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Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon

 Post subject: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 4:00 pm 
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I have to open this can of worms again, due to having to teach the game to newbies, gaming issues, and homogenizing rules in the national community.

Quoting Ian from Onyx LoS thread:


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Part of the problem appears to be the contradictions within the written rules - while the rules effectively say in several places to use TLoS, they also say that drawing LoF into/through a terrain piece does not use TLoS.

Quote:
Buildings, rubble, woods, fortifications and the like don't block the line of fire to or from units that are in the terrain itself unless the line of fire passes through more than 10cms of the terrain feature (i.e., you can shoot 10cms “into” a terrain feature, but the line of fire is still blocked to units on the other side).


So you don't use TLoS within the terrain piece or for shooting into or out of it. What's unclear is how the second clause about LoF being blocked to units on the other side interacts with high up units being able to see over terrain.


I like this approach as it is what the rulebook states.

But I think giving area terrain features, like woods and ruins, infinite height would be better for a community with all kinds of scales (mixing classic titans with AT18 for example), and in order to avoid modelling issues (skimmer vehicles floating very high or very low).

So, what would be best ? taking into account that the target is teaching the game to new players (so I'm guessing simpler=better).

Side note: the rulebook also implies that the game is played in 3D, so weapon ranges are measured from model to model. A model on top of a hill or a building could be out of range even if its projection to the base(=ground) is in range. Same for CrossFire??

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:25 pm 
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Giving area terrain infinite height is certainly easier, especially given Epic's logarithmic ground scale. TLoS stuff still comes into play, however, as units can be partially obscured around the corner of a forest or building.

I think where Onyx took exception to using infinite height was when a player controlling a Imperator can claim "can't see me" when behind one of those ruins that came on the E40k base sprues.

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:20 pm 
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In UK Epic tournaments all scenery (no matter how small) is treated as infinitely high to keep things simple and clear. I've played both ways but I prefer the infinitely high approach myself.

I've always played range as flat too and not taken height into account. Things could get problematic if up and down was relevant e.g. the upcoming Warmaster titan can have Melta Cannons on it's shoulders and they are probably higher than 15cm off the ground. Could the extra TK FF attack from them still be used in a FF against infantry near the titan? It seems silly for it not to be able to due to the height.


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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:15 pm 
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Dave wrote:
Giving area terrain infinite height is certainly easier, especially given Epic's logarithmic ground scale. TLoS stuff still comes into play, however, as units can be partially obscured around the corner of a forest or building.

I think where Onyx took exception to using infinite height was when a player controlling a Imperator can claim "can't see me" when behind one of those ruins that came on the E40k base sprues.


Thanks for your opinion. I guess what you (and most) call area terrain is basically Woods, Ruins, Jungles and the like, NOT a clear hill, am I right?

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:21 pm 
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GlynG wrote:
In UK Epic tournaments all scenery (no matter how small) is treated as infinitely high to keep things simple and clear. I've played both ways but I prefer the infinitely high approach myself.



Yep good approach. I knew that about the UK tournaments, but I wonder what do people use outside of UK : if the model is taller than the ruins, TLoS is used, and it can be shot at but counts as obscured (-1 to hit) ????

GlynG wrote:

I've always played range as flat too and not taken height into account. Things could get problematic if up and down was relevant e.g. the upcoming Warmaster titan can have Melta Cannons on it's shoulders and they are probably higher than 15cm off the ground. Could the extra TK FF attack from them still be used in a FF against infantry near the titan? It seems silly for it not to be able to due to the height.


In that case you could measure from other parts of the titan.

But the case I was asking for is when the whole model is on a certain height. I.e. an infantry stand shooting short ranged weapons (15 or 30 cm) from the top of a building or hill: it doesn't reach if using direct model to model measurement (per the rulebook), but it does if measuring from the base of the building (the model isn't actually there so it is out of range.....).

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:05 pm 
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I'm in the UK and so play the same way everyone else does here, and it works well. You get over the occasional oddity, not least because people build terrain according to the convention - you wouldnt see a strip of ruin sprue by itself, it'd be on a base of area terrain with lots of other LoS blocking stuff on it. At home I have somethings which are not really buildings - low landing pads, bases which are mostly open but with a couple of small items on them etc, and we generally do come up with specific rules for them that say they never block LoS, only obscure it. So I do sympathise with the objection.

