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 Line of Sight Changes 
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Mini-Boss
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I noticed the rules regarding size have been dropped from the Line of Sight section. Previously, unit size was added to terrain size to determine total size for LoS. (I assume this exclusion was an error.)

Quote:
If the object’s size is equal to or greater than either the model and the target.
"And" should be "or"? (Or should "either" be "both"

Depending on the above, these streamlined rules also create situations where a unit that should be able to see over a bit of terrain might not be able to target a unit that is quite far from the terrain. I've always thought a unit that had a height advantage should cause terrain smaller than them to have a "shadow" that blocks LoS, and units outside the shadow would be fair game for being targeted...


May 26th, 2017, 6:16 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
I noticed the rules regarding size have been dropped from the Line of Sight section. Previously, unit size was added to terrain size to determine total size for LoS. (I assume this exclusion was an error.)

Quote:
If the object’s size is equal to or greater than either the model and the target.
"And" should be "or"? (Or should "either" be "both"

Depending on the above, these streamlined rules also create situations where a unit that should be able to see over a bit of terrain might not be able to target a unit that is quite far from the terrain. I've always thought a unit that had a height advantage should cause terrain smaller than them to have a "shadow" that blocks LoS, and units outside the shadow would be fair game for being targeted...


Still there. It's in the terrain section (it always was):

LINE OF SIGHT
When determining line of sight to or from a model on elevated terrain, add the size of the terrain to the model’s size.


Correct, blocking terrain should read as follows (I have updated the rules):

BLOCKING OBJECTS
Blocking objects block LoS. An object is blocking if it satisfies one of the following conditions:

If the object’s size is equal to or greater than either the model or the target. (Object Fig. 1)


The shadow, while realistic, is a nightmare in terms of rules interpretations and diagrams. This is one of those situations where ease of play trumps verisimilitude. Additionally, in a system like Relic Knights with no range, blocking LoS is the only way that the battlefield and a unit's placement therein is dynamic and interesting. Therefor, going for the interpretation that made terrain more likely to block LoS was appealing.

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May 26th, 2017, 6:27 pm
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Mini-Boss
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Thank you for the clarification. I agree on the ease of play, and I'm all for the streamlining to bring the game time down, even if I'll miss the situations where contact with the terrain made the difference...


May 26th, 2017, 6:41 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
Thank you for the clarification. I agree on the ease of play, and I'm all for the streamlining to bring the game time down, even if I'll miss the situations where contact with the terrain made the difference...


Glad to help. :)

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May 26th, 2017, 6:43 pm
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"Windowed terrain does not block LoS"

If my interpretation of that is correct, Windowed terrain is always obscuring, yes?

If that is the case, a low wall on a building's would always need to have the Windowed trait to avoid the wall blocking Line of Sight between units on the ground and units on the roof in contact with the wall, but you could still give the wall Protection to allow it to grant bonus armor.

If I am incorrect, I really think there needs to be some rule that allows units in contact with terrain that is smaller in size than them to ignore the terrain to some degree, or a lot of retail-available buildings will be hard to use.
Previous iterations allowed this, and I understand and accept the above point made by Justin, but I am having a hard time reconciling common sense expectations of LoS and the mechanical implementation - There seem to be many scenarios where the simplified rules actually cause me to have to pause and think about how things really work - like those low walls, if they were on a building who's roof was elevation 2, they'd technically be size 3 measured from the ground, so they'd block LoS for the unit on the building if the target on the ground was size 2. And if a unit is not at the edge of a size 2 roof (without a wall), then in most cases the diagonal measurement between bases would intersect the building, meaning again there would be no LoS between a unit on the building and a size 2 unit on the ground...

Hopefully I'm overthinking this, so I'd really like other's take on LoS, elevation, and complex terrain.


June 1st, 2017, 2:14 am
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Is the problem the blocking terrain wording?

This is a simple rule, but creates these strange situations.

A
[]
[]
[].........[]B

Cannot shoot at each other, this might be reasonable as B is beside the terrain and there are a lot of ways to describe why they might not be visible that static models don't convey.

