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droidly

Line of sight

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Per this thread on BGG, there is some confusion about the line of sight rules in Descent 2E.  I'd like to know the official ruling.  The problem:

In the Line of Sight Example #2 on page 12 of the rulebook, Jain and the zombie are said not to have LOS, because neither of the 2 lines drawn in the example are sufficient to establish LOS.  However, the rules say that LOS can be established by drawing a line from "any corner to . . . any corner" of the tiles (emphasis in original).  So there are 16 possible lines to draw between their tiles, and at least one of those lines would establish LOS: from Jain's lower-left corner to the zombie's lower-right corner, for example, would pass right through the corner between the boulders.

There is a lot of speculation on the BGG forum, e.g. that maybe you can't trace these lines through the figures' own tiles--that you can't actually choose any corner, but must choose a relatively "forward" corner.  But that isn't consistent with the idea that, if I am attacking a large monster, I can target any of the tiles it occupies as my target (since some of those squares may not be the nearest tile to me).  The worse problem is the seeming arbitrariness of the distinction between cases with LOS and those without: if I can trace a LOS when 4 tiles apart, but not when 5 apart, but can again when 6 apart… it sounds like time for some house rules, or better yet, an official ruling.

Anyway, I think the question is clear: by a strict reading of the rules, Jain and the zombie do have LOS; but per the example they do not.  Is the example wrong, or are the rules missing something?

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 The rules could be more explicit.  But in the example, the path passes through an enemy space on the way to a corner, so the LOS is blocked.

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exy said:

But that isn't consistent with the idea that, if I am attacking a large monster, I can target any of the tiles it occupies as my target (since some of those squares may not be the nearest tile to me). 

What makes you think you have a choice of targeting the rear spaces of a large monster?  I remember the rules saying that which space you targeted was important for purposes of Blast, but I don't recall any suggestion that all spaces were targetable from all angles, and that certainly was not the case in 1e.

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radiskull said:

 The rules could be more explicit.  But in the example, the path passes through an enemy space on the way to a corner, so the LOS is blocked.

Taking what you say on faith, I can understand why the example shows only the lines that it does.  Indeed, it is consistent with the rules, where they say the line cannot pass through a blocked space (i.e. one containing a figure).  It is a little funky, tough that the figure "blocking" the space is the one I'm trying to trace LOS to.  I don't have as much of a problem with that as some I've seen on BGG forums, but I can see a little irony there.  Certainly, the rules could have stood to have labored this point right around the area they're putting "any corner" in boldface.

It also still seems a little bit arbitrary that were the zombie one space south of his location in the example, Jain would have LOS. Arbitrary but acceptable, since I can imagine that he's just far enough behind the boulder in the example as printed.

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Antistone said:

What makes you think you have a choice of targeting the rear spaces of a large monster?  I remember the rules saying that which space you targeted was important for purposes of Blast, but I don't recall any suggestion that all spaces were targetable from all angles, and that certainly was not the case in 1e.

Fair enough. You are right, nothing in the rules says you can get away with choosing any space. We can put together from the idea radiskull put forward, that pieces block their own corners, that large monsters block their own "rearward" spaces, that you can't target the distant spaces under large monsters.  I guess this is how the rules are meant to be played. I assume I am not the only one to find this seeming inconsistency with the rules, though--hopefully FFG will toss this into a FAQ.

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exy said:

…I assume I am not the only one to find this seeming inconsistency with the rules, though--hopefully FFG will toss this into a FAQ.

You are definitely not alone. I caught that inconsistency myself of how your target blocks his own rear corner at which you wish to target him for LOS purposes. I play for now how the rules say to play because the Overlord's monsters with ranged must apply themselves by the same rules (albeit I am sure the ranged heroes will definitely be affected more often by this ruling). We will have to wait and see if anything changes.

On a side-note, can anyone use any weapon in this game, like the dwarf warrior uses a rune to cast spells?

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Tromdial said:

On a side-note, can anyone use any weapon in this game, like the dwarf warrior uses a rune to cast spells?

 

 

There doesn't seem to be any rule against it.  Our group has had characters use different weapons that way.

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You can't use someone else's starting weapon, because starting weapons can't be traded.  Other than that, yes, anyone can use any weapon - but certain skills will only work in combination with certain weapons.

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 The rules are clear: "If the line passes through the edge of a map tile, a door, or a blocked space (a space containing a figure or obstacle), the target space is not in the line of sight". Since your line passes through a blocked space (regardless if it is your intended target) the rules state no LOS is attainable. As players of board games we must keep in mind that as immersive as we would like the game world to be, certain real-world laws must be "bent" to allow the game to be played as balanced and fun as possible. Just as we are not targeting the 3D model on the board (we are targeting a tile) the rules for LOS, as written, should be respected. In other words, yes it seems a bit wonky that the target is the figure causing the blocked space in our reality, but in the (board) game world it is perfectly justified and in fact necessary to allow for the strategy of the game to succeed.