One suggestion for compromise I can make for how to play it that is consistent in game terms but still is a bit more "realistic" is this:

Draw line of sight from the weapon to the target. If there is literally no terrain feature obscuring any part of the target model then the terrain is effectively not there. In any other case, treat it as if it is: i.e. can't shoot at target behind the terrain, and only 10cm for targets within it. What this is doing is still treating all terrain as representative ("there are buildings here") rather than literal ("I can shoot through that window!") and thus is still a binary is/isn't blocking, but just shifts the boundary condition for determining whether the terrain is LoS blocking or not to one that is dynamic (depends on the situation) rather than static (always blocks LoS). 99% of the time it actually doesnt make a difference, but it weeds out the most implausible situations.

Another thing you can do is to carry forward the 10cm rule, i.e. being "behind" the terrain (and thus completely hidden) only applies if there is >10cm of terrain in the way. Otherwise you're using TLoS. This tends to mean that small terrain pieces don't fully block line of sight, only big things like hills and area terrain do.

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:54 pm 
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We did something pretty similar but that we'd model terrain explicitly as obscuring vs blocking (and more of the latter in practice). So for instance we'd model up a bog and throw a few trees in it, for visual flair, but it'd be agreed that this would give a -1 to shoot through any part of the modeled boundaries of the feature, irrespective of the concrete modeling choices (if you happened to be exactly crossing that tree with your LOF, it wasn't a blocking situation). Likewise we'd have agreed blocking features as well and they'd be modeled and played as anything crossing the modeled boundaries of the terrain base would be considered blocked. So for instance we'd put a bunch of smoke stacks and chem tanks to say build an industrial site with and even if you ended up drawing the perfect LOF in between two of the towers on the terrain by chance, we'd treat it as blocked still.

Along those lines, we ended up getting on the whole basing bandwagon once I'd done my first Marine army on FoW bases, we even more abstracted the game and treated units similar to how we treated terrain. LoS/LoF was shortest line from x to y base to base. Units were touching,/in terrain/in effect on any part of base being there. The model of the unit wasn't literal in that precise position as opposed to being thought of as a representative of your units on something like a tactical display (for mental perspectives) in that general area of the table.

Really simplified life and helped reinforce the idea that these are respresentational tokens not literal scale models on the battle and to me t get caught up in the minutia of modeling (especially as we had scale differences in some of our models)

That being said, if I played someone that had a strong preference of TLoS then I'd be happy to play with their preference.

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:11 pm 
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stolen from Rastaman and apropos


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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:56 am 
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Kyrt wrote:
I'm in the UK and so play the same way everyone else does here, and it works well. You get over the occasional oddity, not least because people build terrain according to the convention - you wouldnt see a strip of ruin sprue by itself, it'd be on a base of area terrain with lots of other LoS blocking stuff on it. At home I have somethings which are not really buildings - low landing pads, bases which are mostly open but with a couple of small items on them etc, and we generally do come up with specific rules for them that say they never block LoS, only obscure it. So I do sympathise with the objection.

One suggestion for compromise I can make for how to play it that is consistent in game terms but still is a bit more "realistic" is this:

Draw line of sight from the weapon to the target. If there is literally no terrain feature obscuring any part of the target model then the terrain is effectively not there. In any other case, treat it as if it is: i.e. can't shoot at target behind the terrain, and only 10cm for targets within it. What this is doing is still treating all terrain as representative ("there are buildings here") rather than literal ("I can shoot through that window!") and thus is still a binary is/isn't blocking, but just shifts the boundary condition for determining whether the terrain is LoS blocking or not to one that is dynamic (depends on the situation) rather than static (always blocks LoS). 99% of the time it actually doesnt make a difference, but it weeds out the most implausible situations.

Another thing you can do is to carry forward the 10cm rule, i.e. being "behind" the terrain (and thus completely hidden) only applies if there is >10cm of terrain in the way. Otherwise you're using TLoS. This tends to mean that small terrain pieces don't fully block line of sight, only big things like hills and area terrain do.


You mean infinite height?