A
[]
[]
[].........[].................B

A and B still cannot shoot at each other because of the terrain object between them, and this is really strange. B should at least have to be within the size of the blocking terrain to benefit from the blocking terrain.

A
A.........[]...............B

Also still cannot shoot at each other. (See above.)

A
[]
[]............ B
[]..........[]B

Can shoot at each other. (Well this works, and invokes the Obscuring Terrain rules.)

A
A]
[]
[]
[]

Isn't a problem. The edge is size X but A is X+1 as long as the edge is less than the Size of A.

Perhaps the Blocking Terrain rule needs additional text so that if 1 of the models has a size 2x the blocking object it can still shoot/be targeted?

In essence the current rules for blocking terrain seem written for models of the same height on the same elevation. I know its simpler, but it is currently really strange.

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June 1st, 2017, 3:21 am
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Mini-Boss
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Thank you for the diagrams, I was having a hard time coming up with a way to visualize the scenarios I described.

A
A]
[].........B
[].........B

The issue isn't that A is larger than the terrain, it's that the terrain in the window is larger than B, since there is no exception for A being in contact with the terrain. (I am assuming you must always count terrain elevation from the ground, since the precident from determining total size for units is that all elevation/size is additive.)

A
A
[][].......B
[][].......B

This is the other scenario I was thinking of; I would expect A should be close enough to the edge to see B (obscured) but my interpretation of the current wording leads me to believe that LoS is blocked.

As you say, the rules works perfectly when units are on the same elevation, or when they are the same size due to elevation.

Possible additions to LoS:

- Obsidian's suggestion that if one of the models is X value larger than the terrain allowing obscured LoS. (I would add other model not in contact with terrain, and/or limit it to terrain that is equal in size to the other model.)

- Units standing on top of terrain that would otherwise be blocking, and within X inches of the edge LoS is being drawn across treat the terrain as obscuring. X could be a static value or tied to the size of the units. (I think this one is elegant and doesn't present any of the problems of the other suggestions since other intervening objects could still block LoS.)

- Units in contact with an object that is smaller than them double the object's depth in the window, (or use the object's size, since that is easier to determine) if the target is not in the doubled zone, the attack may be made.

Top down, Unit A is size 3, Unit B and the Object are size 2, Doubled zone (object size):
LoS Obscured: AOOODDD....B
LoS Blocked: AOOODBD

- Units in contact with smaller terrain can treat the terrain as X sizes smaller, where X is the difference in height between the unit and the terrain. Example: Size 4 unit treats size 3 terrain as size 2, and size two terrain as size 0.

- Units on elevated terrain subtract half (round down) their elevation from the size of any object that has a size smaller than the elevatated terrain they are on if the the target is not in contact with the object and the other unit is on a lower elevation.
Example:

A
A
[]
[].....[]....B
[].....[]....B

A can treat the intervening object as 1 size smaller, so LoS Is granted, but obscured. If A's elevation was one more, the intervening terrain would be treated as 2 sizes smaller, granting LoS without being obscured. If B is in contact with the terrain, then LoS would be blocked per the current rule.

My concern with almost all of these suggestion is that extremely large terrain (width x length) would still present some counter-intuitive scenarios, where LoS would be mechanically granted when expectations would be no LoS. (No rule in a simplified system will reflect expectations 100% of of the time, but I think we've demonstrated there are currently a number of odd outcomes from the one-line blocking rule.)


June 1st, 2017, 4:42 am
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Major Glitch wrote:
"Windowed terrain does not block LoS"

If my interpretation of that is correct, Windowed terrain is always obscuring, yes?

If that is the case, a low wall on a building's would always need to have the Windowed trait to avoid the wall blocking Line of Sight between units on the ground and units on the roof in contact with the wall, but you could still give the wall Protection to allow it to grant bonus armor.