Now that i look at the example in the rule book, FFG probably should have added your line as red to emphasize the target as blocking LOS. Yay for forums!

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 It makes sense to say that if you don't have LOS to the front of your target you don't have LOS to anything behind it either. That seems pretty consistent.

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I had the same thought as the OP, based on the "any corner" rule text. I even drew a diagram showing the line from Jain's bottom left corner to the zombie's bottom right corner. The "monster blocks LOS to itself" interpretation strikes me as bizarre. Added to that, a zombie below the first one would be in LOS, once the original zombie moved out of the way. I can't shoot the 2nd zombie because the 1st zombie is blocking my LOS, but the 1st zombie isn't in LOS?

I am also bothered by the fact that Leoric has LOS to the zombie. If an obstacle was between Leoric and the zombie on a straight orthogonal line LOS would be blocked, but on a diagonal line it's not?

I'm leaning towards a "cover" house rule. An obstacle on a straight line, orthogonal or diagonal, blocks LOS. Add one to the range for each obstacle that could potentially interfere with LOS. In the example, Leoric has no LOS and Jain would have to make a range 6 (4+2) attack. 
 

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The rules are clear and are written as concisely as possible. The issue here is more some readers' expectations making them trying to read something else into the text. Yes, there is a little inconsistency in the application, but its now trivially easy and certain to apply LOS which, for a board game of this nature, is a good result on balance IMO.

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Yeah. The rules are clear. The rules state that line of sight is blocked by "(a space containing a figure or obstacle)". Well, just like you couldn't see the goblin behind the Ettin, you can't see the corner of the square behind the Ettin. Seems pretty clear to me.

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I found it helpful to map things out.  After several iterations I think I've corrected all my mistakes.  The green lines represent Descent 2E line of sight rules (D2E).  The grey-blue diagonal line is both D2E and a traditional center-to-center (C2C) LOS.  The grey line down to the 5 is also a C2C.  The numbers represent range.  The dashes are blocked LOS.  D2E opens up a lot more targets than C2C, which is a good thing.   A compromise would be to draw the C2C lines and include all squares touched, including at corners.  That would only exclude the 4 to the right of the zombie and the 5 below that 4.  The 3 in the upper right would also be excluded if those weren't already blocked squares.  I still dislike both of the zombie rulings in the original diagram.  Maybe I'll get out my marker and write "Curve ball" as an ability on all missile attacks -- it's magic! 



384710_503045819722534_992195293_n.jpg

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J doesn't have LOS to the Zombie because the line pass through the space of the  zombie and the rules explicity doesn't allow that. The LoS is traced by corner to corner, and if there isn't any obstacles (including the edges blacks of the tile, treated as obstacles), the LoS is blocked.  

Ephel

ps sorry for my english :) 

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Ephel_duatH said:

J doesn't have LOS to the Zombie because the line pass through the space of the  zombie and the rules explicity doesn't allow that. The LoS is traced by corner to corner, and if there isn't any obstacles (including the edges blacks of the tile, treated as obstacles), the LoS is blocked.  

Yes, the rules are quite clear about that.  It's just that a lot of people (myself included) don't particularly like the idea that the very figure you're trying to attack can block your LoS to attack it.  Hence the debate.

I think it's easy enough to house rule these little corner cases for people who can't live with RAW.  Everyone can have their fun in their own way, provided of course, that the people sitting around the table can all agree.

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After reading the rule book, but before having much chance to play, I had issues with some rules -- especially LOS.  After having more chances to play through encounters & understanding that the game has a more abstract than realistic bent, I have come to accept the rules as written.  I still don't like some of the design choices, but they play better than they read.

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I solved the tension between the rule and my idea of "reality" by reasoning that, if you cannot trace LOS to the front of your target, why would it be allowed to trace one to its rear.

The zombie in the example is simply not enough visible to be counted as a legible target.

But of course, there always is a level of abstraction in any set of rules. To each one his own, when it comes down to solving the tension between the rule and one's idea of what it does simulate.

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Steve-O said:

Ephel_duatH said:

 

J doesn't have LOS to the Zombie because the line pass through the space of the  zombie and the rules explicity doesn't allow that. The LoS is traced by corner to corner, and if there isn't any obstacles (including the edges blacks of the tile, treated as obstacles), the LoS is blocked.  

 

 

Yes, the rules are quite clear about that.  It's just that a lot of people (myself included) don't particularly like the idea that the very figure you're trying to attack can block your LoS to attack it.  Hence the debate.

I think it's easy enough to house rule these little corner cases for people who can't live with RAW.  Everyone can have their fun in their own way, provided of course, that the people sitting around the table can all agree.