What about a clear hill, TLoS??

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:01 pm 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
Along those lines, we ended up getting on the whole basing bandwagon once I'd done my first Marine army on FoW bases, we even more abstracted the game and treated units similar to how we treated terrain. LoS/LoF was shortest line from x to y base to base. Units were touching,/in terrain/in effect on any part of base being there. The model of the unit wasn't literal in that precise position as opposed to being thought of as a representative of your units on something like a tactical display (for mental perspectives) in that general area of the table.

Really simplified life and helped reinforce the idea that these are respresentational tokens not literal scale models on the battle and to me t get caught up in the minutia of modeling (especially as we had scale differences in some of our models)

That being said, if I played someone that had a strong preference of TLoS then I'd be happy to play with their preference.


Yep, but the problem is that the EA rulebook goes directly against that (bases are ignored, just model counts for LoS).

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:57 pm 
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Well kind of... The Design Concept: Shooting Conventions basically puts it in the hands of the players. I'm sure that upsets some, but I think it was a way for Jervis to reinforce it's a game between two people, so you should talk to that other person and perhaps even enjoy the interaction.

Measuring to the model for infantry stands creates a couple of problems. For one, it's ridiculously faddily. Measuring to a 12x40mm base is bad enough, measuring to 5 figures on 6mm plinths on that base would be worse. Secondly, it allows a stand to be placed so that a 5cm counter-charge allows for to base-to-base (the figures are out of ZoC but the base edge is not).

I've played with people from Europe, Australia and at least three different groups in the US. I can't remember an instance of a player measuring to a figure rather than a stand of infantry. The only time figures have mattered in the games I've played is when placing barrage templates, as clipping a mm of a stand seems cheap.

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:11 am 
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Dave wrote:
Well kind of... The Design Concept: Shooting Conventions basically puts it in the hands of the players. I'm sure that upsets some, but I think it was a way for Jervis to reinforce it's a game between two people, so you should talk to that other person and perhaps even enjoy the interaction.

Measuring to the model for infantry stands creates a couple of problems. For one, it's ridiculously faddily. Measuring to a 12x40mm base is bad enough, measuring to 5 figures on 6mm plinths on that base would be worse. Secondly, it allows a stand to be placed so that a 5cm counter-charge allows for to base-to-base (the figures are out of ZoC but the base edge is not).

I've played with people from Europe, Australia and at least three different groups in the US. I can't remember an instance of a player measuring to a figure rather than a stand of infantry. The only time figures have mattered in the games I've played is when placing barrage templates, as clipping a mm of a stand seems cheap.


Interesting point of view, but bases are ignored for walker and skimmer vehicles, you don't ignore them for LoS for infantry???

Because I'm talking mainly about LoS more than strictly measuring (exception: the case of an infantry stand on a 10cm tall building/hill?? how do you measure distances there?)

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:25 pm 
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LV/AV/WE you measure to the model, as not everyone bases their vehicles given that rules don't call for it. You can run into the same counter-charge problem there, but it's easy enough to keep the entire base out of ZoC when you get close. You can do the same thing for infantry, but most players I've played don't want to bother measuring to infantry models.

For buildings, we still measure in 2D, not taking into account the height of the building. This is mostly because the buildings we use are from SM/TL, so you're early on top of the building or you're not. There's no way to denote one base being on the ground floor, another on the 10th floor and a third on the 20th floor. We just except the abstraction and measure hovering over the stands.

Where I've played others outside of my group it's been the same, I'm assuming because measuring hypotenuses between buildings usually results in stands falling or getting jostled. That and assuming the buildings are infinitely tall would make measuring vertically pointless.

Honestly, it would only really matter for really short ranges as the difference between 90cm at ground level, and 90cm at ground level to a 10cm high building is like .5cm.

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:19 pm 
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It matters a lot for 15 and 30 cm range weapons, and of course FireFights!!!

And what about infantry on top of a 10 cm high hill??? does somebody measure from the base of the hill? or the actual models? It is different from buildings since can't claim the models count as on ground level (=actually underground).

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 Post subject: Re: Line of Sight in Epic Armageddon
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:46 pm 
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Man that's just insanely reductive sounding. It's a company level wargame not a simulator ;)

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