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artemis8

Que: LOS: Difference between a plateau effect and normal elevated hex...

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Hello all,

recently we solved with friends following problem:

Unit A is located on a level 2 hill hex. Between unit A and another unit B (which is located on a simple level 0 hex) are no other obstacles except one level 2 hill hex. This "obstacle" hill hex is not adjacent to the hill hex, on which is located unit A (so it is not a case for a plateau effect) and moreover unit B is located 3 hexes behind this obstacle hex.

My question is do these units see each other?

If not, then why? It is not a case of a plateau effect.

If they do, then why? How does this example differ from a plateau effect rule, except a fact that those two level 2 hexes are not adjacent, but there are several hexes between them? Or should we use normal rules regarding blinded hexes?

Thanks for your feedback.

 

 

 

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If I understand you correctly, I'd say the units can indeed see each other. As far as I know, the plateau rule is only in effect when the hexes are contiguous...

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Kubis said:

But why is plateau effect in the rules? I thing that this rule is unnecessary! Why simply not to use rule for blind hexes?

Because when you are actually on a plateau but away from the edge you can't actually look over the edge and see the immediate surrounding area below...

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Kingtiger said:

Kubis said:

 

But why is plateau effect in the rules? I thing that this rule is unnecessary! Why simply not to use rule for blind hexes?

 

 

Because when you are actually on a plateau but away from the edge you can't actually look over the edge and see the immediate surrounding area below...

 

But I do not see any difference if the only blocking hex (which has the level 2) is adjacent to my hex or if he is situated few hexes away.

 

How much hexes will then be blinded behind this obstacle (if we agree that LOS is possible)?

a) only 1 due to elevation difference equal to 2 or

b) 2 as it would imply in a case with level 1 hill hex and another level 1 blocking hill hex

 

There is some inconsistency there regading this case of determining and a plateau effect rule? Maybe the best soultion would be ask the authors of the game happy.gif

 

 

 

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I have found the LOS rules from Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel to basically be the same thing but give better examples and are more clear about levels of elevation and such. But really what you should be doing is using common sense. If you can see no reason why LOS would be blocked then just because the rule maker forgot to include your particular cituation into account does not mean you can't fire. Afterall if there is one thing all these different games should be agreeing on is LOS. Use the same judgement you develope from one game and apply it to the next. If the rules say LOS is not possible, and in another games rules LOS is possible and you know it's possible, then just accept that designers sometimes get it wrong or forgot to include something.  If you don't own Conflict of Heroes you can get the PDF from their website to check out the LOS rules I'm referring to. 

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Lebatron said:

I have found the LOS rules from Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel to basically be the same thing but give better examples and are more clear about levels of elevation and such. But really what you should be doing is using common sense. If you can see no reason why LOS would be blocked then just because the rule maker forgot to include your particular cituation into account does not mean you can't fire. Afterall if there is one thing all these different games should be agreeing on is LOS. Use the same judgement you develope from one game and apply it to the next. If the rules say LOS is not possible, and in another games rules LOS is possible and you know it's possible, then just accept that designers sometimes get it wrong or forgot to include something.  If you don't own Conflict of Heroes you can get the PDF from their website to check out the LOS rules I'm referring to. 

 

Thanks for the suggestion, Lebatron, but as I can see, we do not solve my problem here, so the best way is to relay it to the TOI game authors (which I yesteraday did happy.gif).

After receiving the answer from them, I will let you know about a result.

 

 

 

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The CoH LOS rules and those of TOI actually do not entirely correspond. Also, units firing FROM a hill get a bonus and get cover in CoH and forests are considered level 1 terrain rather than level 0 terrain.. I prefer the CoH rules, they seem more realistic (as they are in every aspect if you ask me). Nevertheless TOI is also extremely enjoyable and the eye-candy value is higher, as I really prefer the look of miniatures over that of counters... I do own both games, though!

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Those are combat modifiers you mention. Of coarse those may be different from game to game but when it comes to the common sense of determining LOS all games should pretty much match IMO. And yes, I do think forests should act as +1 level, even in TOI. Once again I say something like that is just an oversight on FFG's behalf, and you should in all cases consider forests to add +1 level to the terrain. The language each rulebook writer is going to use will differ from game to game, but in all cases when it comes to LOS it is pretty much universal. That is when you are using a system that considers what is at the center of a hex applies to the whole hex. If something does not match with the "universal" understanding of LOS check to see if it was perhaps just inadvertantly left out of the rules. That can happen, rule book writers are not perfect. If on the other hand there is actually language covering the particular example you seek, and it does not match what other designers have said in the past, then use common sense to decide who is right or wrong. But this last case is rare. Why would a designer of a tactical game go against common sense? You would think that during playtesting some one would point out the obvious error in judgment. A blind spot is a blind spot is a blind spot. Nothing can contradict that, not even accidental omission from the rules. 