I agree with you :) but i think that hourules some aspect of the game would be results in an unbalanced game. I think that the movement of giant monsters is much worse, but after several games I can say that it works, especially for the fact that most of the scenarios have victory conditions that involve a high degree of mobility on the map. A giant monster can block or be blocked resulting in a stalemate that is not expected in the development of the scenarios. Changing the rules to make them more realistic could result in a deadlock that is not contemplated in the development of the scenarios. For example, a giant monster can block or be blocked more easily by using a different movement similar to that of the first edition, resulting in a lengthening of the game and in a substantial change in the gameplay imagined by developers.

Ephel

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exy said:

--hopefully FFG will toss this into a FAQ.



This has been address in the FAQ:

"Q. When tracing line of sight to the corner of a space containing a figure, does the figure occupying the target space block line of sight?

A.  Yes, if the line passes through any blocked space (a space containing a figure or obstacle) the target space is not in line of sight.  This includes the target space itself."

(emphasis mine)

So apparently if you are targeting a figure in a given space, and the only way to get LOS to him is to trace to a corner of his space that the figure blocks, you don't have LOS.

I personally feel they made a mistake on this one.  It makes absolutely no sense that a figure can block LOS to itself.  If I can't shoot an arrow at you, because you are in between me and you, and the arrow would end up hitting you before it got to you, well that's just dumb!  It's so dumb, it's hard to even explain how dumb it is.

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Lord_Nikon said:

 

exy said:

--hopefully FFG will toss this into a FAQ.
 


This has been address in the FAQ:

"Q. When tracing line of sight to the corner of a space containing a figure, does the figure occupying the target space block line of sight?

A.  Yes, if the line passes through any blocked space (a space containing a figure or obstacle) the target space is not in line of sight.  This includes the target space itself."

(emphasis mine)

So apparently if you are targeting a figure in a given space, and the only way to get LOS to him is to trace to a corner of his space that the figure blocks, you don't have LOS.

I personally feel they made a mistake on this one.  It makes absolutely no sense that a figure can block LOS to itself.  If I can't shoot an arrow at you, because you are in between me and you, and the arrow would end up hitting you before it got to you, well that's just dumb!  It's so dumb, it's hard to even explain how dumb it is.

 

 

 

It really isn't so dumb when you consider that you are playing a board game consisting of a grid of squares. This isn't a three dimensional, real world simulation. The game world lives on a grid and as such the rules are designed around the limitations of this. I agree that it does read like something nonsensical, but the designers didn't just throw the rules together - You don't think they play tested center-to-center LoS? Perhaps if they went with a hex grid  that would have tested  better, but they went with squares. So, this is how it plays. It is not dumb. It is how the game was designed to be played.

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Rico said:

Lord_Nikon said:

 

exy said:

--hopefully FFG will toss this into a FAQ.
 


This has been address in the FAQ:

"Q. When tracing line of sight to the corner of a space containing a figure, does the figure occupying the target space block line of sight?

A.  Yes, if the line passes through any blocked space (a space containing a figure or obstacle) the target space is not in line of sight.  This includes the target space itself."

(emphasis mine)

So apparently if you are targeting a figure in a given space, and the only way to get LOS to him is to trace to a corner of his space that the figure blocks, you don't have LOS.

I personally feel they made a mistake on this one.  It makes absolutely no sense that a figure can block LOS to itself.  If I can't shoot an arrow at you, because you are in between me and you, and the arrow would end up hitting you before it got to you, well that's just dumb!  It's so dumb, it's hard to even explain how dumb it is.

 

 

 

It really isn't so dumb when you consider that you are playing a board game consisting of a grid of squares. This isn't a three dimensional, real world simulation. The game world lives on a grid and as such the rules are designed around the limitations of this. I agree that it does read like something nonsensical, but the designers didn't just throw the rules together - You don't think they play tested center-to-center LoS? Perhaps if they went with a hex grid  that would have tested  better, but they went with squares. So, this is how it plays. It is not dumb. It is how the game was designed to be played.

 

I agree it's a board game and it needs a simple board game rule.  However, trace a line from any corner to any corner and check for obstacles between the target squares, is no more difficult than, trace a line from any corner to any corner and check for obstacles between the squares including the target squares.  I actually think the form is easier because it's intuitive and makes sense, and quite honestly thought that's what the rules meant prior to the FAQ (due to their emphasis on ANY CORNER in the original rulebook).

I just don't see a point in using a wonky rule when there's a non wonky version that works just as easy and is almost identical.  Especially given the original rule was unclear so it would have been a clarification of the original rules, not an outright rules change.

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Center to center LOS would ask for a dot to be printed in the center of each square.

It would be less appealing, graphically.

And I seem to have read that 1st edition used center to center LOS and that the rule generated quite a lot of debates - and the LOS was more difficult to obtain, thus quite a long time spent by players to place their figures in the best cover or firing position.

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