (of the type already determined). In this way non of the minis could be obscured even if there is intervening.

Seems to follow the guidlines - Have I cracked it LOL

As in page 22 RR

Step 1: If cover is or not is base to base line goes trough any piece of terrain or other base (ground vehicle)

Step 2: what cover you get is what object blocked the line in step 1

Edited by Trevor79

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So how then does a building a mini is standing on top of provide cover? If it is behind it, sure. But unless the parapet obscures more than half the mini then no.

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Only then wenn the line from base to base goes trough the building.
this can be if the mini that stand on the ground is too near at the building but far enough to see the figure from top of the view.

Edited by Trevor79

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I will be playing with line of sight / elevation affecting cover, and I suspect this will be clarified in the rules eventually, given that the designer seems to be playing that way.

I think it's pretty straightforward to do it like this:

Wall-type terrain (barricades, etc.) provides cover to a defending unit when the leader is in base contact with it, as long as the base-to-base line crosses over the wall. If the defending leader isn't in base contact, you check for line of sight and apply cover if defenders are 50%+ obscured, so units nowhere near actual cover can't always gain the benefit of it.

Area terrain (woods, etc.) provides cover to units on the terrain base but doesn't impede them firing out.

Other terrain grants cover when units are 50%+ obscured by it from the LOS of the attacking leader. So being inside or behind a building is far more likely to protect you than being on the roof in full sight.

This way elevation has a meaningful impact on the battle, which is really needed in my opinion.