If I am incorrect, I really think there needs to be some rule that allows units in contact with terrain that is smaller in size than them to ignore the terrain to some degree, or a lot of retail-available buildings will be hard to use.
Previous iterations allowed this, and I understand and accept the above point made by Justin, but I am having a hard time reconciling common sense expectations of LoS and the mechanical implementation - There seem to be many scenarios where the simplified rules actually cause me to have to pause and think about how things really work - like those low walls, if they were on a building who's roof was elevation 2, they'd technically be size 3 measured from the ground, so they'd block LoS for the unit on the building if the target on the ground was size 2. And if a unit is not at the edge of a size 2 roof (without a wall), then in most cases the diagonal measurement between bases would intersect the building, meaning again there would be no LoS between a unit on the building and a size 2 unit on the ground...

Hopefully I'm overthinking this, so I'd really like other's take on LoS, elevation, and complex terrain.


Yeah, I think you're over-thinking this a bit.

A building a model is standing on will never block LoS to that model.

The reason is that, since the unit it standing on elevated terrain, you add the terrain's height to the unit's height to determine the unit's height. So if a size 2 unit is on size 4 terrain, the unit is considered size 6. Meaning that the size 4 building will be unable to block LoS to/from it.

As for a wall on a lip of a building, that creates a weird situations where pert of the building (say the roof) is size 4 and the wall is size 5. That's the sort of thing you need to discuss with your opponent before the game. "Ok, we're calling this whole building size 5." Or, "the building is size 4 but the wall is counted separately as size 1 and can provide cover."

We can't write rules for every conceivable piece of terrain which is why the discussion with your opponent is so important.

And, I assure you, trying to write realism into abstract LoS systems is an absolute nightmare. If the original Relic Knights system had seen play to the point it had sixty person tournaments and people really trying to game it, it would have broken. Been there. Done that. Google the "vantage point" rule for Malifaux if you're interested. :D

I'm a firm believer LoS systems need to be either entirely abstract, or just true LoS. And I'm fine with true LoS, honestly. But I doubt this audience would go for it. There will not be an abstract system that bends over backwards to act like true LoS though.

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June 1st, 2017, 2:50 pm
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ND_Justin wrote:
A building a model is standing on will never block LoS to that model.

The reason is that, since the unit it standing on elevated terrain, you add the terrain's height to the unit's height to determine the unit's height. So if a size 2 unit is on size 4 terrain, the unit is considered size 6. Meaning that the size 4 building will be unable to block LoS to/from it.

The way total size is determined is, I think pretty straightforward. it's how the elevated terrain itself interacts with the window, and that the wording allows an object to block LoS if it is equal or larger than either unit. So unless the rules clearly state that a unit ignores the terrain they are standing on, I would assume that the edge of a building would block or obscure LoS if a unit was standing back from it. (If the unit is standing at the edge, then I've never thought there was an issue because the terrain would not be in the window.)

A
[==]
[==]..........................B
Size (4+2=) 6..........Size 2

Terrain in window. My assumption is LoS is blocked, since the terrain is equal to or greater than the size of one of the units (B, in this case). I'm arguing that it is counter-intuitive (especially for a new player). If, as above, Unit A ignores the terrain it is on, that's a different matter, and would also lead to situations where being positioned on the opposite edge the window passes over still allowing the attack to be made (also counter-intuitive). I'm honestly at this point just trying to come up with different scenarios that aren't readily apparent with the rule available in written form only.
The basic rule is easy to understand and apply, and you are doing a good job of defending and explaining it, so hopefully this thread will help with how you approach the diagrams for the book. Players will always have to pause and think through LoS from time to time, but if the community generates a list of LoS scenarios that we find odd now, I'm sure it will help with comprehension in the final product.

ND_Justin wrote:
As for a wall on a lip of a building, that creates a weird situations where pert of the building (say the roof) is size 4 and the wall is size 5. That's the sort of thing you need to discuss with your opponent before the game. "Ok, we're calling this whole building size 5." Or, "the building is size 4 but the wall is counted separately as size 1 and can provide cover."

We can't write rules for every conceivable piece of terrain which is why the discussion with your opponent is so important.

I agree that discussion needs to take place before the game begins. I was simply thinking that the wall on the lip is so prevalent in predesigned terrain that it might bear specific mention, at least for tournament-level play. But maybe that's simply getting in the way players customizing their battlefield.