 

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Sometimes a blind spot is not a blind spot. Some systems, battletech springs to mind, has leveles only half the hight of units. So a hill might provide Cover for one type of units and not for another. ;-)

In ToI; Woods and Buildings actualy do add one to the level of the terrain, when talking about LOS. That is why it is Blocking terrain!
Just letting a +1 level hang out there leaves it open to other misinterpritations such as - this tank in this wood is now at level 1 and can thus fire over that hill! :-)

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Artemis said:

Hello all,

recently we solved with friends following problem:

Unit A is located on a level 2 hill hex. Between unit A and another unit B (which is located on a simple level 0 hex) are no other obstacles except one level 2 hill hex. This "obstacle" hill hex is not adjacent to the hill hex, on which is located unit A (so it is not a case for a plateau effect) and moreover unit B is located 3 hexes behind this obstacle hex.

My question is do these units see each other?

If not, then why? It is not a case of a plateau effect.

If they do, then why? How does this example differ from a plateau effect rule, except a fact that those two level 2 hexes are not adjacent, but there are several hexes between them? Or should we use normal rules regarding blinded hexes?

Thanks for your feedback. 

Ok I have read your question more carefully this time and realized you have hit upon the same thing I found wrong with the plateau rule. On page 26 LOS to squad D should NOT be possible. Just because there is no level 1 hill between the 2 level one hills does not change anything in reality. Does sticking a level 1 hill in between somehow all of a sudden make the far right hill more plateauish? I think not. What does it matter if a dip in elevation exists in between. Obviuosly a brain fart on FFG's part.

One posters answer to why it was that way was to keep it simple. I beg to differ. It's just as simple to say the plateau effect is still in play.

Another asked why have the plateau rule at all the regular blocking terrain rules seems to do the same thing. Well not quite. The designers wanted the sight blocking of firm land to be stronger than forests and buildings. The tops of trees thin out so that explains the weaker blocking effect. For building the irregular shapes could allow some sight lines when viewed from above, hence  weaker blocking than firm ground. To better follow what I'm saying look to page 26 again, unit A. Plateau rule blocks LOS to infinity. Now replace that blocking hill with a forest or building. Since we now have an obstruction of weaker strength than firm ground, anything at or beyond 3 hexes would be visible. See the difference now? I can imagine a forest blocking out to 2 hexes as the rule dictates here, and because the forest is thin at the top(logical to think so) I can also imagine seeing unit A if it was 3 hexes away from the blocking terrain and out of the blind zone. On the other hand, change that forest back to a hill and now I can't imagine being able to see through the earth, and so LOS is blocked to infinity. Hope this helped.

 

 

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Hefsgaard said:

Sometimes a blind spot is not a blind spot. Some systems, battletech springs to mind, has leveles only half the hight of units. So a hill might provide Cover for one type of units and not for another. ;-)

 

Of coarse. Your example here has the pilot positioned up nice and high so hence his LOS would be like looking from a hill. I see no logical difference here when you take that into account. Like I said, all LOS rules come down to plain old common sense and once you understand them well you are pretty much set no matter what rule system you use.

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Problem with common sense is that it is neither common nor make any sense ;-)

And trying to transfer logical conclusions from the real world to a boardgame can be seriously flawed.

The plateau rules works fine, as long as we accept the premice that hills are relativly low and and a map is just about how long you can see anyway.

I the real world you would be able to see the ground at a great distance. The simple rules for LOS that we have are fast to remember and fast to incorporate into our plans, something that a collection of formulas will never be.

In the real world hills are not all of the same height either, so sometimes you can actualy see over another slightly lower hill. Worse they undulate and sometimes you can even see past a hill marked as higher!

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Actualy LOS on a boardgame board will depend on how the hight of various obstracles and the width of an individual hex, as well as the elevation above ground that the observer and observed has. It could also very well depend on such minor things as the shape of obstracles or even positioning within a hex.

Changing the hight of each elevation in relation to the obstracles changes the blind spots each obstracle create. changing the relation between elevation hight and hex width makes the blind spots larger or smaller.

In ToI just how high is a Level 1 Hill? How high a Level 2? Is it simple progression and L2 twice L1? How high is a Building? or a patch of trees? And the Big joker in the deck, how wide is a single hex? A standing man may be known, but are squads standing, hunching or on the ground? Diffrent tanks have diffrent heights, and in a pinch an observer might stand on top of a truck to guide Mortar fire against distant targets.

I have no idear. But all would have to be known to create a formula giving us Real Life LOS.

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