Grant Porter
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Situation:

An Aircraft is currently hovering at low altitude in a hex. On my movement/attack phase I first move the Aircraft to the edge of its current hex and enter a ridge (performing ridge evasion). If there is no other ridge blocking the Aircraft's line of sight, can the Aircraft attack from the ridge while in low altitude?

[I want to attack a Command Vehicle in the neighboring hex that has no ridges without changing to high altitude and making myself vulnerable to a few other enemies.]

I'm on the third day/fifth mission of my introductory Iraq Surge campaign and so, despite my Veteran Hammer, I am a relative newbie pilot. I looked through the rule book (p. 16) and this forum but I cannot seem to find an example of this specific situation. (Admittedly, it could because I do not know the right keywords to search.) The rules state that an Aircraft cannot attack through a ridge, but I do not believe the Aircraft is attacking "through" a ridge as it is already "in" the ridge when performing its attack. The situation seems comparable to ridge evasion being necessary only when an Aircraft is "entering" a ridge at low altitude, not exiting that same ridge.

Thanks!
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Grant Porter
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It seems my question was already addressed in the "first dreaded LOS question" thread posted by Ryanmobile: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9609869

So, to answer my question based on my reading of that thread, "no", the Aircraft cannot attack if it is on a ridge and in low altitude because the ridge blocks its line of sight with respect to enemy units. In my example I would have had to change altitude to High then moved/attacked the Command vehicle, exposing myself to the Command vehicle if my attack failed (and other enemies even if it succeeded).

However, assuming this is the case I may--after a few more games--house rule two variants (not appropriate for Rules forum):

Spoiler (click to reveal)
1. An Aircraft can attack out of a Ridge even if it is in low altitude (assuming it otherwise has LOS on the enemy).
- This variant rule creates a situation similar ridge evasions and its distinction between "entering" and "exiting" a ridge at low altitude. While on a ridge, LOS for your Aircraft would be determined as usual with the exception that you ignore the ridge that the Aircraft is currently on.

2. A Ridge can serve as "cover" for an Aircraft if it is at low altitude. In such a situation the Aircraft can only be attacked by enemy units in the same hex.
- This variant rule treats your Aircrafts similar to how cover works for Enemy Vehicles after a Cover Roll.

Both rules seem at least somewhat consistent with the existing rules of the game. And neither requires any trigonometry to implement consistently!

Although the changes will certainly make the Aircraft less vulnerable, I think they present some interesting strategic decisions about placement and whether it is worth while to trade off potential stress for cover. I've played 5 missions so far and this has been the first time I've been in this situation so I do not know how frequently the situation will arise. And in later campaigns with the availability of linked Aircraft the potential advantage will be diminished/redundant. Although in the earlier missions I might chart my flight paths differently if I know I can put myself in a position to protect myself from those AAA sites and SAM vehicles. (Those things can be brutal.) Maybe I will charge myself 1 or 2 SO points to implement this "tactical cover flying" variant.
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