ND_Justin wrote:
And, I assure you, trying to write realism into abstract LoS systems is an absolute nightmare. If the original Relic Knights system had seen play to the point it had sixty person tournaments and people really trying to game it, it would have broken. Been there. Done that. Google the "vantage point" rule for Malifaux if you're interested. :D

I'm a firm believer LoS systems need to be either entirely abstract, or just true LoS. And I'm fine with true LoS, honestly. But I doubt this audience would go for it. There will not be an abstract system that bends over backwards to act like true LoS though.

I do not have a problem with abstract rules, I'm simply interested in discussing the current level of complexity in the abstraction. The more you and others work through the questions I have, the more I'm able to see how they are solved in the system. As I mentioned above, I am hoping that the diagrams included in the final product will prevent the majority of the rules questions. That's the point of the beta :)


June 1st, 2017, 4:38 pm
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I'm all for discussion. :)

I do not think that saying "terrain in the window which either unit is standing on is ignored" would be a bad rule.

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June 1st, 2017, 6:45 pm
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Well I certainly don't want to strive for the level of complication that say Infinity has for LoS. But I think the current rules need to be a little better (per the diagrams in my last post), so here are some suggestions for further discussion.

In the "Windowed" rules add a section advising that Buildings with a lip smaller than the model be considered "Windowed" as well.

In the blocking terrain section add:
* If the attacking model is further from the terrain than its Size and the target is further from the terrain than its Size and one of them is larger than the terrain then the terrain is not Blocking (but is Obscuring).
* If the attacker or target is on elevated terrain and further from the edge than its Size the terrain is Blocking.

----
This brings up another thing with wording that requires a model to move "x" distance from a location. "Further" and "Closer" as concepts should be clear if they mean the whole base or part of the base so that they can be applied consistently through the rules and across units when they are used.

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June 1st, 2017, 9:55 pm
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I'm playtesting tomorrow, but having explained LoS to my group already (and having checked in with Major Glitch to see if he agrees that I'm reading the rules correctly), I can guarantee that this is going to be a sticking point.

I'm going to steal one of Obsidian-Crane's diagrams here:

A
[]
[]
[].........[].................B

Let's say each block is size 2, as are A and B. And let's say there's 4 inches between the terrain A is standing on and the blocking terrain in the middle, and 6 inches between the blocking terrain and B. As written, despite being 4 times higher than the blocking terrain, A still cannot shoot B and B cannot shoot A, even though I can draw a direct line from one of them to the other that won't even get close to touching that terrain.

I know you've said that you can't expect realism in a minis game, but there's a point where logic needs to at least enter into it. When I explained this scenario to my group, the reaction every player gave me boiled down to "what kind of nonsense is this?". My initial reaction when I read it was to assume I was misreading it, followed by laughter when I realised I wasn't.

Like I said, I will playtest it, and I think I've been pretty good about giving the previous rules iterations I tested an honest and fair go, so if it ends up not being an issue during my game, I'll happily admit I was wrong and move on. But I'll be really surprised if this doesn't irritate members of my group who are testing with me tomorrow (I'm hoping to get two concurrent games running at a time, but even if the third and fourth players don't make an appearance, I'll personally be playing two games).


June 3rd, 2017, 1:59 pm
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tinkergoth wrote:
I'm playtesting tomorrow, but having explained LoS to my group already (and having checked in with Major Glitch to see if he agrees that I'm reading the rules correctly), I can guarantee that this is going to be a sticking point.

I'm going to steal one of Obsidian-Crane's diagrams here:

A
[]
[]
[].........[].................B

Let's say each block is size 2, as are A and B. And let's say there's 4 inches between the terrain A is standing on and the blocking terrain in the middle, and 6 inches between the blocking terrain and B. As written, despite being 4 times higher than the blocking terrain, A still cannot shoot B and B cannot shoot A, even though I can draw a direct line from one of them to the other that won't even get close to touching that terrain.

I know you've said that you can't expect realism in a minis game, but there's a point where logic needs to at least enter into it. When I explained this scenario to my group, the reaction every player gave me boiled down to "what kind of nonsense is this?". My initial reaction when I read it was to assume I was misreading it, followed by laughter when I realised I wasn't.

Like I said, I will playtest it, and I think I've been pretty good about giving the previous rules iterations I tested an honest and fair go, so if it ends up not being an issue during my game, I'll happily admit I was wrong and move on. But I'll be really surprised if this doesn't irritate members of my group who are testing with me tomorrow (I'm hoping to get two concurrent games running at a time, but even if the third and fourth players don't make an appearance, I'll personally be playing two games).


I still haven't been able to get around to reading the current test rules. But, did they get rid of the rule for terrain that says it only has an effect on things a number of inches away equal to it's size? As in, using the example above, if the lone wall is size 2, and thing more than 2" away from it are unaffected by it? (since at least one of the two models involved is over size 2 in the example and LOS isn't jsut totally blocked regardless of proximity).


June 3rd, 2017, 2:33 pm
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Usagi,

There is currently a single line in the rules for determining if an object blocks LoS. If an object completely covers the window, LoS is blocked if the object is equal to or greater in size than either unit. If an object is in the window and doesn't block LoS, it is obscuring. Therefore an object that is large enough to be blocking but does not cover the window completely will obscure it instead, granting cover.

The rule is simple and easy to apply, but as you can see, leads to a number of situations where the mechanics and logic don't line up.

Edit: The only thing the rules care about now is the the size of an object, and whether or not it completely intersects the window. Proximity is not a factor.


June 3rd, 2017, 4:56 pm
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Seems to me a simple solution might be saying there is a "shadow" around blocking/covering terrain equal to its heigh in inches and if one unit is = or taller/higher than said terrain they ignore it, unless the other unit is smaller and is in the shadow zone. Would be easy to to add shadow bases to existing terrain to make it really easy to see if your in range or not.


June 4th, 2017, 3:09 am
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This is something I didn't put in my game feedback (Doh!), but it came up a lot.

The current blocking rules work great for everyone staying on the ground. But once models start being on different elevations things get strange real fast. It's even weirder once you start having bridges etc as well...

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June 4th, 2017, 12:14 pm
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Continuing the idea of shadows, models whose bases intersect the shadow's line could still have LOS with models higher than the blocking terrain, but also have cover. This would assist squads under attack from an opponent on higher ground as only a single model can usually "peek" from behind a corner, not half a squad. I'll try and post some pictures to illustrate the idea. Unless ND or someone else comes up with a solution, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a house rule at my table. I'll try and post some pictures soon to show it in action


June 4th, 2017, 3:13 pm
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Here are some images to clarify the Shadow idea.
Image
Image
Image

I also think using shadows could add some extra realism to the three inch rule without much complexity cost for determining cover from blocking objects like this:
Image


June 4th, 2017, 4:49 pm
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Here are the images I promised.
Image
Image
Image

And here is an idea that it could replace the arbitrary three inch rule for cover which can also be somewhat nonsensical if you are attacking someone from above on any of my terrain buildings. This is because there are short walls on all sides but if you stand in the middle you have cover no matter which side of the building you were attacked from since all are within three inches. If you need to be in shadow to get cover then standing in the middle of these buildings would give you no cover. and you would have to pick a single edge for a unit to get cover advantage when attacked from above.
Image


June 4th, 2017, 5:02 pm
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Very happy to see the changes to LoS in the June 9 update, however, this situation still exists and can be easily solved:

A
[][][][][][][][][][][]
[][][][][][][][][][][]
[][][][][][][][][][][].....B

As written, A has LoS to be since they ignore the terrain A is standing on. After talking to a few players (notably Obsidian-Crane), we feel that
Quote:
Elevated terrain that either the model is currently standing on is ignored when drawing LoS.
should be changed to
Quote:
Elevated terrain that either the model is currently standing on is ignored when drawing LoS if the model that is on the terrain is within 3" of the edge(s) that the window crosses.


June 10th, 2017, 4:39 am
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